Berkman a Hall of Famer?

Lance Berkman had a career .943 OPS and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting six times. (Getty Images)

Lance Berkman had a career .943 OPS and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting six times. (Getty Images)

Statistically, Lance Berkman (who recently announced his retirement after a 15-year career) might be as borderline as a Hall of Fame case can get. His rate statistics are fantastic — he finished his 1,879 game career with a .293/.406/.537 career batting line, good for a 144 OPS+, 48th best of all time. However, Berkman missed out on a number of counting stat milestones — notably 2,000 hits and 400 home runs (he finished with 1,905 and 366 respectively) — typically needed for serious Hall of Fame consideration from a corner outfielder/first baseman, like Berkman.

As such, whether or not you think Lance Berkman belongs in the Hall of Fame essentially depends on how big you think the Hall of Fame should be. Since too much discussion on the Hall of Fame surrounds what these players did wrong — their few missteps over decades of greatness — I prefer to focus on what the Hall of Fame should be about in the first place: a celebration of Berkman’s many accomplishments throughout 15 years on the field.

Berkman was a visible figure on the baseball landscape from the first time he received major playing time as a 24-year-old in 2000. He hit 21 home runs in 114 games that year and started to turn the Astros’ Killer B duo of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell into a trio. The next year, 2001, Berkman finished fifth in the MVP voting and reached his first All-Star game, and he remained at or near that level for almost all of the next decade.

Even after his career looked dead in a brief post-deadline stint with the Yankees in 2010 — his only full season with a sub-.900 OPS — Berkman rose for one last vintage run with the Cardinals. In St. Louis, he reached his sixth All-Star team, finished in the top ten of MVP voting for the sixth time in 11 seasons, and helped carry the Cardinals to a thrilling World Series victory, the first of his career.

But there was something more to Berkman than just a steady presence on the diamond. He played the game in a unique way, from his switch-hitting prowess to his surprising fielding ability. It can be hard to imagine now, as our freshest memories of Berkman are as a plodding first baseman or even designated hitter, but Berkman once patrolled Minute Maid Park’s center field and made one of the best catches that absurd stadium has ever seen:

Of course, Berkman will be remembered much more for his bat. That bat produced 10 consecutive seasons with at least a 130 OPS+ and came four points in 2007 away from 10 consecutive .900 OPS seasons. Berkman generated substantial power with a quiet swing from both sides of the plate — enough to finish fourth in home runs by a switch-hitter, behind just Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray and Chipper Jones (although Carlos Beltran trails by just eight and will likely pass him next season).

Here it is from the left side:

And right-handed:

Berkman rarely did it in the most graceful way, but that only added to his charm. Maybe he won’t end up making the Hall of Fame. But it is impossible to tell the full story of baseball in the early 2000s without Lance Berkman, consistently one of the game’s best hitters and a unique switch-hitting talent. His accomplishments and style will be remembered regardless of Hall of Fame election results.

83 thoughts on “Berkman a Hall of Famer?

    • In reply to comment of , should he be a Hall of Fame player, and a reply of – too bad for all of the knee surgeries – there is a three (3) time league batting champion who is not in the Hall of Fame beause of ths reason – knee surgery – If a 3 time league batting chamion can not make the Hall of Fame, How can Lance Berkman ….. The player who won the
      league batting title 3 times is Tony Olivia.

    • Yes, Berkman was a great player, but the Hall placement is such a flawed mechanism. Every fan seems to have their favorite player that has been consistently overlooked. Personally, I think the greatest travesty is Steve Garvey not getting in. Only 7 players in MLB history have at least 6 – 200 hit seasons and 5 – 100 RBI seasons. Garvey is one of them, The other 6 are in the hall. He has the third longest consecutive game streak in MLB history, 10 allstar appearances, 5 world series appearances, fabulous post-season stats, numerous gold glove awards and top 50 lifetime offensive stats in hits, HR, RBI. Berkman deserves to get in – but look at Garvey first and compare the careers of both. I think the Hall criteria should include an objective quantifiable point system for election that is then ratified by 51% of some voting body, with the dissenters expressly saying why they did not ratify someone if they did not get in.

