Curt Schilling’s appreciation for baseball history dates back to his childhood.
Today, Schilling is on the verge of the ultimate mark on the game’s history: Election to the Hall of Fame.
Growing up outside of Tampa, Fla., lanky and youthful right fielder Kenny Rogers looked to have a promising career ahead of him.
He hit .375 his senior season and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1982. However, the Rangers had other plans for Rogers.
Tim Raines finished his big league career with the highest percentage of stolen bases of any player with 300-plus steals.
Now he is hoping to join the one percent of major league baseball players to make it into the Hall of Fame.
As a baseball underdog, it doesn’t get much more challenging than being a 62nd round draft choice.
But in just 26 years, Mike Piazza has gone from the 1,390th player chosen in the 1988 MLB Draft to the doorstep of Cooperstown.
Along the way, Piazza firmly established himself as one of the greatest hitting catchers in the history of the game.
Palmeiro’s numbers place him among the greatest hitters ever to play the game.
Palmeiro, who played 20 big league seasons with the Rangers, Orioles and Cubs, is one of 36 players on the 2014 Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for the Class of 2014 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Palmeiro received 8.8 percent of the vote in 2013 in his third year on the BBWAA ballot.
He was a national overnight sensation, a flash of brilliance when baseball needed it the most.
Coming off the devastating labor dispute that prematurely ended the 1994 season, baseball had to give the fans a reason to cheer. And before Cal Ripken Jr. ignited the celebration of his record-setting streak in September of 1995, there was Hideo Nomo – electrifying fans across the nation and across the Pacific Ocean.
While that may be the way Hall of Famer Yogi Berra would depict Mike Mussina, it also accurately describes the way Mussina played the game.
Mussina retired from the game of baseball in 2008 – after recording 270 wins in his 18-year career. A model of consistency, Mussina logged 17 seasons of 10-plus wins.
He was a four-time World Series winner, a five-time All-Star and the author of what is possibly the greatest Game 7 World Series pitching performance of all-time.
But not even 254 big league victories and 14 straight Opening Day starts due justice to the legacy of Jack Morris, whose career can be summed up in one word: Competitor.
Statistically, he’s the most consistent power hitter the game has ever known.
Mark McGwire’s story contains so much more than that. But on the field, McGwire was undeniably a star.
“I still tell him that it was an honor and pleasure to play with him,” said Albert Pujols, the man who took over for McGwire at first base for the St. Louis Cardinals.
His career is unlike almost every other Yankees star, because it included no World Series glory.
But even without a championship on his resumé, Don Mattingly remains an all-time favorite among Yankees fans – and deeply etched into the team’s record book.