50 Biggest Hall of Fame Snubs
50 Biggest Hall of Fame Snubs
There is no greater honor for an athlete than being elected into his or her sport’s hall of fame. Each year sportswriters elect a lucky group of former players, coaches, and executives to be given the highest honor in their sports. But sometimes some of the most deserving candidates, for some reason or another, are left out. These unlucky individuals are referred to as hall of fame snubs.
Electing candidates into a sport’s hall of fame is no exact science. Different people have different credentials for what qualifies a player for the honor. Some people feel certain positions shouldn’t be considered for the hall of fame because they don’t have enough of an impact on the game. Many writers take personal feelings about players into consideration. This has hurt several strong candidates. For whatever the reason, each sport has a number of players who deserve to be inducted into the hall of fame but have been excluded by the voters.
This slideshow will look the 50 biggest hall of fame snubs. The four major American sports were the one’s included in this list. This list is of players who are eligible for the hall of fame and have no extenuation circumstances such as using performance enhancing drugs. Therefore, players such as Pete Rose and most of the steroid era are ineligible for this list.
50) Kevin Lowe, Defenseman, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, 1979-1998, Hockey Hall of Fame
Between 1983 and 1990, the Edmonton Oilers won five Stanley Cups. There’s no question that they were the team of the decade. And most of the key members of that team are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. However, there is one glaring omission, Kevin Lowe. Lowe was a two way defenseman who was a member of each of those five Stanley Cup victories. While offensive stars such as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, and Glenn Anderson took credit for the dynasty, Lowe steadily sat in the background but was just as much a contributor as those up ice.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 7 (1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993) Stanley Cups: 6 (1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1994) King Clancy Award: 1990
49) Curtis Joseph, Goalie, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, 1989-2009, Hockey Hall of Fame
In professional sports winning it what is considered to be most important, particularly with goaltenders. No position values a win-loss record more than the goaltender. And with that in mind Curtis Joseph deserves induction into the hall of fame. While he doesn’t have a Stanley Cup ring, Cujo shined in the postseason. While he was a great goaltender in the regular season recording the fourth most wins of all-time, he had a third of a goal less goal against average in the postseason. And that’s where legends are made.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 2 (1994, 2000) Olympic Gold Medal: 2002 (Canada) King Clancy Award: 2000
48) Claude Provost, Defensemen, Montreal Canadians, 1955-1970, Hockey Hall of Fame
The two numbers considered most when considering hall of fame candidacy are all-star appearances and Stanley Cup titles. Claude Provost currently has the most all-star appearances and most Stanley Cup rings of anybody not in the hall of fame. That’s why his exclusion from the hall of fame is inexcusable. Maybe it’s because he was mainly a checker or because he was on a dynasty full of hall of famers and is therefore forgotten. Either way, he’s a glaring omission.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 11 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967) Stanley Cups: 9 (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969) Bill Masterson Trophy: 1968
47) Tommie Frazier, Quarterback, Nebraska, 1992-1995, College Football Hall of Fame
Despite being hampered by injuries, Tommie Frazier is one of only four quarterbacks since the 1950s to lead his team to back-to-back national championships. He did that for the University of Nebraska in 1994 and 1995. In three of his bowl games he won the MVP, the 1994 Orange Bowl, the 1995 Orange Bowl, and the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. In his final season he was a consensus All-American. He also won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. Probably the reason for Frazier’s exclusion is that injuries ended his career prematurely and he never made it to the NFL. To put his hall of fame candidacy in short, Frazier went 33-2, 2 national championships, 4 Big Eight titles, 6,266 yards, and 83 touchdowns.
Career Accomplishments: National Championship: 2 (1994, 1995) All-American: 1 (1995) Orange Bowl MVP: 2 (1994, 1995) Fiesta Bowl MVP: 1 (1996) Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award: 1 (1995) Quarterback of the Year: 1 (1995)
46) Paul Westphal, Guard, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, 1972-1984, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
In a 12-year career Paul Westphal’s best years came with the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns. He was a member of the 1973-74 Celtics that won the NBA title and was a key part of arguably the best game ever. On June 4, 1976 Westphal’s former team, the Celtics, played his new team the Suns. Late in double overtime of the triple overtime thriller Westphal, the future head coach, called a timeout he knew his team didn’t have. The technical foul meant that the Suns would get the ball at mid-court. Down by two the throw-in position enabled the Suns to hit a game tying shot sending the game into its third overtime. Westphal would end his career scoring 12,809 points and should be enshrined in the hall of fame.
