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.
Stan Hack played his entire sixteen seasons as a player for the Chicago Cubs.  He was one of the Cubbies most popular players as “Smilin” Stan’s sunny disposition made him a fan favorite among players, fans and journalists alike.  It also didn’t hurt that he was one hell of a hitter.
We admit we made a mistake not ranking Bernie Williams last year. Were we rebelling against a Yankee bias, or was it that we just considered him just not good enough? Regardless, that is the beauty of Baseball is that you can easily reevaluate what you may have missed the first time. Lord knows it happens all the time during the actual balloting process for the Hall of Fame.
The earlier entry of Edgar Martinez discusses him as the Designated Hitter who has the best chance to reach Cooperstown.  If that is the case, what about Harold Baines who actually has some career numbers that eclipse Martinez?
In the long and illustrious (often tortured) history of the Boston Red Sox a case can be made that of all the men who graced Fenway’s mound Luis Tiant was the most popular of them all.  Considering the amount of great athletes who have donned the Red Sox uniform this is an impressive accolade indeed.
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.
An argument has been made that Ross Barnes was the greatest baseball player of all time in the League.  Unfortunately, that aforementioned League was the National Association and not the current Leagues that are known today.
The man called “Superchief” was one of the great right handed pitchers of the New York Yankees.  Allie Reynolds was the first man to toss two no-hitters in a season in the American League though that was just a small sample of what he accomplished.
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.
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.
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.
You would not think that an eleven time All Star would be forgotten among Hall of Fame consideration, but in the case of career long Detroit Tiger, Bill Freehan that appears to be the reality.
One of the most popular Yankees of all time was Don Mattingly.  This was a very impressive reality considering that the year before he turned pro the Bronx Bombers lost to Dodgers in the World Series and the year after he retired they won the championship.  During Mattingly’s entire tenure, the Yankees never went to the Fall Classic; the largest stretch of post season futility in franchise history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 1900’s and 1910’s so it isn’t like there is any footage on YouTube of him at all.

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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.