Friday, January 9, 2004
Vote: Which bubble player belongs in?
We know Pete Rose had Hall of Fame numbers.
But what about some of today's current major leaguers? ESPN's Tim Kurkjian selected 10 active players who are on the "Hall of Fame bubble."
Take a look at the credentials for each player and then vote for the one you think is most worthy of Hall of Fame status.
10. Juan Gonzalez
Hall of Fame case: 429 home runs, 1,387 RBI, .296 career average, two MVP Awards, 34 years old.
9. Edgar Martinez
Hall of Fame case: career .315 average is awfully high for someone with 297 home runs. Two batting titles. Being a DH won't help his case, another 200 RBI (1,198 career) would help.
8. Manny Ramirez
Hall of Fame case: .317 career average, 347 home runs, 1,140 RBI. Still just 31.
7. Mariano Rivera
Hall of Fame case: Cooperstown hasn't been kind to electing relievers, but Rivera has been the best reliever in postseason history (7-1, 30 saves, 0.75 ERA). No closer has delivered in as many big games as him. He's has 283 career saves; 350 seems achievable.
6. Fred McGriff
Hall of Fame case: Needs nine home runs for 500, which, for him, is a must for the Hall. He is hurt by his lack of identity with one team, but his career numbers are very similar to those of Willie Stargell.
5. Tom Glavine
Hall of Fame case: 49 victories short of 300, which is attainable at age 37. Add two Cy Young Awards, 32 postseason starts and no trips to the disabled list, and he's on the doorstep.
4. Frank Thomas
Hall of Fame case: It's impossible to look past his first eight seasons, which were Jimmy Foxx-esque. Even with a few down years, he has 418 home runs, he's a lifetime .310 hitter and he's 205 RBIs away from Mike Schmidt and George Brett. And he won two MVP Awards.
3. Barry Larkin
Hall of Fame case: His defense, durability as a young player, 377 steals, .295 career average and nine .300 seasons, 2,240 hits and he's done more than most Hall of Fame shortstops. Also won an MVP Award.
2. Jeff Bagwell
Hall of Fame case: 419 home runs, 1,421 RBI (170 RBIs from the top 25 all time). He's four stolen bases away from joining Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players with a .300 career average, 400 homers and 200 steals. One MVP Award.
1. Craig Biggio
Hall of Fame case: 210 home runs, 2,461 hits, 1,503 runs, 389 stolen bases, 517 doubles and four Gold Gloves at second base might have him in the Hall already.