When Rafael Palmeiro hit an RBI double to left field, he became the 26th player to accrue 3,000 hits in a major league career.
And with 566 career home runs, he joins elite company in the 3,000/500 Club: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.
But is he a Hall of Famer?
Aaron, Mays and Murray were all first-ballot Hall entries. So is it a lock for him, too?
The two biggest strikes against him are as follows: He’s never won an MVP and he never started an All-Star game.
Viewing the top sports sites, it’s evident the media all have the same facts on the guy. They know what he’s done and hasn’t done, and it comes down to a bare-bones gut feeling on Palmeiro’s Hall status:
Palmeiro in the Hall:
Scott Miller, CBS SportsLine.com: “One of the greatest hitters of our time has played out his career in virtual anonymity.”
Palmeiro great, not a Haller:
Skip Bayless, ESPN’s Cold Pizza: “Palmeiro is nothing more than a very good player who has benefited from being a left-handed hitter in bandbox ballparks.”
George Maselli, CBS SportsLine.com: “Many baseball writers are saying the sweet swinger has a guaranteed spot in Cooperstown. And they would be as wrong as David Wells in spandex. ”
You get the idea. With some columnists it’s as clear as night and day. There seems to be no one on the fence. In the eyes of the writers, it’s not the quality of Palmeiro that’s at debate it’s the standards of the Hall.