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!
The Not in Hall of Committee.
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1,800 career hits and a lifetime .266 Batting Average sound like a good career but not necessarily a Hall of Fame one. A closer look at the overall body of work of Bobby Grich indicates he is a lot closer than you would think.
A lot of baseball players take flak for their high salaries. One of those who did was Kevin Brown who was the first man in professional baseball to sign a contract worth $100 Million. Sadly for Brown, his deterioration rendered that one of the worst contracts as during the final years of his career he was not a player who should have been amongst the games highest paid.
Kenny Lofton took the city of Cleveland by storm in the early 90’s and by doing so, got the baseball world to notice the Tribe again. By the decade’s end though, power numbers took over the game, and many forgot how good he really was.
Although Andruw Jones was once classified as a defensive specialist, it is one dimensional to think of him only that way. Granted, Jones captured ten straight Gold Glove Awards and also led the National League in Defensive bWAR four times and is second all-time in Total Zone Runs with six straight seasons (1997-03), but he also had an offensive acumen that has to be respected, which included 434 career Home Runs, a Home Run and RBI Title in 2005, which certainly pushed up his career bWAR of 62.8, a number that is not far off the Cooperstown threshold.
For about six seasons, Bob Caruthers was considered one of the best pitchers in baseball. Sadly, as his career only lasted nine seasons his impact in the game may not have allowed him to cement himself as one of the great early pitchers.
Many who first think of Jim Edmonds and the Hall of Fame may think automatically of what we wrote about Moises Alou and that he is likely a candidate for the “Hall of Very Good”. However the more we really thought about it, the more we like “Jimmy Baseball’s” resume.
David Cone may not be best remembered for winning a Cy Young Award. He may be best known for being a true hired gun that baseball teams coveted for their stretch drive.
Al Oliver came to the league in 1969 as a line drive hitter and for eighteen years consistently smacked the ball for hits. He had over 2,700 hits in his career, and despite not being a genuine power hitter, he had a plethora of RBI’s.
Omar Vizquel was considered one of the best defensive Shortstops of all time, earning eleven Gold Gloves and posting a career Defensive bWAR that is ranked in the top ten time.
The position of third base holds the least amount Hall of Famers in Baseball. There however have been many great ballplayers at the “Hot Corner” and some even won the MVP award. Ken Boyer was one such man as he won that coveted trophy in 1964.
Another forgotten star in the pre Babe Ruth era was Larry Doyle who was easily amongst the most likeable players of his era. Not only was he a natural favorite, he was one of the mist consistent players too.
In the National Hockey League, anyone who has won the MVP is almost a lock to enter the Hall of Fame. In the Major League Baseball (Kevin Mitchell, Willie Hernandez and Jeff Burroughs)…well, not so much. Jeff Kent is a former National League MVP, and has a very good set of career statistics, yet when you say his name, the words Hall of Fame don’t automatically come to mind.
With a magical season, a pair of exceptional ones and a few very good ones, Ron Guidry had an excellent career in Baseball all with the Yankees. Theoretically, “Louisiana Lightning” did everything you want to accomplish in a career as he won the Cy Young Award (and was in the hunt for a few others) and won the World Series, which he did twice. However the knock on Guidry, is that he was only a full time player for nine seasons, and though he does have won of the most impressive winning percentages in Baseball, his longevity is questioned in…
Will Clark is a justifiable member of the Mississippi Sports and College Baseball Hall of Fame but it looks like the big one in Cooperstown will elude him as he failed to get past his first year of eligibility. A look at his career makes you wonder why he couldn’t get past that elusive first ballot.
Luckily for Sherry Magee there was no YouTube in 1911, otherwise, all that would ever be replayed of him would be time he decked an umpire with one punch following a called third strike. Of course he played in the 1900s and 1910’s so it isn’t like there is any footage on YouTube of him at all.
Marty Marion won the NL 1944 MVP based primarily on his leadership and fielding skills as opposed to anything he did with his lumber. His victory is certainly a reminder that there is a lot more to baseball than sexy offensive stats.
Many baseball players are known for the clutch performances with their bat. Graig Nettles certainly had many clutch hits in his long career, but he may have been known for having more clutch performances with his glove.
One of two things could happen when you play with a collection of superstars. Either you get lost in the shuffle or you become incorrectly elevated among them. Neither was the case for the Dave Concepcion who became nationally known playing along side Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Tony Perez, but deserved the attention that came with it.
If you look at the Wikipedia article on Albert Belle you will find that the section on his controversies is longer than his accomplishments. He fought with sportswriters, with fans, with other players and his temper was legendary. So was his prowess with a bat.
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