Career Accomplishments: NBA All-Star: 5 (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981) NBA Championships: 1 (1973-74) First Team All-NBA: 3 (1976-77, 1978-79, 1979-80)
45) Spencer Haywood, Forward, Denver Rockets, Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks, New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Bullets, 1969-1983, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
After a short stay at Detroit University, Spencer Haywood was forced to the ABA because the NBA wouldn’t take the young star. In his only ABA season Haywood averaged 30 points and 20 rebounds on his way to the ABA MVP. After that the NBA couldn’t resist so Haywood switched leagues. In Seattle Haywood continued his stellar play averaging at least 20 points and 12 rebounds for his first four years. Haywood’s stats began to taper off after that but the legend had already been made. Haywood was and still is considered one of the best power forwards in NBA history.
Career Accomplishments: ABA All-Star: 1 (1970) First Team All-ABA: 1 (1969-1970) NBA All-Star: 4 (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975) First Team All-NBA: 2 (1971-72, 1972-73) NBA Championships: 1 (1979-80) ABA MVP: 1 (1969-70)
44) Charles Haley, Defensive End, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, 1986-1999, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Many people consider the legacy of a player how much they won. If that’s the case then no player has a greater legacy than Charles Haley. Haley won five Super Bowls in eight years playing for the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. One of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL, Haley was obsessed with winning which made him a leader in the locker room. It’s that leadership and success that qualifies him for enshrinement in Canton.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowls: 5 (1988, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995) First Team All-Pro: 2 (1990, 1994) Super Bowls: 5 (1988, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994)
43) L.C. Greenwood, Defensive End, Pittsburgh Steelers, 1969-1981, Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970’s are arguably the best team in the history of the NFL. They already have nine members of that team in the Pro Football Hall of Fame but they should have one more. One of the key members of the “Steel Curtain” Greenwood tallied five sacks in four Super Bowl victories. He was a finalist for induction six times but has yet to be chosen. Likely the only reason is they don’t want any more from that one team.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 6 (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979) First Team All-Pro: 2 (1974, 1975) Super Bowls: 4 (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979)
42) Brian Bosworth, Linebacker, Oklahoma, 1983-1986, College Football Hall of Fame
Brian Bosworth was the most self-promoting player in the history of football. He was always ready to make money off of himself. The man who called himself “The Boz” and had crazy haircuts and colors once even had his company sell t-shirts at a game he played in Denver that read “Ban the Boz”. While he was a flop in the NFL, remembered best for getting run over by Bo Jackson, in college he was a beast. He’s college football’s only two-time Butkus Award winner. Likely if it wasn’t for his self-promotion, he would’ve been inducted long ago. But the halls of fame are for what was done on the field and not off it. After all, O.J. Simpson is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Career Accomplishments: National Championships: 1 (1985) All-American: 2 (1985, 1986) Dick Butkus Award: 2 (1985, 1986)
41) Cedric Maxwell, Forward, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, 1977-1988, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
If you’re not one of two or three players, it’s tough to be well-known if you played on the Boston Celtics for many years. Because of the team he played on Cedric Maxwell, commonly known as “Cornbread”, was the most underrated player in the NBA. A great low post player, Maxwell won at the college level and at the professional level. And while they haven’t honored him in Springfield yet, they retired his number in Boston which may be a tougher honor to achieve.
