August 3, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox former pitcherCurt Schilling
throws out a ceremonial first pitch prior to a game against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
1. Greg Maddux- I think Maddux is an obvious choice here. The man single-handedly dominated a hitter-friendly era with elite command and late darting movement. 355 career wins would likely get him into the hall alone, but if you add in the 3.16 ERA and over 5000 career innings he’s a clear first ballot Hall of Famer.
2. Craig Biggio- Craig Biggio, in my opinion, is another clear cut Hall of Famer. While the career slash line of (.281/.363/.433) doesn’t scream Hall of Famer, the 3,000 hits and the fact that he was the face of the Houston Astros for 20 years does. In addition, his slash line is brought down a bit by the extra years he stayed in baseball in order to reach the coveted 3,000 hit plateau.
3. Curt Schilling- I’ve never understood why people think Curt Schilling does not deserve a plaque in the Hall of Fame. Yes, the win total is a little low, but in his prime Curt Schilling was a strikeout machine and innings eater. He did struggle with injuries in his career, but it wasn’t like he was labeled as injury prone. Ultimately though, the man is the most clutch pitcher in post season history and he deserves to join his famous bloody sock in the hall of fame.
4. Edgar Martinez- Edgar Martinez is simply the 2nd most dominant designated hitter in major league history and has a Hall of Fame slash line of (.312/.418/.933). The man has a career OPS+ of 147, a number that is elite on it’s own. Besides, Martinez shouldn’t be punished for the fact that he was a designated hitter. The DH is a position in baseball and so there deserve to be DH’s in the Hall of Fame.
5. Frank Thomas- Simply one of the greatest hitters of his generation. 500 homers, a career batting average of .301, and an OPS of .974 speak for themselves. First ballot Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest people the game has ever seen.
6. Jeff Bagwell– Biggio’s partner in crime put up elite offensive levels without the help of any performance enhancing drugs. Everytime I see his 1994 season I can’t believe my eyes. The man had an OPS over 1.2.
I didn’t vote for Morris because he never was elite in any fashion beyond being an innings eater and his high win totals. I just can’t bring myself to vote for Bonds and Clemens. They tainted the game of baseball and they don’t deserve the greatest individual achievement in baseball. Mussina, while I believe he deserves it eventually, doesn’t deserve it yet.