Looking Ahead: The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

Looking Ahead:  The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

With the Hall of Fame still on my mind, I started thinking about what the Class of 2011 may look like.

Of the guys that missed the cut this year, I think that it is pretty safe to assume that Bert Blyleven and Robert0 Alomar will gain entry in 2011.  Besides those two, I don’t see anyone else that has been on the ballot prior picking up enough steam to grab 75% of the votes.

But, what about the guys on the ballot for the first time? 

Well, here is that list: 

2011: Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, John Olerud, Kevin Brown, Larry Walker, Juan Gonzalez, Tino Martinez, B.J. Surhoff, Marquis Grissom, John Franco, Bret Boone, Al Leiter, Benito Santiago, Carlos Baerga, Raul Mondesi, Bobby Higginson, Wilson Alvarez, Rey Sanchez, Charles Johnson, Jose Offerman, Ugueth Urbina, Ismael Valdez, Dan Wilson, Paul Quantrill, Cal Eldred, Kirk Rueter, Steve Reed

The list includes All-stars, MVPs, and World Series champions!!!  But once you start to look at the numbers, there are only 2 guys with a real shot at entry into Cooperstown; and for one of them, it may take a few years…

Those two guys are Jeff Bagwell & Rafael Palmeiro.

Lets start with Bagwell.  He’s a likable guy, and his numbers are solid.  A 15-year career that can be compared to the best first baemen from his era, Bagwell has a ROY and MVP award in his pocket.  He is also a 4-time All-star and winner of 3 Silver Slugger Trophies and 1 Gold Glove.  And while Bagwell hit close to .300 during the duration of his career, his 449 home runs and 2,314 hits leaves him well short of a few major milestones that usually guarantee enshrinement.

That takes us to Rafael Palmeiro.  He has all of the personal achievements.  Heck, he is 1 of just a small handful of players to reach both the 500 Home Runs plateau and 3,000 hits landmark.  But Raffy was never considered as the game’s best at any point during his playing days.  Sure, he was an All-star, and he won a few Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards, but Rafael was never elevated to elite status by winning MVP awards.  And then there is the whole steroid issue – it will loom over Rafael Palmeiro in the same manner that it has with Mark McGwire.  And that does not bode well for his chances; especially on his first ballot.

If I were voting, 3 players would get my vote – Blyleven, Alomar, and Palmeiro.  And while I like Jeff Bagwell, and Barry Larkin for that matter, I just need a few more years to think about how they rank among the best to have ever played the game…

13 responses to “Looking Ahead: The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2011

  1. Palmeiro is a first ballot HOFer looking at numbers only. In a lot of ways he is comparable to Eddie Murray who never won an MVP but finishes second twice. The steroids will keep him out though. I have a feeling eventually a number of the steroids users will make it in through the vets committee.

    I agree with you it will be Alomar and finally Bert being inducted next year.

  2. Bagwell, maybe gets in, but not on the first ballot. Palmeiro will not get into the Hall of Fame, ever. Just my opinion.

  3. Blyleven better get in this time! Alomar and Larkin should’ve gotten in last year and should get in this time. I’d vote for Palmeiro too. I don’t care that he used steroids when almost everyone was on steroids at the time, and he was definitely one of the best. Bagwell just falls short.

    Oh, and Paul Quantrill is a sure thing as a first ballot Hall of Famer!

  4. I’m with DW. If you go in front of a congressional hearing and lie and get caught, you probably are not hall worthy. Maybe in twelve years from now.

    But, I hope Bert finally gets in.

  5. Just realized I forgot about Tim Raines – his election is overdue…

  6. Anthony O'Neill

    I’d rather see Larry Walker get in. 5x All-Star, 7 Gold Gloves, 1997 NL MVP, lifetime BA of .313, 5 out 6 seasons he had an average of .338 or higher. In 1999 he hit .379 with 37 hr’s and was 10th? in MVP voting? WTF? You can argue all you want about him playing in the thinner air in Colorado and it was easier to hit hr’s, blah blah blah. You can’t penalize a player for where he plays. He still hit the HR’s regardless. Same thing for Blyleven, it’s not his fault the teams he played for sucked and he didn’t get 300 wins. Neither did Fergie Jenkins. There is a much stronger case for Walker than Palmeiro and the rest of the Steroid gang.

    • Anthony- You present a very strong case for Walker. And while his career totals are very solid, he has missed out of all of the major milestones that typically guarantee enshrinement at Cooperstoen – namely 3000 hits and 500 homers. And while it is not his fault that he played in the same era as Tony Gwynn, it may be that fact alone that never gave him the chance to be known as the best hitter in baseball. Thanks again for your great counterpoints.

  7. Anthony O'Neill

    No problem. I kind of sentimental about it since I met him at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2009. He is a great guy, and a great hitter, and a great Canadian. I just want to see another Expo in the Hall Of Fame. Hopefully Alomar will go in as a Blue Jay.

  8. The 2011 HOF doesnt look pretty.

  9. Larkin, Alomar, Blyleven, Edgar, McGwire, Trammell, Raines, Bags, Brown, and Walker

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s