COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – In an era where huge run totals were the norm, Juan Gonzalez was the RBI king.
Now, those RBI totals – and Gonzalez's all-around play for 17 big league seasons – have brought him to Cooperstown's door.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – He is one of only five members of the 400-save club – the second reliever ever to reach that milestone.
Unlike his fellow 400-save club members, however, John Franco was no flame-throwing, ninth-inning intimidator. But armed with pinpoint control and the guts of a burglar, Franco crafted a legacy unmatched by almost all modern closers.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – His intensity, on and off the mound, is still legendary. His "stuff" was elite.
The results were more than 200 wins, two earned-run average titles and a World Series ring. Now, Kevin Brown faces his last test as a player: The Hall of Fame vote.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Bret Boone made history the moment he put on a big league uniform.
But for the final piece of the first three-generation family in baseball annals, the history was just beginning.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Bert Blyleven struck out batters at a rate matched by few in big league history.
"It (his curveball) was nasty, I'll tell you that," said Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson. "Enough to make your knees buckle. Bert (Blyleven) was a terrific pitcher – a dominating pitcher."
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The line has to be somewhere, but the inevitability of the numbers doesn't make Harold Baines' accomplishments any less impressive.
Of all the players eligible for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame who have previously been considered by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harold Baines has the most hits. And Harold Baines has the most runs batted in.
He must have been doing something right.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – The story is so famous, it has become the first cautionary tale for every new big league general manager.
The Boston Red Sox, desperate for bullpen help during the 1990 stretch drive, target the Astros' Larry Andersen – a 37-year-old veteran of four teams who has posted earned-run averages below 2.00 for each of the two previous seasons.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Carlos Baerga began his career as one of the best hitting second basemen ever to play the game.
By the time he finished, Baerga was one of the game's top utility players – and the owner of a stat line which would make any middle infielder proud.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – Roberto Alomar won a record 10 Gold Gloves in 11 years at second base and four Silver Slugger Awards during his major league career.
With all that gold and silver on his trophy rack, Alomar is now hoping for bronze.