14 Players Who Should Be In The Baseball Hall of Fame

hof logo

 

This spring I wrote an article on why I believe Pete Rose belongs in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. I’m not going to rehash that discussion here although reflecting on the article got me thinking; of the players who are eligible but not in the Hall of Fame which ones deserve to be there? The only qualification is that the player has to be eligible which means Pete Rose and the Black Sox players from 1919 are not eligible for this list because, whether I agree with it or not, they are on Major League Baseball’s banned list.

Below is a list of players I believe should be in the Hall of Fame based on the players merits alone and not a comparison of players now in the Hall. I make no distinction between players who have been linked to PEDs and those who have not. I have broken them out by position. Not every position represented.

 

Catcher

Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza

Eligible since 2012 Piazza was one of the greatest hitting catchers of all-time. The knock on him is that is was a pretty big defensive liability but in the eyes of some made up for it with his middle of the order bat. During his 16 year career he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1992-1998), Florida Marlins (1998), New York Mets (1998-2005, San Diego Padres (2006) and the Oakland Athletics (2007).

Awards

  • 1993 NL Rookie of the Year
  • 10 Silver Slugger Awards; 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, & 2002
  • 12-time All-Star; 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, & 2005
  • 1996 All-Star game MVP

Top Ten Finishes

  • 7x MVP:  1993, 9th; 1994, 6th; 1995, 4th; 1996, 2nd; 1997 2nd; 1999, 7th; and 2000 3rd
  • 7x Slugging percentage
  • 6x Batting average
  • 5x RBI
  • 5x OPS
  • 3x OPS
  • 2x Total bases
  • 1x Runs
  • 1x Hits
  • 1x Walks

All Time Rankings

  • 31st – Slugging percentage: .545
  • 43rd – Home runs: 427
  • 50th – OPS: .922
  • 84th – RBI: 1,335

 

First Base

Rafael Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro

Eligible since 2011 Palmeiro was one of the rare first base offensive weapons that was not simply serviceable but a good fielder. For the better part of a decade Palmeiro was one of the best hitters in the game. Sure we all remember him wagging his finger at congress but that doesn’t erase all the things he did on the field. And he did most of them well. During his 20-year career he played for the Chicago Cubs (1986-1988), Texas Rangers (1989-1993), Baltimore Orioles (1994-1998), Texas Rangers (1999-2002) and again Baltimore Orioles (2004-2005).

Awards

  • 2 Silver Sluggers 1998-1999
  • 4-time All-Star: 1988, 1991, 1998-1999
  • 3-time Gold Glove: 1997-1999

League Leader

  • 1x Runs: 1993
  • 1x Hits: 1990
  • 1x Doubles: 1991

Top Ten Finishes

  • 3x MVP: 1993, 8th; 1996, 6th; 1999, 5th
  • 11x Home runs
  • 10x Total bases
  • 9x RBI
  • 7x Slugging percentage
  • 7x Walks
  • 7x OPS
  • 5x Batting average
  • 5x Hits
  • 5x Doubles
  • 3x Runs
  • 2x On-base percentage

All-Time Rankings

  • 10th – Total bases: 5,388
  • 12th – Home runs: 563
  • 15th – RBI: 1,835
  • 15th – At bats: 10,472
  • 15th – Plate appearances: 12,046
  • 16th – Doubles: 585
  • 17th – Games played: 2,831
  • 24th – Hits: 3,020
  • 30th – Runs: 1,663
  • 31st – Walks: 1,353
  • 73rd – Slugging percentage: .515
  • 83rd – OPS: .885

 

First Base

Jeff Bagwell

Jeff Bagwell

Eligible since 2011 Bagwell was one of the most durable players in all of baseball during his career. If you ignore the strike shortened 1994 season he averaged 153 games a year between 1992-2004. Bagwell was more than simply a durable player, he could hit for average, as high as .368 in 1994, as well as power, 9 seasons of 30 or more homers. Unfortunately, an arthritic shoulder forced him to retire after 15 seasons prematurely ending what was thought to be a Hall of Fame career. Bagwell played his entire career with the Astros.

