The Top 20 MLB players snubbed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Top 20 Hall of Fame Snubs
The debate over who is worthy of getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame has always been a very heated topic this time of year. Now with no one from the 2013 class with enough votes to get in, it brings about a larger question - who are the biggest snubs ever by the clueless Hall of Fame voters? There have been so many great players in MLB over the years that did not get voted in, which makes it hard to tell what exactly is in the minds of the Baseball Writers' Association of America when they vote one player more worthy than another.
The whole situation with the steroid era players has added a curve to the conversation, but every year there is that player every fan, writer and media member believes should be in. To put together a list of the Top 20 Biggest Snubs of All-Time is a daunting task, not knowing what exactly the members use as a measuring stick. This list does have players that have been banned by baseball, it also has some steroid era guys on it, but it is a list made for those players that should be in because they are some of the greatest players ever.
The list only takes into account what the players did on the diamond. This list does not take into account what they may have used to get better, or if they have been banned by baseball; it is the 20 players that should be in the Hall of Fame. Enjoy, agree or disagree and debate - The Top 20 players snubbed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
20 - Tommy John
Tommy John has never had anything come easy to him in his 26-year career, so why would getting into the Hall of Fame be any different? Tommy John was denied the easy route into the Hall of Fame in 2009 after being on the ballot for so long and not getting the 75% he needed to get voted in; now his only chance is if in the next 15 years the National Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee votes him in. If not for his amazing career, that includes the seventh most wins by a left-handed pitcher, or all the adversity he had to face, then his revolutionary surgery in 1974 that changed the game forever should get him in.
Every fan of baseball has heard of a pitcher having Tommy John surgery, most recently the Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg. What’s more impressive than how the surgery has changed the game is the fact that John was the guinea pig to this revolutionary procedure. John didn’t know if he would ever pitch again, but he did and he pitched better than ever. John won 164 games after his surgery; he also had three 20 win seasons after he had his arm repaired.
John played for seven teams in his 26 seasons and was a fantastic sinkerball pitcher who had great command and was able to get out of many jams with double-plays because of his spot-on control. He played in four All-Star games and was the 1976 MLB Comeback Player of the Year. Here is hoping the man who had one of the greatest comebacks ever has one more in him and the Veterans Committee does the right thing by voting him in, for all he did as a player, and for all he did for baseball by taking the chance on a surgery no one had ever heard of, essentially helping all those pitchers after him.
19 - Fred McGriff
Fred McGriff is low on this list but he could easily be at the top because he had a fantastic 19-year career playing for seven different teams. McGriff had 30 homeruns in 10 seasons, seven of them in a row, being one of two players to hit at least 30 homeruns with five or more teams and not be inducted into the Hall of Fame. McGriff is still eligible, and with any luck will eventually get in, but in 2013 his votes dropped 3.2% from where he was in 2012, when he received 23.9%, his highest total percentage in the four years he has been on the ballot. McGriff’s career statistics have Hall of Fame written all over them: .284 batting average, 493 homeruns, 2,490 hits and 1,550 RBI.
He also has one of the coolest nicknames in all of sports, even though he did not like it at first, the “Crime Dog” was seven homers short of the very exclusive 500 Club and only 510 hits from the 3000 hit club. Those are two of the most impressive clubs to be a part of in all of MLB and McGriff was at the most, two-years away from getting into both of them. “Crime Dog” also won a World Series ring, was on five All-Star teams, won three Silver Slugger Awards and was the 1994 All-Star MVP.
McGriff still has a chance and with the players that are coming to the ballot in the next few years, his chance to get in should get better and better because it won’t be long until MLB takes a hit if they continue to have no one elected into the Hall of Fame. McGriff has all the stats to be in, he was a great first-baseman who hit for power and average. So there is no need for the dog to get mad just yet, he should be on his way soon to the beautiful town in New York.
18 - Jeff Bagwell
Jeff Bagwell should soon be in the Hall of Fame, but he was again denied in his third year on the ballot, getting only 59.6% of the votes. This was his third time on the ballot and in each year he has seen his votes increase. Bagwell played his entire 15 years in MLB for the Houston Astros and will always be remembered as one of the team’s all-time greatest, as is evident with the team retiring his #5. During Bagwell’s 15-year career, he had a .297BA, hit 449 homeruns while driving in 1,529. Bagwell started his time in Houston with a bang, being named the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year.