      • Over their whole careers, Berkman has a 13 point lead in OPS+ over Oliva, a statistic on bbref.com that uses obp and slg per then neutralizes them for park and era. Berkman also has over 1200 more PA than oliva, and Garvey at his best hitting season was not as good as Berkmans career average. Garvey was an average defensive player and won gold gloves because he was a very good player, and those awards are about name recognition

    • I believe that the Hall of Fame should be for great players and Berkman is a very good player.

      • Define “great”. Great for 23 years, accumulating stats? Because if that’s all you believe belongs in the Hall, you’d have a case.

        But Berkman WAS great. Just not great for 20+ years, or 10,000+ AB’s like many other HoF’ers.

  1. Lance was a compiler. Never the best at what he did. Good ball player. Want him on my team, but not a HOF’er

    • Berkman was the polar opposite of a compiler – he’s a guy who packed a lot of value into a relatively short career. Harold Baines was a compiler – Berkman had five or six seasons better than Baines’ best. Johnny Damon, outside a couple of excellent years in Kansas City, was a compiler. Berkman at his best was one of the top hitters in the league – if he wasn’t THE best, it’s only because he was in the same league as Pujols.

      • That is not a good case to get into the Hall. Don Mattingly is the perfect example, his career was cut short but in his BEST years he was the BEST in the league and at his position without question and by a margin. He will not get into the hall for his ball play.

        • Couldn’t agree more. This is exactly where the sabermetric rate stats fall short and the counting stats still matter.

        • To clarify, I’m not saying that Berkman is a Hall of Famer – he wouldn’t be the worst player so honored, but he’s very borderline at best. I’m just saying he’s not a compiler. Some guys (like Baines and Damon) have great career totals but didn’t have a peak of sustained excellence. Berkman is just the opposite: his peak was in line with many Hall of Famers, but his career case is weak.

          Since you mentioned Mattingly, though, I’d point out that he (much like Berkman) was never really the BEST player in the league (though he had a case in 1986). There’s no shame in that – he played in the same league as Wade Boggs, George Brett and Rickey Henderson, among others. At times he was the best first baseman in the AL, but that’s partially because first base was a rather weak position in the AL at the time – his competition was basically Eddie Murray and no one else.

          • Ian hit the nail right on the head here. Mattingly was pretty good in his era (of weak first basemen) and that should probably eek him into the Hall one day (Veteran’s Committee, I’d imagine).

            Berkman should be ELECTED. Maybe not the first couple years, and maybe he should only squeak in with 78-81% of the vote or so, but he SHOULD be elected. Of course, the BBWAA is utterly and completely useless for anything other than selling marketing spots with their philandering sensationalist bulls— being peddled (falsely) as “journalism”, so I have no faith whatsoever that they’ll do their jobs right in a few years when it’s Berkman’s turn, either.

          • In regards to Mattingly, I believe he should be in the Hall because if Kirby Puckett is in there, so should Mattingly. Their careers took place during the same years in the same league, and they are as close as you can get statistically. Kirby did get 2 championships but that shouldn’t explain why he got in his first year of eligibility and Mattingly has never gotten close. Whether there was some anti-Yankee bias or that Puckett’s career-ending ailment was more dramatic, stats-wise, they were virtually identical.

      • Exactly, Berkman was no compiler, but what he did do was get the most out of his body every season. Anything you needed done with a baseball bat, he could do – hit for power, average, on base percentage, he even stole bases with that “Fat Elvis” body of his. He gave it his all, every game, every year, and like every athlete, eventually time or injuries knock you out of the game. He was consistently awesome, even in the playoffs, .317 BA .417 OBP in playoffs, winning two World Series rings, and for his career regular season marks, remarkably similar, .293BA .406 OBP. He’s had a great career, so what if he never makes the HOF, many players never even sniff a World Series.