Awards

  • 1991 NL Rookie of the Year
  • 1994 NL Most Valuable Player
  • 3 Silver Sluggers; 1994, 1997, 1999
  • 4-time All-Star; 1994, 1996-1997, 1999
  • 1-time Gold Glove winner; 1994

League Leader

  • 3x Runs; 1994, 1999, 2000
  • 1x Doubles; 1996
  • 1x RBI; 1994
  • 1x Walks; 1999
  • 1x Slugging percentage; 1994
  • 1x OPS; 1994
  • 1x Total bases; 1994

Top Ten Finishes

  • 5x MVP: 1996, 9th; 1997, 3rd; 1999, 2nd; 2000, 7th; 2001, 7th
  • 12x Walks
  • 8x Runs
  • 8x On-base percentage
  • 7x Home runs
  • 7x RBI
  • 7x Total bases
  • 7x OPS
  • 6x Slugging percentage
  • 5x Doubles
  • 3x Batting avearage
  • 1x Hits

All Time Rankings

  • 21st – OPS: .948
  • 26th – Walks: 1,401
  • 34th – Home runs: 449
  • 36th – Slugging percentage: .540
  • 40th – On-base percentage: .408
  • 45th – RBI: 1,529
  • 60th – Doubles: 488
  • 61st – Runs: 1,517
  • 64th – Total bases: 4,213

 

First Base

Carlos Delgado

Carlos Delgado

Eligible since 2015 Delgado was one of the best and most consistent run producers of the late 90s and early 00s in Toronto. Playing in the often forgotten about Canada may ultimately end up hurting his candidacy. Nevertheless he had the combination of power and average numbers worthy of enshrinement. During his 17-year career he played for the Toronto Blue Jays (1993-2004), Florida Marlins (2005), and the New York Mets (2006-2009).

Awards

  • 3-time Silver Slugger: 1999-2000, 2003
  • 2-time All-Star: 2000, 2003

League Leader

  • 1x Total bases: 2000
  • 1x Doubles: 2000
  • 1x RBI: 2003
  • 1x OPS: 2003

Top Ten Finishes

  • 4x MVP: 2000, 4th; 2003, 2nd; 2005, 6th; 2008, 9th
  • 10x Home runs
  • 7x Slugging percentage
  • 7x RBI
  • 6x OPS
  • 5x On-base percentage
  • 5x Total bases
  • 4x Walks
  • 2x Runs
  • 1x Batting average
  • 1x Hits

All-Time Rankings

  • 28th – Slugging percentage: .546
  • 31st – Home runs: 473
  • 39th – OPS: .929
  • 50th – RBI: 1,512
  • 74th – Walks: 1,109

 

Second Base

Jeff Kent

Jeff Kent

Eligible since 2014 Kent had one of the best and longest offensive runs of any second baseman in baseball history, 1997-2005. During his 17 year career Kent suited up for the Toronto Blue Jays (1992), New York Mets (1992-1996), Cleveland Indians (1996), San Francisco Giants (1997-2002), Houston Astros (2003-2004), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2005-2008).

Awards

  • 2000 NL Most Valuable Player
  • 5-time All-Star; 1999-2001, 2004-2005
  • 4 Silver Sluggers; 2000-2002, 2005

Top Ten Finishes

  • 3x MVP: 1997, 8th; 1998, 9th; 2002, 6th
  • 6x RBI
  • 4x Doubles
  • 3x Triples
  • 2x Batting average
  • 2x Slugging percentage
  • 2x Hits
  • 2x Total bases
  • 1x On-base perecentage
  • 1x Home runs
  • 1x OPS

All Time Rankings

  • 24th – Doubles: 560
  • 49th – RBI: 1,518
  • 62nd – Total bases: 4,246
  • 67th – Home runs: 377

 

Outfield

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Eligible since 2012 Bonds was said to have been on a path leading directly to Cooperstown prior to the start of what is believed to be the PED years. Bonds seemed destined for baseball greatness with his father Bobby Bonds and godfather Willie Mays to look up to. He could run, hit for power and average, and play above average defense. Bonds played the first 7 years of his career (1986-1992) in Pittsburgh before signing with the San Francisco Giants and spending the remaining 15 years of his career (1993-2007) there.

