From here to the Hall: Predicting 40 active players who will wind up in Cooperstown

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This is not a trick question. But it is a difficult question, one requiring thought and analysis, and maybe a crazy guess or two. Luckily,  I’m here to provide some answers for you.

Warning: I’ve done this before and once nominated Hank Blalock as a future Hall of Famer. That looks silly now, but by the age of 23 he was a two-time All-Star and had seasons of 29 and 32 home runs with 10.7 career WAR. A string of injuries eventually derailed his career, however, and he played his last major league game in 2010 at age 29.

As a point of comparison, let’s go back to 1988. We already have 34 Hall of Famers who played that year. There were players at the end of the line, such as Steve Carlton, Don Sutton and Mike Schmidt; there were in-their-prime stars, such as Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn; there were rookies, including John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Craig Biggio. Smoltz went 2-7 with a 5.48 ERA; you certainly wouldn’t have pegged him as a future Hall of Famer then.

So 34 Hall of Famers from 26 teams, a little more than one per team on average. Except remember that Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro all were active that year and would be Hall of Famers if not for PEDs. Curt Schilling started four games as a rookie that year and will eventually get in. Edgar Martinez got into a few games that year and he should get elected next year. That’s 40 likely Hall of Famers if you include the PED guys, and that doesn’t include other future possibilities such as Gary Sheffield, Lou Whitaker, Kevin Brown, Keith Hernandez, Dwight Evans and David Cone, who have numbers worthy of consideration.

But let’s go with a list of 40 active Hall of Famers. nfl jerseys from china That may seem like a lot, but that’s a 1.33 ratio of Hall of Famers per team, lower than the historical rate.