All Star Break = Hall of Fame Debate

by Tim Barrett

Each year during the All Star break, my friends and I debate on which current players are future Hall of Famers. The criteria are simple – if a player’s career ended today, would he be inducted? It’s based on what he has done, not what he will do or where he will finish.

There was plenty of debate over Albert Pujols, as well as Chipper Jones & Roy Halladay, both voted in even though they don’t have typical HOF numbers. Most were in agreement that Halladay’s perfect game & no-hitter cinched the deal. Chipper doesn’t have the numbers until you compare them to the other 3B in the Hall of Fame.

After the debate, we all vow to try to see as many of these guys in person as possible. (Having the Nats & Os in our area makes it easier to see both NL & AL players)

So, let’s take a look at the players….

The “No Brainers”:

Alex Rodriguez – .302 AVG, 2,762 H, 626 HR, 1,883 RBI, 305 SB, 3 Times MVP, 14 All Stars
Steroid controversy is a blemish but he’s still hitting

Derek Jeter – .313 AVG, 3,004 H, 1996 ROY, 5 Gold Gloves, 12 All Stars
All time hits leader at SS and 5 times World Champion seals the deal

Mariano Rivera – 581 SV, 2.22 ERA, 1.003 WHIP, 12 All Stars
Do I have to say anything?

Ichiro – .328 AVG, 10 Straight years with 200+ H, 10 All Stars, 10 Gold Gloves
Anybody known by one name only has to be great (Jordan, Lebron, Tiger, Ronaldo – for my international peeps….)

Hall of Fame Inductees:

Jim Thome – .277 AVG, 595 HR, 1,643 RBI, 1,701 BB, 5 All Stars
DH hurts him but hard to argue with almost 600 HR

Chipper Jones – .304 AVG, 2,565 H, 444 HR, 1999 MVP, 7 All Stars
Best 3B in the game for a long time, clutch in the post season

Roy Halladay – 180 W, 327 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 1,852 K, 2 Cy Young Awards, 8 All Stars
Perfect game and then no-hitter – in the play-offs – in the same year – that’s straight cash, homey!

Albert Pujols – .329 AVG, 426 HR, 10 straight 30+ seasons, Never 100 K, 2001 ROY, 3 Time MVP, 9 All Stars
By far the most dominating hitter the last few years, single handedly ruined Brad Lidge’s career

Ivan Rodriguez – .297 AVG, 2,841 H, 311 HR, 127 SB, 46% CS (8 years 50+ %), 1999 MVP, 13 Gold Gloves, 14 All Stars
Threw out 60% of base stealers in 2001, best defensive catcher ever!

On the Bubble:

Vlad Guerrero – .318 AVG, 2,514 H, 443 HR, 179 SB, 2004 MVP, 9 All Stars
Most agree, he needs that magic 500

Omar Vizquel – .273 AVG, 2,831 H, 401 SB, 3 All Stars, 11 Gold Gloves
Defense wins championships but doesn’t get you into the Hall of Fame. Had 3 errors – for the entire 2000 season. All time leader in games played & double plays made at SS

Bobby Abreu – .295 AVG, 2,343 H, 279 HR, 385 SB, 2 All Stars, 1 Gold Glove
Needs 21 HR to join 300/300 club but still might not be enough

Johann Santana – 133 W, 3.10 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 1,877 K, 2 Cy Young Awards, 4 All Stars
For 3 years, the most dominate pitcher in baseball…injuries probably cost him the Hall

Not Quite Good Enough:

Todd Helton
Aramis Ramirez
Roy Oswalt
Miguel Tejada
Lance Berkman
Livan Hernandez

So what do you think? Anybody left off? Arguments for or against?


  1. SimonJ says:

    Which Ronaldo?????

  2. Paul Fanaroff says:

    What about Michael Young,Paul Konerko,Torii Hunter, Hideki Matsui and Tim Lincecum?

  3. BarryB says:

    Brazilian Ronaldo of course. He’s the only one known by one name.

