Archive for February 2011

Why I hate soccer… short, and to the point   1 comment

I’m getting ready for a busy weekend, but I wanted to get (at least) one more entry out of the way for the week.

I don’t mind youth soccer.  I really don’t.  My son played; he got some exercise, and socialized with a variety of kids.  It was his first organized sport, and the coach was great.  But God forbid it actually, you know, encourage him to pursue the sport when he is older.

Here’s why.

Advertisements

Posted February 24, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

We made the papers!   Leave a comment

I had a number of topics in mind for today’s post, but when the Calgary Herald hand-delivers me something on a silver platter, I’m going to run with it.  The local partners – Chris and Aden – were recently featured in the business section of today’s newspaper.  So rather than me having to reach deep into the recesses of my soul for great blogging material, here is the Belterra article, in full:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Land+developers+look+east+funds/4330233/story.html

Land developers look east for funds

By David Parker, For the Calgary Herald February 23, 2011

Chris Artibello, left, of Belterra Land Co. and Aden Wells of Belmor Mortgage Corp. have projects in Sylvan Lake.

Chris Artibello, left, of Belterra Land Co. and Aden Wells of Belmor Mortgage Corp. have projects in Sylvan Lake.   Photograph by: Ted Jacob, Calgary Herald

The Herald’s Travel sections offer dreams for exciting but relaxing getaways, but many Calgary business people travel with a very busy schedule, with little time to appreciate the wonders of a different culture.

That’s the kind of journey Chris Artibello, managing partner of Belterra Land Co., is taking next month as he keeps appointments in Jakarta, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai in nine days, talking to possible investors in the company’s projects here.

Christian Tjoa of NAI Commercial Real Estate attended the Hong Kong Canada Business Association Forum last November and returned with lots of contacts seeking to invest in Canada, and Alberta in particular. He has set up meetings -as many as 10 per day -for Artibello to tell his story to people who are keen to diversify their portfolios by investing in land development.

He is also being helped by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, where he is holding his meetings.

A commerce graduate from the University of British Columbia, Artibello began his career as a business development adviser for small business and startup companies before directing his focus on land development with Westside Land Corp., where he worked on eight projects and then helped launch Belterra as president and managing partner.

The company has two projects in Sylvan Lake: The Slopes, a 20-hectare residential development abutting the Summer Village of Birchcliff that offers some spectacular views of the lake and mountains; and the 39-hectare Lakeside Pointe on the west side of Sylvan Lake close to Half Moon Bay.

Primary interest for his upcoming trip is to build strong relationships while promoting projects such as a proposed 32-hectare residential development on the east side of Red Deer.

A significant partner in Belterra Land is Aden Wells, president/owner of Belmor Mortgage, who had 11 years of mortgage experience with Scotiabank that included a transfer to the bank’s Toronto office. But his family wanted to return to Calgary and he asked to be relocated back here. He was district sales manager for four years at Scotiabank before launching Belmor. During his time at Scotiabank, he worked alongside Heather Lakatos, the bank’s district sales manager, and she soon joined Wells at Belmor as its director, sales and operations.

He has also been joined by Christina Collingham as the firm’s broker/owner and Cindy Tong, one of its mortgage consultants, who is a valuable asset as a conduit into our Chinese community in her role as executive director of the Calgary chapter of the Hong Kong Canada Business Association.

Wells reunited with another former Scotiabank colleague last month when industry veteran Asif Nazarali was appointed as Belmor vice-president, Edmonton and area. The former Platinum Performer with Scotiabank is charged with building a strong team of mortgage professionals in Edmonton.

Wells says he is not expecting to be the biggest mortgage company -but the best. The ex-bankers on his team “get it” in their understanding of the needs of their clients and are building a corporate culture and reputation responsive to those requirements.

* * *

With the European market for field mobility solutions firmly established as one of the most advanced and competitive in the world, Canada is braced for a new wave of smart technology from across the Atlantic.

TBS Enterprise Mobility, founded in the U.K. in 1993 to bridge the gap between customer relationship management systems and the field worker, will deliver a workforce management briefing in Calgary on March 10 at the downtown Microsoft headquarters.

Following months of research, TBS Mobility selected Western Canada as a target territory and will hold briefings in Vancouver as well as Calgary. The lunch and learn seminars are being held in association with U.K. Trade and Investment supported by its partners Ideaca, Microsoft, Motorola and Qdata.