Awards

  • 7x Most Valuable Player: 1990, 1992-1993, 2001-2004
  • 12-time Silver Slugger: 1990-1994, 1996-1997, 2000-2004
  • 14-time All-Star: 1990, 1992-1998, 2000-2004, 2007
  • 8-time Gold Glove winner: 1990-1994, 1996-1998

League Leader

  • 12x Walks; 1992, 1994-1997, 2000-2004, 2006-2007
  • 10x On-base percentage; 1991-1993, 1995, 2001-2004, 2006-2007
  • 9x OPS; 1990-1993, 1995, 2001-2004
  • 7x Slugging percentage; 1990, 1992-1993, 2001-2004
  • 2x Batting average; 2002, 2004
  • 2x Home runs; 1993, 2001
  • 1x Runs; 1992
  • 1x Total bases; 1993
  • 1x RBI; 1993

Top Ten Finishes

  • 6x MVP: 1991, 2nd; 1994, 4th; 1996, 5th; 1997, 5th; 1998, 8th; 2000, 2nd
  • 17x OPS
  • 17x Runs
  • 17x Walks
  • 17x OPS
  • 15x Slugging percentage
  • 15x Home runs
  • 12x Total bases
  • 10x RBI
  • 9x Stolen bases
  • 6x Batting average
  • 5x Doubles
  • 3x Triples
  • 1x Hits

All-Time Rankings

  • 1st – Home runs: 762
  • 1st – Walks: 2,558
  • 3rd – Runs: 2,227
  • 4th – OPS: 1.051
  • 4th – On-base percentage: .444
  • 4th – Total bases: 5,976
  • 4th – RBI: 1,996
  • 6th – Slugging percentage: .607
  • 14th – Doubles: 601
  • 32nd – Hits: 2,935
  • 33rd – Stolen bases: 514

 

Outfield

Tim Raines

Tim Raines

Eligible since 2008 Raines has never received more than 37.5% of votes. A misconception about him is that he was a speedster who wasn’t a great player. The fact is Raines was a good hitter (career .294 average) who could get on base multiple ways having accumulated over 2,600 hits and 1,300 career walks. The thing keeping Raines off most ballots is likely his cocaine admission in 1982. Raines played 23 years with the Montreal Expos (1979-1990), Chicago White Sox (1991-1995), New York Yankees (1996-1998), Oakland Athletics (1999), Montreal Expos (2001), Baltimore Orioles (2001), and the Florida Marlins (2002).

Awards

  • 1-time Silver Slugger: 1986
  • 7-time All-Star: 1981-1987
  • 1987 All-Star Game MVP

League Leader

  • 4x Stolen bases: 1981-1984
  • 2x Runs: 1983, 1987
  • 1x Batting average: 1986
  • 1x On-base percentage: 1986
  • 1x Doubles: 1984

Top Ten Finishes

  • 3x MVP: 1983,5th; 1986, 6th; 1987, 7th
  • 11x Stolen bases
  • 9x Triples
  • 8x Runs
  • 7x On-base percentage
  • 6x Hits
  • 6x Walks
  • 4x Batting average
  • 4x OPS
  • 3x Doubles
  • 1x Slugging percentage

All-Time Rankings

  • 5th – Stolen bases: 808
  • 34th – Walks: 1,330
  • 50th – Runs: 1,571
  • 51st – Games Played: 2,502
  • 55th – Plate appearance: 10,359
  • 74th – Hits: 2,605
  • 88th – At Bats: 8,872

 

Outfield

Sammy Sosa

Sammy Sosa

Eligible since 2012 Sosa was a central figure in what many call the summer that saved baseball, 1998. His race to pass Maris with Mark McGwire may have restored the countries love for baseball but the how would ultimately lead to the reason he has been left off most ballots. Throughout his 18 year career Sosa played for the Texas Rangers (1989), Chicago White Sox (1989-1991), Chicago Cubs (1992-2004), Baltimore Orioles (2005), and again the Texas Rangers (2007).

