The fact that Dan Quisenberry only had one year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot is ludicrous. In that one year, in 1996, Quisenberry only received 3.8% of the vote, just shy of that 5.0% threshold. While he was on the Veteran’s Committee ballot last year, Quisenberry again failed to earn induction in to the Hall.
When one looks at Quisenberry’s career numbers, especially given the utilization of closers and bullpen arms in the modern era, they are not overly impressive. His 244 career saves rank rank 34th all time, and while his 2.76 ERA and 1.175 WHiP are impressive, Quisenberry only struck out 379 batters in 1043.1 innings. When compared to the flamethrowers of today, that number is certainly not going to attract attention.
Yet, in his prime, there may not have been a better closer. His six year run from 1980 through 1985 was truly special, as Quisenberry notched 212 saves with a 2.45 ERA and a 1.087 WHiP. He was a three time All-Star, finished in the top three of the Cy Young vote four times and placed third in the 1984 MVP vote. Quisenberry also held the single season saves record when he recorded 45 saves in 1983.
Perhaps Quisenberry would be looked at differently if his career had not declined sharply after that 1985 season. Or, perhaps Quisenberry would have had more support if one of those second place finishes was a Cy Young award victory. Yet, for a pitcher that is statistically very comparable to Bruce Sutter, Quisenberry’s lack of support is disappointing.
Maybe Dan Quisenberry will get another chance with the Veteran’s Committee. Even if that happens, this Kansas City Royals great just does not seem likely to get the support he needs.
Next: The second greatest player in Royals history