As long as Nostradamus and the Mayans prove to be wrong, we may see the greatest Hall of Fame class in baseball history since the institution’s inception.
Now that Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas have formally retired, they join Jeff Kent and Greg Maddux on the list of possible inductees for 2014.
Many sportswriters are finding an issue with this situation though.
Becoming a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer is an honor normally bestowed to only the best of the best. The issue is that sportswriters have become increasingly more picky about this tribute.
This is the writers’ chance to break the recent stretch of stinginess. All four of these baseball players are more than deserving to be inducted on their first try.
Greg Maddux was easily one of the most dominating pitchers of the ‘90s. His career 355 wins put him in eighth place all-time.
Tom Glavine was Maddux’s wingman for the Atlanta Braves’ 14-straight division title stretch that encompassed the ‘90s. Glavine finished his career with 305 wins, including three consecutive seasons from 91-93 with over 20 wins.
Just like Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas was one of the most dominating players at his position. With 521 home runs, 1704 RBIs, .301 batting average and a .419 on-base percentage.
The last player who will be up for the first time, Jeff Kent, will prove to be the most difficult to make a case for.
The second baseman easily put up the best numbers at his relatively defensive minded position through out the decade but his volatile behavior and general disdain for the media will make his first try a tough one.
The 2014 baseball Hall of Fame class has the potential for four first- ballot players to be inducted.
Not since the first baseball HOF class in 1936 with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson have there been more than three first- ballot HOFers.
Four players with first-ballot resumes retired in 2008-Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, and Tom Glavine.
However, this group of players shouldn’t have the honor of being the most players to go in since the original class.
Ruth, Cobb, Wagner, Johnson, and Mathewson are all some of the best players to ever play at their positions. With all due respect for the potential members of the 2014 class, they don’t measure up to the all-time greats in 1936.
Kent and Thomas definitely have HOF resumes. Kent was one of if not the best offensive second basemans throughout his entire career. Thomas for a few year period in the ‘90s was the most feared hitter in baseball. Pitchers would not pitch to Thomas for fear of being taken deep. He was Barry Bonds before Barry Bonds.
However, I don’t think Thomas and Kent are first-ballot HOFers. The firstballot should be secluded to the all-time greats of baseball. While Thomas and Kent were great players they were far from being all-time greats.
Maddux and Glavine fit the mold, Thomas and Kent do not.
If I had a HOF vote in 2014, I would vote to put Maddux and Glavine in the hall. While Kent and Thomas deserve to be in eventually, they aren’t first-ballot HOFers.