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Hall of Fame Poll: Rafael Palmeiro

As much as I don't want to open up the 'should steroid users be banned from the HoF' debate again, the next name on the list is Rafael Palmeiro.

Palmeiro came up with the Cubs and played mostly outfield for them, because Mark Grace came up at roughly the same time. After the 1988 season, when Rafael made the All-Star team, the Cubs traded him, Drew Hall and, way back then, a young pitcher named Jamie Moyer for Luis Benitez, Pablo Delgado, Paul Kilgus, Curt Wilkerson, Mitch Williams and Steve Wilson. The reasoning at the time was that Palmeiro would never become a power hitter, so they were keeping Mark Grace. Who knows, maybe without the marvels of modern medicine he wouldn't have.

Rafael had a 20 year career, playing for the Cubs, Rangers, Orioles, Rangers again and Orioles again. He ended up with 3020 hits, 569 home runs, 1835 RBIs, 585 doubles and a 288/.371/.515 line. He was on 4 All-Star teams, won 3 Gold Gloves and 2 Silver Slugger awards. On the all time lists he is:

18th in games played

15th in at bats

31st in runs scored

24th in hits

10th in total bases

16th in doubles

12th in home runs

15th in RBI

31st in walks

And, he was suspended for using. In something that really could have been part of a bad comedy, in March 2005 Palmeiro told Congress and everyone else, while under oath that "I have never used steroids, period." Then, in August of that year he was suspended for failing a drug test. He still claims to have never 'knowingly' used.

This is his first time on the ballot and it will be interesting to see how the Writers vote.