Courtesy of notinhalloffame.com
Bill Freehan (1961-1976)
Baseball fans probably don’t remember Freehan as well as Trammell and Morris, but Freehan has perhaps an even better Hall of Fame case.
Freehan was one of the best catchers of his era and often played opposite Johnny Bench in All-Star games. The Tigers catcher made 11 Mid-Summer Classics during his career.
His best offensive season came in 1964 when he hit .300 with 18 home runs and 80 RBI. Freehan hit 20 home runs for the first time in 1967 and then smashed a career-high 25 bombs in 1968. Freehan had another stellar offensive season in 1974, hitting .297 with 18 homers and 60 RBI.
Freehan, though, was known for his defense as he won five Gold Glove awards in 15 years. The catcher threw out an incredible 53 percent of would-be base stealers in 1964, which led the league. Freehan was also known for calling a great game behind the plate. For this reason, he finished second in MVP voting to his own teammate, Denny McLain, in 1968. McLain won 31 games that season.
Like Trammell and Morris, the biggest argument against Freehan is just his lack of accumulated stats. He hit .262 with 200 home runs and 758 RBI. Freehan had only 1,591 hits.
Still, it’s hard to see why a one of the best catchers of the 1960’s and 1970’s has been denied a Hall of Fame induction. Freehan will have to wait for the veteran’s committee to vote him in; he was on the ballot for only one year in 1982, receiving just 0.5 percent of the vote.