The National Baseball Hall Of Fame In Cooperstown New York has let too many pretty good players in. It is meant for the iconic players, the greatest of all time. Not your Edgar Martinez’s of the world.
You can’t say no to players that took performance enhancing drugs and also allow players that took amphetamines in. You can’t say nobody that bet on baseball and also let racists in. This is the best baseball players of all time. Not best baseball players that were also good people and kind to the media.
Right now, there are 329 Hall of Famers. Thats too many. Let’s start eliminating players. I am going to analyze players year-by-year as they were elected into the Hall of Fame:
*Players will be listed with the team that I associate them with.
Lee Smith – P – Chicago Cubs (1980 – 1997) – Lee Smith was pretty a good relief pitcher. He is not an icon as a closer, therefore not HOF.
Harold Baines – DH – Chicago White Sox (1980 – 2001) – Baines was a pretty good player most of his career. He was an all-star many times. He played OF as well as DH. When I think of the greatest OF or DH of all time I do not think of Harold Baines – he’s out.
Mike Mussina – P – New York Yankees (1991 – 2008) – I have already detailed here why he does not belong. Mussina is out.
Edgar Martinez – DH – Seattle Mariners (1987 – 2004) – Like Mussina, I already wrote here about how Edgar is not the icon at the DH position. He does not belong in the Hall.
Roy Halladay – P – Philadelphia Phillies (1998 – 2013) – 2x Cy Young winner and 8x All-Star. He averaged a 17-9 season with 232 IP. A regular season perfect game and a post season no-hitter. One of the most consistent and dominant starters of his time. Roy Halladay is a Hall of Famer.
Mariano Rivera – P – New York Yankees (1995 – 2013) – The greatest closer of all time, with a career record of 652 saves. A 13x all-star. Finished in the top three of Cy Young Voting 4x and top 15 of mvp voting 6 times. 5x World Series champion and 1999 World Series MVP. Mariano Rivera is a Hall of Famer.
Alan Trammell – SS – Detroit Tigers (1977 – 1996) – Trammell was a 6x All-Star, a World Series Champion and World Series MVP in 1984. He also played for the same team for 20 season. However, one stand-out year (1987) and a bunch of okay/pretty good years does not make you a Hall of Famer.
Jack Morris – P – Detroit Tigers (1977 – 1994) – This one is tough. Three time World Series Champion and 1991 World Series MVP. Also pretty cool that he won a World Series with three different teams (Tigers, Twins, Blue Jays). Unfortunately, and average season with a 16 -12 record and a 3.90 ERA does not sound like a Hall of Famer to me.
Jim Thome – 1B – Cleveland Indians (1991 – 2012) – Jim Thome put up great numbers over his 22 years. He hit 612 home runs. The best argument I have against Thome is he never stood out in his era. I never turned on Sports Center and thought, “I can’t wait to see the Jim Thome highlights from last night.” I believe that his numbers are a product of the time period he played in. Thome is not a Hall of Famer.
Chipper Jones – 3B – Atlanta Braves (1993 – 2012) – Chipper played for 19 years, was an 8x all-star, the 1999 MVP, and a World Series Champion in 1995. His average year was a .303 Avg with 30 HR and 105 RBI. At 36 years old he led the Major Leagues with a .364 Avg and .470 OBP. Chipper Jones is a Hall of Famer.
Trevor Hoffman – P – San Diego Padres (1993 – 2010) – Trevor Hoffman has pretty good numbers as a closer. He pitched for 18 years and had 601 career saves. Just like Thome, Hoffman put up big numbers after a long career. I just can’t give him the nod in this case, being pretty good for a long period of time does not make you a Hall of Famer.
Vladamir Guerrero – OF – Texas Rangers (1996 – 2011) – I saw Guerrero take BP prior to Game 1 of the 2010 World Series. Dude was peppering line drives into the right field bleachers. I could not believe the power he had to the opposite field. He was the 2004 MVP with the Angels, and a 9x All-Star. With a 162 game average of a .318 Avg 34 HR and 113 RBI, Vladimir Guerrero is a Hall of Famer.
