The Yankees have a countless number of hall of famers that have been elected in their history, but they deserve to have some more inducted this year.
To be elected a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor. One that has only been bestowed to the top one percent in the game’s history. The New York Yankees are very well represented in the Cooperstown Museum of the game’s most elite and this year there are more potential Yankee alums at the precipice of entry into the immortal.
Now the Hall of Fame discussion is always a source of considerable debate. Especially when considering the “Performance Enhancing Drugs” controversy surrounding many of the candidates. This list is not going to address the PED issue, that’s another story for another time. But former Yankees like Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte will not be involved in this piece today.
That being said, we will briefly examine the cases for three former New York Yankees. So let’s start with an easy one.
I will start with an easy one, Mariano Rivera. Mo is the first name I looked for on the ballot and the first one I checked off. There is only one clown that isn’t voting for Mariano, and he’s just doing that to get his 15 minutes of fame. But everyone else knows that Mariano is the Greatest of All Time. So I’ll move on.
Mike Mussina is often overlooked when discussing the games best pitchers in history. Mussina would pitch 18 seasons in the Major Leagues. All 18 of which came in the ultra-difficult American League East. Moose would win 270 games and pitch to an ERA of 3.68.
Mike Mussina may have never won a Cy Young, but he would receive Cy Young votes across nine different seasons including his final active year in 2008, at the age of 39. Mike Mussina would be a dominant force in the high-scoring environment of the highest scoring era in baseball history. That to me qualifies him as a Hall of Famer.
Now the final man I am saying to consider for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and that man is Lance Berkman. Lance Berkman, much like Todd Helton, Scott Rolen, Andruw Jones, and Billy Wagner are players that deserve an extended look. We have seen talented Hall of Fame potential players fall off the ballot because of the 5% rule. For those that may not know if you do not receive at least 5% votes for entry into the Hall of Fame, you are eliminated from the ballot.
So great players like Bernie Williams and Jorge Posada have fallen off the ballot due to the 5% rule. Thus why I bring up the case of Lance Berkman. Berkman played well during his career, and his 7 MVP votes and 6 All-Star selections are evidence of that. But despite those accolades, he was never viewed as elite, and that hurts his chances.
However, when you examine back his numbers for an exercise such as voting for the Hall of Fame, you realize just how talented and worthy the player is of the Hall of Fame vote. And that’s not to say that he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer like Mo or Moose. But that is to say, the man deserves a proper examination for the most sacred honor in Baseball history.