    • “Lance was a compiler”

      Proof positive that you have no business in this conversation. You don’t even understand the concept of compiling, a principle encompassed in far more of life’s endeavors than baseball…much less the subtle nuance that makes a player Hall material or not.

  2. Yes, he does belong in the HOF he well deserves it. He helped the Cardinals win the WS in 2011. He’s accomplished a lot and been through injuries but it happens when you play sports.

  3. Lance should be in the Hall. There are at least two corner outfielder/first base men that do not meet the standard you reference Ralph Kiner and Hank Greenberg I would also note that Lance Berkman also played Center Field and did it in a park where the field has unusual conditions.

    • HAHAHAHA, are YOU saying Greenberg & Kiner aren’t HOF’s?! Greenberg was a 2-time MVP and 2-time WS Champion. A career .313 hitter who had some of the greatest offensive seasons in history (170 & 183 RBI seasons, 4 HR titles). Oh yeah, he also lost playing time to serve in WWII. Kiner got a late start on his career after also servng in WWII, but started by leading the NL in home runs for 7 consecutive seasons. Berkman is not a HOFer, he didn’t have the overall numbers and even though that isn’t his fault, he didn’t really have extraordinary years. He was just a good player.

      • Overall numbers? That’s what you come up with? Ralph Kiner was an awful fielder! Berkman would take a 23 point hit in slg percentage if he played in Kiner’s run scoring environment, but those are career numbers and Berkman has more than 1600 PA than Kiner. If you take the first 6256 PA of Berkmans career, he gets a .299/.412/.555 slashline, and Kiner gets one of .279/.398/.548. Who has a laughable case now?

  4. As much I want to say yes to Berkman getting into the Hall, his career numbers fall short (aside from OPS and OBP). Even taking into consideration his character and a world series win, he played in ballpark conducive to homers and he wasn’t a great glove. He lead the league in RBI’s once, and that is it. He’s never lead the league in any other category. If he got in, would I be happy? Sure. Do I think he will? No.

    • Minute Maid is an extremely neutral park. You can’t decide on whether or not its a pitchers park based on the fact you went there. If you saw someone hit a homerun you’d think it’s a hitters park, and if you saw a no hitter you’d think it was petco. People measure how ballparks affect run scoring, and with over a decade of study it’s pretty obvious it’s neutral.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/HOU/attend.shtml

      • I’ve been saying this for years and years. People see that “short porch” in left field and just assume it’s a hitter’s park. It’s not. Look at the link Scott listed there.

        Or, alternatively, just use your brain and employ logic: If it’s such a hitter’s park, why have so many of the Astros’ pitchers dominated there over the last thirteen years? Think about it.

  5. there should be a hall of respect or hall of honor or something, for great players who are not quite good enough for the HOF.
    mattingly
    keith hernandez
    berkman
    etc . . .

    • Mattingly and Dale Murphy are prime examples of players in the Hall of Very Good. Berkman has NO CHANCE at the HOF, but you will see his pic in the Hall of Very Good (they can’t afford plaques).

    • Too bad Berkman rates too well with other HOF players. There are only 3 Hall of fame left fielders ( there’s 19 in all) who have a higher career on base: Williams, Burkett, Delahanty and there’s just two who have a higher SLG: Williams and Kiner. Even neutralizing his career on base and slugging for ballpark and era, Williams, Delahanty, Kiner, and Stargell are the only HOF leftfieldiers with a higher OPS+

      • They don’t care about facts, Scott. Only what ESPN tells them. “HERMRUNS ERR DE L33T YO!”

  6. A player considered to be one of the best at what he did for a decade or more should get serious HOF consideration. But, with the mockery the baseballwriters are making of the voting nowadays, the HOF is no longer the standard of excellence.
    I see all these baseballwriters compare players through oldschool and modern stats, and the very fact that you just can’t compare different eras gets lost totally.

    • Exactly. You judge players against their peers. In an “all time” conversation, that means considering adjusted stats for other players at their position (yes, that’s important) or, in Berkman’s case, against other switch hitters. It ALSO means comparing the player to their peers across baseball *within their own era*. Not sure why this is rocket science for so many.