Even though the 1994 season was a strike-shortened season, Bagwell hit a ridiculous 39 homeruns, drove in 116 and also hit for average, batting .368 in only 400 at-bats. In addition to being named Rookie of the Year, Bagwell won the NL MVP in 1994 and has a very impressive resume. Bagwell made the All-Star team four-times, won a Gold Glove Award and was a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
Bagwell’s career was cut short because of nagging injuries, but he should be able to battle his way through the nonsense of the steroid-era and make his trek to Cooperstown within the next few years, the problem is, he should have already made it.
He is one of the many examples on this list where the voters have dropped the ball. Bagwell had a very unique open batting stance, style and approach at the plate. While hitting, Bagwell had a wide-open stance then would step back before swinging at pitches. Soon his unique hitting style will be forever be bronzed in the Hall of Fame.
17 - Dwight Evans
Dwight Evans is no longer eligible to get into the Hall of Fame as he did not receive the minimum 5% of votes in 1999, but that does not mean he should not have gotten in. Evans, at the start of his 20-year career, was noticed mostly for his great defensive play in the outfield. Evans played all but one of his years in MLB for the Boston Red Sox.
As he got older, his bat packed more of a punch; he had his best season in the strike-shortened 1981 season. In 1981 Evans had his best all-around year, hitting .296 with 71 RBI; he also lead the league in total bases, OPS (.937), walks (85), and his 22 homeruns were tied with three other players. He also ranked second in most of the other batting statistics in 1981. Evans was a three-time All-Star and won the Silver Slugger Award twice.
Evans was one of the best outfielders of his time; he was an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner. Those who vote on the Hall of Fame inductees can argue that Evans was a late bloomer, but he picked up the pace and played 20-years, four of which he was a Top 10 candidate for the AL MVP.
In 1999, his last year on the ballot, Evans was on the ballot with four of the game’s greatest players and being on the ballot with them forever knocked him out of being voted into the Hall of Fame. Evans’ 385 homeruns ranks 10th all-time by a righty in the American League; he also had 2,446 hits and a lifetime batting average of .272.
If Evans played in a different decade, he would be in Cooperstown. He may not be in their Hall of Fame, but he is remembered in the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame, which he says is as special of an honor as any in baseball being with all the great players that have played for the Red Sox; only one player ever played more games in a Red Sox uniform and that man was the greatest Red Sox ever- Carl Yastrzemski.
Playing with a league full of great players and being one of the best should benefit a player, not hurt his ability to get into the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, that is not what happened to Evans, who may have started slowly but ended a very long, successful career playing the best baseball in the league. Evans deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, maybe he wasn’t a sure-fire first ballot guy, but the fact he is off the ballot already is unfortunate because he wasn’t just good, he was great and great players deserve the honor to be forever remembered in the Hall of Fame.
16 - Graig Nettles
Nettles was one of the best defensive third basemen of all time, which makes up for his less than par batting average. Even though he may not have had the best batting average, he did contribute in many ways offensively. Nettles set an AL record for career home runs by a third baseman. Nettles enjoyed his best season in 1977 when he won the Gold Glove Award and had 37 home runs and 107 RBI, leading the Yankees to the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Nettles was on seven All-Star teams, won three World Series rings and won the ALCS MVP in 1981. He snagged two Gold Glove Awards, but could have easily had more with how well he held down the hot corner. Nettles was also the Yankees team captain from 1982-1984. Nettles, like so many players that are a part of Yankee teams, got overshadowed by guys that he may have been as good as, but did not get as much notoriety. Either way, he should be in the Hall of Fame.
15 - Roger Maris
Roger Maris is most known for his 61 homeruns, the most ever in one season before the steroid guys came and crushed his one season record. Maris’ defensive ability may have been overshadowed by the 61 homeruns, but he was a great outfielder where he did win a Gold Glove. Maris was a seven-time All-Star, and part of three World Series teams, two with the New York Yankees and one with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won two AL Most Valuable Player awards in his 12-year career.
