MLB Power Rankings of the biggest Hall of Fame snub from every team.
Scott Rolen and Fred McGriff had been Hall of Fame snubs for a couple of years. McGriff, more so, even fell off the regular ballot and is only going into the Hall of Fame thanks to the Veterans Committee. These MLB Power Rankings take a look at some of their peers who remain Hall of Fame snubs.
The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown is missing quite a few legends of the game. Whether it’s due to a lifetime banishment for gambling or controversy relating to their use of PEDs or some other form of cheating, the voters for the Hall of Fame can hold grudges for a very long time.
Some organizations have much more significant snubs than others. Not included in this week’s MLB Power Rankings are a few notable names. They are either not the biggest snub from the organization or didn’t spend enough time with any single team to really qualify. A guy like Keith Hernandez definitely seems snubbed, but there is a better St. Louis Cardinals candidate and someone from the New York Mets more known for their time with those two teams. The same could be said about Billy Wagner whose identity as a player extends well beyond the Houston Astros.
If someone you think belongs in Cooperstown failed to make this list for your team, the reason is probably because they didn’t spend enough time wearing the laundry.
30) MLB Power Rankings: Tampa Bay Rays, Carl Crawford
Carl Crawford is one of the most important players in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s second in WAR for the franchise behind only Evan Longoria, an active player. Crawford certainly doesn’t deserve to make it into Cooperstown. For now, he’s the biggest snub from this organization.
29) MLB Power Rankings: Washington Nationals, Felipe Alou
The Washington Nationals haven’t been around long enough to have any Hall of Fame snubs. Looking back at the time when they were the Montreal Expos, not too many people stand out either. Felipe Alou, who helped cultivate the early years of future Hall of Famers Vladimir Guerrero and Pedro Martinez might be their biggest snub. He wasn’t too successful in the win column. We’re still left hanging wondering what could have been in 1994.
28) MLB Power Rankings: San Diego Padres, Jake Peavy
It will come as a surprise for many to see Jake Peavy has the third-highest WAR in the history of the San Diego Padres. Only all-time greats Tony Gwynn and Dave Winfield accumulated a higher total. Peavy is definitely not a Hall of Fame-caliber player. Don’t worry. As we get closer to the top spot in this week’s MLB Power Rankings, there will be some stronger cases. Peavy, unfortunately, doesn’t have it.
27) MLB Power Rankings: Seattle Mariners, Jamie Moyer
The Seattle Mariners have produced a couple of Hall of Fame-worthy players. Some have already gotten in. Jamie Moyer remains out. His case for Cooperstown is all about longevity. His 269 career wins is superb but it did take him 696 big league games. He has also given up more home runs than any other pitcher with 522 of them. Is he a true Hall of Famer? Not unless we’re putting Bartolo Colon in, too.
26) MLB Power Rankings: Milwaukee Brewers, Cecil Cooper
Gold Gloves and some monster seasons at the plate, Cecil Cooper didn’t start playing his best baseball until he was almost 30. The slow start definitely hurt his chances at the Hall of Fame. However, he did still amass over 2,000 hits and bat .298 in his career. He’s the biggest Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Fame snub. Add in a few more productive seasons at the start of his career and there’s a much stronger case.
25) MLB Power Rankings: Kansas City Royals, Amos Otis
A couple of Kansas City Royals players from the 1970s and 1980s could qualify as Cooperstown snubs. It’s Amos Otis, a five-time All-Star, MVP candidate, and Gold Glove winner who takes the title. Most of his career was spent with the Royals, too. Otis could do a little bit of everything well. He’s definitely one of the best Royals players of all-time. There’s definitely a diehard fan in Missouri insisting he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
24) MLB Power Rankings: Baltimore Orioles, Urban Shocker
We have to go way back in time to find the biggest Hall of Fame snub in Baltimore Orioles history. Keep in mind, pitchers dominated in those days. Urban Shocker actually played for the St. Louis Browns, the franchise that would one day become the Baltimore Orioles. He won 187 games and did it with a 3.17 ERA. He has one highest WAR in Orioles history among players not in Cooperstown. It’s an easy choice even if we have to go back almost 100 years.
23) MLB Power Rankings: Houston Astros, Jose Cruz
For 13 seasons, Jose Cruz was one of the best hitters on the Houston Astros. He ended up with almost 2,000 hits just for them and would finish his entire career with 2,251 of them. A big base-stealer with a .284 career batting average, Cruz was a regular in the MVP conversation during the early 1980s.
22) MLB Power Rankings: Minnesota Twins, Joe Judge
The biggest Minnesota Twins snub from the Hall of Fame right now comes from the Washington Senators days. Joe Judge had over 2,300 hits and a lifetime .298 batting average. Many of the best players in Twins history are already in the Hall of Fame. Judge is the greatest to never be elected. Sadly, with his career ending in 1934, he probably never will.
