5 Former Boston Red Sox Players Who Deserve a Hall of Fame Vote
Former Boston Players Who Deserve a Hall of Fame Vote
By my count, there are nine players on the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot that have spent time with the Boston Red Sox. Every year there are guys who get votes who have no right ever being in the Hall of Fame, but you can understand a guy giving them a vote to recognize a very good, but not great career. There are four guys this year that probably don’t deserve a vote, but are on the ballot.
J.T. Snow played just 38 games as a member of the Red Sox, but was widely considered the greatest defensive first baseman of his time. His offense is what keeps him from garnishing any real consideration for the Hall, but his six Gold Glove awards show off his fantastic career.
There are two relievers who spent a short time with the Red Sox. Todd Jones played just part of one season in the Red Sox bullpen and is best remembered for his time as a closer with the Detroit Tigers. He was never a dominant closer, but he is one of just 25 guys in MLB history to record 300 or more saves in a career. The other short time reliever for the Red Sox is Eric Gagne. Gagne was as good as any closer in history during his prime, but his prime hardly lasted two years.
The final former member of the Red Sox who did not make my top five list is an old Boston favorite. Mike Timlin was an incredible mid to late inning weapon for both the 2004 and 2007 World Series championship teams, and was a perfect fit for the blue collared fan base of the Red Sox.
5) Lee Smith
Lee Smith spent parts of three seasons with the Boston Red Sox, and retired as the MLB record holder for career saves with 478, and only Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera have passed him. The closest active pitcher to Smith is Joe Nathan, 137 saves back. Smith last pitched in 1997, and received the sixth most votes on the 2013 ballot that saw no new Hall of Famers voted in. He received just under 50 percent of the votes, and 75 percent is needed to be voted in. He likely will never make it in, but he will stay close and worthy of keeping an eye on when the voting results are released on Wednesday.
4) Hideo Nomo
Hideo Nomo does not have the typical career of a Hall of Famer, nor does he have the numbers, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve some votes. Nomo threw two career no-hitters, one with the Boston Red Sox, and one as a Los Angeles Dodger, which happened to be the first ever thrown at Coors Field. He does have a career ERA over 4.50, but it is his impact on the game that should earn him some votes. There would be no Yu Darvish, no Ichiro, no bidding battle over Masahiro Tanaka without Nomo. Granted, the first Japanese born and raised player to play in MLB was Masanori Murakami back in 1964, it was Nomo who paved the way for today’s generation of Japanese ballplayers in America.
3) Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling’s career is storied. He has the bloody sock in 2004. He teamed with Randy Johnson to win the 2001 World Series, and he famously hid his face under a towel whenever Mitch Williams took to the mound in the ninth inning. He has over 200 wins, and an ERA under 3.50. He was never considered the best pitcher in baseball, but he was considered one of the best over his entire 20 year career. Schilling is very much the newest Jack Morris. Sabermetric guys will forever argue he doesn’t belong in the Hall, but old school voters will argue for him, which will likely land him in limbo for the entirety of his time on the ballot.
2) Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens was one of the greatest pitchers of his time, he is also one of the most scrutinized. He has never admitted to using steroids or other PEDs, despite many reports to the contrary. He will not make the Hall of Fame anytime soon because of his reported ties to PEDs, but his numbers are Hall of Fame worthy. He won over 350 games, struck out more than 4,500 and is one of the most dominant right handers of all-time, but he is also one of the most hated pitchers by Boston Red Sox fans after leaving the Red Sox and pitching for two division rivals, including the New York Yankees.
1) Jeff Bagwell
Ok, so Jeff Bagwell never played at the big league level for the Boston Red Sox, and in fact was part of the most lopsided trades in history. A trade that saw the Red Sox lose the deal, but he was a member of the organization, making him eligible for my list. Bagwell came one home run shy of 450 and drove in more than 1,500 runs, and even swiped over 200 bags. Bagwell has never been linked to PEDs, but because of the generation he played in, he has not yet received enough votes to make the Hall of Fame.