December 11, 2010
Cooperstown 2011: Juan Gonzalez
First Year on Ballot
PLAYING CAREER: Texas Rangers (1989–1999), Detroit Tigers (2000), Cleveland Indians (2001), Texas Rangers (2002–2003), Kansas City Royals (2004) and Cleveland Indians (2005)
ACHIEVEMENTS: Career batting average of .295 with 434 home runs and 1404 RBI. One of the premier run producers of the 1990s, averaging 117 RBI per season between 1991 and 1999. Hit 40 or more home runs in five seasons, kocked in 100-plus runs eight times. In 1998, became just the second player in Major League history to have at least 100 RBI before the All-Star Break...Hank Greenberg who had 103 in 1935. Named American League MVP in both 1996 and 1998. Selected to three All-Star Games (1993, 1998 and 2001).
HOVG THOUGHTS: Possibly the hardest player to characterize on this year's ballot...is Gonzalez. I’m a fan, through and through. I always bought into the “Juan Gone” hype, the two MVP awards and the monster long balls. His 1996-1999 stretch is, arguably, one of the best of the 90s and in any other era…he’s in. But was the dude clean? Are his numbers going to go the way of McGwire and be pushed to the side in favor of steroid allegations considering some of his teammates?