Brian at 30-Year Old Cardboard made me aware that today is Roberto Alomar's 41st birthday. Does anyone else sense that there's not as much Hall of Fame buzz around Robby as there should be? It just seems like his retirement in the spring of 2005 caused him to disappear from the radar. If you look at Alomar's resume, he should be a slam dunk for the Hall of Fame when he first appears on the ballot (next year, I believe). But considering the well-established schmuckery of many BBWAA voters, you just can't take these things for granted. So let's lay it on the line.
First, the superficial: 12 consecutive All-Star selections, 10 Gold Gloves at second base, 4 Silver Sluggers. He was also the 1992 ALCS MVP (.423, 2 HR, 4 RBI). Overall, he hit .313 in 58 postseason games with 33 RBI and 20 steals.
The more substantial stats: Over 17 seasons, Roberto hit .300 with a .371 on-base percentage. He scored 1,508 runs and amassed 2,724 hits (only 50 players have more). 504 doubles (44th all-time), 210 home runs, 1,134 RBI, and 474 steals (40th all-time).
Simply put, Roberto Alomar was the best second baseman of the 1990s. It seems like his career ended abruptly, as his production fell of at age 34 and he was retired by 36. I hope that the voters won't fixate on his sudden decline, his failure to reach 3,000 hits (which is just a more or less arbitrary round number), and his repellent personality. To varying degrees of severity, these are all things that will be considered, but I think his consistently high level of play for a dozen years should win out.