  7. How important is it really, to have a plaque with your face hanging on a wall in a museum, because of what you did in the past ? That kind of urge for recognition by baseballplayers who have become financially independent and have their peers’ respect, is beyond me

    • Receiving a plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is the single greatest honor a professional athlete can receive. Period. If you don’t get that, you probably don’t get baseball.

      • I am just not that much into the celebration of individual achievement in the past. That is not to say that I am not in awe of these guys, cause I am. For me the real honor is in being part of this great game and having the privilege of competing at the highest level against the best of players.

      • Yes… except arguably number retirement, which some people view as an even greater honor in the modern game because so few players spend most or all of their careers with one team. The Astros may well retire Berkman’s number, and it’s very possible that’s the honor he cares about.

        • Doubt Lance is all that concerned with the Hall Of Fame. He’d probably agree with me that that particular honor is currently a dubious one at best with guys like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Palmeiro, McGwire, Biggio, Bagwell, et al missing.

          But I, as a fan of the sport, am VERY concerned with it. He belongs, same as Bonds (one of the best hitters ever, period) belongs, same as Kirby Puckett and Phil Rizzuto belong.

          • They are many VERY GOOD and GREAT players who are not in the HOF and never will be until the antiquated and biased HOF selection committee of baseball writers is replaced with a fairer method of selection.

  8. How could there be talk of Lance Berkman and the HOF while you have Fred McGriff with a mlb line 493 home runs, 294 ba, 2490 hits and cannot get in….strange….!

    • Over their careers, Berkman gave just as much offensive value (adjusting for parks and era) as McGriff. McGriff has more impressive counting stats, but they played in different offensive eras, Fred having his best seasons in the late 1980s and 1990s while Berkman played in the 2000s, a lower run scoring environment. Berkman manages to overcome an over 1000 PA difference with a career lead in OBP of 30 points and 10 points in SLG. Lance Berkman was also a better all around player and is rated more highly in his era

      • Fact. McGriff is definitely an inferior player to Berkman. That’s the problem with so many people, even relatively intelligent people who call themselves fans of the sport: they have very backward ideas of what it means to be part of “the best”. It does not…neccessarily…mean “the most homeruns, or hits, or strikeouts, or wins”…

        It means…”the best”. Berkman was one of the best in the 2000′s. He’s a Hall of Famer.

  9. If the Hall won’t have Crime Dog, then they shouldn’t even consider Berkman. He is a very good ball player, but unfortunately is not HOF worthy.

    • Did you come up with the answer off the top of your head, or did you compare him to an average hall of famer?

      • Are they peddling this stupidity on ESPN, or what? So many people comparing Berkman to a player he was clearly better than. I don’t understand it. It can only come from the primary force of ignorant evil in sports, ESPN. That’s all I can figure.

  10. Thanks for writing a nice, positive article about a nice, positive player. Berkman was an excellent player for many seasons, and he seemed like an all-around good guy. It’s nice to read a positive sports article. It’s easy to say “he fell short of this milestone or that milestone,” it’s tougher sometimes to appreciate athletes for what they did, and easier to criticize them for what they didn’t do. Regardless of whether or not Berkman ends up in the Hall of Fame, he was a fine player who had a great career.

  11. I vote NO. Candidacy is similar to Fred McGriff without the longevity. He’ll get some support and may stay on the ballot a few years but will not sniff 75%.

    • Thank God the Veteran’s committee knows more about the sport than the BBWAA and people like you.

  12. Which tells you there is somerhing wrong with the voters. Mattingly was by far the best long enough to be considered a hall of famer. Maybe if he had not played for the hated Yankees, but instead for another team, he would be there… Guidry, Billy Martin, same thing. …

    • Playing for the Yankees is an advantage not a disadvantage when it comes to HOF voting. How else can you explain Phil Rizzuto being elected. His stats aren’t great, in fact, they aren’t even good.

