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Links: Helton for Hall, trade Pineda?

7/1/2011

Todd Helton played his 2,000th career game Thursday night. 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. Of course, since World War II, only eight players have a lifetime average above .320: Williams, Tony Gwynn, Albert Pujols, Ichiro Suzuki, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, Stan Musial and Helton.

Anyway, does Helton have a chance for the Hall of Fame? Since 1901, he's 29th on the all-time batting average list among those with 5,000 plate appearances. Everybody ahead of him is in the Hall of Fame or will be (Pujols, Ichiro) with the exception of Riggs Stephenson (a mostly part-time outfielder in the '20 and '30s with the Cubs) and Babe Herman (also played in that era, but had a short career). But here's what it gets more interesting: Of the rest of the top 50, almost everyone is in or will get in (Vladimir Guerrero, Miguel Cabrera) except Ken Williams and Cecil Travis, both of whom had short careers (Travis' was interrupted by World War II, where he suffered a severe case of frostbite during the Battle of the Bulge).

It would be historically unprecedented for a player like Helton to not eventually make the Hall of Fame. That said, his case does present some unique variables: (A) there's the Coors Field effect (he's hit 62 points higher at home); and (B) much of his value -- like Don Mattingly's -- was wrapped into a six-year stretch.

OK, a few links to check out ...

Friday links