By Daniel Friedman
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This week, the Baseball Hall of Fame welcomed it’s 2014 inductee class. As always, there were players who didn’t make the cut, leaving the window open to continue the debate as to who should get in and who shouldn’t. Here are 10 players who have a valid case:
NOTE: Pete Rose is not on this list because he’s been banned from baseball and it’s unlikely that will ever change. Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro are not mentioned because of their link to performance-enhancing drugs. (Also, Palmeiro is no longer on the ballot after receiving just 4.4 percent of the vote in 2014.)
10. Lou Whitaker
He shockingly received just 2.9 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot back in 2001. But as far as second basemen go, Whitaker’s offensive ability was among the best of the best.
9. Jeff Kent
Hit more home runs than any other second baseman in MLB history (351). His fielding was decent, but if you look past that and focus on his record at the plate, he deserves to be in the conversation.
8. Larry Walker
Coors Field helped, but that doesn’t change the fact that Walker could flat-out smack the cover off the ball. When you think of great power hitters of the 90s, he comes to mind.
7. Edgar Martinez
Might have been the most underrated player on the Mariners during their golden age. Was very, very talented.
6. Curt Schilling
Helped the Diamondbacks and Red Sox win championships and was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during the late 90s and early-mid 2000s.
5. Alan Trammell
He wasn’t stellar at any particular aspect of the game, but he was a very good fielder and did win three Silver Slugger Awards. He was consistent, too. He’s not covered in glitter, but the numbers show that he’s a worthy candidate.
4. Jeff Bagwell
Great hitter, great first baseman. Only 12 players in MLB history have hit 400 homers and stolen 200 bases, and he’s one of them.
3. Craig Biggio
Over 3,000 hits and four gold gloves. One of the top infielders of his era.
2. Tim Raines
Raines was exceptionally good at three things: reaching base, stealing bases and scoring runs. He put up outstanding numbers that stack up with several current Hall of Famers, and he deserves to be honored the same way.
1. Mike Piazza
He’s the best hitting catcher of all time. You don’t need to know anything else.
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