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Hall of Fame 2010: Roberto Alomar

Dec 28, 2009, 4:23 PM EDT

roberto alomar indians.jpgThe first alphabetically of the 26 players on the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot might also be the most qualified. Even with his stunning decline during the early portion of the decade, Roberto Alomar ranks first in the group in both the Bill James HOF Monitor and the HOF Standards list. He was named to 12 straight All-Star teams, he holds a major league record with 10 Gold Gloves at second base and he was one of the driving forces on the Blue Jays’ back-to-back championship teams in 1992-93.
It should be a slam dunk, even though there are arguments against Alomar. The numbers suggest he was somewhat overrated defensively for much of his career. He never led his league in a Triple Crown category or won an MVP award. He turned into a liability immediately after his age-33 season, something one hardly expects to see from a Hall of Famer.
And it’s all true. But he’s still clearly better than several of the 17 second basemen currently in the Hall of Fame. The real argument is whether he’s in the top 10 all-time at his position.
Alomar never won a batting crown, but he did finish in the top seven in his league five times and he wrapped his career with a .300 average. He had five seasons with a .400 OBP and four with a .500 SLG. He scored 130 runs twice. He once had an 120-RBI season. He had eight 30-steal campaigns, and he was successful on 81 percent of his career attempts. In 263 postseason at-bats, he hit .313/.381/.448 with 20 steals in 22 attempts.
His best finishes in the AL MVP balloting were a tie for third in 1999 and fourth in 2001. In 1999, he had 41 points of OPS, 22 runs scored and seven RBI on winner Ivan Rodriguez. However, many will argue that it should have been Pedro Martinez’s award. In 2001, he had 118 points of OPS and 31 RBI on winner Ichiro Suzuki, though he did score 14 fewer runs.
Yet that was it. After being traded from the Indians to the Mets following the 2001 season, Alomar hit .262/.331/.367 with 116 RBI in 1,277 at-bats over three seasons. He signed with the Rays prior to 2005, but he retired during spring training.
Fortunately, Alomar was able to establish himself as an above average regular at age 20 and did more than enough in his first 14 seasons to establish his credentials. If he isn’t a first-ballot Hall of Famer, then the John Hirschbeck spitting incident will deserve much of the credit. Alomar doesn’t quite measure up with Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby and Joe Morgan when it comes to the all-time second basemen, but he falls in somewhere in the 7-12 range, and as such, he clearly belongs in Cooperstown.

  1. NastyNate - Dec 28, 2009 at 5:46 PM

    I always thought that to be considered for the HOF one needed to be dominant at his position for at least a decade. I think Alomar qualifies as being the most dominant second baseman from 1990-2001.
    And on a side note, that’s why I think Jack Morris should be going in too. Most wins in the ’80’s, 3 WS rings, 5 top-5 Cy Young vote getter, and more impressive, 5 times he placed in MVP voting. And we can’t forget 2 dominating postseasons, and a true money pitcher, who when you needed a win there wasn’t anyone else you would want on the mound.

  2. NastyNate - Dec 28, 2009 at 5:47 PM

    I always thought that to be considered for the HOF one needed to be dominant at his position for at least a decade. I think Alomar qualifies as being the most dominant second baseman from 1990-2001.
    And on a side note, that’s why I think Jack Morris should be going in too. Most wins in the ’80’s, 3 WS rings, 5 top-5 Cy Young vote getter, and more impressive, 5 times he placed in MVP voting. And we can’t forget 2 dominating postseasons, and a true money pitcher, who when you needed a win there wasn’t anyone else you would want on the mound.

  3. (Not That) Tom - Dec 28, 2009 at 6:12 PM

    “who when you needed a win there wasn’t anyone else you would want on the mound”
    Except for, like, 100 other pitchers.

  4. Stone - Dec 28, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Steroids.

  5. Andrew Kwon - Dec 28, 2009 at 7:10 PM

    The fact that Alomar declined so quickly at a relatively young age should point to the fact he did not use steroids.
    My memories of him in the early 90s are somewhat clouded by the fact I was a child, he had possibly the most catchy baseball commercial ever on 24/7. He also hit the biggest home run in blue jays history. The original is not online but here is a later version of “catch the taste” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnu9DCLJtRE
    It’s my understanding though for a few years he was thought of as one of the bestoverall players in the league despite not getting any MVP’s. He had just enough power, speed, batting average which was the in thing back then. I’ll be ready to make my first trip to cooperstown as soon as he’s elected.

  6. Stone - Dec 28, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    I don’t know. Obviously there’s no tangible evidence that would hold up in court, but there’s some circumstantial evidence. I believe its a safe bet to say the majority of Latin batting stars during that era were juicing. Isn’t Pudge from Puerto Rico as well? Didn’t Sosa, Tejada, and Pudge all decline pretty quickly as well? I’m not saying he shouldn’t get in, but he’s a steroids guy IMO.

  7. smokehouse - Dec 28, 2009 at 9:42 PM

    Sorry to bust your fawning over Alomar but in my humble opinion there are many that are ahead of him. Many!

  8. Provo - Dec 28, 2009 at 11:23 PM

    He doesn’t deserve the Hall, but maybe he’s within spitting distance.

  9. YANKEES1996 - Dec 29, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    Roberto Alomar in the HOF on the first ballot, hell yes! Watch the old videotape he was a fantastic fielder, solid hitter and a good clutch hitter. He anchored the Blue Jays up the middle defense and won back to back WS titles. I would have loved to see him play for the Yankees instead of Knoblach. He was a double play turning wizard.
    When he played for the Orioles it was cool to see him play with Cal Ripken and Mike Bordick. I don’t care about the spitting incident with Hirschbeck and Alomar was a clean player. Both him and his brother Sandy were above average players. Robbie Alomar is a lock for the HOF!

  10. Paul in KY - Dec 29, 2009 at 11:47 AM

    If he didn’t use steroids, then he has compiled the career stats that get you to the Hall. I probably wouldn’t put him in 1st year, because he was such a dick.
    I would vote for him in 2nd year, etc.

  11. screen printing design - Feb 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Hey guys I’m a T-shirt printer trying to figure out what cool designs I can throw on my shirts for the Super Bowl 2010 what do you guys think about a tribal design with world champions (the Saints logo) and 2010 in the background.

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