Career Accomplishments: NBA Championships: 2 (1980-81, 1983-84) NBA Finals MVP: 1 (1980-81)
40) Derrick Thomas, Linebacker, Alabama, 1985-1988, College Football Hall of Fame
Derrick Thomas is the most glaring defensive exclusion for the college football hall of fame. The most feared pass-rusher in college football history, Thomas was in the backfield more than the quarterback. He holds the FBS record with 27 sacks in a single season. That year, 1988, he was the Butkus Award. Thomas would continue his defensive excellence in the NFL and would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Career Accomplishments: All-American: 1 (1988) Dick Butkus Award: 1 (1988)
39) Brian Propp, Left Wing, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins, Minnesota North Stars, Hartford Whalers, 1979-1994, Hockey Hall of Fame
Brian Propp is a player that fell victim to expectations. When Mastcard named the all Canadian Junior Hockey Team, Propp was placed on a list with Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Guy LeFleur, Denis Portvin, Bobby Orr, and Bernie Parent. With that came the expectations for him to be the best winger in the game. Despite not winning a Stanley Cup, Propp made five finals, scored over 1,000 NHL points, and scored over 90 points four times. If Propp is considered as he was instead of as he was expected to be, he’s a hall of famer.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 5 (1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990)
38) Ricky Watters, Running Back, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, 1992-2001, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Ricky Watters was one of the most consistently good rushers of all-time. He broke the 1,000 mark seven times in his ten year career. In five of those years he caught at least 50 passes. If stats and/or consistency were the only things considered for hall of fame candidacy, Watters would’ve been inducted years ago. But writers elect players to the hall of fame and the writers did not like Watters. Very cold toward the press, that’s what is keeping him out and may keep him out for years to come.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 5 (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996) Super Bowls: 1 (1994)
37) Andre Reed, Wide Receiver, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, 1985-2000, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Despite losing four straight Super Bowls, the Buffalo Bills were a very talented team in the early 1990’s. That talented Bills offense was based on quarterback Jim Kelly, running back Thurman Thomas, and wide receiver Andre Reed. Kelly and Thomas are already in the hall of fame and now it is Reed’s turn. The problem for Reed getting elected is that of the three, he would be considered the third in importance. And putting three members of an offense that never won a Super Bowl may be considered too much for some.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowls: 7 (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994)
36) Bob Dandridge, Forward, Milwaukee Bucks, Washington Bullets, 1969-1982, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Out of Norfolk State, Bob Dandridge was never given the credit he was due throughout his career. During his career in Milwaukee he was overshadowed by teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. In 1971 the three led the Bucks to the championship. While Abdul-Jabbar and Robertson got most of the credit, they wouldn’t have gotten that far without Dandridge. Later in his career, Dandridge led the Bullets to finals appearances in 1978 and 1979. A quick small forward, Dandridge averaged 18.5 points per game in his career and is known for having one of the best mid-range games in NBA history.
Career Accomplishments: NBA All-Star: 4 (1973, 1975, 1976, 1979) NBA Championships: 2 (1970-71, 1977-78)
35) Jerry Kramer, Offensive Guard, Green Bay Packers, 1958-1968, Pro Football Hall of Fame
In the 1960s the Green Bay Packers ran the “Packer Sweep” to great success. The play was based on the guard’s pulling and become the lead blocker and that was based on the abilities of Jerry Kramer. Kramer was considered the best blocker in the game and had one of the most famous blocks in NFL history when he helped Bart Starr score in the final seconds to win the “Ice Bowl”. It’s unknown why Kramer is not yet in the hall of fame but one thing is for sure, he deserves to be.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 3 (1962, 1963, 1967) First Team All-Pro: 5 (1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967) NFL Championships: 5 (1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967) Super Bowls: 2 (1966, 1967) NFL 1960’s All-Decade Team NFL 50th Anniversary Team
34) Tim Brown, Wide Receivers, Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1988-2004, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Tim Brown won the Heisman Trophy in 1987 and then continued that success in the NFL. A nine-time Pro Bowler, the Oakland Raider was often overshadowed by a man across the bay, Jerry Rice. But Brown put up his numbers as well. After being used primarily as a kick/punt returner, Brown came into his own as a receiver to rival any in the era. Hopefully it won’t take as long for Brown to reach Canton as it did to become a featured receiver in Oakland.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 1988, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001) NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team
33) Jeremy Roenick, Center, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, 1988-2009, Hockey Hall of Fame
Possibly the best American hockey player ever, Jeremy Roenick emerged as a young star cracking the 100 point mark three times as a Chicago Blackhawk. Known for his intensity on the ice, Roenick was a fan favorite in each of the five cities he played. With 1,200 career points he seems like a shoe-in for the Hockey Hall of Fame but over his 20 year career he never won a Stanley Cup or Olympic gold medal.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 9 (1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004)
