Cities Journal

Top 20 Baseball Players Who Deserve Place In Hall Of Fame


It’s always been my argument that if there is an argument AGAINST a player making the baseball Hall of Fame, he shouldn’t be in.

The players on this list mostly are guys that don’t deserve the induction into the Hall of Fame, but they still deserve recognition for having outstanding careers…

1. Pete Rose

Charlie Hustle is ineligible for the Hall of Fame. Whether or not he should be allowed in is a topic of discussion for another day. But there’s no doubt that the best player not currently in the Hall of Fame is the all-time hits leader, Pete Rose.

If he was judged solely by what he did on the field, it would be a no brainer. Not only is he the hit king of baseball, he was also the most iconic player of his time and played incredibly well for an incredibly long period of time.

Many argue that he should be allowed in because he did not abuse steroids and the betting that excludes him from the Hall had no impact on the way he played the game.

Unfortunately, rules are rules and there is no way that he will ever be able to make it into the Hall because he disrespected the integrity of the game and forever left a dark mark on his career, no matter how great he was in the batter’s box and on the field. 

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  • Steved

    No steroid user deserves to be in the hall of fame. They didn’t even deserve to be playing so why would they ever be considered? For every user there was a guy doing it naturally that didn’t make the pros because of the cheat taken up that spot. And yes some of these guys wouldn’t be or wouldn’t maintain being pros without juice.

    • Scott

      So can you definitively tell me who has and hasn’t used. I guarantee you there is a steroid user in the HOF now. Do you really think usage started in the late 90’s? Should we discredit anyone that used amphetamines? Many claim they were more of a performance enhancer than steroids.
      Should Ty Cobb be omitted? He is suspected of killing a man,
      Are all the current HOFers bastions of integrity? Seems many want to pull the integrity clause into the argument. But who really can judge another man’s integrity anyway

      • Steved

        What does murder have to do with cheating? Your argument makes no sense. It’s simply about unnaturally enhancing performance. It’s a clear cut choice these athletes make to use steroids our not. If you use your a cheat. There is a litmus test for steroids and these athletes knew they were cheating.

  • Kardashian Ass

    Except for a year or two, Mac sucked w/o steroids.

  • jcom67

    albert bell

    • Mark

      I like your pix but Albert, or is it Joey, belongs in the Joint.

  • rick

    Shoeless Joe Jackson was NOT involved in the 1919 Black Sox fixing the series. Read the book. He knew about it, but refused to become involved. Landis arbitrarily decided to toss all of them from baseball. Ambulance chasers had not yet come into vogue in 1919.

    • Bill Miller

      Jackson admitted under oath (you can find his testimony on, that he did, in fact, accept $5,000 from the gamblers. What he later did with the money is open to dispute.

  • The dude

    AJ Pierzynski and cash to Giants for Frankie Liriano, Joe Nathan, and Boof Bonser? That’s bad.

  • Michael Rappaport

    Rose wasn’t better than Barry Bonds. Or Shoeless Joe Jackson. Or Roger Clemens.

    • Bill Miller

      Or Jeff Bagwell or Mike Piazza.

    • Michael Occhipinti

      No, Pete Rose is just the all-time leader in # of base-hits, games played, runs by a switch hitter, singles, doubles, walks by a switch hitter, total bases by a switch hitter, most seasons of 200 or more base hits, 23 consecutive seasons of 100+ hits, most seasons with 600+ at-bats, playing in the highest number of winning games, and on and on. Oh and only player to play at least 500 games in FIVE different positions. Not to mention the enormous balls he must have had to play the shortest 3rd base anybody ever saw. If 3rd is the Hot Corner, he turned it into the Supernova corner. I should add that I never really liked him as a player, he annoyed me, especially that hair cut. But I always respected him as a fierce competitor. He belongs in the Hall of Fame, no question.

  • Michael Occhipinti

    Its called the hall of fame,, not the hall of goody 2 shoes, otherwise Ty Cobb, for starters, wouldn’t be in it. Sure steroids gave some players a boost, but I’ll guarantee there’s hundreds of players that took them and didn’t make it anyway. Maybe they should ban players from the gyms altogether and stop them from using golf gloves and knee wraps and while we’re at it, ban electro-stim, stop them from eating grade AAA steak and taking creatine and NO2 and stop doing all the other things that players do to enhance their game. People should get off their high horse. Put them in the Hall of Fame (that includes Pete Rose sheesh) and make sure there plaque tells the whole story, they racked up great stats, were very famous in their day, were great players, but were also flawed. BTW, lets get something straight, all the roids in the world are not going to improve your hand-eye coordination or the brain power needed to guess which pitch is coming next. I’ll concede the increase in bat speed allows the player to hang back a split second longer but you STILL have to know how to hit.

