From now until the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2010 is announced, The Hall is going to be breaking down each candidate. Some write ups will be lengthy...some will be the opposite. Some will be brand new pieces...some will be re-hashes of previous pieces.
You can go both ways with the “Big Cat”.
Take away the “Coors Factor” and Galarraga is the poor man’s Will Clark. Take into account that he did play in Colorado during the prime of his career and he’s borderline Willie Stargell-like.
Galarraga's peak from 1993 to 2000 (he was out all of 1999 while battling lymphoma) was spectacular. Those seven seasons accounted for more than half (200) of his home runs and 800 RBI.
His five years with the Rockies (Galarraga was an original "Blake Street Bomber") has proven to be one of the most productive stretches in team history and it’s hard to ignore 399 home runs, 1425 RBI and a career .288 batting average.
Wait, the writers do routinely…and, again, they call him “Harold Baines”.
The problem with Galarraga is easy...he put up his numbers at the wrong time. It's hard to be overwhelmed with his stats when you have guys like Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell or even Fred McGriff playing the same position at the same time.
And I hate to go back to it, but people will always look at "Big Cat" and think of his stats being inflated by the thin Denver air. But put all that aside, you've got an insanely popular guy who had six top ten MVP finishes, five All-Star Game appearances and two Gold Gloves.
However...he's no Hall of Famer.