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Hall of Fame Poll: Sammy Sosa

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Sammy Sosa is still on the ballot. This is his 5th time on the ballot. Last year he received 7.0% of the vote (you need to get 5% to stay on the ballot).

You know the Sammy Sosa story. Early in his career, he wasn't a great player, he chased too many pitchers, didn't take walks. Then suddenly he started hitting home runs by the dozen. He and Mark McGwire had a great battle to be the one to beat out Roger Maris for the home run record. They were credited with saving the MLB after 2 strike/lockout shortened seasons.

He hit .273/.344/.534 with 609 home runs (8th all time), 1667 RBI (28th all time), in 2354 games over 18 seasons. He was an All-Star 7 times, MVP once, and came in 2nd once, and won the Silver Slugger 6 times. He had a career 58.4 bWAR.

I'll admit I was never a fan. Mark McGwire had a value before the PEDs, but Sammy didn't have much value outside of the home runs. And he's been a bit of a jerk about it all, or at least comes off as one in interviews.

I'm not one that believes players shouldn't be allowed in the Hall if they used, but, in Sosa's case, I don't think he would have come anywhere near Hall of Fame numbers without the drugs. He was also caught with a corked bat (if you are going to cheat, you might as well cheat in all ways).

Normally I would say that the guy 8th all-time in home runs should be in the Hall, but in this case, there are so many other deserving players on the ballot, I can't get behind Sosa.

You can see Sammy's stats here.

Matt's graph:

A lot of debate about the Hall of Fame relates to comparing a candidate against others elected and excluded. The chart below shows all players who played the majority of their career after 1945 (excluding active players, and those on the ballot or yet to hit the ballot) according to how long they played and how productive they were. TRC+ is wRC+, just for all runs rather than just batting runs. This is not meant to be definitive, but a high level starting point showing how players with similarly productive and lasting careers have fared.


Similar Players: Harmon Killebrew (elected BBWAA), Tony Gwynn (BBWAA), Ernie Banks (BBWAA), Pee Wee Reese (elected Veteran's Committee), Richie Ashburn (VC), Buddy Bell, Ted Simmons, Willie Davis, Jeff Kent (ballot), Fred McGriff (ballot), Bobby Abreu (awaiting ballot).