Hall Of Fame Debate: Will ‘The 500 Home Run Club’ Ever Guarantee Enshrinement Into Cooperstown Again?
For a good stretch of baseball’s grand history, ‘The 500 Home Runs Club’ was full of elite and immortal players that defined the role of run producer and slugger. Sure, some of the players were quite a bit more than that, but all of them were responsible for driving in a tremendous amount of runs via the long ball.
Then, the steroid era hit. And pretty soon, new members of the once-elite club were springing up all over the place. And quite often. The one-time uber-elite group was getting cloudy and crowded. All of a sudden, ‘The 500 HR Club’ began to look a little different. And being in the club did not hold the same level of esteem as it once did.
Today, with the game ‘cleaned up’, can that perception change? Will the ‘500 Home Runs Club’ once again define offensive greatness?
There are only three eligible members of the ‘500 HR Club’ that have not been inducted into Cooperstown. And they have all been linked to steroids – Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro. We also have two future possible electees that have been linked to steroids and climbed past 500 home runs – Gary Sheffield and Manny Ramirez. I am purposely keeping Alex Rodriguez’s name out of the conversation as he is still considered to be ‘active’.
But, after that, are we in the clear?
Frank Thomas’ 2014 Hall of Fame election certainly helps. And the future election of Ken Griffey, Jr. adds some serious weight to the ‘Club’ again. And while I may not be his biggest supporter, Jim Thome’s 600+ home runs is certainly going to add some gusto to the club as well when he gets electecd into the Hall of Fame.
3-Time MVP, Albert Pujols is on his way. Adam Dunn is going to get there. World Series MVP, David Ortiz has a solid chance too.
So, my question tonight is this – Can the ‘500 Home Runs Club’ once again be what it once was???