In light of a couple of former Red Sox players falling short in last week’s Hall of Fame vote, let’s look at three who deserve to get in.
Count me as one of those old school baseball fans (I’m 40, for what it’s worth) who thinks that the Baseball Hall of Fame has been watered down over the last two decades. It used to be a place where only the very best of the best were enshrined. There were some “magic number” milestones that most of those players hit (3,000 hits, 500 home runs, 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts), and even the ones that didn’t hit those usually were very close and had something else that pushed them over the top.
With the analytics boom of the last twenty years, there have been a whole host of new statistics that aim to capture a player’s productivity beyond old-fashioned stats and the eyeball test. This has led, in my opinion, to a lot of players who more aptly belong in the Hall of Very Good being inducted into the Hall of Fame. We saw this just a week ago when Larry Walker, someone who no one ever thought was one of the greatest ever at his position, was finally enshrined in his tenth and final year on the ballot.
While I don’t like the direction the Hall has headed in, if these are the rules that we’re going to play by going forward when it comes to sending guys to Cooperstown, then we’ll play by these rules. I’ve been arguing for the last few years that if we’re going by the metrics that have gotten guys like Walker, Craig Biggio, Alan Trammell, and Harold Baines in the Hall of Fame, then we also need to let deserving players like Lou Whitaker, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, and Curt Schilling (as I recently wrote about) in as well.
Along those lines and still staying on the Hall of Fame kick from last week, it got me thinking about which other former Red Sox players who aren’t yet in Cooperstown deserve to be inducted. I’m staying away from the ridiculous suggestions that far too many fans have been making lately about Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, and Dustin Pedroia. I’m not including David Ortiz because he’s sure to get in once he’s eligible in 2022. I’m also leaving off Manny Ramirez because he’s a known PED user who was caught and suspended by MLB and guys like that (Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez) are going to have a hard time getting in, if they ever do.
So without further ado, here is my trio of former Red Sox who should be in Cooperstown…