Really? He's not even one of the most iconic players on this ballot, let alone of the last thirty years. I'd place Bonds, Bagwell, Biggio, Clemens, Schilling, Martinez, and Piazza over Morris as "iconic" on this ballot, and it doesn't include A-Rod, Griffey, Jeter, Ripken, Gwynn, Winfield, Henderson, Ryan, Pedro....do I need to go on? If someone other than Jack Morris pitched that one game, Jack Morris would not have a HOF case (sidebar: convenient that no one mentions Morris was a plate of hot garbage in the 1992 playoffs and was left off the 1993 playoff roster completely). This "it's not the hall of stats' thing is ridiculous at worst and disingenuous at best. You get into the HOF by performing exceptionally well at baseball. How do we measure performance? We measure it by statistics. And I know one of the favorite narratives for Morris is "Oh you had to be there to get how good he was!" Well, isn't the whole fucking point of the HOF that you didn't have to be there to know how good he was? I never saw Babe Ruth play, but I know how damn good he was because I can look at his statistical record and say "GODDAMN, that is baseball porn.' My kids will never have seen Griffey, A-Rod, Jeter, Pujols, Maddux, Pedro, etc. pitch but they won't had to have seen them to understand their greatness.
There is little evidence that he is one of the best pitchers in baseball history. Was he good? Yeah, he was pretty good. He threw a lot of innings for a lot of winning teams, but he was only slightly above average (105 ERA+) when it came to doing what pitchers need to do most: prevent runs. Even his career high ERA+ (133) isn't all that hot as far as career highs go. To add to what I had before in that series of tweets re: Morris being the "best pitcher of the 80's', there were 22 pitchers in the 1980's who pitched at least 1000 innings while starting at least 80% of their games with better ERA+ marks than Jack Morris (110...if we do raw ERA from the 80's, Morris is 34th.). And, if we compare him to other pitchers on this ballot, he falls considerably short. His career high ERA+ would've been 10th in Schilling's career and third in Wells's. Morris's best ERA+ is ten points lower than Roger Clemens's career ERA+; he had 13 seasons better than Morris's best. Yes that's comparing Morris to one of the best pitchers of all time, but isn't that the point? Morris doesn't hold a candle to the all-time greats and even the HOF pitcher to whom he's most often compared--Bert Blyleven--blows him away. JacK Morris is, in no way, shape, or form, a Hall of Fame pitcher.