Vada Pinson is one of baseball’s most underrated players. Primarily a centerfielder, Pinson’s career spanned from 1958 through 1975. Pinson was remembered by teammates as much for his quiet grace, gentle personality, and class as he was for his considerable baseball skills.
His first 7 years in the big leagues included four 200-hit campaigns. From 1959-1965 he hit .301, averaging 35 doubles, 10 triples, 21 homers, 88 runs batted in, and 311 total bases. The Gold Glove centerfielder earned support in MVP balloting in 5 of the 7 years and was an All Star twice.
By the time he retired, Pinson totaled 2,757 hits, 1,365 runs, 256 homers, 1,169 RBI, and 305 stolen bases. Many believe his Hall of Fame candidacy must be reexamined.
In the collection is this questionnaire sent to Pinson by the Major League Baseball Players Association. Today’s players compliment their baseball salary with off field endorsement but that wasn’t always the case. This document filled out by Vada Pinson in May, 1974 shows him to have no endorsements whatsoever.
Thank you for remembering my dad
He was one heck of a player and even a better human being.
I remember reading Bill James’ book about the HoF and he used Vada Pinson as the marker for as the best player at the time of the book who was not a Hall of Famer. He provided his argument that there has to be a great player who is the demarcation point between who is and who is not a Hall of Famer. I am not sure if I totally agree but I do think it was a compelling case James put forth and I think it is a great argument to have. Since the time of the essay I feel the player who has been most close to Pinson in this level of just falling short would be Bernie Williams. So I think Pinson does deserve real consideration as does Williams, but in both cases after thoughtful consideration I feel they are a notch below. Still they are both great players.
I saw your Dad hit one of his last home runs in KC with the Royals. It was a blast into the fountain and I have always remembered the thrill I had watching that ball sail into the night.
one of the great players of the sixties. power, speed, defense. fastest man in the national league to first base 3.3 seconds timed. only mays and pinson had over 2700 hits, 250 hrs, 300 stolen bases 100 triples, 450 doubles in their careers. should have been in the hall of fame long ago. time to re educate the sports world on this great player.
i saw vada vs the giants in san francisco in 1965. mccovey hit a rocket shot only 7 feet high toward the center field fence. i was in the bleachers with my brother and dad. out of nowhere vada came running from right center field to dead center and pulled the ball back in over the railing. he kept running along the perimeter toward left field and headed for the dug out. the crowd was in awe. best catch i ever saw along with clemente falling almost over the right field fence in san francisco making a catch. i will never forget those catches to this day. you dont see folks with that never say die attitude these days.
Will never forget Vada Pinson when I was a kid.
In 1964 my brother and I picked our favorite ball players on each team on Cincy he picked Frank Robinson I picked Vada Pinson. Funny thing my favorite ball club was the Orioles
Did he suffer because he was overshadowed by his contemporaries Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Clemente, etc Al?
My favorite Red player when I was a kid, I thought he was awesome, & he just seem to be able to do it all.
ROGER MARIS SHOULD BE IN THE HALL OF FAME!
I saw Vada Pinson play several times when I lived in southern Ohio when I was young. Frank Robinson was the best player on the Reds, but Vada Pinson was 2nd to him in my book. I saw him make great caches, get key hits, and steal bases readily: he has a good argument to be in the HOF if you ask me!
Vada Pinson was my favorite player when I was growing up in Cincinnati. He seemed like a good player and a good man.
I believe Vada Pinson belongs in the baseball HOF. Perhaps four teams in his last seven years his chances in some people’s eyes but some people are too hung up in length of time played. What did the player do in the time they were playing? What was their impact while they played? Vada Pinson was a superb all-around player and individual. I wish I could vote for him.
Roger Maris & Bernie Williams not even close. Vada Pinson absolutely.
Vada Pinson absolutely should have been a Cooperstown Hofamer. The statistics are there! My own personal viewing of his HOF play firsthand at Crosley is also there. Vada Pinson and Willie May’s share a line of stats that only they have achieved. I exclaim,” WHAT MORE DOES A PLAYER HAVE TO DO? ITS A SLAP IN THE FACE OF EVERY REDS FANS WHO WATCHED THIS MARVELOUS PLAYER!
Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson were my favorite players. Vada is greatly underated. Be should be in Cooperstown. The Reds should also retire his number.
All Star selections for outfielders is one of the dubious criteria as Vada was up against Mays, Snider, Robinson, Aaron, & Clemente. Baines, who recently got in has similar stats. Had he been in Chicago or New York, he’d be in. Great centerfielder and had to play the terrace at old Crosley.
VADA AND AL OLIVER SHOULD BE IN THERE IF THEY CAN PUT GIL HODGES IN THERE