The argument about Maris and the fact that he is not in the Hall of Fame comes down to the fact that many believe he did not do enough in his whole career to merit the accomplishment. The problem with that thought, as it may carry some weight, is that he was the forgotten man on a Yankees team full of so many stars.
Also Maris could not handle the pressure or spotlight in the Big Apple and many fans and members of the media had an opinion about the man he was. Most accounts about Maris were that he was just a quiet, humble man who shied away from the spotlight. Even when he and Mickey Mantle were chasing Babe Ruth’s record for the most homeruns in a season, his own hometown fans cheered against him.
People can argue until they are blue in the face that Maris does not belong in the Hall of Fame because he did not put together a long enough run atop MLB, but he did enough to be enshrined with his magical 61st homerun ball in Cooperstown.
14 - Dale Murphy
Dale Murphy is most recognized for his time with the Atlanta Braves, winning back-to-back NL MVP’s (1982, 1983) and is one of only three players to win the award multiple times and not be in the Hall of Fame. Murphy was the face of the Braves and many fans do not even know he played for two other teams during his 18-year career.
During his time in MLB, Murphy not only was an MVP, he also won four straight Silver Sluggers, five straight Gold Gloves and was a seven-time All-Star. Murphy’s #3 is retired by the Braves, where he played from 1976-1990. Even though Murphy was one of the first members of the 30-30 Club, (30 stolen basses and 30 homeruns) his late surge onto the MLB scene and his sharp decline hurt his chance to get into the Hall of Fame.
Just because he was not voted into the Hall of Fame does not mean he does not deserve the honor. Murphy was one of the best players in the 1980’s and was one of the best outfielders ever in the National League. Murphy was a great hitter as well as outfielder and has better statistics than some other players that have already gone to Cooperstown.
13 - Ron Guidry
Ron Guidry played his entire career under the bright lights in the Big Apple for the New York Yankees. "Louisiana Lightning", the name Yankee fans remember this crafty left-handed pitcher by, brought the fire when he pitched. He is another Yankee captain who should not be on this list of snubs and it is hard to figure out why he is.
Guidry was not only a great pitcher, he was the guy who started the trend of pitchers that excelled at fielding their position; which is evident in the fact he won five Gold Gloves. Guidry was 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA with a 1,778 strike-outs. He was part of two World Series teams in the Bronx; won the 1978 Cy Young, as well being selected to four All-Star games.
The year most Yankee fans remember Guidry for is 1978, when he had possibly the best single-season ever by a pitcher, going 25-3 with a 1.73ERA, with nine of those victories being shutouts. All that was fantastic for Yankee fans, but it was the 25th win that is the most famous and will always be remembered, maybe as much for Bucky Dent, as the game Guidry led the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Dent’s name will forever be the name that is etched in the painful nightmares for Red Sox fans, although it was Guidry who again carried the Yankees to a win and the American League East championship. Guidry’s #49 was retired by the Yankees in 2003 and hopefully again the Veteran’s Committee will pick up the pieces left behind for the original voting cast who did not vote Guidry into the Hall of Fame.
12 - Lou Whitaker
Lou Whitaker, better known as Sweet Lou, played his entire career as a second baseman for the Detroit Tigers. Whitaker’s name will always be linked with Alan Trammell as the game’s best double-play combination. In 1978, Whitaker won the American League Rookie of the Year Award, hitting .285 with 71 runs. Whitaker was an excellent second baseman but he could also hit, winning the Silver Slugger four-times in his 19-year career.
Whitaker’s best year personally was in 1983, when he hit 12 home runs and had a batting average of .320, driving in 72 runs. His best year for him professionally was 1984 when he and his partner in the middle, Trammell, led the Tigers to a World Series championship. Whitaker won three Gold Gloves but that number does no justice to how dominant he was at second base.
Even though Whitaker had numbers better than, or similar to, other second baseman in the Hall of Fame, he was never voted in. Being forever linked to Trammell, sometimes the two were looked at as one and Whitaker may not have been given as much credit as he deserved for being the great infielder he was. He is now officially off the ballot until 2015, as he did not get the 5% needed in 2001.
