This week brought the big, grand reveal for the 2016 Baseball Hall of Fame class. Ken Griffey and Mike Piazza got in. Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Trevor Hoffman got close. Fred McGriff did not get close, registering on only 20.9% of the ballots. Jim Edmonds fell off the ballot completely, finding his name checked on only 11 of 440 ballots. Neither McGriff or Edmonds falls into the category of slam-dunk candidate for the Hall. Rather, they fall into that rather nebulous space just below the Hall of Fame — the Hall of Very Good.
The Hall of Very Good is an interesting collection of players. These are the types of players a team must have on its roster to contend for the World Series. They will be All-Stars and win some awards, just not every year. When all’s said and done, we look back on their careers with admiration — just not quite enough admiration to put them next to the all-time greats in the Hall of Fame. Baseball would not get by without these consistent, steady players, but at the end of the day, they are just not going to spark enough interest to pass through the sacred doors and into immortality in Cooperstown.
With that in mind, I set out to build a roster of players from the Hall of Very Good. These are not necessarily the best players not in the Hall of Fame. I’ve purposefully left out names like Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell because they will one day get their due. The players who make up this team have to be players who will always fall short when it comes to the Hall of Fame, even if it is by an eyelash.