Cooperstown Choices: Rafael Palmeiro

With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2012, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.

There are twenty seven men on the ballot this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2012 menu at the top of the page.

Tune in Saturday, January 7, 2012 as I-70 Baseball Radio will host a panel of writers discussing the Hall Of Fame Ballot in a 2-hour special.

In this article, we take a look at Rafael Palmeiro

Rafael Palmeiro
Palmerio enjoyed a long 20-year career in major league baseball, making his debut in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs and finishing it in 2005 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. This will be his second year on the ballot.

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
1986 CHC 22 73 9 18 4 0 3 12 1 4 6 .247 .295 .425 .720 91
1987 CHC 84 221 32 61 15 1 14 30 2 20 26 .276 .336 .543 .879 126
1988 CHC 152 580 75 178 41 5 8 53 12 38 34 .307 .349 .436 .785 121
1989 TEX 156 559 76 154 23 4 8 64 4 63 48 .275 .354 .374 .728 104
1990 TEX 154 598 72 191 35 6 14 89 3 40 59 .319 .361 .468 .829 131
1991 TEX 159 631 115 203 49 3 26 88 4 68 72 .322 .389 .532 .922 155
1992 TEX 159 608 84 163 27 4 22 85 2 72 83 .268 .352 .434 .786 123
1993 TEX 160 597 124 176 40 2 37 105 22 73 85 .295 .371 .554 .926 150
1994 BAL 111 436 82 139 32 0 23 76 7 54 63 .319 .392 .550 .942 136
1995 BAL 143 554 89 172 30 2 39 104 3 62 65 .310 .380 .583 .963 145
1996 BAL 162 626 110 181 40 2 39 142 8 95 96 .289 .381 .546 .927 132
1997 BAL 158 614 95 156 24 2 38 110 5 67 109 .254 .329 .485 .815 113
1998 BAL 162 619 98 183 36 1 43 121 11 79 91 .296 .379 .565 .945 144
1999 TEX 158 565 96 183 30 1 47 148 2 97 69 .324 .420 .630 1.050 159
2000 TEX 158 565 102 163 29 3 39 120 2 103 77 .288 .397 .558 .954 137
2001 TEX 160 600 98 164 33 0 47 123 1 101 90 .273 .381 .563 .944 141
2002 TEX 155 546 99 149 34 0 43 105 2 104 94 .273 .391 .571 .962 146
2003 TEX 154 561 92 146 21 2 38 112 2 84 77 .260 .359 .508 .867 117
2004 BAL 154 550 68 142 29 0 23 88 2 86 61 .258 .359 .436 .796 108
2005 BAL 110 369 47 98 13 0 18 60 2 43 43 .266 .339 .447 .786 108
20 Seasons 2831 10472 1663 3020 585 38 569 1835 97 1353 1348 .288 .371 .515 .885 132
162 Game Avg. 162 599 95 173 33 2 33 105 6 77 77 .288 .371 .515 .885 132
G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
TEX (10 yrs) 1573 5830 958 1692 321 25 321 1039 44 805 754 .290 .378 .519 .897 137
BAL (7 yrs) 1000 3768 589 1071 204 7 223 701 38 486 528 .284 .366 .520 .886 127
CHC (3 yrs) 258 874 116 257 60 6 25 95 15 62 66 .294 .341 .462 .804 120
AL (17 yrs) 2573 9598 1547 2763 525 32 544 1740 82 1291 1282 .288 .373 .519 .892 133
NL (3 yrs) 258 874 116 257 60 6 25 95 15 62 66 .294 .341 .462 .804 120
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2011.

Why He Should Get In
Palmeiro was a premier player throughout his career, compiling 569 home runs, 585 doubles, 1835 runs batted in and 3,020 hits. He would make four All Star appearances, three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger Awards. His .288 career batting average is fairly high for a player known for his power stroke.

Why He Should Not Get In
The Steriod Era captures a lot of players, but few are tarnished as much as Palmeiro. When players were called in front of the United States Congress on the matter, Palmeiro was adamant that he had not and would not use performance enhancing drugs. That took place in March of 2005, his 3,000 hit came later that year, as did a positive test result that he to this day swears was a simple mistake. One of only four players in Major League history to collect both 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, his final season in the league might harm him beyond repair.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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