Hopefully the Veterans Committee will do the right thing and rectify the mistake made by the Hall of Fame voters. Whitaker, at one time had the most homeruns ever by a second baseman and left baseball with 244 long-balls and 2,369 hits; there isn’t much more the guy could do to prove worthy to be in the Hall of Fame. Looking at all the mistakes the Hall of Fame voters make, and who is in and who is not, the only consistency the voters have shown is they are inconsistent with who they vote in and who they leave out. Whitaker had all the numbers and was one of the games’ best second baseman and should be forever enshrined in Cooperstown New York.
11 - Mike Piazza
When you get hitting tips at 12-years-old from Ted Williams, and he tells you that you are a special player, everyone around you knows that you are on your way. Mike Piazza was well on his way to Cooperstown and should have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he came up short getting only 57.8% of the 75% needed to get in on his first year on the ballot. Piazza changed the perception of the catching position forever, from being the highest paid catcher ever, to showing baseball that a catcher could carry a lineup with his bat and still be able to hold his own behind the plate.
Piazza added power to every lineup he was in and will be remembered as one the best hitting catchers of All-Time. During his 16-year career, Piazza hit 427 homeruns, but he also hit for average ending his career with a .308BA. Piazza also had 1,335 RBI while playing for five different teams. In 1993, Piazza’s first full season in the majors, he was an instant star for the Los Angeles Dodgers; that year, Piazza won the Rookie of the Year and was also selected to his first of 12 All-Star Games.
He didn’t waste any time showing off his offensive dominance in 1993, hitting .318, slugging 35 home runs and driving in 112 RBI. Piazza’s defense and catching ability were often over looked and sometimes even called out, but it was because his offense was so overwhelming and not what baseball was used to from a catcher. In his time in baseball he was a 10-time Silver Slugger winner and the 1996 All-Star Game MVP.
The main reason Piazza wasn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer is because he was lumped in with the rest of the steroid era players on the ballot in 2013. Although he was never actually caught using PED’s, he, like every player who played during that time has question marks about what he may or may not have used. Piazza, who may have started his career for the Dodgers, would like to go into the Hall of Fame, if elected, as a member of the New York Mets.
He is remembered by most for his eight years in New York and still, to this day, shows his loyalty to the team by participating in functions for the team. It is unfortunate that he is lumped with the others, but he may have used some form of PED. Even if he comes out in his soon to be released book and says he did in fact use, Piazza changed the catching position forever. Piazza should have got in on his first-ballot and it is hard to say if he ever will because of the time when he played. The problem is, and will be for many years to come for the first-ballot players, they will all be considered to have done something wrong because of when they played the game. Piazza should be in the Hall of Fame. To not have the greatest hitting catcher of All-Time in is wrong and hopefully will be fixed in the years to come when the voters figure out a way to handle this time period and the players that are coming up to be voted on.
10 - Jack Morris
Jack Morris is getting close to being enshrined in Cooperstown; he received his highest total in 2013, getting 67.7%, less than 8% away from making it to the pitchers ultimate goal of being in the Hall of Fame. Morris did it all in his 18-year career; he threw a no-hitter, he was on four World Series teams, and was the MVP in the 1991 World Series. He also is a five-time All-Star. Morris was a big-game pitcher going 7-1 during the playoffs and completely dominated the 1980’s.
In the 80’s Morris was the most reliable pitcher of the decade; he had the most wins, strikeouts and shutouts of any pitcher. Morris also holds the MLB record for most starts on opening day. He was not just a good pitcher; he was one of the great ones. Morris has accomplished everything a pitcher can accomplish, but he has one more goal as a player and is getting closer to achieving it. With a few more votes, Morris will be on his way to New York in the summer of 2014.
9 - Alan Trammell
Alan Trammell will always be a Detroit Tigers legend and it is time that he is a Tiger legend in the Hall of Fame. Once again, in 2013 he did not receive enough votes to get in, but received 33.6%, so he got enough to stay on the ballot. Trammell and Lou Whitaker are names that go together like peanut butter and jelly for fans of the Tigers as the two were one of the all-time best double-play combinations in the game.
Trammell won four Gold Gloves as the shortstop of the Tigers, the one and only team he played for in his 22 seasons in MLB. Trammell wasn’t just a great shortstop; he was also a very good hitter. Trammell had a lifetime batting average of .285 and collected 2,365 hits.