* * *

Canmore is getting a Canadian Tire store. The well-known retailer has completed its pre-plann
ing stage and commenced site preparations joining the Devonian Properties Canmore Crossing and Canmore Landing developments. Located between Safeway and Sobeys, the Canadian Tire store will be open by the end of this year.

***

DAVID PARKER APPEARS TUESDAY, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY. READ HIS COLUMNS ONLINE AT CALGARYHERALD.COM/BUSINESS. HE CAN BE REACHED AT 403-830-4622 OR E-MAIL INFO@DAVIDPARKER.CA

_________________________________________________________________________________

I am less excited about TBS Mobility and Canadian Tire, but in fairness to the Herald, I wanted to get the entire article down here.  Articles – and much more importantly, the reason for this and future articles – help us establish a meaningful and sustainable brand based around our core beliefs: service, value, and trust.

Posted February 23, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Teeth, and the people that work on them   Leave a comment

So I’ve seen a number of dentists and dentists’ offices the last couple of weeks… no, there’s nothing wrong with my teeth.  I do grind them occasionally, but I was recently told that’s a neurological problem, not physiological – I’m not so sure that was news I wanted to hear.  Perhaps that will fill another post on here someday.

The first fellow I met with was, in fact, our family dentist.  He was also the Calgary Cannons’ team dentist for years, though that is not the sole reason why I ended up going to him for the yearly check-up.  We discussed land investment for a little while, then spent the rest of the meeting – the majority of the meeting, in fact – talking baseball.  Brian’s a huge baseball fan.  He goes to spring training games.  He goes to major league games.  He even tries to visit big league offices in the off-season.  We share similar goals, Brian and I… nor so much when it comes to the career paths we’ve chosen, but as it relates to our desire to visit ballparks far and wide, most certainly.

The next office I visited was hosting a business networking function.  The office was closed for the day, but re-opened for the benefit of about 30 people (this number stayed relatively constant; however, the specific attendees came and went).  It was huge.  They’ve been in business for over 40 years, and from all accounts, enjoy a very loyal clientele.  Of courese, what I noticed straightaway was that there were large trays of food on the front counter, and plenty of liquid refreshments at almost every dental station.  Regrettably, I was informed that this was NOT a regular occurance.

Most recently, I visited Angela, who holds the dentist’s chair – so to speak – in my BNI chapter.  She’s owned her practice for about a year now, and everything she told and showed me demonstrated a superior understanding of patient care, as well as a commitment to constantly learning.  Angela showed me the machine that shapes dental crowns – I had no idea that they looked like small, purple vitamins at the beginning.  And her front office space was a soothing green, much like my kitchen.  I thought it was a wonderful Business Building Interview… and I hope she thought the same!

Going to be a busy week.  Preparing for a trade show, more BBIs, more BNI stuff… time to find some investors.

Posted February 22, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Your move, creep… I mean, Detroit city officials   Leave a comment

Earlier this month, a random tweet was aimed at Dave Bing, the mayor of Detroit.  This tweeter suggested that Robocop – as in, fictional, futuristic, and cybernetic Robocop – would kick Rocky Balboa’s butt.  You are probably aware that Rocky is also a fictional character, albeit not so futuristic or cybernetic.  There is a statue of Rocky located at the base of the steps of the Philiadelphia Museum of Art.  Thus, the tweeter wanted a similar statue of Robocop in Detroit.  Here’s an article about it: http://www.windsorstar.com/technology/RoboCop+statue+hits+sweet+spot/4306618/story.html

The mayor politely declined the suggestion, but other people took up the cause.  Since then, people have raised over $50,000 to commission a statue via an on-line petition, and if they have their way, the statue will be built and displayed somewhere in the city.  Ah, the power of social media.

What’s next?

John McLane outside the Fox Plaza in Los Angeles?

Wayne and Garth statues in Aurora, Illinois?

Marty McFly getting the DeLorean ready at the Puenta Hills Mall?

Don Corleone in New York City?

It reminds me of the line in Field of Dreams… if you build it, they will come.

Rockystatue

Posted February 18, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Do your own research   Leave a comment

That’s what I encourage any potential Belterra client to do.  All I can do is present facts about who we are, the process of what we do, and the market(s) in which we invest.  I am not allowed to make promises about the potential return on investment on any of our projects, nor am I am allowed to do the ol’ “wink-wink, nudge-nudge, trust me I know what I’m talking about” pitches.  There are several reasons why I can’t, first and foremost being that the Alberta Securities Commission strictly frowns on unscrupulous behaviour such as this – and when they frown, it’s not good.  A close second reason would be that my friend Chris, one of the three partners in the business, would probably make every effort to kick my ass up and down the street for misrepresenting his life’s work.  Repeatedly.