  4. mark says:

    what about petite? very mussina like but great post season numbers. bubble boy for sure

  5. Rotoprofessor says:

    Paul – For me none of the first four have the numbers to make the Hall of Fame. As for Lincecum, it’s just way too early to tell. He certainly has gotten off to an amazing start, but he needs to do it over a longer period of time before we dub him a Hall of Famer.

    mark – Pettitte certainly is on the fence, but if I had a vote I do not think I would put him in. He just was never in that upper echelon of starting pitchers, something that I think should be a prerequisite for induction. For his Major League career he had a 3.88 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, is that really Hall of Fame worthy?

    I know the post season was fantastic, but if he didn’t pitch for the Yankees, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity. His regular season numbers need to put him in the discussion, and they just don’t for me.

    • Tim Barrett says:

      @Simon/Barry – I’m an old cat, so the Brazilian Ronaldo. (I was going to put Pele but that’s really showing my age…lol). But, I like Christian Ronaldo as well.

      @Paul – Lincecum was in a conversation but it’s too early to tell. No doubt that if he has marginal success for the rest of his career he could get in. But as of now, he falls short of Johan Santana. The others don’t have the numbers.

      @Mark: We only consider active players. But Pettite is definitely on the bubble. I think the steroid use keeps him out.

  6. Mike says:

    I think Manny Ramirez should be an inductee if not for the positive drug tests in recent seasons: 555HR, 1831RBI and a career.312 hitter ain’t too shabby.

  7. Matt says:

    Todd Helton not good enough? I know Coors is usually the culprit here but you do realize his road splits are .292/.392./.482 right? Those are better than career splits for many HOF’s and much better than most road splits. And…According to Elias, Helton is the first player since Ted Williams to be hitting above .320 for his career with at least 300 home runs and 1,200 RBIs at the time of his 2,000th game. Not enough hits you say? Well, he does have over 1200 walks and is the active leader in OBP and 10th all time. Oh yeah! Also 25th all time in doubles. Also multiple gold gloves and all-star games and fun stuff like that. Ok, that’s it.

    • Tim Barrett says:

      Helton was definitely highly debated. I think his problem is that he was overshadowed by the “Steroid” guys – Bonds, McGwire, Sosa.

      The Coors effect, lack of a championship, injuries and no real signature moment were the cons that left him off the list.

      • Matt says:

        I would think that playing in the same era as the “Steroid” guys, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, would actually move him up in rank as he has never seriously been in the Steroid conversation. Championships as a stat are more team based, like wins for a pitcher to a degree. Why is this still a penalty for Hall consideration? This is the criteria for the voting committee -“Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” I know expecting this to actually happen based upon past voting tendencies is pretty optimistic, but will a Rockie never get in? From all accounts, Todd is a helluva clubhouse guy and mentor. I don’t know what more the Hall could want.

  8. 762/73 says:

    Judging by what happened to McGwire, it isn’t looking good for a-rod. Barry Bonds is easily the best hitter most living fans have ever seen in person, and if he gets snubbed over steroids, it will be a crime if a-rod gets in.

  9. 762/73 says:

    Also, Larry walker is the test case for the Coors effect. If he takes a while to get in, it won’t bode well for Helton.

    • Matt says:

      Walker’s splits were way more pronounced than Helton’s while he was in Colorado(.461/.531/.879 home .286/.375/.519 in 1999 for Walker as an example), and all of his time was pre-humidor. Looking at both of their career lines, I would say Helton already has the statistical edge for the most part, excluding SB’s. I’ll never fully get the “Coors Field” argument to penalize players for playing where they are drafted/signed. By the way, 37 year old Helton is batting .312 on the road this year with half of his HR’s on the road and still plays an excellent defensive 1B. The hate has gone too far.

  10. Steve says:

    Johnny Damon has 2663 hits (92 this year). Two more years as DH and he gets 3,000. A couple of World Series rings including breaking the curse in 2004. Could his durability get him in?

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