Posnanski just blogged about Hall of Fame and playing time. Now the players that stick around longest are obviously good or they wouldn't be able to stick around so long but I think it is still interesting:
"There are 25 players in baseball history with more than 10,000 at-bats. -- 21 of them are in the Hall of Fame. -- 2 are active (Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel). Jeter is a Hall of Fame lock. -- 2 are not in the Hall of Fame because they committed what many people consider to be baseball cardinal sins (Pete Rose and Rafael Palmeiro).
There are 28 pitchers in baseball history with more than 4,000 innings pitched. -- 20 of them are in the Hall of Fame. -- 4 are almost certain to get into the Hall of Fame soon (Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine). That leaves four pitchers … and you want to talk about eerie similarities. The four pitchers with 4,000 innings who may never get into the Hall of Fame are Jim Kaat, Tommy John, Frank Tanana, Jamie Moyer
Look at that -- could you find four more similar pitchers? The Hall of Fame formula seems to go like this: If you pitch 4,000 innings in the big leagues, you absolutely WILL go to the Hall of Fame … that is unless you are a crafty lefty with an ERA+ between 104 and 111, fewer than 300 victories, somewhere between 2,200 and 2,800 strikeouts and somewhere between 1,000 and 1,300 walks. In that subset, zero percent will go to the Hall of Fame."