Awards

  • 1998 NL Most Valuable Player
  • 6-time Silver Slugger: 1995, 1998-2002
  • 7-time All-Star: 1995, 1998-2002, 2004

League Leader

  • 3x Runs: 1998, 2001-2002
  • 3x Total bases: 1998, 2001-2002
  • 2x Home runs: 2000, 2002
  • 2x RBI: 1998, 2001

Top Ten Finishes

  • 6x MVP: 1995,8th; 1999, 9th; 2000, 9th; 2001, 2nd; 2002, 9th; 2003, 8th
  • 11x Home runs
  • 9x Total bases
  • 7x Slugging percentage
  • 7x RBI
  • 5x OPS
  • 4x Runs
  • 3x Hits
  • 2x Triples
  • 2x Walks
  • 2x Stolen bases
  • 1x Batting average
  • 1x On-base percentage

All-Time Rankings

  • 7th – Home runs: 609
  • 27th – RBI: 1,667
  • 33rd – Total bases: 4,704
  • 42nd – Slugging percentage: .534
  • 78th – At bats: 8,813
  • 93rd – Games played: 2,354

 

Outfield

Gary Sheffield

Gary Sheffield

Eligible since 2014 Sheffield is one of the most successful players to have played for 8 teams. Exactly why Sheffield never stayed with any team for more than six-year may be a mystery. The reason there was always a new team willing to pay north of $10 million a season is obvious: he was one of the best offensive players in baseball during his 22-year career. During his career he played for the Milwaukee Brewers (1988-1991), San Diego Padres (1992-1993), Florida Marlins (1993-1998), Los Angeles Dodgers (1998-2001), Atlanta Braves (2002-2003), New York Yankees (2004-2006), Detroit Tigers (2007-2008), and the New York Mets (2009).

Awards

  • 1992 NL Comeback Player of the Year
  • 5-time Silver Slugger: 1992, 1996, 2003-2005
  • 9-time All-Star: 1992-1993, 1996, 1998-2000, 2003-2005

League Leader

  • 1x Batting average: 1992
  • 1x On-base percentage: 1996
  • 1x Total bases: 1992
  • 1x Doubles: 2000
  • 1x RBI: 2003
  • 1x OPS: 1996

Top Ten Finishes

  • 6x MVP: 1992, 3rd; 1996, 6th; 2000, 9th; 2003, 3rd; 2004, 2nd; 2008, 8th
  • 10x On-base percentage
  • 9x Walks
  • 7x Home runs
  • 7x OPS
  • 6x RBI
  • 5x Slugging percentage
  • 5x Runs
  • 4x Batting average
  • 3x Total bases
  • 2x Hits

All-Time Rankings

  • 20th – Walks: 1,475
  • 24th – Home runs: 509
  • 26th – RBI: 1,676
  • 30th – Total bases: 4,737
  • 38th – Runs: 1,636
  • 42nd – Games played: 2,576
  • 57th – At bats: 9,217
  • 58th – OPS: .907
  • 66th – Hits: 2,689
  • 72nd – Slugging percentage: .514
  • 85th – Doubles: 467
  • 88th – On-base percentage: .393

 

Designated Hitter

Edgar Martinez

Edgar Martinez

Eligible since 2010 Martinez was the best pure hitter in the American League during his career. He played in 2,055 career games of which he played in the field in 592. That lack of defensive play fuels the debate about his Hall of Fame candidacy, much like, during his playing days, his MVP candidacy was called into question. Regardless, Martinez spent the entirety of his career playing for the Seattle Mariners.

Awards

  • 5-time Silver Slugger: 1992, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003
  • 7-time All-Star: 1992, 1995-1997, 2000-2001, 2003

League Leader

  • 3x On-base percentage: 1995, 1998-1999
  • 2x Batting average: 1992, 1995
  • 2x Doubles: 1992, 1995
  • 1x Runs: 1995
  • 1x RBI: 2000
  • 1x OPS: 1995

Top Ten Finishes

  • 2x MVP: 1995, 3rd; 2000, 6th
  • 11x On-base percentage
  • 8x Walks
  • 8x OPS
  • 7x Batting average
  • 6x Slugging percentage
  • 5x Doubles
  • 3x Runs
  • 3x Hits
  • 3x RBI
  • 1x Home runs

