For fans of America's pastime, debating whether today's active stars are worthy of entrance into one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, the Baseball Hall of Fame, has become, well, one of their favorite pastimes.
Perhaps they aren't debates but rather "heated conversations." Whatever you want to call it, conversations as to whether "Player X" has done enough to have his career celebrated amongst the best the game has ever seen, from Hank Aaron to Robin Yount, is always a contentious and emotionally-charged affair.
Some of today's stars, like Albert Pujols and Mariano Rivera need no discussion, for their path to enshrinement was cleared of hurdles and other roadblocks long ago.
For others, the path is wrought with obstacles that they may or may not be able to navigate their way through.
Not all of the players we are about to look at are future members of the Hall of Fame, but they are certainly worthy of—or at least on the path to—having their candidacy seriously considered once their careers come to an end.
Let the games begin.