32) Curt Schilling, Pitcher, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, 1988-2007, National Baseball Hall of Fame
The two statistics that usually secure hall of fame induction for starting pitchers are 300 wins or 3,000 strikeouts and Curt Schilling retired with 3,116 strikeouts. While Schilling was great during the regular season, he was an ace during the postseason. He finished his career 11 and 2 in postseason games. He won the NLCS MVP in 1993 and shared the World Series MVP in 2001 with Randy Johnson. In 2004 his bloody sock game against the New York Yankees is considered one of gutsiest performances in baseball history.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 6 (1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004) World Series: 3 (2001, 2004, 2007) NLCS MVP: 1 (1993) World Series MVP: 1 (2001)
31) Terrell Davis, Running Back, Denver Broncos, 1995-2001, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Football is a violent game where a player’s prime may come in just a limited amount of years. That’s the case with Terrell Davis. Davis played in four full seasons before injuries ended his career but those four seasons were legendary. As a rookie he rushed for 1,117 yards. Over the next two year he broke 1,500 yards before his best year in 1998 when he rushed for 2,008 yards and 21 touchdowns. In 1997 and 1998 he helped John Elway win the only two Super Bowls of his hall of fame career. Though his career stats are not as impressive, those four years should see him enshrined in Canton.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 3 (1996, 1997, 1998) NFL First Team All-Pro: 3 (1996, 1997, 1998) Super Bowls: 2 (1997, 1998) 1998 NFL MVP 1997 Super Bowl MVP
30) Tommy John, Pitcher, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, California Angels, Oakland Athletics, 1963-1989, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Today Tommy John is mostly remembered as the namesake of a surgery that allows pitchers to return from major surgery that once would have ended his career. What is usually not remembered is that John was one of the most durable pitchers in the game. In his 26-year career he put together 288 wins and 2,245 strikeouts. Three times after the surgery to fix an injury that earlier would’ve ended his career, he won at least 20 games. Unfortunately for John, he’s now on the veterans committee ballot which means he’ll have to wait for the Golden Era committee to elect him.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 4 (1968, 1978, 1979, 1980)
29) Jeff Bagwell, First Baseman, Houston Astros, 1991-2005, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Jeff Bagwell is arguably the greatest field player in the history of the Houston Astros. He is the team’s all-time home run and RBI leader. During the prime of his career, the unorthodox style hitter was one of the most feared in baseball. In his 15-year career he finished with 2,300 hits. What hurts Bagwell is that, despite no evidence or suspicion, he played during the steroid era which many voters would rather just forget.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 4 (1994, 1996, 1997, 1999) Gold Glove: 1 (1994) Silver Slugger: 3 (1994, 1997, 1999) MLB MVP: 1 (1994)
28) Mike Piazza, Catcher, Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, New York Mets, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, 1992-2007, National Baseball of Fame
Catchers are often most important behind the plate than in front of it. Mike Piazza was the greatest offensive catcher in Major League history. With 427 home runs and a lifetime .306 batting average, he was one of the league’s most feared hitters in the league throughout his career. The one issue with Piazza was he was rather easy to run on giving up the most stolen bases ten times. However, his offensive prowess allows us to overlook that.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 12 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005) Silver Slugger: 10 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
27) John Vanbiesbrouck, Goalie, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, 1981-2002, Hockey Hall of Fame
John Vanbiesbrouck may be a surprising inclusion on this list at first glance but he certainly deserves it. Despite being unlucky for much of his career, Vanbiesbrouck put together an impressive resume. His 374 wins rank him 13th all-time on the NHL wins list. If it wasn’t for losing the job to Mike Richter in New York or having some more help in Florida, Vanbiesbrouck could have a couple of Stanley Cups.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 3 (1994, 1996, 1997) Vezina Trophy: 1986
26) Phil Housley, Defenseman, Buffalo Sabres, Winnipeg Jets, St. Louis Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Toronto Maple Leafs, 1982-2003, Hockey of Hall of Fame
When it comes to defensemen, very few can claim the same scoring prowess as Phil Housley. A consistently solid defenseman, the Norris Trophy eluded him because he played in a golden era for the position with the likes of Ray Bourque, Chris Chelios, Brian Leetch, and Paul Coffey. The three reasons Housley is not current in the Hockey Hall of Fame is because of that lack of a Norris Trophy, he played most of his peak years in small markets, and he is known as the player who played the most games without winning a Stanley Cup ring. But based on individual merit, Housley deserves to be in Toronto.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 7 (1984, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000)
25) Gil Hodges, First Baseman, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, 1943-1963, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Sometimes staggering numbers aren’t what makes a hall of famer but consistency does. That’s the case with Gil Hodges. He never had numbers that jumped out at you but he was highly productive year after year. For eleven years in a row he hit at least 20 home runs and for seven straight years he knocked in triple digit RBIs. Along with solid fielding, Hodges could be trusted at the plate year in and year out. That type of consistency warrants induction into the hall of fame.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 8 (1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1957) World Series: 2 (1955, 1959) Gold Gloves: 3 (1957, 1958, 1959)
