Jeff Bagwell announced his retirement today and baseball is worse off for it. Bagwell was truly one of the great underrated stars. He broke out in 1994 with a early 2000 Bondesque season and never looked back. In 15 seasons, he topped 1,500 runs and 1,500 RBIs and he joins a club of players who have notched a career .400 OBP. From 1996 to 2001, he had at least 30 homeruns, 100 walks, 100 RBIs and 100 runs. For all that, he played in only four All Star Games through out his career and his only MVP came in that strike shortened 1994 season.
Bagwell should be a first ballot Hall of Famer although the fact that he didn’t nail any of the big milestones (3,000 hits or 500 homeruns) means he’ll probably have to wait it out a year or two. Regardless, there’s no doubt that Bagwell was one of the very best players through most of the 1990s and into early 2000.
As I thought, Bagwell might have a tough time getting into the Hall. Buster Olney is on the fence. I guess that’s one more thing we disagree on.