I don’t mean to be a dick, but it’s Greg Maddux, not Maddox.
Anyway, I tried grouping these guys into similar types.
There are some pretty obvious certainties:
I can’t think of a good active comparison. I know nobody seems to rate Glavine as a certain choice, but he is, really. Going into 2006 he was 262-171, with two Cy Young Awards and a World Series MVP. It would be unprecedented for a pitcher with his qualifications to be excluded. He’s as great a pitcher as Bob Feller and damn near as great as Bob Gibson.
The homers will get them in, irrespective of anything else. And I’m fine with that.
A reasonably good argument can be made that Ivan Rodriguez is the greatest catcher to ever play Major League Baseball. He is without question in the top ten. He’s a Hall of Famer any day that ends with the letter Y.
Piazza, IMHO, has clearly slipped behind Pudge, but he’s still in, and I’ve no doubt about it. He is certainly the best HITTING catcher ever.
I know Alomar just retired so technically he doesn’t belong in this discussion, but he’s a good match for Biggio. Alomar was a bigger star and he led the Blue Jays to two World Championships, and they just kind of LOOKED different, but they were very similar players in many respects. I think both will end up in the Hall of Fame eventually.
Kent and Boone are a different sort, power hitters at the second base position. I don’t think either will make it.
If they died today it would be tough for A-Rod and Jeter, but assuming they play a little longer, they’re guaranteed.
These five guys may not make it 500 homers. Any one of them who does is elected; any one who doesn’t may have to wait awhile. This would be especially unfortunate in the case of Thomas, who for awhile was the absolute #1 hitter in baseball. Thome and Bagwell deserve to go too. McGriff is very marginal. Gonzalez is hard to rate.
Sheffield will be an interesting case; he has been a grat hitter for many years but his career has been so transient it doesn’t have a well defined shape. He is still young enough to reach big numbers, like 500 taters.
Ramirez was once considered an airhead; I guess that’s kind of over. If he stays healthy he will be remembered as one of the greatest hitters ever.
Both Smoltz and Schilling have unimpressive W/L records for Hall of Famers, but both have been REALLY effective; Schilling has a career 131+ ERA, Smoltz 125+, both of which are Hall-type numbers. They also have the rings and glories needed for Hall of Famers. But injuries and such have kept them from pitching quite as many innings as most Hall of Fame starters. Odds are against them but they wouldn’t be the worst pitchers ever elected.
Mussina and Brown have similar resumes but lack the highlights. Mussina, however, has an extraordinarily good W-L record - 211-119 going into this year. No pitcher with that many wins and such a high winning percentage has been denied. If he can come back and have some more good years I think he’s a lock.
David Wells is famous and has been good a long time but isn’t really a great pitcher.
Kevin Brown has been even more effective than Mussina by some measures, but at his age I don’t think he can add enough to his resume.
Walker’s career numbers are warped by Coors Field and he’s had a very short career for a Hall of Famer, because of injuries. Edmonds is a truly great player but the injury big slowed him down too. I don’t think either will make it, but you never know.
Not like anyone else. An insanely underrated player; got on base his whole career and was a tremendous defensive player. Not really a Hall of Famer though.
Not like anyone else. I don’t think people realize how short his career has been, but let me throw an example at you: Tom Henke. Why is Rivera such a lock for the Hall of Fame but Tom Henke wasn’t?
Jesus, why would you put Rivera in before GOOSE GOSSAGE? Rivera has been awesome - in about the same number of innings that Roy Halladay has pitcher since he got back from A ball in 2001. Rivera, to my mind, just hasn’t pitched long enough. But he’s still going strong so who knows?
Too early to tell: