The MLB Hall of Fame Inducts a Stellar Class

The MLB Hall of Fame inductions over recent years have been at times sparse. There has also been controversy due to some baseball players suspected of or proven to have used steroids. Happily, this year featured a robust crop of great players. But, of course, there is always some controversy.

jack_morris

At the top of the list is...

...former Atlanta Braves star, Chipper Jones. One of the best third basemen to ever play, Jones was a no-brainer and received votes from over 97% of voters. Jones is the third all-time in-home runs for a third baseman, second in RBIs and first in runs. How did 3% not vote for him? Perhaps some petty personal grievance. Jones had the best overall career of any current inductee.

A Force to be Reckoned With

Vlad Guerrero was a devastating force in his peak. In his 2001 MVP season, Vlad impaled opposing pitchers to the tune of a .337 average, a .391 OBP 126 RBI, 124 runs and even chipped in 15 steals.

This was only one of several dominant campaigns, as Guerrero defied convention, hacking away at any pitch that passed in the general vicinity of the strike zone.

The most controversial choice

Lending his name to much controversy was Jack Morris. New school stat heads hate to give pitchers too much credit for winning because wins are so dependent on the rest of the team…

But all Morris did was power through innings and win games. In both the regular and postseason. Maybe he deserves some credit. He led all pitchers in innings pitched and wins for the entire 1980s. He led all American League pitchers in strikeouts. How bad could he have been?

The Hindsight is 20/20 Award Goes to

jim_thome

Indians star, Jim Thome, would surely receive this award. At the time of his retirement, only a few years ago, there was some talk about his deservingness for the hall. Most concluded that his 600+ home runs made him a lock.

However, as we have gotten smarter about analyzing players, it has become clear just how good Thome was. He is 7th all-time in walks and that boosts his career OBP to .402. Everyone has finally come around to realizing that a walk is as good as my hit. My little league coach figured it out 30 years ago! This understanding solidifies Thome as a truly great hitter.

Fun Fact: The Indian's logo, 'Chief Wahoo,' will not appear on Thome's plaque. The team is moving away from the logo, in order to be more sensitive to Native Americans.

Rounding Out the List

Trevor Hoffman; arguably the greatest closer of all time. Hoffman is second in career saves to only Mariano Rivera, in spite of having played for a generally poor San Diego Padres Team. And Alan Trammell, the Tigers shortstop. He did everything well: defense, average, speed and a little bit of power.

Which future hall of famers will lead their teams to glory this year?

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