All-Time Rankings

  • 22nd – On-base percentage: .418
  • 36th – OPS: .933
  • 42nd – Doubles: 514
  • 43rd – Walks: 1,283
  • 70th – Slugging percentage: .515
  • 96th – Batting average: .312

 

Starting Pitcher

Roger Clemens

Roger Clemens

Eligible since 2012 Clemens was pitching his way to the Hall of Fame prior to what is believed to be the “steroid era”. Clemens was mowing down AL hitters and piling up wins and strikeouts while keeping his ERA well below league average. While no one may ever be able to know why he took PEDs it doesn’t seem to have been necessary. During his 24 years in the bigs he pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1984-1996), Toronto Blue Jays (1997-1998), New York Yankees (1999-2003), Houston Astros (2004-2006), and again the New York Yankees (2007).

Awards

  • 1986 AL Most Valuable Player
  • 7-time Cy Young winner: 1986-1987, 1991, 1997-1998, 2001, 2004
  • 11-time All-Star: 1986, 1988, 1990-1992, 1997-1998, 2001, 2003-2005

League Leader

  • 7x ERA: 1987, 1990-1992, 1997-1998, 2005
  • 6x Shutouts: 1987-1988, 1990-1992, 1997
  • 5x Strikeouts: 1988, 1991, 1996-1998
  • 4x Wins: 1986-1987, 1997-1998
  • 3x Complete games: 1987-1988, 1997
  • 2x Innings pitched: 1991, 1997

Top Ten Finishes

  • 3x MVP: 1990, 3rd; 2001, 8th; 2004, 8th
  • 5x Cy Young: 1988, 6th; 1990, 2nd; 1992, 3rd; 2000, 6th; 2005, 3rd
  • 18x Strikeouts
  • 14x ERA
  • 12x Wins
  • 12x Innings pitched
  • 10x Complete games

All-Time Rankings

  • 3rd – Strikeouts: 4,672
  • 7th – Games started: 707
  • 9th – Wins: 354
  • 16th – Innings pitched: 4,916 2/3
  • 26th – Shutouts: 46
  • 85th – Games played: 709

 

Starting Pitcher

Mike Mussina

Mike Mussina

Eligible since 2014 Mussina was one of the most ridiculously consistent pitchers of the modern era. Considered an ace during his career the knock on Mussina is that he didn’t hit any of the generally accepted Hall of Fame worthy bench marks; 3,000 strikeouts (2,813), 300 wins (270), or a Cy Young winner (multiple top five finishes). He did win at least 11 games in 17 consecutive seasons (all but his first year in the league in which he only pitched 12 games) and started at least 27 games every year except 1993 & 1994. Mussina split his 18-year career between the Baltimore Orioles (1991-2000) and the New York Yankees (2001-2008).

Awards

  • 5-time All-Star: 1992-1994, 1997, 1999
  • 7-time Gold Glove winner: 1996-1999, 2001, 2003, 2008

League Leader

  • 1x Wins: 1995
  • 1x Innings pitched: 2000
  • 1x Shutouts: 1995

Top Ten Finishes

  • 9x Cy Young: 1992, 4th; 1994, 4th; 1995, 5th; 1996, 5th; 1997, 6th; 1999, 2nd; 2000, 6th; 2001, 5th; 2008, 6th
  • 11x ERA
  • 10x Strikeouts
  • 9x Wins
  • 8x Innings pitched
  • 7x Complete games

All-Time Rankings

  • 19th – Strikeouts: 2,813
  • 33rd – Games started: 536
  • 33rd – Wins: 270
  • 66th – Innings pitched: 3,562 2/3

 

Starting Pitcher

Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Eligible since 2002 Schilling was one of the best big game big stage pitchers of all time. Bloody sock anyone? Much like Mussina, I think that his lack of a Cy Young award and his relatively small number of wins, 216, is enough to keep him off enough ballots to keep him out of the Hall. He was one of the premier strikeout pitchers during his career and hardly ever walked anyone. Schilling played his 20 year career with the Baltimore Orioles (1988-1990), Houston Astros (1991), Philadelphia Phillies (1992-1999), Arizona Diamondbacks (2000-2003) and the Boston Red Sox (2004-2007).