One of the greatest achievements in Trammell’s career was bringing a World Series Trophy back to Mo-Town in 1984, as well as, being the World Series MVP. In 2001, Trammell was rated as the ninth best shortstop of all time in "The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract," ranking him higher than 14 Hall of Fame shortstops.
Trammel hit over .300 seven times in his career and has also won three Silver Slugger Awards. Trammell will be forever remembered in Detroit as a good shortstop; it is about time he gets the notoriety he deserves and is remembered with a big ceremony in Cooperstown, New York, as one of the great combination hitting-fielding shortstops, securing his place in the Hall of Fame.
8 - Tim Raines
Tim Raines is climbing the ladder to Cooperstown as every year he has been eligible, he has gotten closer and closer to getting to the ultimate goal of being forever enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In 2013 he received his highest voting percentage getting 52.2%; it seems he should be off this list soon and on his way to be forever remembered.
Raines is a seven-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion and also won the batting title and a Silver Slugger in 1986, as well as being picked as the 1987 All-Star Game MVP, while playing most of his career for the Montreal Expos. Raines was a huge fan favorite during his two-stints with the Expos from 1979-1990 and 2001, for his hard-core approach on the bases, to his constant hustle in the outfield, leaping and making plays most players couldn’t in the outfield. Raines had a career batting average of .294, had 2,605 hits and 808 stolen bases.
Raines, who played for seven teams during his 23-year career, is known mostly for his aggressiveness on the basses and how well he could find a way to steal a base on any pitcher. In his rookie season, Raines stole 71 basses, including 27 straight without being caught, he also hit for average, .304.
Raines is one of the good guys and is well on his way to the Hall of Fame, but it should not be taking this long for “Rock” to get to Cooperstown; he is just another example of how messed up the system is, if there is one, in getting into the Hall of Fame. If he keeps his climb, he should be in the Hall of Fame next season, if he is not, there is truly more wrong with the voting than most think.
7 - Roger Clemens
Next up, the man that may never admit to using steroids, Roger Clemens. The difference between Clemens and Barry Bonds is that Clemens seems to have used PED’s to help him come back from injury and repair faster, maybe even to keep himself in the game as long as possible.
Clemens’ biggest issue may not be his link to this era; it may be his pure arrogance and stubbornness to admit the truth. Clemens has the numbers and has had a really good career, one that he still is holding on to. Clemens had a very good 24-year career, amassing a 354-184 record with 4,672 strikeouts and a 3.12ERA.
Clemens is an 11-time All-Star, seven-time Cy Young winner and a two-time World Series champion. The fact that Clemens has won seven Cy Young’s, would normally have any player carried to Cooperstown, unless that player has the words steroid and PED following every story about him.
Clemens was even named to the MLB All-Century Team. It is just sad that players who probably would have had great careers like Clemens instead leave the baseball world just wondering what could have been. Again, even with all he did, the PED’s or whatever he used “The Rocket” deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
6 - Barry Bonds
Get the envelopes ready, because this selection may get some hate mail, even though Barry Bonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds used PED’s, he may have every excuse about why and how, or acting like he didn’t know, but the man’s numbers are good enough to get him in.
Bonds played from 1986 to 2007 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds had his first chance to get into the Hall of Fame this year, but didn’t get anywhere near enough votes to get in. Was that because of his play on the field, or the fact that he is the face of the steroid era? There is no doubt that PED’s helped add years onto Bonds’ career and helped his play, but his numbers are out of this world and it is hard to believe that no matter if it were coca butter or steroids he was rubbing on his body, Bonds would have had great numbers.
He has so many awards and has done so much on the field it crushes the hearts of MLB’s purest to even think of his face in Cooperstown. Bonds' records may be tainted, but they are amazing, he is a 14-time All-Star, an eight-time Gold Glove winner, 12-time Sliver Slugger, seven-time NL MVP, let that award sink in; Bonds won the National League MVP seven-times, as well as crushing the all-time homeruns by a player hitting .762, with 73HR in one season.
