Around this time last year, I went through and reviewed the case for a number of players for the Hall of Fame, and whether or not I thought that they deserved to be enshrined in the Hall. I’ll be doing this again this year, and for players I reviewed previously, I will revisit my vote and see if it has changed in a year’s time. Theoretically, this should remain the same, but there’s always a chance I am now a whole year wiser than I was last year. Today’s candidate is one that I looked at last year, Roberto Alomar.
Alomar was eligible for the Hall for the first time in the 2010 class (2009), and you can find what I wrote last year below. He finished the voting last year with 397 votes out of a possible 539 ballots (73.7%), or just 8 votes shy of enshrinement. The reaction around the web seemed to be pretty much one of complete and utter shock that he had been kept out this first season.
10 Gold Gloves
4 Silver Sluggers
12 All Star Appearances (1990-2001)
2 World Series Championships
OPS+ of 116
The Case for Alomar
Alomar was a very good hitter at a premium defensive position. His defensive skills were elite, and at times nothing short of amazing. He won 2 World Championships, and finished with 2724 career hits and 1508 runs.
The Case Against Alomar
His skill level dropped off precipitously during the 2002 season, and never recovered. One of the most common references to Alomar is the incident with John Hirschbeck near the end of the 1996 season.
First, I intend to ignore his behavior during the Hirschbeck incident, simply because it appears to be an isolated incident within the scope of his career, and the writers have selected players with more gaping character flaws than Alomar for induction previously.
So what do the numbers tell us? Alomar defined his position, and was an elite defender in every sense of the word. He had excellent range, a great arm, and amazing insticts for the defensive side of the game. He won 10 Gold Gloves, a record for a second baseman.
He was also an excellent hitter. He hit .300 9 times, score 100 runs 6 times, drove in 80 runs 5 times, and had a career playoff batting average of .313 along with the 2 World Championships. These are all in addition to a career .300 batting average, career hit total of 2724, run total of 1508, 474 steals, and 4 Silver Slugger awards.
While I do not believe that his offensive numbers can stand on their own, the fact that he was one of the greatest defensive second basemen to ever play the game makes it very easy for me to vote for him. He defined his position for the majority of his career, and realistically was one of the top players at any position in his era.
MY VOTE: YES
My Thoughts for this Year
I thought he was a great candidate last year, and there has been nothing to change my mind about that topic. I still would vote for him, and I truly believe that this will be the year that he will make it for enshrinement. Whether it has been justified or not, the things that have been said about him in the press will hopefully stop shortly after that. I do think that he gets elected, simply because there has never been a player who got as close as he did to enshrinement and not ended up in the Hall of Fame.