Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle is listed on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2021 for the first time. While his entire body of work may not be worthy, his consistency should get him some votes.
The 2021 Hall of Fame ballot was released and among the first time players there aren’t really any who jump off the page. Tucked away amongst the names was that of Mark Buehrle, a durable starting pitcher who played 16 years in the majors. While he spent time with three different teams, Buehrle will be remembered most of all for his days with the Chicago White Sox.
A look over the career statistics for Buehrle may not present a Hall of Fame worthy resume. He was an All-Star five times and won four Gold Gloves, but he only received Cy Young votes one time. He never led the league in wins, earned run average, or strikeouts. He wasn’t flashy in what he did, but he was consistent.
When I dive deeper into his numbers I see 15 years where he made at least 30 starts. The only year he didn’t was his rookie year, where he was used mostly out of the bullpen. Buehrle pitched at least 200 innings in 14 years, missing the mark in his final season by just an inning and a third.
Buehrle had 33 career complete games and 10 shutouts. Career totals that do not stand out, but in the philosophy of today’s pitching, will probably not be matched any time soon.
An All-Star at age 35 in his next to last season, and a 15-8 record with a major league leading four complete games in his final season, had Buehrle wanted to pitch longer, he probably could have. While he finished with 214 career wins, at the rate he was going, Buehrle could have pitched four more years and tallied 250 pitching victories.
Buehrle didn’t care about numbers though. He did his time, played the game he loved, and called it quits when he was on top.
There are only seven pitchers (not named Roger Clemens) who have amassed 250 wins and are not in the Hall of Fame. 250 isn’t a guarantee to get Buehrle in, but would surely have gotten him more consideration than he’ll get when the ballots are counted in 2021.
On the surface, Mark Buerhle is not a Hall of Famer, though after digging a little deeper, he did put up a great career pitching in the major leagues.