Iván Rodriguez – C – Texas Rangers (1991 – 2011) – Pudge played for 21 years and was behind the dish for 2,427 games. He was the 1997 MVP with the Rangers, a 14x All-Star, 13x Gold Glove winner, 7x Silver Slugger, and 2003 World Series Champion with the Marlins. His 162 game average was a .296 Avg with 20 HR and 85 RBI. He was one of the greatest catchers of all time, Iván Rodriguez is a Hall of Famer.
Tim Raines – OF – Montreal Expos (1979 – 2002) – He stole a lot of bases. To me, nothing else stands out. His numbers are pretty good, but he is not a Hall of Famer.
Jeff Bagwell – 1B – Houston Astros (1991 – 2005) – The 1991 Rookie of the Year. The 1994 MVP. A Gold Glove winner. Two 30/30 seasons. A 162 game average of a .297 Avg with 34 HR 115 RBI and 15 SB. Like Thome, Bagwell was a very good and consistent player. Was he one of the best of all time? No.
Mike Piazza – C – New York Mets (1992 – 2008) – A member of my “Best Baseball Players of All Time by Position.” The 1993 Rookie of the Year. A 12x All-Star and 10x Silver Slugger award winner. With a 162 game average of a .308 Avg with 36 HR and 113 RBI. Mike Piazza is a Hall of Famer.
Ken Griffey Jr. – OF – Seattle Mariners (1989 – 2010) – This is an obvious yes. One of the most iconic players of all time. The 1997 MVP. A 13x All-Star with 10 Gold Gloves. Ken Griffey Jr. is a Hall of Famer.
John Smoltz – P – Atlanta Braves (1988 – 2009) – John Smoltz had an incredibly long and impressive career. His versatility on the mound is what stands out the most. At first he was a starter, winning a World Series in 1995 and a Cy Young in 1996. He continues his solid stretch as a starter until he missed the 2000 season with an injury. He spends a three year stretch from 2002 – 2004 as a dominant closer for the Braves. Then by 2006 he is starting again and leading the league in wins with 16. John Smoltz is a Hall of Famer.
Pedro Martinez – P – Boston Red Sox (1992 – 2009) – Pedro won three Cy Young Awards, was an 8x All-Star, and won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004. This one is obvious, Pedro Martinez is a Hall of Famer.
Randy Johnson – P – Arizona Diamondbacks (1988 – 2009) – Randy won the Cy Young award five times, including a stretch from 1999-2002 where he won four in a row. He won the 2001 World Series and World Series MVP with the Diamondbacks. Randy Johnson is a Hall of Famer.
Craig Biggio – 2B – Houston Astros (1988 -2007) – He was a 7x All-Star and won 4 Gold Gloves. Biggio had 3,060 career hits. He played for 20 season. While Biggio has really good numbers and played for a long time at a high level, he was not elite. He is not a Hall of Famer.
Frank Thomas – 1B/DH – Chicago White Sox (1990 – 2008) – The Big Hurt won back to back MVP awards in ’93 and ’94. He played for 19 years, with a 162 game average of .301 Avg and .419 OBP with 36 HR and 119 RBI. Frank Thomas is a Hall of Famer.
Greg Maddux – P – Atlanta Braves (1986 – 2008) – Maddux pitched for 23 years, winning the Cy Young award for four straight seasons, from 1992-1995. He is an 8x all star and an 18x Gold Glove winner. The gold glove trophy is physically large, I have no idea what he did with 18 of them. Maddux was also a key member of the ’95 World Champion Braves team. Greg Maddux is a Hall of Famer.
Tom Glavine – P – Atlanta Braves (1987 – 2008) – Glavine won the Cy Young award twice, and was a 10x All-Star. He was the World Series MVP for the ’95 Braves. He won 20 games five times in his career. Tom Glavine is a Hall of Famer.
Deacon White – C – Buffalo Bisons (1871 – 1890) – A World Series Champion with the Detroit Wolverines in 1887, and the batting champ in 1875 with the Red Stockings and 1877 with the Bisons. He is in the Hall of Fame as a catcher but actually played more at 3rd base. He also logged innings in the OF and at 1B as well as on the mound. While he never played a full 162 game season, his 162 game average is a .303 Avg with 3 HR and 103 RBI along with a .393 OBP. Deacon played for 20 years, but only logged 1,560 games. His numbers do not quite stack up, he is not a hall of famer.
