Baseball Hall of Fame 2013: Ranking the 10 Greatest Players Not in the HOF
With the 2013 Hall of Fame announcements just a matter of weeks away, it's easy to look back at all the past players who have been inducted into Cooperstown as they represent the best the game has ever seen and will forever be enshrined in history.
But what about those who don't have a plaque in Cooperstown? There are many players who could arguably be in the Hall of Fame, but for one reason or another they've been left off the final ballots and remain on the outside looking in.
Here are some of the best former players that haven't—and in some cases won't—get the call to join baseball's best in Cooperstown.
Note: Slideshow does not include first-time ballot players (Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza).
10. Alan Trammell
Throughout his career, Alan Trammell was the definition of consistency.
During his 20 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, he was a six-time All-Star and very solid defender with a .977 fielding percentage.
With 2,365 hits and a .285 lifetime batting average, Trammell definitely deserves to be a part of Hall of Fame discussions.
9. Ted Simmons
Considered by some as one of the best hitting catchers in league history, Ted Simmons went deep 248 times and racked up nearly 2,500 hits and 1,500 RBI in his 21 major league seasons.
He was an eight-time All-Star selection and caught no-hitters from Bob Gibson and Bob Forsch during his time with the Cardinals.
8. Edgar Martinez
Edgar Martinez likely won't ever get the credit he deserves because he wasn't a position player. It's certainly an injustice as his career at the plate more than made up for not putting on a glove.
Martinez finished his career with a .312 batting average, .515 slugging percentage and .933 OPS.
The seven-time All-Star also won two batting titles during his career and garnered 2,247 career hits on his way to driving over 1,200 runs.
7. Rafael Palmeiro
As one of the most outspoken players to appear before Congress during the congressional hearings surrounding steroids, Rafael Palmeiro very adamantly denied using any steroids.
Just a few months later, Palmeiro tested positive for steroids, receiving a 10-game ban.
Those transgressions cast a shadow on what was a solid career that was highlighted by a .288 average, 569 home runs and 3,020 hits along with three All-Star appearances and two Gold Gloves.
6. Jack Morris
During Jack Morris' 18-year career he three times won more than 20 games and played vital roles in World Series championship teams.
Despite his successful individual seasons, however, Morris failed to place higher than third in Cy Young voting.
He's come close to making his way into the Hall of Fame, and if his 258 career wins and 3.90 ERA are enough to sway the voters this time around he might just make his way into Cooperstown.
5. Tim Raines
It's unfortunate that Tim Raines spent as many years as he did in Montreal, since it most definitely hurt his chances at getting the visibility that a player of his caliber deserves.
In many ways, Raines was simply a cocaine-carrying copy of Rickey Henderson that played for a team north of the border. (via baseball-reference.com)
Raines garnered a solid .385 on-base percentage, 808 stolen bases, 1,571 runs and an .810 OPS during his time in the major leagues (18 of 23 seasons with Montreal and the Chicago White Sox).
4. Gil Hodges
First baseman Gil Hodges spent he majority of his 18-year career in the Dodgers organization, and while he was one of the best offensive threats in the game during his time, his defense was just as strong.
Hodges led the league in double plays, putouts, assists and fielding percentage three times during his career, and was a recipient of three of the first Gold Gloves awarded.
After his playing career ended, Hodges worked as manager of the New York Mets, where he would lead the team to a World Series title in 1969.
3. Joe Jackson
Widely regarded as the biggest scandal in the longstanding history of baseball, the 1919 Black Sox scandal involved eight members of the Chicago White Sox who conspired to intentionally throw the World Series, giving the Cincinnati Reds the title.
Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of the most notable members of the team, and while he was banned from baseball, his accomplishments still haven't been forgotten.
Playing in 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Naps and Chicago White Sox, Jackson notched over 200 hits in four different seasons, showing blistering speed in leading the league in triples three times.
2. Jeff Bagwell
Racking up accolades early in his career, Jeff Bagwell took home Rookie of the Year honors in 1991 after batting .294 and hitting 15 home runs while posting 82 RBI.
Just three years later, Bagwell won the NL MVP after leading the league in runs scored, RBI, slugging percentage, OPS and total bases.
He was the model of consistency while he was playing, as he appeared in at least 150 games in 10 of his 15 seasons and only once drove in fewer than 80 runs.
1. Pete Rose
No matter what the answer ends up being, Pete Rose's eventual admission (after years of denials) of gambling on games both as a player and manager for the Cincinnati Reds has sparked a debate that every baseball fan has at least some opinion on.
As baseball's all-time hit king, it's hard to deny that Rose is the best former player not in Cooperstown, though the debate doesn't look to be reaching a conclusion anytime soon.
The issue regarding whether or not Rose will or should be allowed back into baseball will always remain a hotly debated talking point until a new commissioner (since it won't be Bud Selig) decides to take on the topic.