So when I do talk to people that show an interest in investing with Belterra, I tell them to do their own research.  Talk to their lawyer.  Talk to their financial advisor.  Do some (metaphorical) digging about the marketplace, and the industry, and the city we’re working in.  Look at the people we do business with – our lawyers, our accounting firms, our planning and engineering advisors.  Heck, if you want to look at what the competition’s doing, I can’t stop you there, either.  But by all means – and this goes for any investment opportunity, of course – DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Today, I went looking for some articles – I have to do my homework, too.  I will provide the links for each, and rather than tell you what I think about the content, I’ll let you form your own conclusions.  All are courtesy of the Calgary Herald; the only comment I’ll provide will come right after the link, and it’ll be just a few words about the article.  OK?

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/Calgary+region+house+sales+prices+rise+2011+CMHC/4301160/story.html – describes the outlook for the Calgary housing market in 2011 and 2012.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/energy-resources/Province+confirms+upgrader+deal/4294960/story.html – the province of Alberta is investing in an oilsands upgrader.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Fewer+people+claim+employment+insurance+benefits+Calgary/4301290/story.html?cid=megadrop_story – Albertan EI claims are down.

http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Gallery+Sports+Illustrated+shows+Banff+bikinis/4288406/story.html – Banff is a lovely place to travel.*

* – Alright, so maybe this article isn’t as “newsy” as the rest…

Happy Thursday, everyone.  I’m off to my weekly BNI meeting.  Givers gain!

Posted February 17, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

The $300,000,000 man?   Leave a comment

(I don’t have enough subscribers to my blog.  Please, if you read, subscribe.  It’s free!)

Today’s blog.  I perused the local business sections this morning, but I didn’t see anything that really jumped out at me as a topic.  I did look outside my window, though, and felt a mixture of disappointment and depression.  It’s cold again.  The trees and plants are sheathed in a thin layer of ice, and while it looks pretty, it reminds me that winter is far from over.

However, there is one bit of good news to relay this week.  Spring training has started in Florida and Arizona, and baseball is just around the corner.  And when the weather is like this, I like to think and write about it.  The topic du jour is Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He has played for that team for ten years now, and assuming that he doesn’t sign a contract between now and November – and it doesn’t appear likely – he will go on the open market as a free agent.  Here are some statistics to consider as you begin to realize what my title line meant:

His average season: 156 games (out of 162), a .331 batting average, 41 home runs, 123 runs batted in, 119 runs, 91 walks, a .426 on-base percentage, and an OPS+ (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, adjusted to his ballpark; league average is 100) of 172.

His best season (taking his best mark in each category, in any season): 161 games, a .359 batting average, 49 home runs, 137 RBI, 137 runs, 115 walks, a .462 on-base percentage, and an OPS+ of 190.

His worst season (taking his worst mark in each category, in any season): 143 games, a .312 batting average, 32 home runs, 103 RBI, 99 runs, 69 walks, a .394 on-base percentage, and an OPS+ of 151.

To summarize: his average season will be better than 99.5% of the MLB population… and his worst aggregate season is better than, oh, 95% of them.  Roughly.

He’s been in the league for ten full seasons.  He’s placed in the top-four (TOP-FOUR!) in MVP balloting nine of those seasons, winning the award three times.  I cannot think of a better player during the last ten seasons than Albert Pujols.  He’s that good.

He has also been very well-paid over that span of time, earning just under 90 million dollars.  In 2004, he signed a seven-year, 100 million dollar contract, which was quite the deal for a player only entering his fourth season.  However, it could easily be argued that he has, in fact, been underpaid for his services since that time, compared to other players of his generation.  For example, guys that have earned more during their respective careers than Pujols include Magglio Ordonez, Andruw Jones, Mo Vaughn, and Jason Schmidt – to name a few.  Players that have made as much or more in an (average) single season than Pujols?  Torii Hunter, Bartolo Colon, A.J. Burnett, and Shawn Green… I’ve made my point.  Talented players all, but worth more than the Cardinals first baseman?  Not on their best day.  In fact, in the ten seasons Albert Pujols has been a major leaguer, he has only been paid amongst the top 25 players in a season a grand total of once: in 2006, he ranked 17th in salary.  Seventeenth, behind, among others, Chan Ho Park, Mike Hampton, and Andy Pettitte.

