Lost in Ken Griffey, Jr.’s record breaking vote and the continued debate on steroids, Jim Edmonds fell off the Hall of Fame ballot rather quietly. Receiving only 11 of 440 possible votes, Edmonds fell 11 votes short of the 5% threshold that is required to stay on the ballot for next year. Not many people noticed, but those that did were stunned. Jim Edmonds, an 8-time Gold Glove winner, is a one-and-done guy while Sammy Sosa, a notorious juicer, is still on the ballot after 4 years? That doesn’t seem right.
Right now you might be saying, “Only 11 out of 440 baseball writers voted for him, do you actually think he belongs in the Hall of Fame?” My short answer is, no, I don’t think Jim Edmonds is a Hall of Famer. When I released my rule-breaking Hall of Fame vote on Twitter, something I will address in a later article, I left Edmonds off. He’s very close, but to me, Edmonds is one of those guys who belongs in the Hall of “Very Good” and not the Hall of Fame. However, I do believe he should have been in serious consideration. Here are a few reasons why:
When you first think of Jim Edmonds, you think the jaw-dropping, acrobatic catches. The argument can certainly be made that Edmonds is the most exciting defender in recent baseball memory. He won 8 Gold Gloves in a 9 year span and made one of the most iconic catches in MLB history. If you have some time to kill, search “Jim Edmonds catches” on YouTube. You’ll get lost for hours, look at the clock, and realize it’s 4 in the morning and you wanted to go to bed 6 hours ago. I would know because it’s happening to me right now.
I won’t go into a statistical overload (like I did in my Fred McGriff article) because the Twitter account @JimEdmondsHOF has already done that for me (check it out, it’s fascinating). Still, here are some charts to whet your appetite:
The 2004 NLCS:
The 2004 MLB Postseason is remembered for the Red Sox hoisting their first World Series trophy since 1918. However, we should not forget Edmonds’ outstanding performance in the 2004 NLCS. Edmonds showed throughout his career that he had a flair for the dramatic and, against the Houston Astros, it was on full display. Edmonds put up a .292/.357/.625 slash line with 2 home runs, one of them being the iconic Game 6, 12th inning walk-off home run to stave off elimination and force a Game 7. And what does Jim Edmonds do in that Game 7? Well he makes a patented Jim Edmonds diving catch to save two runs from scoring. The Cardinals went on to win Game 7 and earn the right to lose to the Red Sox in the World Series.
Is Jim Edmonds a Hall of Famer? No, but he certainly deserved better.
Do you think “Jimmy Baseball” belongs in the Hall of Fame? Sound off in the comments section!