Eric Davis – in a class of his own

Eric Davis is the only player in Major League Baseball history to hit 35 or more home runs and steal 50 or more bases. At the young age of 25 playing for the Cincinnati Reds, Davis hit 37 home runs and stole exactly 50 bases while hitting .293/.399/.593 and eclipsing the 100 runs scored and 100 runs batted in mark.

Davis would be voted an all-star and eventually win a gold glove and silver slugger award that same year.

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Craig Biggio – in a class of his own

Craig Biggio and Tris Speaker are the only two players in the history of Major League Baseball to steal 50 bases and hit 50 doubles in the same year. Tris Speaker did so in 1912 with a .383/.464/.567 line. 86 short years later Biggio joined the 50/50 mark in 1998 with a .325/.403/.503 line.

Biggio remains the only player to hit 50 doubles, steal 50 bases and hit 20 home runs in the same season. The only other player to reach 40 doubles, 50 stolen bases and 20 home runs is Hanley Ramirez who did so in 2007. Is Biggio a Hall of Famer?

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Babe Ruth – 170 Runs & 170 RBI’s

Babe Ruth remains the only player in baseball history to accumulate 170 runs scored and 170 runs batted in during the same season. In fact only one other player has eclipsed the 160/160 plateau, Lou Gehrig. In Ruth’s magical season, he would hit 59 home runs, 44 doubles, 16 triples and .378/.512/.846. Not too bad for a pitcher with a career 2.28 earned run average.

Chuck Klein – Best Season Ever?

In 1932, playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chuck Klein accomplished a feat that no man before him or since him as accomplished. Klein would record 30+ home runs, 20+ stolen bases, 50+ doubles, and 15+ triples. He would go on to lead the league in games played, runs scored, hits, home runs, stolen bases, slugging percentage, total bases, and ops. Believe it or not, neither his 152 runs scored, 137 runs batted nor hit .348 batting average were career highs.

Unfortunately, Chuck Klein passed away in 1958, 22 years before he would eventually be elected into the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee.

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Babe Ruth – Best Player Ever?

Most of the articles I write are about a feat in baseball from an unexpected player. Who would have thunk that Tony Gywnn is the only player in modern baseball history to steal 55 or more bases and have a .370 batting average? But sometimes you just gotta give the devil his due.

Babe Ruth is regarded by many as the best player to ever step onto a major league field. He has the highest career wins above replacement player (WAR), highest slugging percentage (SLG), highest on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS), and the list goes on and one.

As far as individual season accomplishments are concerned he remains the only player to hit 60 or more home runs and maintain a .350 batting average. I think this is difficult to us to grasp because most players that we have grown up with specialize in batting for average or batting for power.

His 1927 season would be like combining an Ishiro Suziki with a Ryan Howard (forgive me for using Howard but with the exception of the steroids era he is the only player to hit 58 home runs in the last 45 years). Realistically, only Ruth and Marris have reached 60 home runs as far as I am concerned.

Albert Pujols, who is by far the best hitter in baseball since I stepped foot on the planet, has reached the .350 batting average plateau twice in his career. But he has never reached the 50 home run plateau let along the highly coveted 60 home run mark. This is why many consider Ruth the best player to ever step foot on a diamond.\

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Jim Thome – same class as Ruth and Bonds

There are only three players in the history of the game that have reached the following milestones: 1500 runs scored, 1500 runs batted in, 575 home runs, and a .400 on base percentage. Those players are Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds and most recently Jim Thome. Does this make him a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame?


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Bobby Abreu – making 20/20 Club History

Bobby Abreu at the young age of 36 is on pace for his 9th 20/20 season of his career putting him one season behind only Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds. He currently is on pace for a 40 double season, which would mark his 5th 20/20/40 season of his career, two more than any player in the history of the game. Do you think he is hall of fame worthy?

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is Ivan Rodriguez a Hall of Famer?

by Jason Keen
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There are currently 13 catchers in major league baseball’s Hall of Fame. Of these 13 players, five have a career batting average north of .295 and four have hit more than 300 home runs. No player has accomplished both. Let me rephrase that. No player in the Hall of Fame has done both, not Fisk, not Bench, not even Berra. The only player who has is Ivan Rodriguez and unless he goes hitless in his next 127 at-bats he will retire with both a .295 batting average and 300 plus home runs.

Ivan Rodriguez, a 14-time all-star, 13-time gold glove winner, and 7-time silver slugger winner has hit over .300 ten times in his career and ranks #1 all-time by catchers in runs, hits, doubles and total bases. He ranks 7th in home runs, 6th in runs batted in 6th in stolen bases. In the 2003 playoffs Rodriguez hit .313/.390/.522 with 21 hits, five doubles, three home runs, ten runs and 17 runs batted in in 17 games.

