HoF Worthy

What makes someone a Hall of Famer in baseball?  Is it a number in wins, hits, homeruns, average, strikeouts, awards, championships?  Is it longevity?  Is it a great relationship with the press?  Is it a combination of all of these things?

Jim Thome hit his 600th homerun tonight, becoming the 8th player to EVER reach that milestone.  Ahead of him: Sosa, Rodriguez, Griffey, Mays, Ruth, Aaron, and Bonds.  While some will argue that Bonds and Sosa will never get in, it is assumed that Griffey and Thome will be locks, as their bodies were more “natural” during the Steroid-Era.  One can never assume anything anymore, especially since no one is testing for HGH still.  However, Thome has his case solidified at this point, and he would have without hitting the 11 homers he needed coming into the 2011 season.

Thome was a monster for 12 of the last 13 season, he played in just 59 games in 2005 for the Phillies.  Over his 21 seasons, his 162 game averages include 102 runs scored, 29 doubles, 39 homeruns, 109 RBI and a .960 OPS.  Shamefully, he never won an MVP, even when he posted 52 homers and a 1.122 OPS in 2002 (he finished 7th in AL MVP voting).

Longevity, production…never a winner.  His teams never won a World Series, losing in 1995 (Braves) and 1997 (Marlins), the White Sox won the year before he got there, and the Phillies started getting there after he left for Chicago.  Chances are, the Twins will become great again when he retires.  Not that he had anything to do with it.

Thome is in.  We can argue for weeks about the likes of Palmeiro, Sosa, Bonds and others, but Thome will be a first ballot Hall of Famer because: 1) He seems clean and 2) He isn’t a dick.  He looks like a regular guy but he certainly wasn’t average.  He was long underappreciated and long one of the best players in the game.

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2 Comments

Yet you don’t support Edgar Martinez. Thome sixth to last ballot, not first.

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Edgar Martinez isn’t even in the same realm as Thome when it comes to numbers, Sid.
.277/.403/.557 with 102 R, 29 2B, 39 HR, 109 RBI – Thome
vs.
.312/.418/.515 with 96 R, 41 2B, 24 HR, 99 RBI – Martinez
Who would you want on your team? I think Edgar Martinez was a fine player, but he wasn’t an ELITE talent until he turned 32. He had 290 HR and 1167 RBI in his best 13 seasons, while Thome, from 1995 to 2007 had 477 HR and 1303 RBI, and that’s counting 2005 when he only played in 59 games for the Phillies and had 7 HR and 30 RBI. They were different players, thriving in different ways. Edgar is the best DH ever because he wasn’t GREAT until he was only a DH. Thome has played 56 games at 1B since 2005, which is where he played regulary from 1996 until 2006 when he signed in Chicago, so you can’t even call him the best DH ever. When Edgar Martinez stopped playing third base, he became a better baseball player. He is still the best DH ever, but that doesn’t mean much. His overall numbers aren’t as impressive as those who came after him. Which is why Barry Larkin will have a tough time getting in. ARod and Jeter came after him, though Larkin was the first 30/30 SS ever and changed the position with Ripken, he’ll never get the same love as he would have a generation earlier.

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