The Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is one of the great days in the baseball year. It’s a day that we get to celebrate the contributions of the greats of the game. Yesterday, the Hall of Fame welcomed two more greats into it’s shrine – Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice.
I am always fascinated by the new inductee’s speeches. I love how they talk about the start of their careers, who their influences were, and their general love of the game. That being said, I think it’s not too early to take a look at who might be giving induction speeches next year.
Of course, there are many candidates that are eligible for enshrinement. However, there are only four in my mind that will receive serious consideration.
Here are the top four eligible players for next year for 2010…
Roberto Alomar – 17 Seasons, .300 Avg., 2,724 Hits, 210 HR’s, 474 SB’s, .371 OBP, 12 All-Star Games, 10 Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers.
2010 Hall of Famer – Yes. I say Alomar gets in and in opinion, it’s a no brainer. He was the premier 2nd baseman of his era (much better overall player than Jeff Kent) anda guy who could beat you with his bat, speed, and glove.
Unfortunately, a lot of people will remember Alomar for his ugly spitting incident with umpire John Hirschbeck while Alomar was on the Baltimore Orioles. That should not be the case. Alomar was a phenominal player, who will no doubt find his way into Cooperstown.
Barry Larkin – 19 Seasons, .295 Avg., 198 HR’s, 960 RBI, 2,340 Hits, 379 SB’s, .371 OBP, 12 All-Star Games, thee Gold Gloves, nine Silver Sluggers, and the 1995 National League MVP.
2010 Hall of Famer – No. I don’t think Larkin will make it on his first try. While his numbers for a shortstop garner Hall of Fame consideration, I just never thought of Barry Larkin as a Hall of Fame player.
If you were to ask me about Barry Larkin, I would remember him for being hurt all the time. I don’t remember him for winning the 1995 NL MVP award when he hit .319 with 15 HR’s, 66 RBI, and stole 51 SB’s.
Larkin, in my mindis pretty much on par with Alan Trammell.
Edgar Martinez – 18 Seasons, .318 Avg., 309 HR’s, 1,261 RBI, 2,247 Hits, .418 OBP, seven All-Star Games, and five Silver Sluggers.
2010 Hall of Famer – No. Martinez is a really interesting case. If one of the criteria used in judging a HOF players is how much did he dominate a certain era – then Martinez should be in.
Martinez was the best right-handed hitter in the game from 1992 – 2001. He won two batting titles in which he hit .343 in 1992 and .356 in 1995, he had one top five finish in the MVP voting, and his .418 OBP ranks 22nd all-time.
However, I have no idea how the writers will consider Martinez. I think he has two things going against him.
- He was a DH for the majority of his career. My guess is the baseball writers will give DH’s as much love as they do closers. That is not a good thing for Martinez.
- Unfortunately, Martinez played in the steroid era. 2010 and 2011 will tell us a lot about how the writers will consider players who played in this era. I am going to say, unless you were the best of the best – like a Greg Maddux or a Ken Griffey Jr. – you are not getting in. At least on the first try.
Fred McGriff – 19 Seasons, .284 Avg., 493 HR’s, 1,550 RBI, 2,490 Hits, .377 OBP, five All-Star Games, and three Silver Sluggers.
2010 Hall of Famer – No. If there was a Hall of Very Solid, then McGriff would get in. McGriff would have a better case if he just hit seven more HR’s throughout his career.
McGriff’s 493 HR’s rank 26th all-time, but did you know that he never had more than 107 RBI in a season? Seems odd for a guy who hit .284 for his career and consistently hit 30 HR’s every season.
So next year, I think only Roberto Alomar gets in for the first-time eligible players. I think that Andre Dawson, who got 67% of the vote this year will get in also in 2010.
That is the one thing that irks me about the Hall of Fame in all sports. This whole “he got in on his 10th or 12th try” thing is comical to me. EITHER YOU ARE OR AREN’T A HALL OF FAMER!
What makes Jim Rice more qualified in 2009 than in 2000??? What might make Bert Blyleven (I hope he gets in so we can stop hearing him complain) a Hall of Famer in 2011 than in 2002? What changed about his stats that made him more appealing to voters 15 years after the fact?
Five years after you retire – you get one shot and that’s it. Make the process so five to ten people can get in every year and call it a day.