Ron Santo – 3B – Chicago Cubs (1960 – 1974) – Led the league in triples in 1964 and games played in 1963 and 1965. Was an All-Star nine times and won 5 gold gloves. His career averages are pretty good, he was a solid player. However, I do not view him as a Hall of Famer.
Barry Larkin – SS – Cincinnati Reds (1986 – 2004) – The 1995 MVP, 12x All-Star, and 3x Gold Glove winner. He played for 19 years, all with the Reds. His numbers at the plate are good, not great. Im going with…no.
Bert Blyleven – P – Minnesota Twins (1970 – 1992) – A member of two Twins teams that would go on to win the World Series, in 1979 and 1987. He was only an All-Star twice. He pitched a ton of innings, and for a very long time. He never had a purely dominant stretch, and for that reason he is not a Hall of Famer.
Roberto Alomar – 2B – Toronto Blue Jays (1988 – 2004) – This one is interesting. His numbers at the plate are comparable to players that I have already nixed on this list, especially Larkin. Alomar has more accolades, as a 12x All-Star, 10x Gold Glove winner, 4x Silver Slugger, and 2x World Series Champion with the Blue Jays. So is he a Hall of Famer, or did he just benefit from being a second baseman? I am going with the latter.
Andre Dawson – OF – Montreal Expos (1977 – 1996) – His numbers are not quite up to par with the guys I’ve already got in so far. He was an 8x All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger, and 8x Gold glove winner. He won an MVP in 1987 with the Cubs. He also won the Rookie of the Year in 1977 with the Expos. What stands out to me is the career .323 OBP. That’s not elite. He’s out.
Players Not Voted In From 2010 – 2019
So for this part – I am going year-by-year to take a look at players that have not yet been voted in. To organize this I am going to have players fall in the year that they were on ballot for the first time.
Todd Helton – 1B – Colorado Rockies (1997 – 2013) – Todd Helton never gets his due because he played at Coors field for half of his games. He should have been the MVP in 2000, when he had a .372 AVG with a .463 OBP along with 42 HR and 147 RBI. He played for 17 years with a 162 game average of a .313 Avg and .414 OBP with 27 HR and 101 RBI. Todd Helton is a Hall of Famer.
Miguel Tejada was an almost. His numbers reminded me of Larkin and Alomar.
Omar Vizquel was great in the field, but not at the plate.
Manny Ramirez – OF – Boston Red Sox (1993 -2011) – Manny is an icon. This is an easy yes for me. A 12x All-Star and 9x Silver Slugger. Helping the Red Sox break the curse in 2004 and winning with them again in 2007. Manny Ramirez is a Hall of Famer.
Jorge Posada – C – New York Yankees (1995 – 2011) – Posada played for the Yankees for 17 years, winning the World Series with the club 4 times. He was a career .273 hitter, with a .374 OBP. He had some pop too, averaging 24 HR and 94 RBI every 162 games. Posada was a key cog in the Yankee dynasty, and a solid two-way catcher. Jorge Posada was a good player for a great team, but he is not quite a Hall of Famer.
Jim Edmonds – OF – St. Louis Cardinals (1993 – 2008) – Edmonds was a 4x All-Star and 8x Gold Glove winner. He won a World Series in 2006 with the Cardinals. I remember him most for the catch he made with the Angels against the Royals. He was a solid defender and put up great numbers at the plate. Edmonds produced an average season with a .284 AVG and .376 OBP with 32HR and 97RBI. Jim Edmonds was a great player, but just did not make the cut for me.
Gary Sheffield – OF – Florida Marlins (1988 – 2009) – Gary Sheffield had a wild career. He was solid at the plate – he averaged a .292 AVG with a .393 OBP, along with 32 HR, 105 RBI, and 16 SB. A 9x All-Star and 5x Silver Slugger, winning a World Series on the ’97 Marlins. Sheffield was a good player for many teams. Was he a Hall of Famer? Not quite.
Nomar Garciaparra falls into the Larkin/Alomar camp of great but not elite middle infielders.
Carlos Delgado is just a worse version of Jim Thome.
Eric Gagne – P – Los Angeles Dodgers (1999 – 2008) – He had the most dominant stretch of any closer I have ever seen. He was essentially un-hittable for three seasons. He won the Cy Young as a closer in 2003 with 55 Saves and a 1.20 ERA. Eric Gagne is a Hall of Famer.
Jeff Kent is in the Larkin/Alomar/Garciaparra Club.
Barry Bonds – OF – San Francisco Giants (1986 – 2007) – The all time home champion with a total of 762 HR. A 7x MVP, 8x Gold Glove Winner, 14x All-Star, 12x Silver Slugger, and 2x Batting Champ. His average 162 game season was a .298 AVG with a .444 OBP – with 41 HR, 108 RBI, and 28 SBs. The best of all time, Barry Bonds is a Hall of Famer.
Roger Clemens – P – New York Yankees (1984 – 2007) – This is obvious. The 1986 MVP, 7x Cy Young winner, 11x All-Star and 2x World Series Champion. He had a 1.87 ERA when he was 42 years old pitching over 200 innings. Roger Clemens is a Hall of Famer.
Curt Schilling – P – Boston Red Sox (1988 – 2007) – The arm that broke the curse. The bloody sock. 6x All Star and 3x World Series Champion. The 2001 World Series MVP. Curt Schilling is a Hall of Famer.
Sammy Sosa – OF – Chicago Cubs (1989 – 2007) – The 1998 MVP, during arguably the greatest summer of baseball – of all time. A 7x All-Star and 6x Silver Slugger. His average 162 game season was a .273 AVG and a .344 OBP – with 42 HR, 115 RBI, and 16 SBs. Sammy Sosa is a Hall of Famer.
I almost put Kenny Lofton in, but he was too similar to Tim Raines.
Bernie Williams – OF – New York Yankees (1991 – 2006) – 4x World Series Champion, 5x All-Star, and 4x Gold Glove Winner. Bernie won the batting title in 1998. I am a big fan of Bernie Williams and think he had a great career, but he is not quite a Hall of Famer.
Larry Walker – OF – Colorado Rockies (1989 – 2005) – The 1997 MVP. A 3x Batting Champ, 7x Gold Glove Winner, 5x All-Star and 3x Silver Slugger. His average 162 game season was a .313 AVG and a .400 OBP – with 31 HR, 107 RBI , and 17 SB. Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer.
Juan Gonzalez – OF – Texas Rangers (1989 – 2005) – The 1996 and 1998 MVP. A 6x Silver Slugger and 3x All-Star. His average 162 game season was a .295 AVG and a .343 OBP – with 42 HR, and 135 RBI. He also signed my glove when I went to watch the Rangers play the Mariners at the Kingdome. I might be a little biased, but Juan Gonzalez is a Hall of Famer.
Rafael Palmero falls into the Thome/Delgado category
Fred McGriff and Andres Galarraga are in the Palmero/Delgado/Thome camp.
|Hall of Fame (In)||Hall of Pretty Good (Out)|
|Roy Halladay||Lee Smith|
|Mariano Rivera||Harold Baines|
|Chipper Jones||Mike Mussina|
|Vladamir Guerrero||Edgar Martinez|
|Iván Rodriguez||Alan Trammell|
|Mike Piazza||Jack Morris|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||Jim Thome|
|John Smoltz||Trevor Hoffman|
|Pedro Martinez||Tim Raines|
|Randy Johnson||Jeff Bagwell|
|Frank Thomas||Deacon White|
|Greg Maddux||Ron Santo|
|Tom Glavine||Barry Larkin|
|Todd Helton||Bert Blyleven|
|Manny Ramirez||Roberto Alomar|
|Eric Gagne||Andre Dawson|
|Barry Bonds||Jorge Posada|
|Roger Clemens||Jim Edmonds|
|Sammy Sosa||Gary Sheffield|
My initial goal was to make the Hall of Fame less inclusive. If my math is correct, and it might not be, I was able to remove 17 players from the Hall. However, I also added 9 players into the Hall of Fame that were not in it yet. That takes us from 329 members down to 321.
Who do you think belongs among the legends of the game?