    • They’re the most popular team in sports, Martin and Guidry have incredibly weak cases for the hall of fame, and 22 hall of famers have been inducted as a yankee. This is the worst use of the victim card I have ever heard

      • Scott, we need to drink a beer sometime. Couldn’t agree more, one of the most ridiculous examples of the victim card ever. And that’s saying something.

  13. Class act. What I’ll miss the most is the way he laid the bat on the ground when he hit the ball batting lefthanded. So polite !!

  14. It is sad to see people judging players from other eras without having lived through that period and experienced their value. The Yankee players of that period acknowledged that he was the sparkplug that moved the team. To those who decry his lack of statistics, they discount his years in the navy during World War II. They would penalize him for his service. Ted Williams was quoted as saying that if the Red Sox had had Rizzuto, they would have been winning the pennants. And during this time they had 2 outstanding shortstops in Johnny Pesky and Vern Stephens. Check out the latter’s stats with the club. That alone should tell the value of the little guy.

  15. Two words:

    Kirby. Puckett.

    You look at Berkman’s career, his peak value, his status as one of the dominant offensive forces in the game for 12 years, yeah, he’s a Hall of Famer. The lack of milestone stats isn’t stopping Puckett, nor did it stop Koufax (who was admittedly more dominant than Berkman at his position, but Berkman was still extremely dominant at his). Most agree that Pedro Martinez is a HoF’er. Hardly anyone disagrees that had Puckett not had an injury shortened career (read: had more at bats) he’d have finished with plenty of milestone stats. Same with Berkman. He was a full time player late (age 25, though he did have the majority of his 24th year as a major leaguer) and had much time lost in his career to injury. He ended up with half the at bats of guys like Mays, Mantle, Aaron. It’s a pretty simple mathematical formula to extrapolate what he could have done in, say, 10,000 at bats. Most baseball minds agree that the Hall of Fame is first and foremost about how GREAT a player was, not how many years they played the sport, accumulating stats. Those stat accumulators (as several have pointed out, Berkman was the polar opposite of this) end up with massive statistical representations of their work, and of course they’re going to have the milestone numbers if they get 500, 600 at bats a year for 19, 20, 22, 25 years. If they’re good enough to play every day for that long, of COURSE they’re going to have the stats.

    What you have to see with Berkman goes beyond the last line on his baseball card. His dominance relative to the rest of the sport at the time, his value off the field (in the clubhouse, especially) with teams, his switch hitting prowess (think most people would agree that despite the fact that Beltran will soon out-accumulate him on overall statistics that Berkman trails only Mantle, Chipper, and Murray ALL TIME amongst switch hitters…) in both recent and all time contexts, and his stunningly under appreciated defensive and baserunning abilities (notice I did not even bother to say base STEALING abilities, though he was somehow able to do that occasionally, too) all dictate his Hall-worthiness. 26th best OPS of all time. Better than Mays (who was obviously one of the greatest players ever, and better than Berkman, just not with OPS) and better than Aaron (a great power hitter whom Berkman far eclipses in PEAK VALUE – Aaron was one of the kings of stat accumulation. Berkman was absolutely a better hitter, overall).

    Just saying, this is an open and shut Hall Of Fame career, as far as I’m concerned.

    Clearly, since the BBWAA is far too worthless to induct players who obviously should be first ballot, no doubt hall of famers (Clemens, Bonds, Biggio, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Bagwell, etc) then Berkman has very little chance before the Veterans Committee, unless Cooperstown pulls their collective heads out of their asses and strips the BBWAA of any and all involvement in the voting process the way they should. But Lance absolutely belongs.

    • I meant to say he had half the at bats of guys like *Mays, *ROSE*, and Aaron*, not Mantle. Sorry.

    • Doesn’t baseball also celebrate endurance? If you’re hurt and can’t play you can’t dominant and aren’t supporting your team’s cause. Extrapolation is just a “what if.” What if Bugs Bunny hadn’t played every position and thrown that wicked “slow-ball”? Would he have beat the Gas-house gorillas in that stunner? (Not in HOF).

