By the numbers

Palmeiro returns to BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot

December 03, 2013
2014 Hall of Fame candidate Rafael Palmeiro. (Photo File/NBHOF Library)

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.

BBWAA members who have at least 10 years of tenure with the organization can vote in the election, and the results will be announced Jan. 8. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of all BBWAA votes cast will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014. The Induction Ceremony will be held July 27 in Cooperstown.

Born Sept. 24, 1964, in Havana, Cuba, Palmeiro’s family came to the United States in 1971. He quickly showed aptitude for baseball, and after high school in Miami enrolled at Mississippi State University, where he played baseball. A three-time All-American, Palmeiro was drafted with the 22nd overall pick by the Cubs in 1985.

[Scouting reports on Rafael Palmeiro]

The next season, Palmeiro was in the majors. By 1988, he had made his first All-Star team. Traded to the Rangers after that season in a nine-player deal, Palmeiro established himself as one of the American League’s most consistent performers. He led the AL in hits in 1990 with 191, topped the 30-homer mark (with 37) and 100-RBI plateau (with 105) for the first time in 1993 and won the first of three straight Gold Glove Awards at first base in 1997.

From 1995-2003, Palmeiro averaged 41 homers and 120 RBI per season. He also played in an average of 156 games a season during that span.

He signed with the Orioles as a free agent before the 1994 season, then returned to Texas via free agency from 1999-2003. He spent his final two seasons of 2004 and 2005 with the Orioles.

On Aug. 1, 2005, Major League Baseball announced that Palmeiro had violated the league’s drug program and would be suspended for 10 games. He appeared in his last major league game on Aug. 30, 2005.

Palmeiro finished his career as one of only four players – along with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray – with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.

He amassed 3,020 hits and 569 home runs during his career, and his 1,835 RBI rank 16th on the all-time list.

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG
1986 21 CHC 22 78 73 9 18 4 0 3 12 1 1 4 6 .247 .295 .425
1987 22 CHC 84 244 221 32 61 15 1 14 30 2 2 20 26 .276 .336 .543
1988 23 CHC 152 629 580 75 178 41 5 8 53 12 2 38 34 .307 .349 .436
1989 24 TEX 156 632 559 76 154 23 4 8 64 4 3 63 48 .275 .354 .374
1990 25 TEX 154 651 598 72 191 35 6 14 89 3 3 40 59 .319 .361 .468
1991 26 TEX 159 714 631 115 203 49 3 26 88 4 3 68 72 .322 .389 .532
1992 27 TEX 159 701 608 84 163 27 4 22 85 2 3 72 83 .268 .352 .434
1993 28 TEX 160 686 597 124 176 40 2 37 105 22 3 73 85 .295 .371 .554
1994 29 BAL 111 498 436 82 139 32 0 23 76 7 3 54 63 .319 .392 .550
1995 30 BAL 143 624 554 89 172 30 2 39 104 3 1 62 65 .310 .380 .583
1996 31 BAL 162 732 626 110 181 40 2 39 142 8 0 95 96 .289 .381 .546
1997 32 BAL 158 692 614 95 156 24 2 38 110 5 2 67 109 .254 .329 .485
1998 33 BAL 162 709 619 98 183 36 1 43 121 11 7 79 91 .296 .379 .565
1999 34 TEX 158 674 565 96 183 30 1 47 148 2 4 97 69 .324 .420 .630
2000 35 TEX 158 678 565 102 163 29 3 39 120 2 1 103 77 .288 .397 .558
2001 36 TEX 160 714 600 98 164 33 0 47 123 1 1 101 90 .273 .381 .563
2002 37 TEX 155 663 546 99 149 34 0 43 105 2 0 104 94 .273 .391 .571
2003 38 TEX 154 654 561 92 146 21 2 38 112 2 0 84 77 .260 .359 .508
2004 39 BAL 154 651 550 68 142 29 0 23 88 2 1 86 61 .258 .359 .436
2005 40 BAL 110 422 369 47 98 13 0 18 60 2 0 43 43 .266 .339 .447
20 Yrs 2831 12046 10472 1663 3020 585 38 569 1835 97 40 1353 1348 .288 .371 .515

 

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum