QOTD: What the Hall Happened?

Thursday, July 05 2007 @ 03:13 PM EDT

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

What happened?

That's a question asked frequently of a number of players who were, at least in some eyes, seen as "potential Hall of Famers" during their playing days.

Consider -- teammates Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry were both mortal locks for Cooperstown once upon a time, but had ... issues. Albert Belle and Carlos Baerga, another pair of teammates, once played at Hall-worthy levels, at least for a time; they had issues, too, though not of the same sort as the vagabond Mets of yore.

Dave Kingman was never really a Hall-worthy player, though he hit home runs like one for a while. Don Mattingly -- nothing wrong with Donnie Baseball, he just plain hasn't been deemed worthy by voters thus far.

So there appear to be five "true outcomes" for those who fell by the HOF wayside ...

  1. Injury ended the career before true HOF standards were reached (Mark Fidrych, Tony Conigliaro)
  2. Career numbers took a steep falloff before true HOF standards were reached (Belle, Baerga --  you can still make an argument for Albert, though I wouldn't)
  3. Career numbers took a steep falloff due to self-induced issues (Gooden, Strawberry)
  4. Big names, big numbers, but not really a HOF candidate in the first place (Kingman, many others)
  5. Just short (at least so far) of being considered induction-worthy (Mattingly, Alan Trammell, Rich Gossage. Tommy John)

So here's your Question of the Day ...
Who fits these categories, as guys who you personaly once legitimately thought "He could be a Hall of Famer" but then ... he just ... wasn't. (And don't hesitate to "project" and include active players who seem likely to meet this same fate!)

More than just Blue Jays, oh ye true Blue fans who once saw Lloyd Moseby through a child-fan's eyes as a Hall of Famer for sure ...