24) Ray Guy, Punter, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1973-1986, Pro Football Hall of Fame
One debate over the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been should special teams players be included. So far they haven’t but if they are there’s one guy at each position who should be the first inducted. At punter, it’s Ray Guy. The first punter drafted in the first round, punting was an art form for Guy. His ability for powerful, high, and accurate kicks changed that part of the game. No other punter has come close to Guy since and many doubt anyone will.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 7 (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980) First Team All-Pro: 6 (1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978) NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team NFL’s 1970’s All-Decade Team
23) Brian Mitchell, Kick Returner, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, 1990-2003, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Devin Hester made the kick return specialist popular in 2006. But before Hester, there was Brian Mitchell. During his career, Mitchell set several NFL records including kickoff return yards and punt return yards. At the time he set touchdown records too but those have all been broken by Hester. Still, because Mitchell was undoubtedly the best returner of all-time, he should have been inducted long ago.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowl: 1995 NFL All-Pro: 3 (1991, 1994, 1995) Super Bowls: 1991
22) Lee Smith, Pitcher, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles, California Angels, Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, 1980-1997, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Nobody can quite figure out how to put closers in the hall of fame. While they are very important to their teams and very few pitchers have the ability to succeed at the position, closers play less than any other position on a baseball team. But when it comes to closers, three rise above all others, Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Lee Smith. Smith, who retired in 1997 with 478 saves, held the record until Hoffman broke it in 2006. If the hall of fame ever opens its doors to closers, Smith will be the first one in.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 7 (1983, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995) Rolaids Relief Award: 3 (1991, 1992, 1994)
21) Howard Schnellenberger, Coach, Miami (FL), Louisville, Oklahoma, Florida Atlantic, 1979-2011, College Football Hall of Fame
There are two types of coaches in the college ranks. There are those who build programs and those who win with built programs. Howard Schnellenberger is a coach who builds programs from the ground up. After being offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, Schnellenberger began the monumental task of building a football program at the small University of Miami. Schnellenberger took a Miami program that had no success and within five years, made them national champions. Then he exited and took the job at another struggling program, the University of Louisville. There he took a team that had not had a winning season since 1978 and had only two winning seasons in 12 years. Before Schnellenberger took over, Louisville was considering dropping its football program to I-AA. After three years of hard work, Louisville went 24-9-1 in his next three seasons and went to two bowl games before he left. Schnellenberger’s final job came at Florida Atlantic. A small school in south Florida, Schnelleberger was hired to build the program from scratch. The veteran coach took the school’s first ever football team on the field in 2001. Since then, they’ve moved into FBS, have their own on-campus football stadium, and have been to bowl games. Over the past 35 years, Howard Schnellenberger has proven himself to be THE program builder and deserves a spot in the college football hall of fame.
Career Accomplishments: National Championship: 1 (1983) Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year: 1983 1981 Peach Bowl winner 1984 Orange Bowl winner 1991 Fiesta Bowl winner 1993 Liberty Bowl winner 2007 New Orleans Bowl winner 2008 Motor City Bowl winner
20) Steve Garvey, First Baseman, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres, 1969-1987, National Baseball Hall of Fame
With a big bat, good looks, and playing in Los Angeles, Steve Garvey was bound to get the attention. And when he did, he produced. Garvey accumulated 200 hits six times in seven years while playing with the Dodgers. The first of those years, 1974, he combined that with a .312 average, 31 home runs, and 111 RBIs. His flair for the dramatic came to its peak in game 4 of the 1984 NLCS. After the Chicago Cubs took the first two games at Wrigley Field and Garvey’s San Diego Padres took game three, the two teams took a 5-5 game into the ninth as the Cubs attempted to win their first postseason series in 1908. After Tony Gwynn singled off of Lee Smith, Garvey hit a two-run home run to send the series to a game five. It’s moments like that that made Garvey a star and should put him in the hall of fame.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 10 (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985) World Series: 1 (1981) Gold Gloves: 4 (1974, 1975, 1976, 1977) NL MVP: 1 (1974) NLCS MVP: 2 (1978, 1984)
19) Tony Oliva, Right Field, Minnesota Twins, 1962-1976, National Baseball Hall of Fame
