Baseball

Established in 1936, and currently based in Cooperstown, New York, the Baseball Hall of Fame may be the most prestigious of any Sports Hall of Fame.  Although Baseball may have taken a backseat to Football in recent years, there is no doubt that Baseball’s version of the Hall of Fame is by far the most relevant and the most difficult to get enshrined in.  At present, a player has to receive seventy five percent of the votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, which has proven to be no easy task.  Failing that, a player could be inducted by the Veterans committee, though few have been inducted this way.  Our list will focus on the players only, and although we could easily do a tally focusing on mangers, broadcasters or other vital personnel, as always it is far more enjoyable to discuss the merits of those on the field as oppose to those off of it.

Until Then, Let’s get some peanuts and cracker jacks and cast some votes of our own!

Sincerely,

The Not in Hall of Committee.
Statistically, there is no argument about the Hall of Fame qualifications of Pete Rose.  Even the most casual baseball fan is aware that “Charlie Hustle” is the all time hit king with 4,256 hits; a record that may never be broken.  Rose also was a seventeen time All Star, and proved to be a clutch performer as evidenced by his three World Series Rings; including a World Series MVP.  Sadly, as much as casual sports fans are aware of Rose’s on field accomplishments, many who have never turned their dial to ESPN knows his off field embarrassments.
Did he or didn’t he conspire to fix to the 1919 World Series?  Over eighty years after the fact, there is still a sizable debate as to whether “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was involved in the “Black Sox” scandal that saw the Chicago White Sox throw the World Series for financial gain against the Cincinnati Reds.
Couldn’t we just say look at the previous Barry Bonds entry and say “Ditto”? Seriously, the parallels are too great to ignore. Like Bonds, Clemens may have had a Hall of Fame career before he allegedly took PEDs, and like Bonds, he dominated the steroid era as he did the decade before. He has the career statistics (353 wins and 4,672 strikeouts), the dominating seasons (seven Cy Youngs and an MVP) and two World Series Rings. “Rocket” Roger Clemens is arguably the best Pitcher in the past twenty five years.
You may have noticed many sportswriters who have a Hall of Fame ballot for the Baseball drink a little more these days. The PED question is now completely unavoidable with the new wave of eligible candidates as the sport’s biggest stars of the last two decades are now eligible for Hall of Fame enshrinement. It is not that our baseball list has not been controversial in the past. We have already put it through serious revisions when we created a “1a” and a “1b” to accommodate the fact that both Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson are both ineligible for…
The Relief Pitcher has always struggled to enter the halls of Cooperstown, but they are some there. With Mariano Rivera there should be no doubt that the not only should he enter the Baseball Hall of Fame, but he should enter immediately. There should be no wait for the greatest closer of all time. This isn’t just because he has the most Saves in history. There have been other players who have been able to say that (see Smith, Lee) who were far from the dominant player that he was. With a fastball you knew was coming, batters still struggled…
Of all the interesting candidates who became eligible for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame, Mike Mussina’s resume could be the most interesting of them all. He received little attention from the press as his year of eligibility matched with Greg Maddux & Tom Glavine. His career numbers are very good, but the perceived Hall of Fame milestones were not hit.
One of the nicer men in professional baseball, Roy Halladay was also one of the best. The Starting Pitcher would excel with both the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies and was considered amongst the elite during his prime. Halladay is one of the few pitchers to win Cy Young Award in both the National League and American League and is an eight time All Star. While Halladay would never secure a World Series Ring, he is one of two pitchers to throw a postseason no-hitter (while with Philadelphia) and while he barely made the 200 win mark, he…
If you think that all of the Turn of the Century Baseball Players that should be in the Hall of Fame is already in, then we ask you to think again.  We offer you the case of “Bad” Bill Dahlen, whose Hall of Fame campaign is being championed by sabremetricians and traditionalists alike.
For the record, we love outspoken athletes. They may not always be popular with fans (and other players), but they sure make for far better sound bites than “we gotta go out there and give 100 percent” or other such statements from the “Athlete’s guide to dealing with the Media”. Ironically, Schilling is now part of the media, but remains as outspoken as ever.
With all due respect to Ivan Rodriguez and Vladimir Guerrero, statistically speaking, Manny Ramirez is the top dog of the new possibilities for the 2017 Class. We will also say, he was the most entertaining. We are all aware of the eccentric “Manny being Manny moments, but ahead of all that was a man who was an incredible hitter who had a career slash line of .312/.411/.585/.996 that included one Batting Title, three On Base Percentage Titles, three Slugging Titles and three OPS Titles. Most importantly of all, Ramirez maintained his offensive production in the Post Season and was the…
Playing with Alan Trammell for virtually his entire career, Lou Whitaker was one half of the longest running double play combination in Baseball history.  Like Trammell, Whitaker was a great player with both bat and glove and a big part of Detroit’s World Series win in 1984.
While Larry Walker struggled to get into the Hall of Fame, fellow Colorado Rockie, Todd Helton should have an easier path. The five time All Star was a multi time Silver Slugger winner and Gold Glove recipient and from the period of 1999 to 2004 was one of the best offensive players in the game scoring an OPS over 1.0 five straight years as well as eclipsing the .300, 30 Home Run and 100 RBI mark.
With all due respect to Johnny Bench, Gary Carter or other Hall of Fame catchers, if they were to be judged solely on their offensive accomplishment and were outfielders there is a good chance that half of them would not be in the Hall.  This is not to knock catchers, but they have not been traditionally your power position in the lineup.  Ted Simmons was a catcher in the era with Bench, Carter and Fisk he was clearly in their shadow despite having numbers that matched their production.
A large contingent of Dodger fans will maintain that Cooperstown’s greatest omission is that of Gil Hodges.  Considering he was one of the most consistent and best Home Run hitters of the 1950’s, these fans have a strong case.
Entries on this list discuss the plight of Relief Pitchers.  Others discuss the merits of those who were accused of taking Performance Enhancing drugs.  With Larry Walker, the question will be to what extent playing in Coors Field did to pad his statistics.
Whenever Edgar Martinez had a great season (which happened a lot), a debate would constantly rage as to whether a Designated Hitter should be in contention for an MVP award.  Now that Martinez’ career is over the new debate is whether a Designated Hitter is worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Andy Pettitte took PEDs and apologized for it. He was forgiven by not just the fans of the New York Yankees but baseball fans in general. That fact (an important one) makes him the most intriguing candidate for this year as his contriteness might make him Hall of Fame worthy.   Still, if the PED issue is not a factor, is Andy Pettitte an HOF contender? Let’s take a look!
We imagine that there are younger baseball fans that are oblivious that there really was a Tommy John and that it was not just the name of a surgery.  This would be unfortunate, as Tommy John has to go down as one of the most durable pitchers in baseball history.

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The 1997 National League Rookie of the Year, Scott Rolen, is in our eyes the most intriguing candidate of those eligible in 2018. Rolen was a very good hitter, who topped the 2,000 Hit and 300 Home Run mark in his career, played in seven All Star Games and at first look would appear an outside looking in candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was considered a top Third Baseman for much of his career, both in terms of offense and defense, however there was only one season where he as a serious contender for the Most Valuable…