He is the only catcher in the history of baseball to have 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season. In fact, no other catcher has a 20/20 season on his resume. He and Mike Piazza are the only two catchers who have hit 20 or more home runs with a .300 batting average or better in 5 five or more seasons.

Arguably the best defensive catcher in major league baseball history, Ivan Rodriguezhas a Hall of Fame Monitor score of 224, while a likely hall of famer has a 100 and a Hall of Fame Standards score of 56 while the average hall of famer averages a 50. The list of 10 most comparable players include 5 current hall of fame players, 4 that are not yet eligible and Ted Simmons who when comparing to current hall of fame catchers ranks 1st in hits and doubles, 2nd in runs batted in, 4th in home runs, 5th in runs scored, and 6th in batting average.

Jose Canseco has made verbal public and written claims that he has supplied steroids and human growth hormone to Ivan Rodriguez. Will he and should he get into the baseball hall of fame?

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Is Vladimir Guerrero a Hall of Famer?

Vladimir Guerrero, the best “bad ball” hitter of my generation and possibly in the history of the sport, is nearing 2,500 hits, many of which came from pitches above his head and below his feet. And, I mean that literally. During the 2009 post-season Cal Ripken Jr. commented during a TBS post-game report that Guerrero was the “best bad-ball hitter he’s ever seen,” after witnessing a base hit on a pitch that bounced in the dirt before reaching the plate.

In terms of worthiness into baseball hall of fame I will start and end the debate with the fact that there are only five players in the history of baseball that have finished with 400 home runs and a career bating average above .315; Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Stan Musial. Guerrero has already reached the 400 home run mark and has a lifetime batting average of .322.

The former MVP winner has twice been in the 30/30 club falling just one home run shy of joining the 40/40 club. In terms of being a feared hitter from opposing pitcher you need not look any further than his 247 career intentional base on balls, which puts him atop the list of active players and 4th all-time behind Bonds, Aaron and McCovey. He was just voted this past week to his 8th all-star appearance and is on pace for his 8th silver slugger award. Moreover, Guerrero has finished in the top 10 in most valuable player awards 6 times, batting average 7 times, and slugging percentage 9 times.

Vlad may not be a first ballot hall of famer but when looking at his Hall of Fame Statistics he is a virtual shoe-in in 3 of the 4 standards, the only exception being his Black Ink score, which only takes into consideration the times you have led the league in a major offensive category.

Black Ink- 6 (Avg HOFer ≈ 27)
Gray Ink- 173 (Avg HOFer ≈ 144)
Hall of Fame Monitor- 188 (Avg HOFer ≈ 100)
Hall of Fame Standards- 56 (Avg HOFer ≈ 50)

Unfortunately, Vlad played in the Steroid Era which had a negative affect on his Black Ink score finishing behind Barry BondsManny RamirezDavid Ortiz, and Sammy Sosa on multiple instances in home runs, slugging percentage and total bases. I will also add that he finished behind Todd Helton in 2000 (who hit .391 at home) and Larry Walker in 2002 (who hit .362 at home) in batting average and on-base percentage.

With that said he currently sits 14th all time in career slugging percentage and 21st all time in career on base + slugging percentage. According to the Keltner List, which is an extremely subjective guide to answering whether or not a player is good enough for the hall of fame, in the case of Vladimir Guerrero the answer is a firm yes.

Is Johnny Damon a Hall of Famer?

There are only 27 players in the history of Major League Baseball that have reached the coveted 3,000 hit mark. Only three players, Pete Rose, Rafael Palmeiro and Barry Bonds, have not made it into the Hall of Fame. Rose of course broke the only rule that disallows you from getting in and both Palmeiro and Bonds are not yet eligible, but will most likely face hardships because of performance enhancement drug allegations.

This brings me to Johnny Damon, who at the age of 36 has 2,450 career hits. If he accumulates 150 more hits this year he will need only 400 in 4 seasons to reach 3,000 for his career. This of course brings up the question, will he make it into the Hall if he does so?

Damon, who ranks 37th all-time in career power-speed, is one of only 4 players who have reached 2,450 hits, 1,500 runs, 375 stolen bases, 200 home runs, 1,000 runs batted in, 450 doubles, and 375 stolen bases. The other three are current Hall of Famer Paul Molitor, and possible future Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Barry Bonds.

While he has only two all-star appearances he has played well in the playoffs. In two World Series wins with the Yanks and the Sox, Damon batted .326/.370/.535. In 10 games he had 14 hits, 10 runs, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run and 3 stolen bases. In 55 career playoff games he had 20 multi hit games What do you think, Hall Bound or not?

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