Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Roberto Alomar, 1997 Upper Deck SPX #9

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.


deal said...

I am not sure superficial is the right term, but can't think of what it would be.

How bout the 2 World Series Rings. And the 7 post season appearances. Going to the Post season with 3 different teams is pretty impressive also.

William said...

He'll probably get in during his 5-8th year eligible. He'll make it...he'll just need a couple years of buzz after his first ballot. When Biggio first appears on the ballot, Alomar will get more recognition.

Kevin said...

Deal - You're right. Overvalued, perhaps? BTW, I should have mentioned this in the post, but Robby's 1993 World Series was out of this world. He hit .480 and could have been MVP if Molitor wasn't even more ludicrous.

William - I'm hoping it doesn't take that long. I need to see who else will be on the ballot his first year. Wow. According to the Hall website, the 2010 ballot will include:

Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Andy Ashby, Ellis Burks, Dave Burba, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McLemore, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Robin Ventura, Fernando Vina, Todd Zeile.

That's a weak class. I think Alomar, Larkin, Edgar, and McGriff all deserve it, but Larkin's the only slam-dunk based on the tendencies of the voters as I see it. Robby could have a shot.

Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


I think the four you mention are deserving, but I don't think any of them are a slam dunk.

Alomar's spitting incident will surely hurt him - don't think that has been forgotten.

The voters are also less forgiving of those who were superstars for a short period and fade quickly (Albert (Joey) Belle, Alomar, Rice, Dale Murphy, Canseco) - those some of these were also not media favorites.