This is Gary Sheffield’s fifth time on the ballot. He was on 30.5% of the writer’s ballots last year, up from 13.6. He needs to make some strides to get to the magic 75.
Looking at his stats, Sheffield was a better player than I thought he was back in the day. Sheffield, nephew of Dwight Gooden (who was a one and done in Hall of Fame voting, getting just 3% of the vote), was a first-round pick in the Brewers’ 1986 draft. He went on to have a 22 year (I didn’t think he played that long) major league career, playing for 8 different teams.
He played 2576 games, hitting .292/.393/.514 with 509 home runs, 1676 RBI and 253 stolen bases thrown in for good measure. He made 9 All-Star teams. He won 5 Silver Slugger awards. He received MVP votes 7 times, finishing 2nd once and 3rd twice. His career WAR is 60.2.
He came up as a shortstop, was moved to third base and then the outfield, he was never much of a defensive player, but then he could hit.
He was pretty interesting off the field too. He called the Brewers’ racist’ when they moved him off short to play third. He felt racism was behind anything terrible that happened to him. And he figured there were more Latin players in the majors than African-Americans because Latin players were ‘easier to control.’ He claimed that manager Joe Torre treated black players differently than white players and who am I to say he didn’t? I’d imagine that when you are subjected to a lot of racism, you likely start seeing it in places where it isn’t. But then I’m a white boy with blue eyes. I’ve never dealt with racism directed at me.
In the Mitchell report, he was named as someone who used PEDs, but many players were mentioned in that report. He is an interesting candidate. How much do you subtract for his defense? Does he lose points for his personality? I don’t think he always played well with reporters, I wonder how that plays into the vote?
I think a guy with 509 home runs, who got on base 39% of the time should be in the Hall. He’s a massively better play than Harold Baines.
You can see his stats here.
Would you vote Gary Sheffield into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
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