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  • Caesar Cliffius

    My name is Cliff Eastham. I live in West Virginia with my wife Debbie, the loveliest lady in the world, and my youngest daughter, Holly who is equally as lovely as her mother.

    I enjoy writing about sports, and love a good healthy debate. My favorite teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Redskins.

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    It is decreed.....Caesar Cliffius
    this 8th day of December, in the Year of our Lord 2009.

The Five Best Players Not in Baseball’s Hall of Fame

There are many things we could disagree with or argue about concerning the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There are no set numbers one needs to reach before becoming enshrined into baseball’s holiest of holies.

Many are there who, in my opinion, do not belong. And of course, there are others who should be there who are not.

Obviously, Pete Rose would lead the list if he were eligible.

So, read on, and argue if you will, but these people have the stats to be in the Hall of Fame.

5. Dale Murphy

Okay, I can hear you guys crying already. Murphy wasn’t the greatest player of all time, I agree.

I also know that his overall stats alone say very little. For his career, he had 398 home runs, 1266 RBI, 2,111 hits, and a career average of only .265.

Total career statistics aren’t everything. Look at Sandy Koufax, for example. He only had five superlative years, the rest were mediocre at best.

Yet, he is revered as one of the best hurlers of all time.

If you take Murphy’s five best years and average them out, you get 38 home runs, 109 RBI, and an average of .294. Those are MVP stats right there, I don’t care who you are.

In fact, he won two MVP awards during that period. He and Roger Maris are the only two players to have won two MVP awards and not be in the Hall of Fame.


Dale was one of the best power hitters of the 1980’s.

4. Don Mattingly

That’s right, Donnie Baseball.

Again, his career stats won’t reveal what he truly was.
He was the American League MVP in 1985, won nine Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, and lead the league in batting in 1984 with a .343 average.

In 1985, Mattingly knocked in 145 runs. As with Murphy and Koufax, if you take his five best years and average them out, you see that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

3. Tommy John

Tommy John has won more games than any eligible pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.

However, John has also won more games than 52 pitchers already in the Hall of Fame.

In his long career, he won 288 games, compiled a 3.34 ERA, threw 46 shutouts, won 20 games three times, and was elected to four all-star teams.

He started more games than any left-hander in history, save for Steve Carlton.

If I had the time, I could show you head-to-head how he would beat many who are already enshrined. The man has a surgery named after him, for God’s sake (grin).

2. Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven is right behind John in career wins with 287. He ranks fifth on the all-time strikeouts list behind Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Carlton.

He threw 60 shutouts, which ranks him ninth on the all-time list. All eight pitchers ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame.

He won 17 or more games on seven occasions and had a lifetime ERA of 3.31.

When you look at some of the pitchers’ records who are already in the Hall, you begin to realize just how much Blyleven and John deserve to be in as well.

1. Andre Dawson

Andre Dawson is not in the Hall of Fame. That doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

He batted .279, hit 438 home runs, and knocked in 1,591 runs. He hit 20 or more home runs on 13 occasions and was the National League’s MVP in 1987 on a last place team.

He was also the Rookie of the Year in 1977.

Dawson was on eight all-star teams, won eight Gold Gloves, and four Silver Sluggers. He also batted .300 or more five times.

Year after year, he is overlooked by the writers.

If you have the time, compare Dawson’s statistics with those of Hall-dwellers Luis Aparicio and Bill Mazeroski.

Let the debating begin.

Cliff Eastham is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report where this article was first published.

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