    • Leslie Hoerwinkle

      Some people are more than capable of driving safely down the highway at 90 mph, too. But, like steroids, there are laws and rules. Abide by them, or change them.

    • s_lock

      glasses should be banned because they help people see better and that is unfair

      • Michael Occhipinti

        Right! That’s a great point, and maybe they should ban Lazik corrective eye surgery. Maybe they should take away Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters because he was the first pitcher to hit the weights heavily and muscle up (against the general consensus back then that lifting weights was bad for pitchers). It should be noted that Roger Clemens learned about lifting weights to enhance his pitching from his idol Nolan Ryan. Maybe its Nolan’s fault for putting Roger on the road to beefdom. (Note to simpletons on here, sarcasm was employed)

  • Don Schuster

    Can you be any MORE of an apologist for the druggies who ruined the sport for an era?

    • s_lock

      no one ruined anything, get real … all players of every sport have always seeked to gain advantage in any way possible …. all those greats of the earlier eras were using amphetamines and whatever else they could get if they thought it would increase performance … so get off your idiotic high horse, fool

      • Old Skewel

        Just what part of cheating or breaking the rules, do you not seem to comprehend s_lock? Heck, let’s just use aluminum bats and have each batter carry a pair of brass knuckles to clear first on a bunt?


        1.) Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code (rules).

        2.) The state of being wholesome; unimpaired

        3.) The quality or condition of being complete; pure

        4.) (cryptography) With regards to data encryption, ensuring that information is not altered by unauthorized persons in a way that is not detectable by authorized users.

        5.) (aviation) The ability of a system to provide timely warnings to users when they should not be used for navigation.
        There….; hopefully you now know what is meant when the phrase “integrity of the game” is being used…..

        • Scott

          So can you definitively tell me who has and hasn’t used. I guarantee you
          there is a steroid user in the HOF now. Do you really think usage
          started in the late 90’s? Should we discredit anyone that used
          amphetamines? Many claim they were more of a performance enhancer than
          Should Ty Cobb be omitted? He is suspected of killing a man,
          all the current HOFers bastions of integrity? Seems many want to pull
          the integrity clause into the argument. But who really can judge another
          man’s integrity anyway

    • Mark

      I don’t think that’s possible.

  • Leslie Hoerwinkle

    Why would it be a disgrace to include Murphy on this list? You live in a world of contradiction.

    • Kevin Green

      Because Murphy was a good player that didnt cheat the game and aside from Bagwell & Biggio this list is full of cheaters. Including Murphy on the list would be a disgrace to his solid playing career.

      • Mark

        Garvey cheated on his wife (who can blame him?) not on the game. I’m not sure Bags’ slate is as clean as you’ve implied.

      • sydney

        So now Trammell and Morris cheated? Review your comment before pressing ‘enter’

      • Sammy Ciccone

        Did you really say aside from Bagwell and Biggio?…..LOL….Bagwell has always been mentioned with PED’s…yet you use his name instead of Trammell, Morris, Stephenson, etc…….

  • NorCalBuc

    Parker, Dave.

    • Mark

      “The Cobra” should have never left Steel Town.

  • Nick Noble

    I’ve always advocated for Dale Murphy, Luis Tiant, Jack Morris, Jim Kaat, Keith Hernandez, Curt Flood, and Roger Maris. I do not agree with the premise that if an argument can be made against a player being in the Hall of Fame then he shouldn’t be in. There are dozens of players already in the Hall about whom arguments have been raised. So what? The National Baseball Hall of Fame is already the most selective of all the professional team sports Halls of Fame, by a HUGE margin. The NFL, NBA, and NHL Halls of Fame have inducted between 4 and 7% of all players who have ever played in their respective leagues. In contrast, MLB has inducted less than one-tenth of one percent of all the players who have ever played major league ball. They could induct ALL the borderline/controversial candidates and STILL Cooperstown would be honoring fewer than 1% of all players in MLB history.

  • Guest

    Garvey isn’t in because of rumors that he is gay.

    • Mark

      You’re getting Garv mixed up with someone else.

  • LlarryLLama

    I’d like to see a special section in the Hall, for the steroid era. That way, those who put up great numbers and were known to be juicers could be added to that section. Also, another section, called the Hall Elite, would be for only the cornerstones of baseball (Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Robinson, Clemente.and just a few others.), who not only put up the best numbers but also changed the face of baseball or their communities, for the better. They are the best of the best.

    • Old Skewel

      I’m open to a DIFFERENT building that’s on the HOF grounds for the steroid users but NO WAY are they under the same roof as legitimate Hall of Famers.

