The candidates that will appear om the Hall of Fame ballot were released today. There are two players who spent notable parts of their careers with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A third player, Richie Sexon also appears but he hardly counts as a D’back considering he played in only 29 games for them in 2004. Here is a brief overview of the two players and what their chances are of receiving the necessary votes to get in and/or if they will ever be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Luis Gonzalez: Gonzo is argueably the most popular player in the history of the franchise. Certainly his 2001 season was the most prolific offensive campaign in club history and his third place finish in the National League MVP race was the organization’s best until Paul Goldschmidt finished second this season. A five time All Star, Gonzalez finished his 19 year career with 349 home runs and 1,439 RBI’s with a slash line of .283/.367/.479. He is the franchise leader in just about every single meaningful offensive statistic. However, all of these gaudy accolades will not result in a plaque in Cooperstown. He had only five dominant seasons surrounded by fourteen other ones that were mostly average. Lots of players who have enjoyed more success than Gonzo are not Hall of Famers. He was great. In this, his first year on the ballot he is not a Hall of Famer.
Chances Gonzalez gets in this year: None
Chances after this year: None
Curt Schilling: He only spent 3 1/2 years in Arizona but it was part of the most successful span in club history. He was the Co-MVP of the 2001 World Series and he recorded back-to-back runner-up finishes in the National League Cy Young Award voting. He also finished fourth in 1997 with the Phillies and second in 2004 while a member of the Red Sox. Schilling finished with a career record of 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA and 3,116 strikeouts in 3,261 innings pitched. He recorded 20 wins in a season only three times, usually not enough to get a player into the Hall of Fame. However, his postseason record strongly enhances his case as he pitched in the World Series with three different teams including helping the Sox win their first title in 86 years. In 19 playoff starts, Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and is considered the best money pitcher of his generation.
Chances after this year: It is a good thing you get 15 years on the writer’s ballot. Guys that will become eligible over the next couple of seasons include Pedro Martinez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson and John Smoltz. It might take another five years but I believe Schilling will get inducted within the next five to seven years.
The Class of 2014 will be announced on January 8th.