MLB Players Deserving of a Second Chance at the Hall of Fame

The holiday season is in full swing and along with it comes the annual debate among baseball fans about who belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame and who doesn’t. The months of November and December are full of lively discussions about the merits of various players, with debates raging about longevity, peak production, awards, and much more. However, one interesting subtopic that has emerged in these conversations is the idea of giving some players who were not elected to the Hall of Fame another chance.

When it comes to overlooked Hall of Fame candidates, there are a few players who come to mind as deserving of a second look at Cooperstown. One such player is Lou Whitaker, who only appeared on the 2001 Hall of Fame ballot, and was passed over by the Modern Era Committee in 2020. Both oversights had little to do with his individual performance as a player, and more to do with factors outside of his control. Although he only has one World Series win to his name and never led the league in any significant categories, Whitaker’s overall contributions to the game cannot be ignored.

Another player who deserves another look is Johan Santana, who didn’t become a full-time starter until his age-25 season in 2004, which left him with lower volume than some Hall of Fame voters might have liked. However, when you look at Santana’s peak performance from 2002-2010, you’ll see a pitcher who was truly dominant. He was a two-time Cy Young Award winner who led the league in multiple categories, and he even threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history. It’s clear that Santana’s performance during his prime was more than enough to warrant a second look at Hall of Fame induction.

Keith Hernandez is another player who never quite made it into the Hall of Fame, despite being one of the greatest first basemen of all time. His 11 Gold Glove Awards and incredible hitting prowess are not to be understated, and it’s clear that Hernandez deserves to be reconsidered as a Hall of Fame candidate. And finally, Kenny Lofton, who was overshadowed by 10 eventual Hall of Famers during his first year on the ballot. Despite a lack of power in comparison to his contemporaries, Lofton’s 68.4 WAR and unique brand of baseball deserve further examination when it comes to Hall of Fame induction.

These are just a few of the players who were overlooked when it comes to Hall of Fame induction, and they deserve a closer look at their individual contributions to the game. As the debates continue, it’s clear that conversation around the Hall of Fame will remain lively and nuanced with each new season.


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