The Overlooked: The Players Most Deserving to be Enshrined in The Hall

Ryan SmithCorrespondent INovember 14, 2008

There are 286 Hall of Famers. All of them are legends and will always be known as the greatest players to play the game. Now all the time I hear people talking about which current players will become Hall of Famers, but what about the retired players who formerly shined on the diamond?

Okay, so every baseball fanatic knows that there are some milestones that if reached, means definite Hall of Fame entry. Milestones such as 500 home runs, 300 wins, and 3000 hits. Sometimes a deserving player just misses and rightfully earns his place in the Hall. Some players almost reach a milestone as well.

But as we all know, "almost" only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Now that's not to say you have to reach the milestone to be a Hall of Famer.

Bobby Matthews, who played 15 years of major league ball during the early stages of the game, won 297 games in his career, only three games away from the milestone. He struck out 1366 batters and had an ERA of 2.89. Did he not make it because winning many games was common back then? Even so, three games shy, come on.

This next one I find unforgivable. Harold Baines played ball for 22 years and collected 2866 hits, 1628 RBIs, 384 homers, and scored 1299 runs. He was a six-time all-star. He retired in 2001 so he's been eligible for the Hall of Fame for the past two years.

There are many other players deserving, but these are the two that just really leap out at you. Other examples are Dick Allen, who would have been an even better player had his personal life not been bad, Sherry Magee, who could always take that extra base, and Bobby Bonds, who was just a complete player. Bonds could hit homers, swipe bags, and get on base.

So for all of you people on the Veterans Committee, look at these players. I know Magee is up for consideration this year and he deserves it. As for Matthews and Baines, they deserve it just as much.