Bonds is also a member of the 30-30 and 40-40 Club. His statistics are amazing, but what would they be without any help; unfortunately no one will ever know because Bonds destroyed that. He would have probably been a great baseball player and there is a chance he would have accomplished most of these things. The problem and why Bonds will never get into the Hall of Fame is because he stole that from every fan of the game. Even though he did not give fans and baseball a chance to see who he could have really been, he still deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
5 - Don Mattingly
Don Mattingly is one man that truly deserves to be and is not in the Hall of Fame as he not only stood for all that’s good about baseball; he also had a fantastic 13-year career with the New York Yankees. Donnie Baseball, one of Mattingly’s nicknames, was with the Yankees for so many years and it is truly sad that not only is he not in the Hall of Fame, but he retired just as the Yankees became the most dominate team in baseball, building a dynasty that has lasted over a decade.
Mattingly made the playoffs only one time, his last season with the team, but should have made it at least one more as the he led the Yankees to the best record in baseball before the 1994 season was cut short by a players-strike. Mattingly, oddly is the second member of the Yankees on the list and the second player that was also the teams’ captain not in the Hall of Fame.
Mattingly has a Hall of Fame resume and it would be nice to hear the voters explain why he is not in already. Mattingly is a six-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, and three-time Silver Slugger winner. He led the league in RBI’s and was the 1985 American League MVP; he also won the 1984 Batting Title. Along with his awards, he would not have become the Yankees team captain if he didn’t have some great qualities, both on and off the field.
If in fact the voters took into account a person’s character, Mattingly would seem to fit the bill for who they would want in the Hall of Fame. On top of all of his great awards, he was an amazing first-baseman and not one person has ever come out and said a bad thing about the guy. Mattingly has all the check marks the Hall of Fame seems to want, so why isn’t he in? Well he is on this list and could easily be number one, Mattingly should be in and it’s sad he isn’t.
4 - Craig Biggio
Craig Biggio did not get enough votes to get into the Hall of Fame in 2013, but he was very close to being the only player elected in 2013 with 338 votes having 68.2% of the 75% needed to be elected. It was Biggio’s first time on the ballot and he will undoubtedly be voted in, but for now, he makes the list of snubs. In a year that MLB had so much to be ashamed of, somehow getting a very deserving Biggio in would have been the right move, because he deserves it and it would not have hurt for some positive PR for the league.
Although Biggio shouldn’t have gotten in just to make baseball voters and the league look good, he should have gotten in because he had a good enough career to get in. Biggio played his entire 20-year career with the Houston Astros, who have retired his number seven. He ranks 21st all-time with 3,060 career hits and is the ninth player in the 3,000 hit club to get all his hits with the same team.
Biggio is a seven-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner, and five-time Silver Slugger winner. Biggio came up as a catcher and actually made the All-Star team as a catcher and as a second baseman. Biggio was moved from catcher to second, which is an odd switch, because of his speed and the wear and tear the team thought catching would do to his body.
Biggio, who isn’t a really big guy and maybe not the prototypical catcher, made the transition to second easily and excelled at the position, a funny quote about his size came from Yogi Berra when asked about Biggio’s size as a catcher. Berra said, “Short catchers are better, because they don't have to stand up as far.” Biggio has the numbers and should not be on this list, he should be on his way to Cooperstown.
3 - Thurman Munson
Thurman Munson, one of the greatest catchers ever, was not only the New York Yankees first team captain since Lou Gehrig; he was considered the heart and soul of the team during his nine full years in the majors. The Yankees were the only team Munson ever played for and in 1970, his first full season with the team, he won the 1970 American League Rookie of the Year Award. No one will ever know how many more awards or World Series he would have led the Yankees to because of his tragic death at the age of 32. Munson died from injuries he sustained when the aircraft he was piloting crashed. Munson’s locker is still untouched in the Yankees locker room and was even moved to the new Yankee Stadium.
Even though his career was ended so sadly, he accomplished so much with the Yankees. Munson was a seven-time All-Star; won two World Series rings and three Gold Gloves. The Yankees retired his number 15 and he is remembered in a place that is as big an honor as the Hall of Fame and that is being enshrined in the famous Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. Munson did so much in such a short amount of time and was just peaking when he died, so how much more he would have done, unfortunately no one will ever know.
