Steve Finley played Major League Baseball for 19 years and made two All-Star games. I know making two All-Star games is pretty nice, but when spread out over 19 years, I think Mr. Finely still stands out as pretty mediocre.
Finley is one of those guys who has career totals that look really good:
- Over 300 home runs
- Over 2,500 hits
- Over 300 steals
In fact, using those career totals as our baseline, only THREE others in big league history have met those standards. Those three? Andre Dawson, Barry Bonds and Willie Mays. Seriously. This foursome features three Hall of Famers and Steve Freakin’ Finley.
However, when you consider that the guy played until he was 42, the numbers become a tad bit less impressive. OPS+ judges how a batter performs relative to other players over the same time period. An OPS+ of 100 means you are totally average. Anything above or below tells you how productive that player was relative to your “average” player. When Steve Finley retired, his OPS+ sat an incredibly average total of 104. This means that over his career, Steve Finley was just about average.
Finley spent 16 of his 19 MLB seasons in the NL and lending more credence to my theory that he was simply mediocre, Finely bounced around the league, playing for a total of EIGHT teams. Also, in spite of his lofty career totals, Finley was never considered the best player on any team he played for. He was always a pretty good third fiddle.
Steve finally fizzled out in 2007, but never really retired. For all I know, the guy is already hanging out around baseball fields in Florida begging for work.