January 02, 2017

Hall of Fame standards: 65.0 Career WAR / 41.5 Peak WAR / 53.2 JAWS
Magee: 59.1 Career WAR / 38.5 Peak WAR / 48.8 JAWS 

With Barry Bonds (No. 1 in JAWS among leftfielders), Tim Raines (No. 8) and Manny Ramirez (No. 10) all on the 2017 ballot and Pete Rose (No. 5) serving a lifetime ban for gambling, the best available leftfielder who is eligible for consideration here is an obscure one to modern baseball fans.

Magee was one of the game's best players in the first decade of the 20th century, a legitimate five-tool star who reached the majors in the summer of 1904, shortly before his 20th birthday. In the context of the Deadball Era, he had excellent power and speed, ranking among the league's top five in slugging percentage seven times (leading twice) and among the top five in stolen bases six times. He spent the first 11 years of his 16-year career with the Phillies, hitting .291/.364/.427 for a 137 OPS+. He led the NL in WAR in 1910 and cracked the top 10 seven times; he won the slash-stat Triple Crown in that 1910 season for a .331/.445/.507 line, numbers he would never approach again save for a .509 slugging percentage in 1914. He was traded from Philadelphia to the Boston Braves in December 1914, thereby missing both his new team's miraculous World Series title run that year and his new team's first-ever pennant the next. He spent parts of three seasons with the Reds (in whose uniform he is pictured at left above) and retired after the 1919 season.

Magee ranks 14th at the position in JAWS, and while he doesn't surpass any of the JAWS standards, he outdoes 10 of the 19 enshrined leftfielders, including Joe Medwick (No. 15), Willie Stargell (No. 16), Zack Wheat (No. 17) and Ralph Kiner (No. 19), not to mention Jim Rice (No. 28).

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