December 5, 2010

Cooperstown 2011: Jeff Bagwell

JEFF BAGWELL
First Year on Ballot

PLAYING CAREER:  Houston Astros (1991-2005)

ACHIEVEMENTS:  Career batting average of .297.  Houston Astros career leader in home runs (449), RBI (1,529), walks (1,401), runs created (1,715).  Scored 100 runs or more in eight of nine seasons (1996-2004) and knocked in 100 or more runs in seven of those seasons.  1994 National League MVP when he became the first National Leaguer since Willie Mays in 1955 to finish first or second in batting average, home runs, RBI and runs scored.  1991 National League Rookie of the Year and four-time All-Star (1994, 1996, 1997 and 1999).  In 1997, he became the first full-time first baseman to steal 30 bases while hitting 30 home runs. 

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ON TWITTER:

@wavemike: As much as I'd like Jeff Bagwell be a first-ballot hall-of-famer, I'd really love to see he and Biggio go in together.

@longo10: Jeff Bagwell on the Hall of Fame ballot!!! Greatest Astro ever.

@Rob_Aiello: I think jeff bagwell is a first-ballot hall of famer. One of the games top 1st basemen for years

HOVG THOUGHTS:  Here’s the deal with me and Bagwell…I always admired Bagwell, but was never a huge Bagwell guy until after he hung up his spikes. I respect the heck out of the man for leaving the game after only 15 seasons instead of trying to (physically able to or not) pad his stats. He could have left Houston a number of times. But he chose not to. His .948 OPS is 21st all-time and the only Hall eligible player that is higher on that list and NOT enshrined is Mark McGwire. Dude was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991 and followed it up three seasons later with the National League MVP award. A career .297 hitter, Bagwell also appeared in four All-Star Games and was twice (yes, TWICE) a 30-30 man. And...he had a bitchin' goatee.


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