If I’m Albert Pujols, and his agent, I’m saying this to the Cardinals – I signed a very team-friendly contract several years ago, I turned down the opportunity to explore free agency until the end of this season, and I’m still the best player in the game.  I deserve to be paid more than anyone else playing this game, and that means giving me a contract greater than the one Alex Rodriguez signed with the Yankees.  You got a discount last time… but you aren’t getting one this time around.

If I’m the Cardinals, I’m saying this to Pujols – that Rodriguez contract was ridiculous the second the ink dried on it.  You’re 31 years old, and as great as you’ve been, you aren’t going to get better five, seven, or ten years from now.  And we can’t devote 25 to 30 per cent of our payroll to one man, especially given that we’re also paying your teammate Matt Holliday 100 millions dollars over the next six seasons.*

* According to baseball-reference.com, Holliday is one day older than Pujols.  I did not know that until now.

No one from either camp has, to my knowledge, officially thrown out the $300,000,000 figure, but everyone is speculating that ten years at that total salary is the starting point.  Personally, I’d like to see him end his career in St. Louis, a baseball city rich in tradition, and with as loyal a fan base as you’ll find.  Barring a freak injury or a rapid loss of skill, Pujols should be breaking or closing in on several franchise and major league records at the end of this decade.  I’ve never heard him say he wanted out of St. Louis, and he seems very respectful of the team.  Though born in the Dominican Republic, he went to high school and college in Missouri.  Wouldn’t it be swell if he re-signed with the club?

On the other hand, it’s his right to see if he can make the salary he feels he deserves somewhere else.  He’s been a model citizen and player for the Cardinals since he was promoted to the big leagues.  This is the first time he’s enjoyed contractual leverage since… well, ever.

Unfortunately for many, the gap separating the two camps is wider than the Gateway Arch.

If you forced me to make a prediction, I’d say he re-signs for seven years and 200 million.  But that’s just me.  I wouldn’t have thought Cliff Lee would go back to the Phillies, either.  Regardless, I can guarantee this: Albert Pujols will be an extremely wealthy man – make that wealthier man – before spring training camps open in 2012.

Pujols

Posted February 16, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Happy Valentine’s Day   Leave a comment

I know a couple of people that think this “holiday” is a bit much.  Too commercial.  Unneccesary.  And as a man who hates buying flowers – I really, really don’t see the point of throwing my money at something that wilts and dies shortly after it’s purchased – I can relate to some degree.  I assume that centuries ago, someone decided that a day was necessary to bridge the gap between Christmas and Easter, a day during which the economy gets a small boost, the people that made resolutions to diet get to eat chocolate guilt-free, and couples re-affirm their love for one another by spending money at Hallmark.

Single people aren’t nearly so enthusiastic about this day, but most of the ones I know don’t obsess about it.  Good for them.

I love my wife, and I bought her a gift that she appreciates a great deal: a gift certificate from Merry Maids.  Luckily, I had an in – one of the members of my BNI chapter is the big cheese here in Calgary, and she gave me a great deal on the certificate.  One more benefit of joining this worldwide networking group… aside from the referrals, they sometimes make it a bit easier on the old pocketbook for their fellow members for certain services.

This week, I’m trying to schedule at least one meeting a day – individual or group, networking or sales, they’re all good.

Have a good week.

Posted February 14, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Chicken sandwiches and drilling for oil   Leave a comment

…Yeah, I’m not really going to try to connect these two things.

But I did want to mention both, so I’ll put them together in the same post.  Last night, I attended a seminar organized by my local BNI chapter.  (Note: BNI Optimum, my chapter, is the first chapter in Calgary to both get to and retain a membership of 30 members.  Onward and upward!)  There were about 30 people at the Cardel Theatre to listen to three gentlemen representing the Chick-fil-A company.  They’ve been around since the early 1960s, are privately-owned, headquartered in Atlanta, and they did about 3.4 billion dollars worth of business last year.  Obviously, they know what they’re doing, and it was interesting to hear their ideas and philosophies about leadership, branding, innovation, and responsibility.  Though their presentation was geared more to the small business model, many of their corporate beliefs were also applicable to an independent like me.

That’s my chicken story – now I want to talk about a more localized product.  I found another good article in the Calgary Herald this morning – and it’s especially good if you work for Precision Drilling.  Here’s the link; http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/energy-resources/Precision+Drilling+sales+rise/4257734/story.html .  I will paste the content contained therein below, and I’ve bolded some of the content that specifically appealed to me.  After the paste-job i’ll tell you why.