      • Now you’re just being silly, with the Bugs reference. Come on.

        As for your point, sure, there’s value in that. It’s just not the ONLY way to be a Hall of Famer. It’s not even the most VALUABLE way to be a Hall of Famer.

        Long story short, injuries didn’t keep out Kirby Puckett. A short (albeit brilliant) career didn’t keep out Koufax, and they won’t keep out Pedro Martinez or Ichiro Suzuki either. They shouldn’t (and likely won’t, even if it takes the Veteran’s committee one day) keep Berkman out, either.

    • He didn’t dominate anything. He was in the MVP voting 10 times– that’s it. Oh and 6-time All-Star. He was in the top 1/3 of players over his career, that’s about it. And a really nice guy. But HOF? No.

      Your other logic about the drug-induced players is truly sad. Each had one thing in common: they felt they were bigger than the game. They weren’t and have no chance whatever of getting in.

      • Over that ten year span, the only hitters in the NL consistently better were Bonds, until he retired, and Pujols. That’s it. To say otherwise smacks of not understanding statistics and value, at all.

        Your idiotic notion (that a nation of idiots, led by idiots in the media, share with your moronic self) that what players were SUSPECTED of doing or even what they were CAUGHT doing is somehow different than stealing signs or doctoring a baseball is pathetic. None of you deserve the sport that was REVIVED by this cheating, suspected or otherwise, while THE MLB LOOKED THE OTHER WAY, you foolish, ignorant hypocrites.

        That’s the long and short of it. You’re a moron if you vilify the players now, after Bud Selig and the MLB looked the other way. Naive at best. Stupid, hypocritical, and undeserving of calling yourself a fan of the sport is more apt in my opinion, however.

        • Here’s what I read, when people like you express their moronic opinions about steroids in baseball on the internet.

          “I am sheep. Hear me baa.”

          Or, more precisely: “I believe everything that Rick Reilly and all the other f*ckheads in “sports media” tell me to believe without actually employing logic or intelligence on my own behalf, because I lack either the cerebral fortitude or the will to consume and process data for myself.”

  16. Don’t know whether he will, or should, get in or not. If he does I will smile, based solely on what he did for the Cards in 2011 in the season, the playoffs, and the Series.

  17. Absolutely not! Can’t believe this is even a discussion. No MVPs less than 2,000 hits and 400 HRs what does he have that deserves to even get a mention.

    • Top 10 player of the 2000s, hit .300 5 times, and had 6 seasons of 30 HR and 100 RBI. Obviously he didn’t win an MVP, Bonds, steroids or not, is the greatest player ever, and Pujols is the 2nd greatest 1B ever, just ahead of Foxx and just behind Gehrig

  18. Brekman was good and always a joy too watch. However, if he is elected, then Mattingly, Garvey and Helton in the future, should be locks.

    • Berkman is 20 spots higher for WAR leaders in the 2000s than Mattingly is in the 1980s (6 as opposed to 26, playing time is also considered), and even taking into account ballpark and era effects, Berkman’s best season is better than Mattinglys best, Berkmans 7 best seasons are better than Dons, and Berkmans career WRC+ is 20 points higher even with more plate appearances.

      • Once again, Scott owns all. Sorry “Daddy Don”.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think Mattingly, Garvey and Helton all will get into the Hall eventually too. Especially Garvey and Helton, but I think even Mattingly will squeak in eventually.

        But Berkman? He’s a lock. Or should be, in a world that hasn’t gone f—ing insane.

  19. If you were going to put together a team of the best players of the 2000s, Lance Berkman would unquestionably be on that team. From 2000-2009 he was the third best outfielder in the major leagues, Bonds being one and Beltran being two. The only other position players better than him were A-Rod, Pujols, and Chipper. Bonds, Rodriguez, Pujols, and Jones are top 5 players at their positions all time, and Beltran also has a very strong case for the Hall of Fame. As for Mattingly specificly in the 1980′s he was as good as Gary Carter as far as rates of production goes (only played 1015 games), however both of them narrowly miss the top 10. And Murray was far superior to Mattingly no matter how you look at it. Also, in the 2000s, Berkman was literally a .300 30 100 batter. His average was .300, he hit 309 HR, and drove in 1,026. Whether you use sabermetrics or traditional triple crown stats, Berkman is an average HOF player.