Awards

  • 6-time All-Star: 1997-1999, 2001-2002, 2004
  • 2001 World Series MVP
  • 1993 NLCS MVP

League Leader

  • 4x Complete games: 1996-1998, 2001
  • 2x Wins: 2001, 2004
  • 2x Innings pitched: 1998, 2001
  • 2x Strikeouts: 1997-1998

Top Ten Finishes

  • 1x MVP: 2002, 10th
  • 4x Cy Young Award: 1997, 4th; 2001, 2nd; 2002, 2nd; 2004, 2nd
  • 11x Complete games
  • 9x ERA
  • 9x Strikeouts
  • 7x Innings pitched
  • 5x Wins

All-Time Rankings

  • 15th – Strikeouts: 3,116
  • 82nd – Wins: 216
  • 87th – Games started: 436
  • 95th – Innings pitched: 3,261

 

Relief Pitcher

Lee Smith

Lee Smith

Eligible since 2003 Smith was among the most dominating and consistent relievers of all time. The question of the validity of the relief pitchers place in the Hall has ended in recent years with the elections of Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter, Dennis Eckersley, and Goose Gossage. The fact the Lee Smith retire as the all-time leader in saves, more than all the relievers now in the Hall, begs the question why has Smith not yet be enshrined? During his 18 year career Smith closed out games for the Chicago Cubs (1980-1987), Boston Red Sox (1988-1990), St. Louis Cardinals (1990-1993), New York Yankees (1993), Baltimore Orioles (1994), California Angels (1995-1996), Cincinnati Reds (1996), and the Montreal Expos (1997).

Awards

  • 3x Rolaids Relief Award: 1991-1992, 1994
  • 7-time All-Star: 1983, 1987, 1991-1992, 1994

League Leader

  • 4x Saves: 1983, 1991-1992, 1994

Top Ten Finishes

  • 1x MVP: 1991, 8th
  • 4x CY Young: 1983, 9th; 1991, 2nd; 1992, 4th; 1994, 5th
  • 11x Saves

All-Time Rankings

  • 3rd – Saves: 478
  • 3rd – Games finished: 802
  • 9th – Games played: 1,022

 

 

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “14 Players Who Should Be In The Baseball Hall of Fame

  1. You are obviously a person that doesn’t think that becoming a Monster after steroids should have any basis on whether or not a player should be a hall of fame. Would Bonds have been in the hall of fame if he hadn’t used them? Absolutely. Palmiero? Possibly. Clemens? Maybe. His career was resuscitated when he started using. Sosa? How can he be on this list when Mcguire isn’t? Mcguire would have been a far better player than Sosa if neither had used hgh. Sheffield? I think he used. Most of the players on here probably did. In Palmiero, Sosa, Bonds and Clemens cases though their body sizes ballooned so much there isn’t any really any doubt. They were cheaters. Sosa in particular (corked bats too.) Cheats don’t deserve to be in the hall. Bonds never would have hit over 50 homers, had his .600 obp, 200 walks or his ridiculous slugging percentages those years if he had been off steroids. I agree with you about Raines, Piazza, Kent, and Lee Smith. Those guys should be getting far more votes than they have gotten.

    Like

  2. By the way, as far as Clemens is concerned of course he needed hgh! His numbers were rapidly dropping due to injuries, he started using them, pitched for the Jays and was totally lights out. He liked was the steroids did, so he kept using them. He was on them for half of his career! He still won’t admit he used them either, even after his wife was tested as positive (probably Roger’s doing) and his best friend Andy Pettite said they used them together (probably Roger’s suggestion as well.) The guy is a butthole and there isn’t any way he should be a HOF in my opinion.

    Like

    • West, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours. I just don’t think it’s the Halls place to be judge, jury, and effectively executioner with respect to the legacy of players. Major League Baseball has drawn a hard line with an official banned list and if Major League Baseball the organization accepts them (by not placing them on the banned list) then I accept them as players whose performance is valid thus deemed eligible for all things MLB related and affiliated.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s