Baseball

A-Rod Belongs in the Hall of Fame

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Alex Rodriguez is officially on the Hall of Fame ballot. He has now been out of baseball long enough to earn his eligibility. A-Rod is one of the all-time greats statistically and if voting was strictly based on that, he would be voted in immediately. His numbers justify him as a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection.

Unfortunately, the baseball production alone does not tell the whole saga of A-Rod. His legacy is filled with adversity and questionable tactics. Whether he deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame is an intriguing topic of debate.

Alex Rodriguez Career Statistics

A-Rod has the numbers to match up with just about any other player in MLB history. His overall career offensive production ranks in the top ten, and maybe even top five, of all time. His 696 home runs are the fourth most in MLB history. He trails only three legends who are considered the greatest power hitters of all time: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth. A-Rod wasn’t just a slugger at the plate, accumulating over three thousand hits in his career. He is in the elite group of just 32 players in MLB history to accomplish that prestigious task.

A-Rod is one of just four players in MLB history to register more than two thousand RBI, joining Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Albert Pujols. He also ranks in the top ten of all time in many other categories including runs scored and extra-base hits, among others. He won the MLB MVP three times while also being selected as an All-Star 14 times, Silver Slugger ten times, and Gold Glove two times. A-Rod won a batting title and a World Series ring. There are few players in MLB history that put together a more productive career, especially at the plate, than Alex Rodriguez.

The Case Against A-Rod for the Hall of Fame

If numbers were the only thing that mattered for Hall of Fame voting, there would be no debate at all about A-Rod’s place. There would be no legitimate case at all to deny his entry. Unfortunately for Rodriguez, that’s not necessarily how it works. He has several factors in his rocky history that could potentially keep him out of the Hall of Fame. The biggest and most important, of course, is his connection to the long and complex scandal of PED being used throughout baseball.

Not only was A-Rod a part of the long list of accused players, he was made one of the faces of the entire ongoing story. He, along with Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, were the “headlines” of all of it. This is partially because they are three of the greatest players in MLB history, but also because of the long and drawn-out legal battles that each of them entered when trying to prove their innocence. While many other players were admitting their wrongs and apologizing, the three of them took the opposite route of denial.

This clearly rubbed many the wrong way and works against him in the public eye. Regardless, the fact that Alex Rodriguez is “tarnished” by his PED use is something that could keep him out of the Hall of Fame alone. The voters have yet to allow anyone from that era connected to PED to get in yet. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who would have both been easily voted in if numbers and accomplishments were all that mattered, have failed to be voted in while being on the ballot for several years.

The final year of eligibility is upcoming for Bonds and Clemens on the Hall of Fame ballot. They have received an increased vote percentage each year but have yet to cross the requirement for entry. Whether or not Bonds and Clemens get in, could directly correlate to A-Rod’s chances. Public perception, likability, and general acceptance all have a huge influence on the voters. It’s debatable if they should, but they definitely do.

A-Rod had a Hall of Fame Career

The question as to whether or not A-Rod will be in the Hall of Fame is directly linked to the stance on the entire PED scandal in the eyes of the voters. For anyone associated with it to ever get in, someone is going to have to be the first. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both have the chance to be the first to break through, while Alex Rodriguez is in almost the exact same situation and could be the one as well. In the case of A-Rod, he is a top ten offensive player in MLB history and put together one of the greatest careers of all time. He earned his spot on the field, but not off of it.

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Adam Hulse is a baseball writer at Overtime Heroics. He is also the host of his own Podcast titled: Sports Talk with Adam Hulse

1 comment

  • daveminnj says:

    The question is, how many of his stats can be trusted as real and not steroid inflated? Bonds played clean until 1999, for a full 13 years, and already had the numbers by the end of 1998.

    Clemons despite a mid-career dip (40-39 over 4 year span, 1993-1996) had basically secured HOF by end of 1996. 192-111, 3.06 era, 3 Cy Youngs before there was any hint of steroids.

    With A-Rod, though, his numbers are suspect at least since his departure from Seattle. There’s no way to trust them. Even if you give the God Bless to everything he did through 2000, that’s just a great opening act. It’s not a HOF career on its own. Too bad, because he probably would have been pretty great without cheating.

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