21) MLB Power Rankings: Toronto Blue Jays, Dave Stieb
Dave Stieb actually has the highest WAR total of anyone in Toronto Blue Jays history. It’s easy to see why. The man was an amazing pitcher. He won 176 games and was an All-Star representative seven times for the ball club. Although a great Blue Jays pitcher, he’s not quite at Hall of Fame level.
20) MLB Power Rankings: Pittsburgh Pirates, Wilbur Cooper
We’ve entered some new territory in our MLB Power Rankings this week. The rest of the players on this list actually have a much stronger case. It starts with the biggest Pittsburgh Pirates snub, your great grandmother’s favorite pitcher, Wilbur Cooper. Cooper pitched from 1912-1926, winning 216 games and doing it with a 2.89 ERA. The Pirates had several Hall of Fame players from those teams. Sadly, Cooper may have been missed.
19) MLB Power Rankings: Chicago Cubs, Rick Reuschel
Sammy Sosa has a Hall of Fame case for the Chicago Cubs, but what about someone like Rick Reuschel who never was linked to PEDs or corked bats. Reuschel had some very good years even after leaving the Cubs, helping to build an almost credible Hall of Fame case. He won 214 games and did it with a 3.37 ERA.
18) MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Angels, Bobby Grich
Bobby Grich had a pretty awesome career with ten of those seasons taking place with the Los Angeles Angels. He was very good with the Baltimore Orioles prior to joining the Angels, but it was in California where he built a stronger Hall of Fame case. Grich definitely falls short compared to some others when we look at the numbers. Considering he was a Gold Glove second baseman who hit for power during a time when few could do that, he’s an outlier. Plus, something about his lifetime 71.1 WAR suggests he’s better than we realize.
17) MLB Power Rankings: Colorado Rockies, Todd Helton
With Todd Helton failing to make it into Cooperstown in 2023, he’s the biggest Colorado Rockies snub going right now. He was definitely more than an average playing with Coors Field to help him out. During his best days, Helton was one of baseball’s biggest run producers. Almost forgotten, he was one of the best fielding first basemen in the league. Ask his three Gold Gloves about it.
16) MLB Power Rankings: Oakland Athletics, Mark McGwire
If Mark McGwire did go into the Hall of Fame, it might have to be with a split cap. His amazing early days with the Oakland Athletics were good but not quite as legendary as he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. McGwire is held out of Cooperstown because of the PEDs. Even if that wasn’t the case, some might debate his case that he was nothing but a slugger. It’s a fair argument.
15) MLB Power Rankings: Atlanta Braves, Andruw Jones
Another ongoing snub, Andruw Jones may be the greatest defensive center fielder in MLB history. He won 10 Gold Gloves in his career, all of which came as a member of the Atlanta Braves. Jones was a good hitter, too. His 434 home runs are a big help to his Hall of Fame case. Working against him are those lean years at the end that dragged his batting average down to .254.
14) MLB Power Rankings: St. Louis Cardinals, Ken Boyer
The reason Ken Boyer hasn’t gotten into the Hall of Fame is how short his greatness was. An MVP, five Gold Gloves, and a bunch of fat numbers on the field help give Boyer the best case of any St. Louis Cardinals player. He was one of the best third basemen in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The problem for Boyer is the greatness was too short-lived. As time has gone on, his numbers don’t quite measure up to many others after him.
13) MLB Power Rankings: Miami Marlins, Gary Sheffield
Hitting over 500 home runs wasn’t enough to put Gary Sheffield into Cooperstown. He’s another one of the alleged PED users held out by the voters. He was never the best player in the league or a very popular one. He’s the best Hall of Fame snub the Miami Marlins franchise has ever known although it would be interesting to see whose cap he’d wear. Sheffield played for eight teams. The Marlins got parts of six seasons.
12) MLB Power Rankings: New York Mets, Carlos Beltran
Carlos Beltran probably will get into the Hall of Fame. He just needed to get punished yet again for his connection to the 2017 Houston Astros. When he does, it’s the New York Mets he should represent. Beltran is the epitome of what a Hall of Fame player is. He was a five-tool player and an influential one. If not for the stain from his final season on the field, he would have gone in on the first ballot.
11) MLB Power Rankings: Philadelphia Phillies, Dick Allen
Dick Allen is once again the biggest Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame snub with Scott Rolen going into Cooperstown this year. Although he won the 1972 MVP with the Chicago White Sox, 9 of his 15 seasons were spent in Philadelphia. Allen hit 351 home runs with a .292 batting average. He was one of the best sluggers of the 1960s, a decade a little short on power. He’s another name often brought up by old-timers. The longer it takes, the more unlikely it seems to be.