Precision Drilling sales rises 52%

Dan Healing, Calgary Herald – February 11, 2011

CALGARY – In results that bode well for the Canadian service industry, the country’s biggest land driller, Precision Drilling Corp., reported fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations Thursday.

Sharply higher drilling activity in both Canada and the United States – along with better prices in Canada – powered Precision to a 52 per cent rise in revenue to $436 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with $286 million for the same period of 2009.

Earnings before certain expenses were $145 million compared to $93 million a year earlier and net income was $6 million or two cents per share compared to a net loss of $25 million or nine cents a year earlier.

President and chief executive Kevin Neveu said on a conference call that better results were driven by oil plays, which accounted for 60 per cent of drilling activity.

“The growth and sustainability of oil-related activity we highlighted last quarter is propelling us through the Canadian winter with very strong demand for our services,” he said.

“This oil and gas trend is also continuing to support strong demand for Precision’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 rigs in the Lower 48.”

Precision reported a current active rig count in Canada of 155, up from the average rig count of 106 for the fourth quarter. The latter number was 48 per cent higher than the comparable quarter of 2009, driven by unconventional horizontal drilling and completion techniques.

Its average U.S. rig count in the last quarter of 2010 was up 52 per cent over the same period in 2009 and is currently at 102 rigs.

Precision shares closed at $10.42, down eight cents.

UBS analyst Chad Friess said Precision’s revenue was 8.5 per cent better than his estimate, while gross margins of 41.3 per cent were 150 basis points ahead. Adjusted earnings per share of 26 cents beat consensus of 21 cents and and UBS’s 22 cents.

“I think the Precision results follow a lot of the U.S. results so far in that, whether it’s diversifieds, pressure pumpers or land drillers, they beat on results,” he said.

“And it’s a pretty good read-through for Q1, given that activity has only continued to accelerate in Canada.”

On the call, chief financial officer Rob McNally noted that Precision will have to post a bond of $108 million to appeal a Canada Revenue Agency reassessment for $216 million relating to a transaction that occurred in the 2005 tax year.

He said the dispute could take years to resolve.

The company reported that all five of the new rigs it plans to build this year have already been placed under contract – four in Canada and one in the United States – and it is in talks with more than a dozen customers to ink deals that may result in several more fleet additions.

Precision updated its capital spending plan for this year from $405 million announced in December to $423 million, due to adding equipment on contracted rigs and the timing of expenditures.

Neveu said new Precision offices will open in Dubai and Bogota, Colombia, early this year.

He said Precision will try to enter those markets by winning long-term contracts, then moving rigs from North America, then expanding by buying equipment or rival firms there.

 

Here’s how I add it all up.  Canada’s biggest oil driller is surpassing industry projections.  Red Deer is, amongst other
things, an oil and gas servicing city.  Demand for workers on those rigs, as well as for those directly and indirectly employed by secondary services, is on the rise.  And they will need houses in which to live.

The land we are currently syndicating in Red Deer was purchased for the purpose of residential development.  It was annexed into the city of Red Deer in the fall of 2009, along with about 3,000 other hectares of land.  It is Alberta’s third largest city, projected to reach a population of about 150,000 in 20 years, an increase of approximately 60,000 folks.  The city is bracing themselves for this; ergo, the annexation and the ongoing work on the Red Deer area structure plan.  (I don’t use the word ergo a lot – this looked like a good place to put it.)

Investing in the future of Red Deer?  Seems like a good idea to me.

CfaPd

Posted February 11, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

Appreciating Calgary…   Leave a comment

As in its property value, that is.

A quick hitter before I head out the door to meet my dentist.  I saw this article in the Calgary Herald today – http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/real-estate/Calgary+homes+beat+national+average+investment+return/4242338/story.html.  (Ordinarily, I’d copy and paste the text, but the title kinda says it all.  Please click it, though.)  It mentions that the average residential price in the city grew from $176,305 in the year 2000 to $398,764 in 2010.  This equated to an annual compounded rate of return of 7.7%, almost a full percentage point higher than the national average during that time.

What does this mean to me?  Well, it made me think that I wish I bought two starter homes way back when rather than one.  It would have been quite the investment; if buying and selling at those two averages was an easy task, that’s not a terrible return.  It also reminds me that an investment – any investment – must be given time to perform.  Real estate and land are comparable, but a little dissimilar… that said, buying good land now in anticipation of selling ten years down the road is a smart and viable decision.

