Hall Watch '08: 96 Names to Consider

Sunday, January 27 2008 @ 01:45 PM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Entering the 2008 season, there are 96* active players I believe could someday end up enshrined in the Hall of Fame. In fact, probably only a very small percentage of them -- maybe 15-20 -- will actually do so. (*On original publication, this list had 89 names; several have been added after readers pointed out oversights.)

This is simply a prompt for discussion, not a projection. Who's going to get in? Who shouldn't even be on this list? Who's missing?

First, let me preface the list by

  1. Pointing out that it comes from a guy who, growing up, was shocked by the notion that Davey Concepcion and Thurman Munson might not be Hall-of-Famers; and
  2. Admitting that there is absolutely nothing of any data-driven background to this list; it was just me scanning active rosters and thinking "hmm, yeah, maybe him ..." There were another dozen names that, on second consideration, were actually cut. (And yes, "scanning" means I probably missed someone obvious.)
Now, then, divided by team and not even considering players with less than two full years in the major leagues, here are the players who could someday, if things break right, get a nod from the HOF in Cooperstown.

Some could retire right now and cruise in come 2012; some need big comebacks, huge late-career surges or some other marked event to befall them for enshrinement to be a possibility. Some are young enough that projecting such things is probably silly, but seriously, what the hell? This is a discussion, after all, think "barroom argument" ...

Those I consider to be mortal locks -- there are 20, which is probably too high -- are shown in bold italics. Those a little less sure, but who I personally think should/will get in, don't get the bold, but are italicized. A lack of bold/italics should NOT be taken to imply "This guy shouldn't/won't get in." Nothing of the sort ...

In fact, please note: This is not a list of "who should get in?" -- not by any means. Just a list of possible candidates, even extending to the periphery. Of course, you are welcome to take your comments to the "should/shouldn't" level if you care to do so!
Yes, it speaks to media influence that the top two teams on the list, in terms of total players listed, are both in New York, while Boston is tied for third, and teams like Milwaukee and Kansas City are either further down the list or off the list altogether. In fact, the Eastern Time Zone continues to play a role, as the furthest west of the eight teams with at least four names listed is St. Louis, not exactly approaching California.

There are just three teams with multiple mortal locks listed, the Yankees, the Braves and, surprisingly , the Padres -- hey, a West Coast team!

So, Bauxites, what's wrong with this list?