For his first eight years in the Major Leagues, Tony Oliva was one of the best in the game. He had 200 hits twice and hit over .320 three times. He hit at least 20 home runs five times and had 100 RBI twice in an era where that didn’t happen much. His career effectively ended on June 29, 1971 when he collided with Joe Rudi of the Oakland Athletics. Oliva would have trouble with his knees for the remainder of his career. His Twins roommate and hall of famer Rod Carew said he could hear Oliva “moaning and groaning” through the night with the pain he felt in his knees. If it hadn’t been for the injuries Oliva would’ve already been in the hall of fame. But even with those first eight years, he deserves enshrinement.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 8 (1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971) Gold Gloves: 1 (1966) Batting Titles: 3 (1964, 1965, 1971)
18) Gary Anderson, Kicker, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, 1982-2004, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Kickers are not respected in most circles of football. Many players don’t even consider them football players. That is, until they need them. Somehow, after a member of the offense makes a mistake, the kicker all of the sudden matters. So why shouldn’t they be in the hall of fame. And if one kicker is to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it should be Gary Anderson. Anderson had an amazing career which included making over 90 percent of his kicks in three separate years. In 1998 he hit 35 of 35 field goals and 59 of 59 extra points. Unfortunately he is usually remembered for the missed field goal in the NFC championship game that year. It was his first miss in nearly two years. However, his stats make him the best kicker in NFL history and he should be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowls: 4 (1983, 1985, 1993, 1998) First-Team All-Pro: 2 (1985, 1998) NFL 1980’s All-Decade Team NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team
17) Bernard King, Forward, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Washington Bullets, 1997-1993, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Drafted by the Nets out of the University of Tennessee, Bernard King made a strong first impression averaging 24.2 points as a rookie. After dabbling in acting while playing out west, King returned to New York in 1982 to play for the Knicks and that’s where his career took off. In 1984-85, King dominated the league averaging 32.9 points a game. The Knicks cut King after he had reconstruction surgery on his knee. When he came back he wasn’t the same player. But for a brief period of time, he was one of the most dominant players in the NBA.
Career Accomplishments: NBA All-Star: 4 (1982, 1984, 1985, 1991) First Team All-NBA: 2 (1983-84, 1984-85)
16) Dale Murphy, First Baseman/Outfielder, Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Colorado Rockies, 1976-1993, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Hank Aaron left the Atlanta Braves in 1974. Two years later Ted Turner bought the team and shortly after the Braves were one of the most irrelevant teams in baseball. But while the 1980s were a tough decade in Atlanta, Braves had a superstar to watch in Dale Murphy. During his prime few players could match up to the powerful Murphy. Between 1980 and 1987 Murphy hit at least 30 home runs six times and recorded at least 100 RBI five times. He won two NL MVPs and won multiple Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. Most critics will point to his .265 lifetime average much of which was because of his decline late in his career. But despite the low average he recorded 398 home runs.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 7 (1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987) Gold Gloves: 5 (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986) Silver Sluggers: 4 (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985) NL MVP: 2 (1982, 1983)
15) Craig Biggio, Second Base, Houston Astros, 1998-2007, National Baseball Hall of Fame
His more than 3,000 hits should be enough to make Craig Biggio a hall of famer. Biggio began his career at catcher and struggled but after he was moved to second base, became one of the best players in the game. In his career, Biggio led the National League at least once in stolen bases, doubles, runs scored, and hold the Major League record for most times being hit by a pitch. Biggio probably will eventually be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame but in 2014 the list of candidates involves several first-ballot hall of famers. As for 2013, he was snubbed.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 7 (1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998) Gold Gloves: 4 (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997) Silver Slugger: 5 (1989, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998) 2007 Roberto Clemente Award
14) Bill Parcells, Coach, New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, 1983-2006, Pro Football Hall of Fame
Bill Parcells is widely considered to be one of the best coaches in NFL history despite not being in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The two-time NFL Coach of the Year won three conference championships and two Super Bowls. But probably the most impressive thing about Parcells is his coaching tree. Assistants learn from the head coach and their success reflects on him. Members of the Parcells coaching tree include Bill Belichick, Sean Payton, Tom Coughlin, and Tony Sparano. Belichick, Payton, and Coughlin have combined for six Super Bowl victories.
Career Accomplishments: Super Bowls: 2 (1986, 1990) AP NFL Coach of the Year: 2 (1986, 1994) Sporting News NFL Coach of the Year: 1 (1986) Pro Football Weekly NFL Coach of the Year: 2 (1994, 1996) Maxwell Football Club NFL Coach of the Year: 1 (1994) UPI NFL Coach of the Year: 2 (1986, 1994) NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team
13) Johnny Robinson, Safety, Dallas Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, 1960-1971, Pro Football Hall of Fame
A converted wide receiver, Johnny Robinson became one of the best safeties to ever play the game. Twice he led the league in interceptions making it a risk to throw near him. Playing in the new, less excepted AFL, Robinson helped the league to credibility winning three AFL championships and a Super Bowl. And Robinson’s success was his team’s success. When Robinson intercepted a pass, his team went 35-1-1. That’s hall of fame worthy.