  • sickofthepolitics

    I suppose the Nolan Ryan for a bag of balls from the mets dosen’t count? please

  • snarkk

    How do you know Murphy didn’t use any kind of PEDs? You don’t KNOW, do you? None of us KNOW who used and who did not, other than the players that admitted it, or had positive tests publicized. PEDs use was rampant since the late ’80s based on player reports and the Mitchell report, and amphetamines were used like candy from the ’60s onward…

    • Old Skewel

      Yep. Dale Murphy is one of only three players that have won the MVP award multiple times and not been elected to the HOF. The other two are Roger Maris and Juan Gonzalez……

    • Joe Wheatley

      Dale Murphey did not use PEDS.

  • Sean Patrick Kennedy Hill

    The Rocket was the best pitcher other the Nolan Ryan in the modern age… He should be #1 by a mile!

  • lam33gb

    Not including Dale Murphy on this list is comical.

  • Lionglass

    One deserving player from the 1880s is William “Dummy” Hoy, a deaf man who created the strike and safe signs, who was the top base stealer in the premodern era, and is STILL #18 in most bases stolen in baseball history, and everyone above Hoy is enshrined in Hall of Fame. Google the documentary “Signs of the Times”.

  • rojocube

    Bonds is not the all time hr leader. It’s hank Aaron and no one will ever break his 755 mark

  • rojocube

    Lee smith should be in no doubt. Getting 2 and 3 inning saves 80% of the time is not easy.

    • Halfzeimer

      He’s falls the good, but not good enough category.

  • rojocube

    Sosa never was linked to steroids.

    • Dave Smith

      And I am the Pope.

      • rojocube

        Facts are facts. He never tested positive for steroids. Clemens, Bonds, A-Rod did. Pete Rose didn’t cheat while playing. He bet on baseball big deal. He’s the all time hits leader. A record that will never be touched. Along with Hank Aaron’s HR record and DiMaggios hit streak.

        • Halfzeimer

          If you think Rose didn’t bet on games while he played, you might just be this year’s winner of the Worlds Most Naive Person. (aka:the WMNP award) You should check to see if your name is on the WMNP ballot this year. You may already be a winner.

    • Halfzeimer

      He somehow magically went from a 160 lb. runt to a 230 lb. beast with a larger than life head. Not linked? He was the roids poster child!

      • Rizzo44

        He unlike bonds and A-Rod never was caught. A-Rod cheated from the day he became a rangers and only stopped til his 162 game suspension in which he got off light. Not only did he admit to using to selig in More then one occasion. He started using again this year.

    • Sammy Ciccone

      You are kidding right? It’s obvious that he was a steroid user…..If that doesn’t help maybe the fact that he got caught using a corked bat proves he’s a cheater…

  • Pat

    Missed one of the worst trades in history. Cubs trade Lou Brock to the Cardinals for Ernie Broglio.

  • christopher schrage

    you forgot varitek and lowe for heathcliff

  • christopher schrage

    arroyop for wily mo was another bad deal

  • christopher schrage

    ryan for fregosi(r i p) another bad deal

  • Ryan Morris

    Dale Murphy is not a hall of famer. He is a career .265 hitter. I’ll admit that he is actually closer than some but he does not have 400 home runs when power OF’ers who were not .300 hitters most of the time have to at least have 400 HR’s. He put together 5 or 6 great seasons but in my book he clearly falls short

  • John

    I’m surprised that no one pointed out that Rusty Staub isn’t on this list. Also, if you’re gonna include all the PED users and Pete Rose, shouldn’t Shoeless Joe Jackson be on the list?

  • Michael Occhipinti

    I have a degree in physics, so clearly educated here. There’s a principle of monkey-see, monkey-do. When players see other players getting very muscular and successful they understand they also have to step up their game to compete. I know countless people who use steroids who aren’t pro athletes, they just want to be big and muscular. Its not a huge leap of logic to assume that many players trying to make it in the big leagues took steroids and found out that they still couldn’t hang. Bobby Bonds may have taken enough roids to enlarge his hat size by 2, but he was still a great player before he took them because he had hand-eye coordination. I read a quote recently from a big name in baseball, who unfortunately I can’t recall right now, who said that Bonds was the best hitter he ever saw. He didn’t get that way through roids, he just inflated his HR count through roids. If you don’t understand what they do, then you don’t understand exactly what kind of edge they give you. Nobody is a great player JUST because of roids, they just gave them strength and healing boosts, not smarts or enhanced eyesight, hearing coordination, etc. Maybe somebody should have hired Arnold back in his heyday to hit home runs.

    • Sammy Ciccone

      Didn’t realize that Barry’s dad Bobby took steroids in his playing days…..

