I figured that there'd be lots blog posts about Roberto Alomar and Burt Blyleven who did get into the Hall. I decided to feature my favorite player on the current eligibility list, Jeff Bagwell. Jeff retired after the 2005 season due to a nagging shoulder injury. I was in Florida for some Spring Training games and saw him in one game. He was having a rough time. Bagwell is apparently being painted with the Steroid Era brush even though there was never any suggestion that he had taken any himself. At least that's what the sports writers are saying. Here are some cards from Jeff's best years.
1991 Stadium Club #388Bagwell was acquired by the Astros from the Red Sox in 1990 for pitcher Larry Anderson in one of the most lopsided trades in history. Jeff was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991 with a .294 BA, 15 HR and 82 RBI. He also led the league in being hit by pitch with 13. Bagwell was never afraid to take a pitch although this would cause him some injury problems in the future.
1994 Upper Deck Mantle's Long Shots #1
In 1994, Jeff was named to the All-Star team for the first time and was also the NL Most Valuable Player. He finished the year with 104 runs, 39 HR, and 116 RBIs. He lead the league in runs, RBI, slugging % (.750) and OPS (1.201). He also won a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award.
1996 Leaf Picture Perfect
Another All-Star berth and another He led the league with 48 doubles and also had 31 HR and 120 RBIs.
1997 Bowman's Best Cuts Atomic Refractor #7
1997 was another All-Star year for Bagwell and another Silver Slugger award. He also finished 3rd in the MVP voting. He hit 43 HR and had 135 RBIs.
1999 Upper Deck F/X Gold
A monster year for Bagwell, His 4th All-Star game, 3rd Silver Slugger and 2nd in the MVP voting. He hit 42 HR with 126 RBI. He also lead the league in walks with 149 and runs with 143.
2005 Origins Old Judge Materials
It's hard to say that 2005 was a highlight year for Jeff. He only appeared in 39 games due to the shoulder injury. He managed 3 home runs leaving him with 449 for his career. Except for the injury he could have easily hit the 500 mark. But 2005 was the year the Astros finally went to the World Series. They'd been a pretty good team for several years and had a miracle finish in 2005 to make it to the playoffs. They got blown out in 4 straight in the World Series by the White Sox but at least Jeff has one World Series, if not a ring, to his name.