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Ten Tidbits About First Year Hall of Fame Candidates Not Named A-Rod or Papi

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A.J. Pierzynski Was Underrated During His Career Behind the Plate


Both have impressive numbers that would easily qualify for them for the induction the Hall of Fame, yet they also share some baggage that could keep them out of Cooperstown, at least for a while. David Ortiz, affectionately known as Big Papi, and Alex Rodriguez are on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time since their careers ended.

Ortiz was one of the most feared designated hitters in the history of the game, leading the Boston Red Sox to a pair of World Series Championships. A-Rod was one of the greatest shortstops of all-time, earning postseason appearances with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees around a stint with the Texas Rangers.

What might keep them out of Cooperstown is the same thing that has plagued the candidacy of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the controversy of performance enhancing drugs. Whereas Bonds and Clemens were never subjected to steroid testing, Big Papi and A-Rod both failed tests at some point in their careers.

Since most fans are tired of the steroid controversy, it was refreshing to read a well-researched article about the other players eligible for the first time. The piece was written by New York Times sports columnist Tyler Kepner, and it appeared in the November 23rd edition.

Kepner provided the outstanding stats of each player, while also entertaining fans with unique facts about them. Here are the interesting tidbits Kepner gave us in the article.

Jonathan Papelbon

He struck out the last batter in the 2007 World Series, when his Red Sox beat the Colorado Rockies, but Papelbon's French Bulldog ended up eating the ball.

Jake Peavey

His most unusual stat was being traded at the deadline three times in six seasons, winning two World Series with the 2013 Red Sox and the 2014 San Francisco Giants.

A. J. Pierzynski

He was the backstop who never seemed to age, for while with the 2015 Braves he became the first catcher at age 38 to catch 100 games and bat .300.

Jimmy Rollins

The Philadelphia shortstop predicted that the Phillies would win it all in 2007, long before the season even began. He missed it by one year, but he led the Phils to the Championship in 2008 and collected the National League Most Valuable Player Award.

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Mark Teixeira

Mickey Mantle and Chipper Jones, both Hall of Fame players, are the only two switch hitters who posted a better on base plus slugging percentage than Teixeira's .869 mark.

Carl Crawford

After being ignored in the first round in 1999, Crawford went to Tampa bay in the second and his Wins Above Replacement would end up being higher than anyone from that draft except for Albert Pujols.

Prince Fielder

Cecil's son won wore number 84, the year he was born and the year his father made his Major League debut.

Ryan Howard

Because the show was set in nearby Scranton, NBC's “The Office” decided to give one of its characters the name of Philadelphia's biggest star. Both the team and the series would suffer in 2011, when Howard tore his Achilles tendon and Steve Carell departed as the paper company's boss Michael Scott.

Tim Lincecum

Sandy Koufax had multiple Cy Young Awards, multiple no-hitters, and multiple World Series titles, something that no other player has ever done except Tim Lincecum.

Joe Nathan

He was an All-Star closer for the Minnesota Twins, and he is one of the few players to ever have a stadium named after him: Joe Nathan Stadium in Long Island, home of the Stony Brook Seawolves.

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