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Ten Hall of Fame hitters who never played in the World Series
Not every ball player who is in the Baseball Hall of Fame played in the World Series. Here are ten hitters whose skills with the bat and glove earned them membership in the Hall of Fame, but who never played in the World Series.
The World Series was first played in 1903, so I selected Hall of Fame players who began their careers after 1900. Some of these players made it to the post season in the League Championship Series, but never advanced to the World Series. Here they are in alphabetical order.
Luke Appling played his entire major league career (1930-1950) with the Chicago White Sox, mostly as a shortstop. Appling was a great contact hitter who struck out only 528 times in 10,243 plate appearances, and had a lifetime batting average of .310. His best season was 1936, when he won the American League batting title with a .388 average. He also had 128 RBIs despite hitting just six home runs. Appling was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964.
Ernie Banks played from 1953 to 1971 for the Chicago Cubs as a shortstop, and later as a first baseman. Banks was a two time MVP in 1958 and 1959. In 1958 he hit 47 home runs and drove in 129 while hitting .313; in 1959 he 45 homers and 143 RBIs and a .304 batting average. He hit over 40 home runs five times and had 512 for his career. The Cubs haven't been to the World Series since 1945. Ernie Banks was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1977.
One of only three players to hit 400 or more home runs and steal 300 or more bases (Willie Mays and Barry Bonds are the other two), Andre Dawson spent 21 years in the majors with the Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins. He played in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) in 1981 with the Expos and 1989 with the Cubs, but that was as close as he got to playing in the World Series. Dawson was the National League's Most Valuable Player with the last place Cubs in 1987, when he had 47 home runs and 137 RBIs. A great defensive outfielder, Dawson won eight consecutive Gold Gloves in the 1980s. He retired after the 1996 season with Florida; ironically, the Marlins won the World Series in 1997. Andre Dawson was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
The only catcher on this list, Rick Ferrell was an excellent defensive catcher who played from 1929 through 1945, and returned again in 1947. Ferrell played for the St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators, and Boston Red Sox. Ferrell had a .281 lifetime batting average and struck out just 277 times in 7072 plate appearances. Rick Ferrell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.
An outfielder and first baseman, Harry Heilmann had a lifetime batting average of .342 in a 17 year career with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. Heilmann won four American League batting titles in the 1920's, with averages of .393 or higher for all of them, including a .403 mark in 1923. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1952.
George Kell was a 10 time All Star third baseman who spent 15 seasons in the big leagues from 1943 through 1957. Kell played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles. Kell had a lifetime batting average of .306, and won the American League batting title in 1949 with a .343 average. George Kell was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.
Slugging outfielder Ralph Kiner played just 10 seasons in a career cut short by back problems, but he made quite an impact in that time. Kiner had his best years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also played for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. Kiner made his major league debut in 1946 with the Pirates and led the National League in home runs. He won the next six home run titles as well, hitting 51 in 1947 and 54 in 1949. He drove in 127 runs both years. Ralph Kiner entered the Hall of Fame in 1975.
Second baseman Ryne Sandberg began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981, and was traded to the Chicago Cubs where he played 15 seasons. Sandberg was a sure handed second baseman who won nine gold gloves in a row. He could also hit for power and steal bases. He hit 40 home runs in 1990, and stole 54 bases in 1985. He was the National League MVP in 1984 when the Cubs made the playoffs for the first time in 39 years. But they lost to the San Diego Padres in the NLCS, and did the same against the San Francisco Giants in 1989 in Sandberg's only post season action. His batting average for those two NLCSs was .385. Ryne Sandberg was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2005.
First Baseman George Sisler spent 15 years in the big leagues from 1915 through 1930, missing the 1923 season. Most of his career was spent with the St. Louis Browns, but he also played for the Washington Senators and Boston Braves. Sisler could hit for average and drive in runs, and was swift on the base paths with 375 career stolen bases. Sisler put up some incredible numbers. In 1920, Sisler won the first of two American League batting titles with a .407 average; he also hit 19 home runs and drove in 122, plus he stole 42 bases. His 257 base hits was the major league record single season record until 2004, when it was broken by Ichiro Suzuki(notes). In 1922, Sisler hit .420, drove in over 100 runs, and stole 51 bases. Sisler had a lifetime batting average of .340. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939.
Billy Williams was yet another player who spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs and failed to make it to the World Series. Williams played briefly with the Cubs in 1959 and 1960, and made it up to the big club to stay in 1961, when he was the National League Rookie of the Year. In 1970, Williams led the National League with 205 hits and 137 runs scored. He hit .322, with 42 home runs and 129 RBIs. He was the National League batting champ in 1972 with a .333 average. Williams hit 426 home runs in his career, and drove in 81 or more runs in 14 seasons. Williams was very durable, playing in 1117 consecutive games. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 1975 and played two years there to close out his career. Oakland had won three straight World Series championships from 1972-1974, but lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS in 1975, the only time Williams saw post season action. Billy Williams entered the Hall of Fame in 1987.
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