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Jeff Bagwell Awaits Hall Call

Jeff Bagwell Awaits Hall Call Christopher Ebdon via


Is this the year Jeff Bagwell joins baseball immortality?

With the rapid approach of the new year, the due date for Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame voting ballots is also right around the corner. The Baseball Writers Association of America has until December 31st to submit their ballots, which will announce the newest elected members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. With notable names like Barry Bonds, Tim Raines and Edgar Martinez on the ballot, this year leaves many fans asking the question; will Jeff Bagwell finally get the call?

It seems ludicrous that this question should even be asked. When you look at numbers and production, which are two factors that control almost every faction of Major League Baseball, Bagwell’s statistics more than merit his election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 15 years of Major League service, Bagwell appeared in 2, 150 games registering 2,314 hits while batting .297 with 449 home runs and 1,529 RBI while posting a .408 OBP. The four-time All-star and 1994 NL MVP struck fear into opposing pitching staffs for over a decade and developed a reputation as one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. And to think, he almost wasn’t an Astro.  Many have forgotten that Bagwell wasn’t originally a Houston Astro. Jeff Bagwell was selected in the 4th round of the 1989 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox. The 1990 Red Sox, believing they were a key piece away from making a playoff run, contacted the Houston Astros about relief pitcher Larry Andersen. With future hall-of-famer Wade Boggs patrolling third base and highly prized prospect Scott Cooper behind him on the depth chart, Bagwell was seen as expendable. The trade was then viewed as nothing more than Boston waving goodbye to a kid with an unorthodox batting stance and upgrading the pitching staff. It is now viewed as one of the most lopsided trades in Major League Baseball history.

Of the possible reasons Bagwell hasn’t been elected to the Hall, the most notable remains the fact that he played during the “steroid era”. While there have been many reports over the years of Bagwell supposedly admitting to a Houston reporter that he used performance enhancing drugs, nothing has ever been positively verified and Bagwell’s name was never tied to the Mitchell Report or any of the positive drug tests that were made open to the public.

One optimistic observation to make is that since Bagwell has been eligible for the Hall, his vote percentage has increased each year falling just mere percentage points away from election last year. The numbers indicate that this will be the year that Jeff Bagwell will finally join the elite group of baseball’s greatest individual achievers. If baseball measures greatness based on individual achievements and numbers over a career, there is certainly a place for Jeff Bagwell in the Hall of Fame.