With the Baseball Hall of Fame vote coming up I’d like to touch on Jeff Bagwell’s chances of enshrinement.  Last year he took in just over 40% of the vote and this year he will likely garner more support, much like Barry Larkin has over the past few years.  The idea that writers didn’t vote for him because he might have taken steroids is crazy.

Here is my issues, he won the MVP (1994) and the Rookie of the Year (1991) awards before steroids became commonplace.  I’m going just from what I read in Canseco’s two books, which said that rampant use of steroids started in 1997.  Although he may have used and from what I have gathered in my readings there aren’t many players who didn’t use (including some of the players currently in the Hall of Fame), I still think his career speaks for itself.  He was a major component in some of the Astros teams that actually used to be a factor in the MLB playoffs.

Although he fails the two critical entrance requirements, under 500 home runs and under 3000 hits, he does have the ROY and MVP awards and a 2.89 MVP share number, which puts him just lower than Al Kaline and just higher than Ernie Banks.  When it’s all said and done 6 of the 10 most similar batters will be in the Hall of Fame including the likes of Chipper Jones, Vlad Guerrero, Todd Helton, Willie Stargell, and Orlando Cepeda.

Personally, I don’t think he should get in, but at least I can make arguments both ways.  Although he shouldered some bad Astros teams for years his stats just aren’t HOF material.  He’s real close though and in the end he may sway enough voters to his side, but I think he just falls short of entry.  For me it’s all about notoriety, stats, awards, and finally All Star appearances.  Noteriety (pass), stats (fail), awards (barely passes), and All Star appearances (fail with only 4).  He passes on the awards because of one Gold Glove and three Silver Sluggers, but only 4 AS appearances in 15 years? Not HOF material in my book.

It’s called the Hall of Fame for a reason, you get in because you were the best at what you did on the field over the course of his career and in my mind he wasn’t the best.  A word to the baseball writers of the world, if you aren’t going to vote him in, don’t blame it on steroid use, don’t vote him in because his body of work doesn’t call for it.

What is your take on his worthiness for the Hall of Fame?

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12 responses »

  1. the sewingmachineguy says:

    Vlad? I guess…
    Bags, yes.

    • chemgod says:

      Vlad is deceptive, he had a great early part of his career, 0.323/234/702 with 123 stolen bases in Montreal. People don’t realize that in his next 8 seasons he put up identical numbers. He’s a career .308 hitter with 449 homers and 2590 hits. He will be a 500 homer / 3000 hit guy (automatic entry in my mind). His number are much better than Bagwell’s in a similar time frame and he carried teams which Bagwell never did!

  2. jeff says:

    I think larkins getting in

    • jeff says:

      Probably Morris maybe???

      • chemgod says:

        His numbers are close to Dennis Martinez, Chuck Finley, Luis Tiant and Jamie Moyer. However also similar to Bob Gibson and Bob Feller. He did carry a few Tigers teams (pitching wise). Man it’s really close, a lot closer than Bagwell. I say give it to him, but he is as close to the fence as a player can get. I think he’s a Veteren’s Committee shoe in.

    • chemgod says:

      I agree! If Alomar makes it in, Larkin should too since I consider Larkin better. Plus he carried a Reds team for YEARS!

      • chuckneo says:

        I hope Larkin gets in this year.

        Good comment on Vlad – as amazing as it is, I believe he’s actually underrated.

        I’d vote Bagwell in, but I’m fine if they wait on him – which might happen because the next 3 or 4 ballots (particularly 2013) are STACKED

  3. smedindy says:

    Stats not HOF-worthy? Counting stats, feh. All-star games are rigged and are no measure of greatness at all. MVP voters don’t know shinola most of the time. He had extended greatness, and a combo of power and speed that belied his appearance. If Bagwell’s not a HOF player we should burn it to the ground. Though I’d like to crowbar about 15 or so people out anyway.

  4. Jay says:

    Bagwell ? Possible performing enhancing drugs ? I really think the living members of the hall should decide who makes the cut. I’m not sure how it all works but seeing as Ron Santo was denied .I feel none of the “steroid era” players even deserve consideration.There are quite a few players of yesteryear that have been passed over ,I dont find anyone worthy until those forgotten players are enshrined. Mickey Lolich is another prime example. Compare Lolich’s stats with hall of famer Jim Bunning ? The hall forgot these guys.Players that played for the love of the game.How real baseball used to be played.
    I’d love to hear Hank Aaron or Stan Musial’s thoughts on Santo versus Bagwell or any other steroid era players possible election. One more…..Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan…The primere backstop in all of baseball for a decade , might not have huge lifetime stats but remember Freehan was all star company for 11 of his 15 seasons on the field ……but not company for the hall of fame ? “The hall” has forgotten quite a few.

  5. Kory says:

    Bagwell was the best NL first-baseman of his generation. In my book, he’s in.

  6. twang says:

    what do you think of craig biggio?

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