Right now, the Albertan housing market is a bit soft.  As an investor in land – specifically, residential land – this doesn’t bother me in the least.  We’re not developing the Red Deer land I have undivided interests in tomorrow.  Nor are we developing in six months, or a year, et cetera.  I’m fully prepared to wait three, five, even ten years to see some return on my investment, because Belterra is smart and has a strategy in place.

Gotta go.

Posted February 9, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized

31, 32, and so on – more Hall of Famers   Leave a comment

You know the drill… I’m putting together my own baseball Hall of Fame, and with the benefit of hindsight, it’s a lot easier to figure out who’s in and who’s out.  I’m using the same criteria as the BBWAA voters, but… well, not to toot my own horn, but I’m WAY better than them.  It’s true.  Also, as before, I’m putting the number of votes the player did not get the year he was inshrined in Cooperstown, along with the total number of votes cast that year.

Joe DiMaggio – 28 of 251.  It took him three tries to get in – and he was also on the ballot while serving in the war, in 1945.  I understand that voting standards weren’t so standard back then, with barely 50 years of context behind the stats, but Mr. Marilyn Monroe was a lifetime .325 hitter, won three MVP awards, and nine World Series rings.

Eddie Murray – 73 of 476.  One of only four players to hit 500 home runs and collect 3,000 hits.  “Steady Eddie” never won an MVP trophy, but he finished in the top five six times.  The longtime Oriole drove in 1,917 runs, ranking ninth all-time; he drove in 90 or more 12 different times.  Also won three Gold Gloves at first base.

Nap Lajoie – 33 of 201.  You gotta be good if they rename the team after you – after joining the Cleveland Bluebirds in 1902, the team was rechristened the Naps at the end of the season.  He had an average of .338, and belted out 3,242 hits, making him one of the most feared second basemen of his generation.

Warren Spahn – 64 of 380.  One of the winningest lefties of all-time.  Pitching over 5,200 innings, he won 363 games, all but seven with the Milwaukee Braves.  He ranks sixth amongst… well, everybody ever.  However, the five pitchers ahead of him all started their careers prior to the live ball era, when it was more commonplace to start a jillion games a years and win a bazillion of them.

Dave Winfield – 80 of 515.  Arguably one of the most phyically imposing and athletic players of his era, the 6’6″ Winfield was drafted by the Padres in 1973… oh, and the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, the ABA’s Utah Stars, and the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.  He hit 465 home runs, knocked in 1,833 runs, and recorded 3,110 hits – he also went to 12 straight All-Star games.

Tris Speaker – 36 of 201.  It took him two cracks at the ballot; he posted such gaudy numbers as a lifetime .345 batting average, an on-base percentage of .428, 436 stolen bases, and 3,514 hits (fifth all-time).  Played the same position (centerfield) and during the same timeframe as Ty Cobb, making on-the-field comparisons obvious; however, evidence suggests he was a much nicer fellow.

Nolan Ryan – 6 of 497.  One of the best vote totals ever, and his case for induction is rock-solid: he struck out 5,714 batters over a career that spanned 27 seasons, winning 324 games.  He pitched seven no-hitters.  The strikeout record will, in all likelihood, never be broken… he probably hopes that his mark for walks does get broken, as the Express also tallied a record 2,795 bases on balls.

Eddie Collins – 61 of 274.  He was on the ballot four times before getting the call in 1939.  Though high batting averages were generally easier to attain in his time, the second baseman did post a career .333 batting average.  He had no power, though, only cranking out 47 homers in over 12,000 plate appearances.  Earned five top-three MVP finishes.

Pete Alexander – 50 of 262.  Recorded 373 wins from 1911 to 1930, ranking him third all-time.  Led the league in wins six times, and strikeouts six times as well, though by today’s standards, his K numbers are low.  Pitched 5,190 innings to the tune of a 2.56 earned run average.

Tim Raines – has been on the ballot four years now, and it look like it’ll be a while before he breaks through – if ever.  It’s a shame.  Only 42 players in the history of MLB have reached base more times than Raines (3,977).  He stole 808 bases, ranking fifth all-time.  He retired with a .294 batting average, and an on-base percentage of .385.  He got on base, stole bases, and scored runs better than almost anybody else, but suffers in comparision to the incomparable Rickey Henderson.  Raines is arguably the second-best leadoff man ever.  He’s having troubles earning Cooperstown votes in the real world, but he’s a no-brainer in my Hall.

JoedTr

Posted February 9, 2011 by JasonMacAskill in Uncategorized