Davey Johnson and the HOF vote

On December 9, the Baseball Hall of Fame “Today’s Game Era” committee will vote on potential new inductees. Among those on the ten person ballot is Davey Johnson, one of three candidates being considered as managers. The other two managerial candidates for the Hall are Charlie Manuel and Lou Piniella.,

Johnson, of course, was skipper of the Mets from 1984 to 1990, including their historic 1986 World Series championship team. There is a strong case to be made that Johnson is worthy of induction.

Johnson not only managed the Mets, but he also managed the Reds from 1993-1995, the Orioles from 1996 to 1997, the Dodgers from 1999 to 2000, and finally the Nationals from 2011-2013. That tenure translates to a career won-loss record of 1372-1071, good for a .562 winning percentage.

That percentage puts Johnson in elite status as a manager. It’s better than most of the managers who have been elected to the HOF in recent decades, including Walter Alston, Sparky Anderson, Bobby Cox, Tommy Lasorda and Dick Williams. Earl Weaver is a notable exception, he has a little better percentage than Johnson.

There are factors other than wins that bolster Johnsons’ qualifications for the HOF. Invariably he improved whatever team he was managing from what it was before him. In 1983, the Mets had a 68-94 record, the worst in the NL. However, in 1984 when Johnson became manager, the team improved to a 90-72 record and a second place standing in the NL East. His first full years as manager of the Reds, Orioles and Nationals all saw significant improvement over the previous seasons. Only with the Dodgers did the record slide back his first year.

Johnson managed four different MLB teams into the postseason at one point or another. Only Billy Martin has equaled that managerial feat. Somewhat surprisingly Johnson never received a Manager of the Year award while piloting the Mets. However he did win that honor twice, once with the Orioles in 1997, and with Washington in 2012.

Johnson was known as an innovative manager, particularly in the early use of computers and advanced analytics. He earned a degree in Mathematics from Trinity College and was even using mainframe computers for analysis while he was still a player.

Although Johnson is up for HOF consideration as a manager, he did have a pretty good career as a player. The second baseman was on four All-Star teams, and he won Gold Gloves in 1969 and 1970 with the powerhouse Baltimore Oriole teams. In his 13 year MLB playing career he posted a slash line of .261/.340/.404.

If Johnson is elected to the HOF, it will be interesting to see which uniform he will wear on his plaque. Although his best managing tenure was with the Mets, he did manage and play for the Orioles. But hopefully, if he wins, Johnson will join Tom Seaver and Mike Piazza as HOFers in Mets’ uniforms.

8 comments for “Davey Johnson and the HOF vote

  1. Eraff
    November 20, 2018 at 10:47 am

    In Every way, a HOF Manager. Davey’s use of his entire roster was a demonstration of his understanding of Platoon Valuation. His defensive Deployment of HOJO at Short was an early indicator that He was attuned to identifying the results of his own pitchers, and the tendencies of his opposition. He has a 50 year stamp on the game as a Player, Manager, and in International Competition.

  2. RonOK
    November 20, 2018 at 11:36 am

    So, IF Davey gets into the HOF and selects a Mets jersey/cap, would the Mets then retire his #5? Stengel (37) and Hodges (14) were one-offs by old ownership.

    This ownership has been reluctant to retire numbers …. 41 and 31 are the only two players who’ve had numbers retired and the thinking is that it was earned because they were elected to the HOF ….. many were clamoring for Wright’s number to be retired at the end of 2018 but that probably wouldn’t happen for a while — if ever — since he’s not going into the HOF.

    If Davey gets in and picks the Mets, they could retire 5 for Johnson & tag Wright to it

    Nothing is ever easy in MetsLand.

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  3. November 20, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    His playing career has nothing to do with this ballot it’s as a manager and if he goes in it will easily be as a Met as he had his most success here. He’s not getting in though.

    • John Fox
      November 20, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Actually David his playing career could have at least a little impact. According to the HOF rules, candidates “whose careers entailed involvement in multiple categories will be considered for their overall contribution to the game of baseball.”

  4. Mike Walczak
    November 20, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    I dont think he gets in.

  5. MattyMets
    November 20, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    I don’t think he gets in. He left a mark on this game but he was never one of the top managers like Whitey Herzog or Bobby Cox. The players liked playing for him. He did a nice job managing platoons and lineups. I never loved the way he managed the pitchers. His leaving in Gooden too long in 88 cost us a second WS. HoJo at short was absurd.

    • November 20, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      Cox had one of the best SP rotations. Easy to manage players like Jones boys adding a few solid players to the mix. Not a difficult job to “manage” day in and day out. Whitey had Albert, Ozzie in their prime and a talented pitching staff. Johnson has ’86. One great season. I don’t think its enough to get in.

  6. Eraff
    November 20, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I don’t remember Hojo making costly mistakes at Short…I remember the comments about “Flyball Hitters” Flyball Pitcher”….not too specific, but I remember it worked

    Hojo was as good a SS as Jeter was in His last 5-7 years. Sure Handed and an accurate ar,—“Range” has always been a spectacular but lesser factor, outside the Ozzie/Omar V Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: