Monday's report about Pete Rose betting on baseball as a player from March through July of the 1986 season might have been the final nail in his Hall of Fame chances.
But baseball's all-time hit king isn't the only well-credentialed retired player, who may never be inducted into the Hall of Fame due to a scandal of some sort—whether it be gambling or steroid/performance-enhancing drugs use.
Here, Tech Times assembles the asterisk Baseball Hall of Fame wing to honor players that belong in Cooperstown, but may never get there because of their checkered past. Put that asterisk beside their name and plaque...and they're in!
Oh, Charlie Hustle! No matter how much he bet on baseball—as a manager or player—the facts remain that Pete Rose is the all-time hits leader with 4,256 hits. To not have Major League Baseball's all-time hit king represented in the Hall of Fame is a glaring omission. He's a lock for the asterisk wing of the Hall of Fame. Bet on that!
Baseball's all-time home run leader with 762 long balls won an appeal this past April, after nearly 12 years, that his testimony didn't in fact obstruct a government investigation into illegal performance-enhancing drugs distribution. That has to stand for something, right? That and his numbers just jump off the page too much for him not to be included in the asterisk wing of the Hall of Fame.
Yes, at 39, Alex Rodriguez is still an active player as a designated hitter for the New York Yankees. But his controversial career is winding down and within a few more years, he's about to find himself in the same position as Bonds is now...wondering if the Hall will induct him. So, we'll save him the trouble. After all, as one of three players—Willie Mays and Hank Aaron being the other two—with at least 3,000 hits and 600 home runs, his mug is what the asterisk wing of the Hall's dreams are made of.
Off the 354 career wins and seven Cy Young Awards alone, "The Rocket" deserves the nod. If the writers don't vote him in for the regular Hall because of alleged steroid use, we'll take him for the asterisk wing in Cooperstown any day.
Yes, Jose Canseco blew the whistle on his former MLB peers with his 2006 tell-all book, Juiced, but his stats of 462 long balls and 1,407 RBI are pretty undeniable...PED use and all.
If Canseco is getting space in the asterisk Hall, so is his former Bash Brother, Mark McGwire, who admittedly used steroids. He finished his career just 17 homers shy of 600, albeit his 135 dinger total between 1998-99 are as ridiculous as it gets.
The chase of Roger Maris's single-season home-run record between McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998 was fun, wasn't it? Too bad, they were both reportedly using at the time. In later years, Sosa even was revealed to be using a corked bat in one instance. Still, his 609 homers and 1,667 RBI are amongst the best all-time and primed for the asterisk Hall.
Rafael Palmeiro knocked out 569 home runs and tallied over 3,000 hits in his illustrious career. But about those 3,000-plus hits...days after Palmeiro reached the 3K milestone, he tested positive for steroids. We've got a good space for him—between Canseco and McGwire. Have fun, Raf!
Guilty by association? Jeff Bagwell's name was never implicated on any kind of steroid or PED-player list, but because he played in the era of such abusers, he may have unfairly gotten thrown into the dirty pile. There's no denying what a feared hitter Bagwell was—459 home runs and 1,529 RBI proves it.
The outfielder fell short of reaching 2,000 hits for his career—ending it with 1,936—but his 434 home runs and 1,404 RBI stand out. Gonzalez was one of many players named in the Mitchell Report for taking PEDs.
So what if he hurled plates into the team shower, being enraged by the game? True story. Albert Belle's 381 home runs and 1,239 RBI warrants his name being in the asterisk Hall.
In May 2007, Jason Giambi apologized for using steroids. He wound up with 440 home runs and 1,441 RBI in a career, which included an American League MVP in 2000. Solid—but tainted—numbers.
Jose Canseco claimed to have personally injected Ivan Rodriguez with steroids, as revealed in Juiced. While the extra edge might have helped him amass a .296 lifetime average with 311 homers and 2,844 hits, "Pudge's" play behind the plate with seven Gold Glove Awards make him asterisk-Hall worthy, don't they?
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson
The outfielder's involvement in the notorious "Black Sox Scandal," in which players on the 1919 Chicago White Sox tried to fix the World Series, deserves a double asterisk. But his 1,772 hits aren't too shabby. "Shoeless" Joe's name would never work in Cooperstown...but maybe we can make an exception for the asterisk Hall.