    • That’s all I’m saying. He’s not the greatest ever. No way. Just, he belongs in the Hall. Based on who’s already there.

  20. MOST REASONABLY LANCE WAS A VERY GOOD PLAYER, NOT GREAT.
    IF YOU MUST TELL THE CASUAL FAN WHY A GUY SHOULD BE IN, THEN HE PROBABLY SHOULD NOT. I DONT HEAR GUYS EXPLAINING MADDOX OR MANTLE OR KOUFAX OR CARLTON OR BANKS OR ANY OF THE OTHER TRUE HOFERS.

    • Phil Rizzuto, Bill Mazeroski, and a whole host of other very average players when you stack them up by their all time stats are in the Hall Of Fame. Berkman’s peak value destroys 60%-70% of the players in the Hall Of Fame. He’s a Hall Of Fame player. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but saying he’s not good enough for the Hall of Fame is flat wrong, as predicated by statistics, science, general baseball knowledge, and just plain common sense.

  21. There are many VERY GOOD and GREAT players who are not in the HOF and never will be until the biased and antiquated baseball writers selection committee is replaced with a fairer method of selection.

  22. You might as well put him in. The HOF has become so diluted, I don’t care anymore…. Bert Blyleven, HOF’er?! Ugh…. It’s like they have to look at every single little thing to try to get a person in… Pushing Jack Morris… I see the Hall of Fame as GREATNESS. I want to look back at a player and go WOW! I just don’t get that “WOW!” anymore….

    • The most dominant hitter in the NL over a 10-12 year span, other than Pujols and Bonds. What more “wow” do you want?

    • Blyleven was almost as good as Carlton and Perry, and better than Ryan. Blyleven just didn’t dominate a statistic

  23. Lance Berkman, affectionately known as the “Big Puma” to his many Astros fans, will not likely be voted into the Hall of Fame based on the current climate. It is worth noting that he had a very successful NCAA career with the Rice Owls and quickly adapted to MLB with the Astros and their “Killer Bs” tradition.

    Most of us “Puma” fans always had a feeling that the Astros, Cardinals, Yankees and Rangers had a great chance to win a ballgame when Lance was playing in it. Even though, he may not have won numerous batting, home run or rbi titles, he was always a contender most seasons and many times his bat was “clutch” for his team. As he matured, his example of professionalism must have had some influence on the younger players.

    We have seen that he persevered and rebounded after injuries and his leadership enabled the Cardinals to capture another World Series title. It seems that this type of “greatness” is what makes a HOF player. Overcoming the odds, rebounding and being an important part of championship teams all seem to be crucial into boosting a player into this special honor.

    Hopefully, those who vote for the HOF will also take out the time to refresh the memories Lance Berkman help give us fans and give him serious consideration for this honor.

  24. I would vote yes on Berkman. He played the game the way it should be played and played it well. I hope he makes it.

  25. Lance Berkman was an outstanding ball player but, he will go in line with the Fred McGriffs of the world. Berkman will be in the Hall of The Very Good.

    • People STILL peddling the bullsh*t that Berkman and Crime Dog are close.

      Berkman was far, far better. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what the hell they are talking about. See my debunking of this idiocy (I’m assuming, promulgated by the idiots at ESPN) above. And more importantly, look at “Scott”‘s debunking of it. After looking at it, think about it, digest, mull it over. And then stop comparing Berkman to a first baseman whom he was CLEARLY better than.

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  27. I think Berkman had an excellent career. I would need to see Fred McGriff in the HOF before Berkman. It is a joke McGriff doesn’t get more than 25% of the vote as he does currently. I would also have to see Paul Koneko get in too. I think Konerko and Berkman had similar careers.