The Major League Baseball Writers of America announced Wednesday that Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines would be the players in 2017 inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I was driving home from calling the Carleton Knights sweep over the St. Olaf Oles on Wednesday night when I heard some syndicated sports talk show guys saying Tim Raines did not belong in Cooperstown. I'm guessing these guys never saw Raines in his prime.

When Ricky Henderson was swiping bases with regularity in the American League, Raines was doing the same in the National League. In his 23-year career, Raines stole 808 bases and had an astonishing 85 percent success rate.

One of the syndicated talk show guys said he didn't event have 3,000 hits. Raines did fall 400 hits short of that mark, but put this in your pipe and smoke it.

Tim Raines is one of only three players in Major League Baseball history to finish his career with more than 100 homers, 400 doubles, 100 triples, 500 stolen bases and a career on base percentage of .380 or above. The other two were Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner.

That's some pretty good company and why I thought Raines should have been in the Hall of Fame sooner.

I made the case for Pudge in an earlier post with a lot of his statistics included and here are a couple more for you to gnaw on: Rodriguez caught in a major league record 2,427 games and led the American League in caught stealing percentage an amazing nine consecutive years.

Jeff Bagwell played all 15 of his seasons in an Astros uniform and finished his career with 449 homers, 1,529 RBI, 2,314 hits, 488 doubles and 32 triples. The first baseman had a career .993 fielding percentage. His career batting average was .297 and he had a .408 on base percentage.

He had two 40-homer, 30-stolen base seasons and is one of only two guys in Major League history to accomplish the feat multiple times. The other is Barry Bonds.

I think Vladimir Guerrero should have made the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility like Pudge did. Vlad did finish with 2,590 career hits, but take a look at the following statistics: A career .318 hitter in a 16-year career; 449 home runs and 1,496 RBI. He had more than 30 homers in eight seasons and more than 100 RBI 10 times.

Guerrero was MVP of the American League in 2004 and was in the top 10 voting for MVP in six seasons. He also had eight silver slugger awards.

Born in the Domincan Republic, Vlad was a nine-time all-star while playing with the Montreal Expos and LA Angels of Anaheim. He led the American League in hits one season. He spent 2010 with Texas and 2011 with Baltimore.

Being a former catcher, I always enjoyed watching Rodriguez play and have to say Guerrero was fun to watch also, not just for his hitting prowess but he had a very good arm in right field.

Vlad will more than likely get into the Hall of Fame eventually, but clearly should have been in this class.

Baseball Writers of America Announce 21017 Hall of Fame Class-photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Baseball Writers of America Announce 21017 Hall of Fame Class-photo by Gordy Kosfeld


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