The Hall of Fame gave Winners and Losers this unofficial list of first-time eligibles for 1996 election: Bob Boone, Bill Buckner, Keith Hernandez, Chet Lemon, Fred Lynn, Dan Quisenberry, Johnny Ray, Jerry Reuss, John Tudor, Claudell Washington and Frank White. Among those, the following seem to have the best chance to reach Cooperstown.
Bob Boone--DOWN--Batting average is better than Hall of Famer Ray Schalk's .253 -- but only by a point. And Schalk is a Hall trespasser.
Bill Buckner--DOWN--Had 2,715 hits in a career much like non-Famer Mickey Vernon's. Key World Series error won't help.
Fred Lynn--DOWN--Stats like those of another outfielder who led Boston to a title as a rookie, Reggie Smith, who never got more than three votes.
Dan Quisenberry--SIDEWAYS--Retired sixth all-time in saves but now he's 10th and falling. Led AL in saves five times from 1980 to 1985.
Jerry Reuss--DOWN--Stats resemble Famer Don Drysdale's, but he's hurt by absence of any 20-win seasons and presence of an 0-7 LCS record.
Frank White--SIDEWAYS--He and Ryne Sandberg are the only retired 2nd basemen with 2,000 hits and 150 HRs who aren't in Hall. Great glove, too.
Note: Statistics through Thursday.