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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Lloyd Waner
Lloyd Waner Batting / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages

Number Eleven
Lloyd Waner (1967)

It was hard deciding whether or not to put Bill Mazeroski or Lloyd Waner last. I ultimately ended up putting Maz before Waner for reasons I will get into. “Little Poison” Waner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in parts of 17 different seasons and played alongside his brother, Paul “Big Poison” Waner, for a portion of his career. His first stint in Pittsburgh was from 1927 to 1941. Then, he returned to the Bucs in 1944 and played his last year in Black and Gold the following year.

Waner was a solid batter throughout his career, slashing .316/.353/.393 with a 99 OPS+. What sold me on Waner over Mazeroski was the total hits. Waner had nearly 2500 total hits, sitting at 2459. He also received MVP votes in five different seasons. There are no good defensive statistics dating back to the 1930s and 1940s, but based on what we do have, Waner was a great defender who would have won some Gold Gloves if they existed then.

Waner had a career .983 fielding percentage when the league average during his years in the Majors was .974. His +2.76 range factor per game was significantly better than the average of +2.43. He made more than ten errors just three times in 18 seasons.

Waner ended his career with +28.9 career bWAR, which is the second lowest of any Hall of Fame position player. Like Mazeroski, Waner was also elected via the VC. But because he racked up 2459 hits, had an OPS+ 15% better than Mazeroski, despite having fewer career plate appearances, I gave Waner the slight edge, coming in 11th place.