Pro Bowl/AFC All-Star: 7 (1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1970) First Team/AFL All-Pro: 6 (1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970) AFL Championship: 3 (1962, 1966, 1969) Super Bowl: 1969 AFL All-Time Team
12) Jo Jo White, Guard, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Kansas City Kings, 1969-1981, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
Jo Jo White joined the Boston Celtics just after the team’s glorious Bill Russell era. With the help of White, the suffering last just one season before they started winning again. He joined hall of famers Dave Cowens and John Havlicek as the Celtics won championships in 1974 and 1976. In total the guard totaled 14,000 points and 4,000 assists to go along with two titles.
Career Accomplishments: NBA All-Star: 7 (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977) NBA Championships: 2 (1973-74, 1975-76)
11) Alan Trammel, Shortstop, Detroit Tigers, 1977-1996, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Along with Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel made up part of one of the most prolific double-play combinations in MLB history. One of the best shortstops of the 1980s Trammel was a star at the plate and in the field. Though he didn’t have much power, Trammel hit for at least .300 seven times including .343 in 1987. His .977 career fielding percentage as a shortstop is also a hall of fame worthy statistic. While many people will still remember Trammel as the manager of the 2003 Detroit Tigers who lost 119 games, he was a hall of fame player.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 6 (1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990) World Series: 1 (1984) Gold Gloves: 4 (1980, 1981, 1983, 1984) Silver Slugger: 3 (1987, 1988, 1990) 1984 World Series MVP
10) Dave Andreychuk, Left Wing, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning, 1982-2006, Hockey Hall of Fame
Some players deserve to be in the hall of fame because of a few overwhelming years. Other, like Dave Andreychuk, deserve it for being a consistently good player over such a long period of time. Andreychuk was that player for 24 years. His consistent play places him among the career leaders in games played and points scored. Over his long career Andreychuk excelled on the power play where he set the NHL record for most career power play goals. An in 2004, at the age of 40, Andreychuk became the oldest player to make a Stanley Cup appearance when he reached the milestone with the Tampa Bay Lightning. While Andreychuk never reached the 100 point mark, he did reach 99 points twice.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 2 (1990, 1994) Stanley Cups: 1 (1994)
9) Ken Anderson, Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals, 1971-1986, Pro Football Hall of Fame
While the west coast offense became popular under Bill Walsh in San Francisco, it started in Cincinnati with Ken Anderson. In four different years Anderson led the NFL in quarterback rating. In 1982 he set a league record with 70.6 completion percentage. In 16 years with the Bengals, Anderson completed 2,654 passes for 32,838 yards and 197 touchdowns.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowls: 4 (1975, 1976, 1981, 1982) First Team All-Pro: 1981 1981 NFL MVP
8) Eric Lindros, Center, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dallas Stars, 1992-2007, Hockey Hall of Fame
Dubbed “The Next One” early in his career, Lindros suffered by the height of his unreachable expectations. After winning the Hart Trophy in 1995, this Philadelphia Flyer racked up 115 points the next year. Another problem for Lindros is that he only played for 13 seasons due to concussion issues. But in those 13 seasons Lindros showed a player who deserves a plaque in Toronto.
Career Accomplishments: NHL All-Star: 6 (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) Olympic Gold Medal: 2002 (Canada) Hart Trophy: 1995 Lester B Pearson Award: 1995
7) Edgar Martinez, Designated Hitter, Seattle Mariners, 1987-2004, National Baseball Hall of Fame
In 18 years as a Seattle Mariner, Edgar Martinez hit .312 with 309 home runs and 1,261 RBI. In 2000 he had one of the best seasons in recent history batting .324 with 37 home runs and 145 RBI. And yet, he never won an MVP award. The same reason is why he has been snubbed for the hall of fame. Ever since the designated hitter rule was introduced into the American League, there’s been a debate about whether a designated hitter could be named MVP or elected into the hall of fame. Usually it’s not a problem as there haven’t been many worthy of enshrinement. But Martinez was one of the best hitters of his generation.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 7 (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003) Silver Slugger: 5 (1992, 1995, 1997, 2001. 2003) Batting Titles: 2 (1992, 1995)
6) Brendan Shanahan, Left Wing, New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Hartford Whalers, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, 1987-2009, Hockey Hall of Fame
Now referred to mostly as “Shanaban”, Brendan Shanahan is the head of discipline for the National Hockey League. But for 21 seasons the left winger ruled the ice as a team leader. According the Hockey News, Shanahan hold the NHL record for Gordie Howe hat tricks which consists of a goal, an assist, and a fight all in one game. This isn’t surprising considering that the fleeting skater was also 6 foot 3 and 220 pounds. In winning three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, Shanahan racked up 1,354 points.
