Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Extra Innings: Biggest MLB Hall of Fame snubs

Who has been unjustly written out of baseball history?

extra innings-henry blickenstaff

For a look at baseball history this week, these are my picks for the five biggest Hall of Fame snubs in MLB history. This does not include players who have been left out due to steroid use (like Barry Bonds) or any other illicit activity (like Pete Rose).

1. Curt Schilling, P

Schilling as a man is more than controversial — no doubt the reason he’s not in Cooperstown — but Schilling as a pitcher was stellar, and this is a hall of great baseball players, not necessarily great people. One of only 19 pitchers in baseball history with over 3,000 career strikeouts, Schilling has a career 3.46 ERA and 1.137 WHIP, is a three-time World Series champion and has recorded three seasons of 300 strikeouts or more. Most impressive about Schilling is his career 2.23 ERA in 133 ⅓ innings in the playoffs, including his remarkable run with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, where he allowed just six runs in 48 ⅓ innings en route to winning World Series MVP. 

2. Kenny Lofton, CF

A key piece of many stacked Cleveland Guardians teams (formerly the Cleveland Indians) in the 1990s, including the 1995 pennant winners, Lofton was the perfect leadoff hitter — elite contact, Gold Glove defense in center field and blazing speed on the basepaths. In 9,235 career plate appearances, Lofton posted a 68.4 WAR, a .299 batting average, a .372 on-base percentage and 622 stolen bases, and he holds the record for most postseason stolen bases with 34. He has been unfairly overlooked for being a contact hitter in an era known for slugging, playing for 11 different teams and his adversarial relationship with sportswriters.

3. Lou Whitaker, 2B

Whitaker was a model of consistency throughout nearly 20 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. The 1978 American League Rookie of the Year and 1984 World Series champion, Whitaker made five All-Star teams, won four Silver Sluggers and three Gold Gloves. He amassed a 75.1 career WAR and finished his career with a .789 OPS, an impressive mark for a second baseman. Whitaker and shortstop Alan Trammell formed one of the greatest middle-infield duos in MLB history, as the two have a combined 39 career dWAR. 

4. Andruw Jones, CF

One of the best defensive outfielders of all time, Jones won 10 consecutive National League Gold Gloves in center field from 1998 to 2007, accumulating a 24.2 dWAR over that span. But Jones was also a gifted power hitter, with 434 home runs and a career .486 slugging percentage. Although he couldn’t stay healthy in his 30s and retired at just 35, Jones’ peak was outstanding and should merit him a spot in Cooperstown.

5. Carlos Beltrán, CF

Granted, Beltrán is still eligible for the ballot, but the fact that he missed out last year is an injustice. Among his accolades are the 1999 Rookie of the Year award, nine All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers. His 435 home runs, 565 doubles and a career .837 OPS are equally impressive. Like Lofton, he has been overlooked for bouncing around from team to team, but the voters should give him his due.