Ranking Every Pittsburgh Pirates Hall Of Famer Player

The Pirates have 12 players in Cooperstown, but how do they rank compared to each other?
Roberto Clemente Action
Roberto Clemente Action / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages
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Paul Waner
Paul Waner Forbes Field / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages

Number Three
Paul Waner (1952)

Both Waner brothers are in the Hall of Fame, but Paul “Big Poison” Waner was by far the better of the two. Waner was acquired by the Pirates from the Pacific Coast League in October of 1925. From 1926 through 1940, Waner established himself as one of the best Pirates ever. He would end his career playing the last five seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Boston Braves, and New York Yankees, but he is best known for his 15 seasons in Pittsburgh.

Waner ended his MLB career batting .333/.404/.473 with an OPS+ of 134. Waner was just a really good hitter. He led the league in batting average three times, had 30+ doubles in ten different seasons, and won the first MVP award in Pirates franchise history, taking home the award in 1927.

Waner is part of the all-elite 3000 hit club. He also drove in over 1300 runs at 1309 (to be exact). Only 25 of the 33 members of the 3K hit club have that many runs batted in. Waner was primarily a right fielder, where he was a solid defender with a +2.12 range factor per game compared to the league average of +2.03. He also had a handful of games played at first base, left field, and center field, none of which he graded out as a positive defender. Granted, his games played at other positions other than right field make up less than 5% of his total appearances.

Being part of the 3000 hit club puts Waner high up on today’s list. Not to mention he has nearly 75 bWAR, clocking in at 74.8 while batting as good as he did throughout his career makes him the third-best Hall of Fame player from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Despite being so good throughout his career, it took Waner his sixth ballot to make the Hall in 1952 when he received 83.3% of votes.