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Tuesday December 1, 2009 10:09 pm

Will first time be a charm for Alomar?




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB, Rumors,

Roberto AlomarRoberto Alomar is generally seen as one of the best defensive second basemen of his era. After breaking into the big leagues in a big way with the San Diego Padres, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays with Joe Carter in a blockbuster deal that sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez the other way. This turned out to be a launching point for Alomar’s career. He was an All-Star in every season during the 90’s, and in total 12 times. He won four silver slugger awards and 10 gold gloves, and is now eligible for entry into the Hall of Fame. It’s a no-brainer that he’ll make it, the question is whether or not he’ll do so in his first year of eligibility.

Of course, Alomar is always going to be remembered for his infamous “spitting” incident on Sept. 26, 1996, when a heated argument with umpire John Hirschbeck over a called third strike ended with Alomar spitting in Hirschbeck’s eye. The two have moved on since the incident, with Alomar apologizing, and Hirschbeck having gone as far as saying that if he had a say, he would vote “yes” for Alomar’s induction, but has the rest of the voting population forgiven Alomar? His career numbers certainly warrant his induction.

Including his miserable final years with the New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox, Alomar still had impressive career numbers. He had an even .300 batting average and racked up 2,724 career hits, including 504 doubles and 210 home runs. He had 1,134 RBI and 1,508 runs scored. He stole 474 bases as well. He went to the postseason seven times with three different teams; winning the World Series twice with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. As impressive as his offensive numbers are for a second baseman, he will primarily be known as arguably the best defensive two-bagger of his era. In 11,165 total chances, he only committed 181 errors for a .984 fielding percentage. If you take away his sorry final seasons, his numbers only get better.

When Alomar is inducted into the Hall of Fame, he’ll likely do so as a Blue Jay, where he spent five seasons and is most remembered for his home run against Dennis Eckersley in the 1992 ALCS, which turned the series against the Oakland Athletics around and sent Toronto to their first World Series. Alomar will be the first Hall of Fame member inducted as a Blue Jay. He deserves to be a first-ballot choice, but the fickleness of the voting population continues to show. If they think that it’s up to them to “teach him a lesson” by denying his entry when the results are announced in January, it will be yet another sad day for the Hall, and a sad year for a man who has more than paid his dues.

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