  • Michael Occhipinti

    I know he didn’t meet the (what I consider bogus) longevity rule, but Thurman Munson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. If only he hadn’t felt the need to fly his own plane to visit his family. He was one of the fiercest competitors. If I remember right he got the most game winning hits 2 years in a row, a sure sign of a clutch hitter (which is often overlooked these days). He managed pitchers better than anybody and elevated the entire pitching staff with his knowledge of opposing players. For a beefy guy he could run and steal bases and was aggressive in every phase of the game, including picking off runners from first and 3rd. If 1976 while the rest of the Yankees were hung over from the exhilarating ALCS vs. Kansas City, Munson hit over 500 in the 4 gays versus the Reds. He hit .297 or better 6 of his 9 complete seasons at a grueling position and hit 18 hrs in a year where the league leader was his 3rd base teammate Graig Nettles with 31. I could go on and on, but he was a truly great catcher who was instrumental in bring the World Series trophy back to NY after a long drought. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, period. P.S. He also had the nerve to grow a beard despite George (I dont even need to shave, hate beards because I’m jealous) Steinbrenner’s ridiculous and insulting no beard policy.

    • jim e

      I like how you think. And write. Keep doing more of it please.

  • Chris

    Steve Garvey isn’t even the best Dodgers first baseman not in the Hall.

  • Ever hear of the greatest hitter of the 1980’s, Don Mattingly? You have no clue!

  • Wilt

    Compare Lou Whitaker’s stats to Bill Mazeroski’s stats. Lou’s career batting average is 16 points higher. He had 231 more RBI and 106 more homers. His fielding average is .985 compared to .983 for Maz. Lou was a really good clutch hitter. I remember a bottom of the ninth grand slam to beat Cleveland by one run. That one special WS homer put Maz in the HOF.

    • Halfzeimer

      I’m not a Tiger fan, but Trammel and Whitaker were both steady stars for many years. I never could figure out why neither got much love from the HOF voters.

  • Jack Getze

    If cheating really kept people out of the Hall of Fame, there wouldn’t be anyone in it. Bullshit. Steroids weren’t even banned when Bonds and others used them. And how is that different than corked bats, spitters, gobbing your body with pine tar so you cheat the hitter? Baseball has a Hall of Shame, not fame. The two best hitters of all time are not represented? Laughable were I not a fan. Sad that I and millions of others have no interest in ever seeing the toytown writers-run, holier than thou Cooperstown.

    • Halfzeimer

      What do you mean not banned? They are ILLEGAL! They probably don’t have a ban for bashing your mother in the head with a 2 by 4, but that too, might keep you out.

  • Sal Silvio

    Edgar Martinez has never been linked to any form of cheating. The only reason he isn’t in the HOF is because he was almost exclusively a DH. Also, Bagwell has never been linked to steroids. He wasn’t in the Mitchell Report and has never been accused, other than when he became eligible. So, the list is 66.666667 % gamblers, cheater and drug abusers. The reason Murphy isn’t on the list has nothing to do with his integrity, but he simply does not have the credentials to be elected into the HOF. He was a great player, just not HOF worthy.

  • robert88871

    Dale Murphy should be in the HOF… He is probably the most liked, appreciated and admired player NOT in the HOF….when he didn’t get in on the last vote it put a bad taste in my mouth that is still there and is partly the reason I’m fading away from watching baseball as much. I know many people will not like my statement but it’s how I feel…me personally

  • John_Sweda

    Norm Cash. When Cash retired in 1974, he had hit more home runs than any left-handed hitter in American League history except for Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Ted Williams.

  • Looks like the writer of this article is a supporter of steroid users.

  • Scott DeMeo

    If you think as a Pitcher Glavin should be in then as a hitter/ outfielder Dwight Evans should be in the Hall. He is my all-time favorite Player. If his first 5 seasons hitting was as great as the rest of his career his numbers would have been far good enough! he hit more hr in the 80’s than any other AL Hitter.

  • kenhowes

    Don’t say that there is no way. Pete Rose didn’t do a Black Sox type thing–throw games. In the law, there is a distinction between a malum in se and a malum prohibitum. Throwing games is a malum in se–it’s wrong because it’s wrong. Betting in favor of your team is a malum prohibitum–it’s wrong because there’s a rule against it. Sort of the difference between selling cocaine to little kids and sharing a joint with your roommate. The league could reverse itself on Pete Rose. I think it should.

  • kenhowes

    Bonds wasn’t “just as good before he started juicing.” Bonds before he was juicing was a star, perhaps on a Carl Yastrzemski or Dave Winfield level–yes, a great hitter, yes, probably headed for the Hall of Fame. But when he started juicing, he started putting up Babe Ruth numbers. Not the numbers of Babe Ruth generally–the numbers of Babe Ruth in those two insane seasons of 1920-21. It was the steroids who turned him from a very good left-handed slugger into a slugger at a level that hadn’t been seen since Ruth’s prime.

  • Halfzeimer

    I get McGriff, Raines, and Biggio. The rest were either a bunch of cheats and liars, or good but not great players, or guys that just didn’t have enough great years.

  • chaser2

    Roger Maris He was demonized for breaking Babe Ruth’s HR record.

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