I've mentioned this a handful of times this week, but in case you missed it: The Brewers have had at least one former player receive at least one vote for the Hall of Fame every year since 1994. Over that time some relatively obscure players have been named on ballots, but today I want to talk about a player who wasn't.
In 1993, the last season where no former Brewers received Hall of Fame votes, Cecil Cooper was on the ballot (as was Darrell Porter). Cooper probably doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame, but he does have a significant list of career accomplishments:
- 2192 career hits. Value Over Replacement Grit noted that that's the highest total ever for a player who received no Hall of Fame votes.
- Five time AL All Star
- Three consecutive Silver Sluggers at first base
So what happened to Cooper? Well, we might as well start with this: The ballot was loaded. There were only five future Hall of Famers on the ballot in 1993, but 21 players who received enough votes to remain on the ballot in 1994. Six different players with over 30 career wins above replacement (rWAR) were knocked off the ballot that season. Cooper wasn't even the best player to receive no votes that season (by rWAR, anyway): Darrell Porter beat him out for that distinction.
Regardless of the circumstances, though, Cooper (and Porter) probably deserved better.