The greatest honor for a baseball player after he retires from the game is to be selected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Part of the reason the Hall of Fame is such an honor for players is because of its exclusivity. The Baseball Writers Association of America have not elected more than two players since 2009 when they selected three candidates. With that being said, there are five players who will potentially be on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot that deserve to be elected.
The five players who deserve to be in the Hall of Fame are Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell. While each of the above five players, have baggage they all deserve to be selected as a result of their on field accomplishments.
Rose played in the Major Leagues for 24 years with three teams — Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos. He also served as the Reds’ manager from 1984-to-1989.
Pros: Charlie Hustle was one of the all-time greats. He has a .303 lifetime average with 160 home runs and 1,314 RBIs. Rose holds the Major League record for career hits (4,256), games played (3,562) and at-bats (14,053). Rose was also named the NL MVP (1973) and World Series MVP (1975). In addition, he was a two-time Gold Glove winner, a 17-time All-Star and won three batting titles.
Cons: Rose was banished from baseball for betting on games while playing and managing the Reds. He is deemed ineligible for the Hall of Fame since he is banned by Major League Baseball.
The Rocket played 24-years in the Major Leagues for four teams — Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros. He is eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2013.
Pros: Clemens, one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball history, posted a 354-184 record with 4,672 strikeouts (third most all-time) and a 3.12 ERA for his career. Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young Award winner (Major League record), 11-time All-Star and a MVP. In addition, Clemens won the Pitching Triple Crown twice while with the Blue Jays.
Clemens was acquitted of lying to Congress about his use of performance enhancing drugs on June 18, 2012.
Cons: He is suspected of using anabolic steroids during his playing days.
The 14-time All-Star spent 22 seasons in the Major Leagues with two different clubs — the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. Bonds is eligible for the Hall-of-Fame for the first time in 2013.
Pros: Bonds was simply one of the best players ever to play the game of baseball. For his career, Bonds hit .298 with a Major League record 762 homers along with 1,996 RBIs. Bonds also stole 514 bases and sits atop of the Major League all-time list in walks (2,558) and intentional walks (699).
Bonds was a seven-time regular season MVP and eight-time Gold Glove winner. He was also a 12-time time Silver Slugger recipient.
Cons: Bonds was a central figure in baseballs steroid scandal and was convicted of obstruction of justice in 2011 jury trial that centered around him lying about knowingly taking steroids.
Big Mac is among the greatest power hitters in Major League Baseball history. He spent 16 seasons in the majors with two clubs — St. Louis Cardinals and Oakland Athletics.
Pros: McGwire, who has the lowest home run ratio in Major League Baseball history, hit .263 with 583 homers and 1,414 RBIs. He was also a 12-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger Award recipient and a Gold Glove winner.
McGwire, who broke Roger Maris’ home run record in 1998, hit 40 or more home runs six times including 49 (a rookie record) in1987.
Cons: McGwire admitted to using steroids in 2010. He also never won an MVP. In addition, McGwire has been on the Hall of Fame ballot since 2007 and has yet to receive more than 23.5% of the votes.
Bags is one of the most accomplished power hitters ever to play in the Major Leagues. He spent his entire 15-year Major League career with the Houston Astros.
Pros: Bagwell hit .297 with 449 homers and 1,529 RBIs. He also collected 2,314 hits, scored 1,517 runs and stole 202 bases.
Bagwell was named the 1994 regular season MVP. He was also a four-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and a Gold Glove winner.
Cons: There are speculkations that Bagwell used steroids during his career. In his two previous times on the ballot, Bagwell has received 41% of the vote in 2011 and 56% in 2012.