1994 Fleer Flair #257 Rafael Palmeiro
Rafaiel Palmeiro put up career Hall of Fame numbers for any era, including the steroid era. The simple answer is 500 HR, 3000 Hits = HOF - The complicating factor is that on August 1 2005 Rafael Palmeiro incurred a 10 game suspension from MLB for failing a drug test.
Had Palmeiro's career ended on July 15th 2005, he would likely be in the Hall of Fame today. On that day he singled of Joel Piniro giving him 3000 hits along with 566 Home Runs. Unfortunately for Palmeiro, his career went on for another couple of weeks.
Beyond the Numbers
One of the odder things I remember about the whole Rafael Palmeiro saga is this interview of Bob Costas that took place on the Jon Stewart show.
2005 07 27 Daily Show: Jon Stewart interviews Bob Costas
For the short attention span folks skip to the 2:20 mark. Costas is just playing this for laughs because he is on Comedy Central, but he does mention that Palmeiro is a good guy, he mentions his records, he mentions the senate hearings - "denied steroid use emphatically, and I accept that" (wow) , and then he mentions Viagra as the ultimate Performance Enhancing Drug. This interview took place on July 27, 2005 - Just Five Days prior to the Palmeiro suspension.
Looking inside Palmeiro's largely accumultor type numbers he comes out right near the Average HoF firstbaseman. He was more than just a bat only firstbaseman, he earned a couple of Gold Gloves. Like Craig Biggio who we examined last week, he has no World Championships, but he was on a couple of playoff squads.
Phungo Verdict: HOF - This may be a bit of a surpise Yes Vote, but a little background. A few months ago I saw author/cultural critic Chuck Klosterman speak in Philadelphia. He mentioned that he believed that all criticism (film/music/politics whatever) was "Autobiography". And I agree - So this vote for Rafael Palmeiro is all about me. On July 30 2005 I attended a game between the O's and White Sox. In the 6th inning I was stanging in a busy area of the Right Field portch at Camden Yards. That is when Rafael Palmeiro hit is 569th career Homer. It landed may 30 feet from me. Two days later Palmeiro was suspended, a month later he was out of baseball. It was the last Home Run Palmeiro would ever hit. So yes I am voting for Rafael Palmeiro, just so I can say that I was at the game where he hit his final Home Run. After all it IS all about me.
2014 HoF Candidates
Craig Biggio HoF
Mike Mussina HoF
Mike Piazza (2013 Profile)
Curt Schilling (2013 Profile)
Larry Walker (phungo vote = HoF)
2013 HoF Rejects (no longer on ballot)
The Daily Show (Bob Costas/Jon Stewart)
The Baltimore Sun