On Sunday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will induct 6 more players to their fraternity. Anyone that follows baseball knows that getting into the Hall of Fame is a great honor. It could be argued that it the hardest Hall of Fame to get into of all the major sports. However, that argument is for another day. There are two players Alan Trammell and Jack Morris that were elected by the Modern Era Baseball Committee. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected four other players including Vlad Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Chipper Jones, and Jim Thome. Let’s take a brief look at their careers and who has a chance to get elected next year.
Here is a great article that gives reasoning why each of these inductees should be in the Hall of Fame. I was able to see all of these players at some point of their careers and I wanted to share a few reasons that stick in my mind as to why they are deserving inductees. Starting with Alan Trammell, he was the type of player that was more than capable but was never flashy. He was just one of those guys that always seemed to get the job done. Trammell made it to the Majors at the age of 19, so clearly he had something special. One statistic that I recently read about him puts him in elite company. It is this: he was the first player to ever hit at least .340, 28 homers, 100 rbi while playing more than half of his games at SS. It has only been done one other time and that was by A-Rod. Jack Morris was a teammate of Alan Trammell and was also a modern era selection. In looking at Morris’s raw statistics, many would not think he is worthy of the Hall of Fame. Morris really made his case with postseason performances. He won 2 games for the Tigers in 1984 in winning the World Series. He also won 2 games for the Twins in winning the 1991 World Series. Morris also quite possibly won the most famous game in World Series history, pitching a 10 inning shutout.
The next 4 guys earned over 75% of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Chipper Jones is one of the best 3rd basemen to ever play the game. He played a huge role for the Braves during their awesome streak of playoff appearances. He was able to compile massive numbers in the process and was a no doubt first ballot selection. Vlad Guerrero made it in on his 2nd try. His numbers are great but many argue they are not great enough. He retired earlier than most great players do, so his numbers were not so large. I think it is pretty simple with Vladdy, when you watched him you knew he was special and a certain Hall of Famer. Jim Thome was also a first ballot player. He is more typical of the modern day players with plenty of homers, walks, and strikeouts. Thome ended up with massive numbers and even though he was basically a DH the numbers are just too massive to overlook. Trevor Hoffman was able to get into the Hall of Fame on the strength of one of the better change-ups in the history of the game. He was able to compile over 600 saves. Look at the consistency there! You would have to average 40 saves for 15 straight seasons to get there. That is an awesome number that is certainly worthy of the Hall of Fame.
In my opinion, all of these players are more than deserving of the recognition they are receiving this weekend. I personally was able to see all of them play and some of them are fixtures in some of my great baseball memories. Who will get inducted next year? Mariano Rivera will be a no doubt selection, but it will get cloudy after that. Andy Pettitte has a shot as does the late Roy Halladay. Before I get ahead of myself thinking of next year, I want to enjoy this year’s celebration of all-time greats!