Munson also did a lot behind the scenes for the Yankees; he held together a team that had a lot of great players with very different personalities. Munson was the man in charge of controlling the Bronx Zoo and for just being able to handle that group of nuts, he should win an award. Munson may be considered in years to come by the Veterans Committee, but as of now, a man that should be in the Hall of Fame is not.
2 - "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Joe Jackson was also banned from MLB and faces the same problem Pete Rose does in the fact he will never have a chance to be voted on because of the ban. Jackson and Rose may both be banned from MLB, but the situations are completely different. Rose has admitted to his wrong doing, but Jackson, until his death firmly stood to his proclamation that he was innocent. Jackson was accused in the Chicago “Black Sox” scandal of throwing the 1919 World Series and in 1920 he was banned from baseball.
There have been many movies and books written on the Chicago White Sox 1919 World Series and a lot of investigation into it as well, likewise if Jackson was really part of it. Many believe he was not; even so, he should still be in the Hall of Fame. During Jackson’s 12-year career, he played for three teams and was one of the greatest outfielders in the game. Jackson played mostly left field and still holds the third-highest career batting average in major league history.
In 1911, Jackson’s first full season in the majors, he hit .408, which is the sixth-highest single-season total in the modern era of baseball. The great Babe Ruth said he molded his hitting technique after Jackson. Jackson, even though his career was ended by the scandal, still had 1,772 hits and had a .356BA. Jackson also holds the Cleveland Indians and White Sox franchise records for both triples in a season and career batting average.
In 1999, he ranked number 35 on ‘The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the MLB All-Century Team. Jackson may never get into the Hall of Fame, but fans of the game know he deserves to be, as is evident by voting Jackson the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. Jackson’s stats give no justice to how good he was, as he was unable to leave the game when he wanted to.
All anyone can do is speculate as to how much more he would have padded his stats had he not be taken advantage of by his teammates and all those involved in the fixed World Series. No one will ever know if he actually did take part in throwing the series, but if baseball is a game of numbers, it would be hard to prove that he did anything wrong with the numbers he put up in that 1919 World Series. Jackson had 12 hits and a .375 BA, which were better than any player on either team, committed no errors and threw out a runner at the plate; that doesn’t look like a guy trying to lose. Jackson would and should be in the Hall of Fame.
1 - Pete Rose
The fact that Pete Rose is not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame is completely ridiculous. Rose did do many things wrong, but if getting into the Hall of Fame is about what a player does while he is playing or coaching, than "Charlie Hustle" deserves to be in.
Rose, a switch hitter had 4,256 hits, which still makes him the MLB all-time hits leader. He played in more games in his MLB career than any other player. Rose played for three teams in his career that lasted from 1963-1986 as a player, then in 1986 as a player-manager with the Cincinnati Reds. He won three World Series rings, as well as being a World Series MVP, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, and the NL Rookie of the Year Award, made 18 All-Star appearances, and won the Silver Slugger Award. Rose ended his career with a .303 batting average, 106HR and a 1,314 RBI. If that is not enough, he did it while playing five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B). Rose also managed from 1984 to 1989.
Bart Giamatti, who replaced Peter UeberrothIn as MLB Commissioner in February 1989, went on a head-hunting mission to get Rose out of baseball forever, even after UeberrothIn had dropped the investigation of Rose prior to his leaving office. Although Rose bet on baseball and even went as far as betting on his own team, how Giamatti went after him and held onto the grudge against Rose to his death is a little over the top.
Rose did agree to permanent ineligibility from baseball amidst the accusations and he should be banned from baseball, but what happened next is why Rose is the top man who deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. In 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the "permanently ineligible" list from induction, if Rose had committed murder off the field or some other horrendous crime, he would be eligible for the Hall of Fame. That is not to say that the moral police in baseball would have let him in, but he would at least have had a chance.
As the rules stand now, Rose will never get his chance to be in Cooperstown. The fact one of the greatest players ever will never have a chance to have the honor he surely deserves for all he did as a player and for the game, makes what he did as bad as what MLB continues to do to him. There is always the chance that the rule will be overturned, but the chances are slim-to-none. This is truly unfortunate because betting on baseball did not get Rose all those hits or awards or the three records he still holds.