The history of the Los Angeles Dodgers is home to some of the greatest MLB players of all-time, but some sit on the cusp of Cooperstown.
As of 2019, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York is home to 333 members, 235 of which are players. Of those 235 players, 45 played for the Los Angeles Dodgers at some point in their career, and 11 of their wear a Dodgers cap (8 with Brooklyn, three more with Los Angeles).
Undoubtedly the Dodgers have seen their fair share of players that have been fan favorites and who ranked highly among their peers but didn’t achieve enshrinement in Cooperstown. The Baseball Hall of Fame is home to the absolute best of all-time and unfortunately, not all players can earn that distinction.
Maybe their window of dominance was too short or perhaps, while still being very good players, they just don’t rank among the best of all-time. Maybe they missed an important milestone or were overshadowed by an absolute luminary of their era.
But what of those players that were still standouts? Shouldn’t they receive some sort of recognition for what they accomplished on the baseball field as well?
With that in mind, I would like to introduce the inaugural class to the Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Very Good.
Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Very Good: Ron Cey
Ron Cey the first 12 years of his Major League career as a member of the Dodgers, where he hit .264/.359/.445 with 228 home runs and 842 RBI. Among all-time Dodgers rankings, he is fifth in fWAR (49.9), 5th in home runs and 10th in RBI.
Cey’s bid for the Hall of Fame falls short in a few spots.
A six-time All-Star, Cey never finished higher than eighth in the MVP voting. That likely happened because even during his 10 peak years (1973 to 1982), he competed in the same league with perhaps the greatest third baseman of all-time; Mike Schmidt. During this span, Cey put up a comparable 49.9 fWAR (3rd among his position), but Schmidt was a distant star with 73.9.
Cey also misses in a number of the career milestone categories that are typical precursors to induction. His 316 home runs at third base rank 16th all-time at the position, but fall well short of the 400 which seems to be the magic number for the hot corner. Four of the five eligible third basemen who have hit the mark have been inducted. Darrell Evans is the lone exception and Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to receive the acknowledgment. Likewise, Cey, with only 1868 career hits, is well short of 3000, or even the 2000+ that is typical of Hall of Fame third basemen.
Of the third basemen during Cey’s heyday, only Schmidt and George Brett currently claim real estate in Cooperstown, although an argument for either Evans or Pete Rose could be made on another site. However, Ron Cey will get his spot as the first member of our Hall of Very Good.