5 Undeserving MLB Hall of Famers (and Who Should Replace Them)

Jordan Cohn
June 30, 2020 - 10:09 am

Walking through the plaque gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame fills baseball fans with a feeling unlike any other. There's so much history, so much nostalgia, and so much pure greatness flowing from the hundreds of plaques that line the walls of the magnificent showcase. You can reminisce on your childhood heroes, gawk at the lofty statistics of the game's all-time greats, and even touch the plaques of your favorites (though you're not supposed to).

Thus, it's all the more disappointing when you see a plaque of a Hall of Famer that just doesn't quite fit in with the rest.

This is the Hall of Fame. The most exclusive Hall of Fame of any of the major sports. According to the Hall of Fame's website, only 235 of the 19,000-plus players to step foot onto a Major League diamond are enshrined, for about a 1% induction rate. And even still, the Hall feels a little too generous in who it lets in. Not everyone can be a Babe Ruth, a Hank Aaron, a Cy Young or a Ken Griffey Jr.

But these five guys, among others, just don't feel like they boast the same greatness as the majority of the other members. It feels a little like the "Hall of Very Good" when you look at these players' accomplishments in comparison to some of the legendary figures at the same position. And though they're not going to be removed from the Hall of Fame and replaced, the presence of these five guys should mean that a much more deserving group of five is in the Hall, as well.

Harold Baines' career was consistent, but it's hard to deny Dale Murphy's entrance once Baines got the nod. Photo credit (Otto Greule/ALLSPORT)
Steve Garvey was as reliable a hitter as you could find in the 1980s. Photo credit (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Bill Mazeroski's 1960 walk-off home run may have been a huge factor in his Hall of Fame induction. Photo credit (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Phil Rizzuto may have been the beneficiary of playing for such phenomenal teams. Photo credit (Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
Bruce Sutter was inducted in 2006 as the only MLB player in a class that included several Negro League pioneers. Photo credit (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
A view of one section of the Baseball Hall of Fame's plaque gallery. Photo credit (Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport)

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