10) MLB Power Rankings: Cleveland Guardians, Manny Ramirez
Controversy followed Manny Ramirez plenty. He’s never going to get into the Hall of Fame. Despite his 12 All-Star selections, a World Series MVP for the 2004 Boston Red Sox, and being the Albert Pujols of his generation, Ramirez is the biggest snub coming from the Cleveland Guardians organization. He is as equally a Boston Red Sox legend, but one equally as controversial player takes that spot in this week’s MLB Power Rankings.
9) MLB Power Rankings: Los Angeles Dodgers, Steve Garvey
Let’s not spoil everything but reveal a little more about the rest of this list. Steve Garvey is one of only two players in the top ten snubbed from Cooperstown for a non-controversial reason. It seems the voters have been getting things mostly correct. Garvey is one of the great Los Angeles Dodgers and the 1974 MVP. He consistently played every game, reached 200 hits, and hit for good power while playing Gold Glove defense. It’s astonishing he never did get into the Hall of Fame. In fact, he never got higher than 41.6% of the vote which happened on the first try.
8) MLB Power Rankings: Texas Rangers, Rafael Palmeiro
Rafael Palmeiro is one of the guys we can partly blame as to why Garvey didn’t get into Cooperstown. Did voters naively see what other first basemen were doing and appreciate them more? Palmeiro played some of his best years with the Texas Rangers on his way to hitting over 500 home runs and surpassing 3,000 career hits. We know why he isn’t in Cooperstown. PEDs strike again.
7) MLB Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers, Lou Whitaker
Detroit Tigers fans will scream forever about how Lou Whitaker belongs in the Hall of Fame. His 75.1 WAR is among the best and greater than many already in Cooperstown. Whitaker was overlooked through most of his career, possibly because he didn’t do any one thing at a Hall of Fame level. Instead, Whitaker was a well-rounded ballplayer. Shockingly, he only received 2.9% of the votes during his one and only year on the ballot. It’s criminal.
6) MLB Power Rankings: Arizona Diamondbacks, Curt Schilling
The Arizona Diamondbacks haven’t been around long and yet they have a very worthy Hall of Fame snub. Curt Schilling had great years with the Philadelphia Phillies prior and the Boston Red Sox after. However, it was with the Diamondbacks when Schilling peaked. His snubbing has to do more with attitude than anything on the field. Outspoken in more ways than one, Schilling’s postseason greatness should have been enough to get him votes. Instead, he’s off the ballot and he will never get in.
5) MLB Power Rankings: New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez
How does a man who hit 696 home runs not get into the Hall of Fame? Ask Alex Rodriguez. Now the bigger snub from the New York Yankees over Don Mattingly, Rodriguez’s admission and later suspension for using PEDs is what will keep him out of the Hall of Fame. It’s a shame his ego got the best of him. He truly was one of the best.
4) MLB Power Rankings: Chicago White Sox, Shoeless Joe Jackson
As impressive as A-Rod’s home runs numbers are, try looking at the batting average from Shoeless Joe Jackson. The man hit .356. For the record, he batted .375 in the World Series he allegedly helped throw. The most controversial scandal in MLB history from the 1919 Chicago White Sox who allegedly threw the series to the Cincinnati Reds, Jackson was banned from the sport along with several teammates. All of these years later, Jackson is a sympathetic character and it is believed he may not have tried to lose on purpose.
3) MLB Power Rankings: Cincinnati Reds, Pete Rose
The all-time hit king, Pete Rose, belongs in the Hall of Fame. Except there’s one problem. He gambled on Cincinnati Reds games while managing the team. He broke the one rule no athlete ever can. For it, he has been punished for more than three decades while being held out of Cooperstown. We may have to wait for a posthumous induction.
2) MLB Power Rankings: Boston Red Sox, Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens is the representative from the Boston Red Sox in this week’s MLB Power Rankings. They had a couple of good ones to choose from. Even Luis Tiant who doesn’t have his name tarnished might have been good. Clemens, of course, was an alleged PED user. His behavior with the media damaged his Hall of Fame chances further. He’s another guy likely to never get in.
1) MLB Power Rankings: San Francisco Giants, Barry Bonds
Finally, there’s Barry Bonds. Nobody hit more home runs than him in a single-season. Nobody hit more in a career. The San Francisco Giants legend stole two of the most sacred records in the sport, one from players who also used PEDs to snatch it. Bonds hasn’t won any new fans in the years since his playing days have ended. It’s incredible that he, along with Rose, can own such a valuable record and not be in the Hall of fame. Will the voters ever change their opinions?