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It’s a crime that Edgardo Alfonzo isn’t on the Hall of Fame ballot

Dec 1, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

Edgardo Alfonzo - 1999 Topps

I know I’m just about the only one who gets upset about these things. And, yeah, there probably are better uses of my time. But how could anyone look at these two infielders and decide that the second is the one worthy of a spot on the Hall of Fame ballot?

Player A: .284/.357/.425, 146 HR, 744 RBI, 53 SB in 5,385 AB
Player B: .273/.317/.356, 36 HR, 368 RBI, 363 SB in 4,963 AB

Player A is Edgardo Alfonzo, who turned in a four-year run as one of the NL’s top players in the late-90s.

Player B is Tony Womack, who had one legitimately good season in a career spent mostly dragging his teams down.

Now, Alfonzo is obviously no Hall of Famer. However, through age 28, it looked like he had a chance. He hit .292/.367/.445 with 120 homers and 538 RBI in his first eight seasons with the Mets, good for a 113 OPS+. Ryne Sandberg hit .284/.339/.430 with 109 homers and 473 RBI through age 28, giving him a 108 OPS+.

Unfortunately, Alfonzo had very little to contribute after that. Upon arriving in San Francisco at age 29, he was an average regular for two seasons. He then turned in an awful year at age 31 and was done at 32, though he did try comebacks afterwards.

But Alfonzo deserves his spot on the Hall of Fame ballot. He was a regular for just as long as Womack was and obviously a much better player. The difference between Alfonzo’s career OPS and Womack’s is the same as the difference between Willie McCovey’s (or Adrian Gonzalez‘s) and Alfonzo’s. Alfonzo is also obviously more worthy than other newcomers Eric Young, Terry Mulholland, Phil Nevin and Jeromy Burnitz. Someone really blew it by not getting him his place.

  1. meteor32 - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    It’s Ryne Sandberg, not Ryan. This mistake has always annoyed the hell out of me.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 1, 2011 at 7:29 PM

      Yep. I think Drew fixed it. Thanks.

    • hittfamily - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:14 PM

      Andrew Jones, Johnny Peralta, and Brett Farve are all more hall of fame worthy.

      • cmutimmah - Dec 2, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        It’s AndrUw Jones, not Andrew. This mistake as always annoyed…..

        See how stupid you sound, meteor? Honest mistakes happen, troll.

        Womack on a ballet makes me think that maybe too many guys are getting in that don’t deserve it?

  2. dondada10 - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:49 PM

    Agreed on Alfonzo. Not only was he a great contact hitter, but he had a plus glove both at third and at second.

  3. Jonny 5 - Dec 1, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    I get it to a point, but seriously neither should be inducted so why get all worked up about it? Hall of the very good, where Alfonzo might have a chance? Well that’s a different story. I know, you can’t help yourself, and it’s not a bad thing. Womack to me is no more than a great base stealer, and shouldn’t even be on the ballot.

  4. paperlions - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:29 PM

    This should be title “WTF is Tony Womack doing on the HOF ballot”, and say absolutely nothing about another random player that also has no business being on the ballot.

  5. droopyyydog1 - Dec 1, 2011 at 8:49 PM

    Hmm.. average player gets good for four years in the late 90’s and then suddenly drops off to oblivion..I wonder what could cause such an up and down career ? HGH, The Clear maybe, just guessing of course.

    • Francisco (FC) - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:50 PM

      Try Winter Ball. He simply wore himself out. He played the equivalent of 1.5 Seasons of Baseball each year. That’s bound to catch up on you.

      • mrhojorisin - Dec 2, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        It was a recurring back injury that sidetracked him. Not drugs, not winter ball alone.

  6. xmatt0926x - Dec 1, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    It’s not even hall of very good. It’s hall of pretty good for about 4 years. Is this what Hall of Fame discussion has come to on this site? I long for the days when someone actually had to play a full career and be absolutely special for most of those years before tHe words “Hall of Fame” would even come up. I get that nobody is advocating him for the hall, but why even go into his career credentials when it’s so far from reality?

  7. drewsylvania - Dec 2, 2011 at 12:47 AM

    Womack? Who’s next, Mario Mendoza?

  8. hushbrother - Dec 2, 2011 at 3:33 AM

    Womack helped defeat the Yankees in the World Series. Alfonso did not. Therefore, I think Womack is much more deserving of the Hall of Fame than Alfonso. What do you think of that?

    • drewsylvania - Dec 2, 2011 at 7:42 AM

      I hope this is sarcasm.

  9. lostsok - Dec 2, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    Nice to see someone remembers Alfonzo. Hard to convince anyone, but he was the BEST player in baseball for two or three years. His decline was so sudden and final that he was almost completely forgotten.

    That dude was a witch with the glove.

    Hall of Fame, though? No way. If Rock Raines ain’t in, no WAY Alfonzo goes!!!

  10. Carl Hancock - Dec 2, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    The fact that Edgar Alfonzo is not on the HOF ballot might be due to the fact he is still playing and has not technically retired. I would think a sports writer could do enough research to come to that conclusion before writing this article.

    Alfonzo played in the Venezuela winter league this year and has been signed by the Chicago White Sox and assigned to their Charlotte Knights farm club for the 2012 season. He was signed to play 1B.

    So there is your explanation as to why he may have been left off the ballot while lesser players were included.

    • jwbiii - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:09 AM

      Since he last played in the Major Leagues, among other things, Alfonzo has been a Quintana Roo Tiger and a Newark Bear. If he plays for Yucatan or Samsung, he’ll have the coveted Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh my!) trifecta.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Dec 2, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      It’s irrelevant. This was his one shot to be on the Hall of Fame ballot, unless he can get back to the majors and reset the clock.

  11. mrhojorisin - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    Edgardo’s effectiveness, and career, were cut short by back issues. He had them late in his days with the Mets and they persisted after he left. He never got back to the promise he showed during those 4 years, which was and still is a shame, because the guy could flat-out play. I wish the Mets had a second baseman like him now. And I know some people don’t believe in “clutch” hitters, but Edgardo gave proof they existed.

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