Career Accomplishments: Stanley Cups: 3 (1997, 1998, 2002) Olympic Gold Medal: 2002 (Canada) NHL All-Star: 8 (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007) King Clancy Award: 1996
5) Minnie Minoso, Left Field, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Senators, 1949-1980, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Minnie Minoso is undoubtedly the longest snubbed player not yet elected in the hall of fame. Minoso played in five different decades being the first and last to do so. The Cuban-born player was both a star in the Negro Leagues and a star in the Major League’s when the signed with the White Sox in 1951. After being snubbed by the baseball writers, he was snubbed by the veterans committee who refuses to elect anyone. Along with Ron Santo who was elected in 2012, it’s now up to the Golden Era committee to right this wrong.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 7 (1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1960) Gold Gloves: 3 (1957, 1959, 1960)
4) Eric Dickerson, Running Back, SMU, 1979-1982, College Football Hall of Fame
In 1979 SMU head coach Ron Meyer recruited Craig James and Eric Dickerson. The two became to best backfield in college football nicknamed the “Pony Express”. In his four years at SMU, Dickerson led the nation twice in rushing, finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, and led SMU to back-to-back SWC titles. It was the most success at SMU since Doak Walker. He finished his collegiate career with 4,450 rushing yards and set 14 school records including career rushing yards, career rushing touchdowns, career 100-yard games, single-season rushing touchdowns, and single-season rushing yards. After college, Dickerson went on to set the NFL’s all-time rushing mark and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, induction into the College Football Hall of Fame still eludes him.
Career Accomplishments: All-American: 2 (1981, 1982)
3) Jack Morris, Pitcher, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, 1977-1994, National Baseball Hall of Fame
Jack Morris won 254 games and struck out 2,478 batters. He won 20 games three times. And he pitched the second greatest World Series game in history, only second to Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 series. In the deciding game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Morris battled John Smoltz who deserves to go into the hall of fame as well. Morris pitched 10 shutout innings as the Twins won the series in the bottom of that inning. Known for his split figure pitch, Morris was a fierce competitor and a long-time leader of the Detroit Tigers. Like many of the greats, he saved his best for the postseason. In 1984 Morris went 3-0 in the postseason with an ERA under two. Both of his wins in the World Series were complete games. In the 1991 he went 4-0 and had a 1.17 ERA in his two World Series starts. He was named the MVP of the series in 1991. The only downfall of Morris was his ERA in the regular season. Despite his stellar performances in the postseason, he never finished a season with an ERA under three. That may be the only thing keeping him out of Cooperstown.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star: 5 (1981, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991) World Series: 4 (1984, 1991, 1992, 1993) 1991 World Series MVP
2) Cris Carter, Wide Receiver, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, 1987-2002, Pro Football Hall of Fame
After a problem filled career in Philadelphia where Carter abused drugs and alcohol, he went to Minnesota and became a legend. In the 1990s Carter would be second in most receptions only to Jerry Rice and would set all the Vikings receiving records which still stand. When he retired he had 1,101 receptions for 13,899 yards and 130 touchdowns. When Buddy Ryan cut Carter in Philadelphia he quipped “all he does it catch touchdowns”. That remark would become a trademark for Carter. He became eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008 and was a finalist in 2008, 2009, and 2010 but has not yet been inducted.
Career Accomplishments: Pro Bowls: 8 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) First Team All-Pro: 2 (1994, 1999) NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team
1) Tim Raines, Left Field, Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins, 1979-2002, National Baseball Hall of Fame
The most controversial exclusion from the hall of fame was Ron Santo but now that he’s been inducted, it’s Tim Raines. Known by the nickname “Rock”, Raines was one of the most prolific base stealers in the game’s history. His base stealing percentage of 84.7 percent is the most among any player with at least 300 steals. What has hurt Raines is drugs and Ricky Henderson. Raines was known for his base stealing but was not as well-known due to the self-publicity of Henderson. Many don’t want Raines in the hall do to his use of cocaine. The famous story of Raines sliding head first into second as to not break the vial of cocaine in his back pocket has undoubtedly hurt his candidacy.
Career Accomplishments: MLB All-Star:7 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987) World Series: 2 (1996, 1998) Batting Titles: 1 (1986) Silver Slugger: 1 (1986)
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