It’s the highest honor a professional athlete can receive. It’s the culmination of a life’s work. It’s validation.

The greatness of 4 individuals was recognized Wednesday evening, as they were elected to the MLB Hall of Fame:

Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Trevor Hoffman.

This Hall of Fame class is strong, with 4 players being elected for just the 4th time (1947, 1955, 2015).

Chipper Jones, 3B/OF, Atlanta Braves (1993-2012 – 97.2%)

Chipper Jones played his entire 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves. As a switch-hitting third baseman and outfielder, Jones was part of the Braves’ dynasty that won 14 consecutive NL East Division Titles. Mets fans know what I’m talking about.

Jones’ career was filled with numerous accolades, including 8 All-Star Game appearances, 1 MVP, and 1 World Series. Jones ranks 3rd all-time in home runs by a switch hitter. As the #1 overall pick in the 1990 draft, Jones lived up to expectations, finishing 2nd in Rookie of the Year voting in 1995 (Hideo Nomo). Consistency and longevity could have been his nicknames, as he drove in at least 100 runs 9 times and hit at least 20 homes runs 14 times.

Check out his stats here.

Few are more deserving than Chipper Jones, and he can now smile knowing he’s been immortalized amongst the greatest to ever play the game.

Vladimir Guerrero, OF/DH, Montreal Expos/Los Angeles Angels (1996-2011 – 92.9%)

Has there ever been a scarier hitter?? No, he’s not the best hitter of all-time, but his ability to hit ANY pitch made him one of the toughest outs in MLB history. I once saw Vlad hit a homerun off of 1 knee. Vlad possessed a rare power, batting average combination. He hit over .300 in 14 of his 16 seasons, hit 25 home runs 12 times, and drove in 100 runs 10 times. I’m still trying to figure out how he didn’t make it in on his 1st ballot….

Check out his stats here.

Vlad also had the best arm I’ve ever seen. When you can throw the ball from the right field wall to home plate, on a fly, off your back foot, you have a GREAT arm!!

Jim Thome, 1B/3B/DH, Cleveland Indians (1991-2012 – 89.8%)

Jim Thome had 1 job, and he did it VERY well. His job was to hit the ball over the wall. He did that 612 times (8th all-time). That’s a lot of times!!

Allow me to put that into perspective. Thome hit at least 40 homes runs 6 times. Only 8 players have hit 40 home runs more times than Thome. And his slugging percentage (.554) ranks 23rd all-time.

Check out his stats here.

Oddly, Thome wore 6 different jerseys throughout his 22-year career. Thome, along with Jones, became a 1st ballot Hall of Famer Wednesday evening.

Trevor Hoffman, RP, San Diego Padres (1993-2010 – 79.9%)

Trevor Hoffman is in elite company. He’s just the 6th reliever to be elected to the Hall of Fame. While he ranks 2nd all-time in saves (behind the almighty Mariano Rivera), he is a controversial selection for Cooperstown. Hoffman was known for 2 things: his strikeout ability, and his propensity to blow big games.

Check out his stats here.

Hoffman’s shortcomings won’t show up all over a stat sheet, but I don’t think he’s worthy of the Hall of Fame. It should be the Hall of Great, not the Hall of Very Good.

 

Do you agree with the Hall of Fame selections?? Is Trevor Hoffman a Hall of Famer?? Tell me everything you think in the comment section below.

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Written by Dave Ettinger

I think, I say it. You may not like it, but I'll always be honest. I'm a walking oxymoron; an objective fan. Yankees, Knicks, Jets, and Islanders. You can find me on the radio every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. EST on the TuneIn Radio App; Keyword: OWWR. I also broadcast every radio show on Facebook Live: Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can like my Facebook Page at www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports or follow me on Twitter @DaveEttinger2.

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