Posted at 6:15 PM on July 16, 2005
by David Zingler
Last night Rafael Palmeiro joined the 3,000 hit/500 homerun club. Ok, you probably already knew that and you probably know that he joined only Hank Aaron, Wille Mays and Eddie Murray it that elite group, but can you understand why anyone would question his Hall of Fame credentials?
Skip Bayless, for example, wrote an anti-Palmeiro column on ESPN.com’s Page 2. In my book however, 3,000/500 gets you first ballot induction. Case closed.
Nobody thinks Palmeiro is as good as Aaron or Mays (no way, no how) or even Murray (pretty close), but he did it. He reached both of the game's most glorious offensive milestones. He did what Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial couldn’t. He did what military service took away from Ted Williams.
Now he’s taking aim at – gasp – 600 homers. Aaron, Mays and Palmeiro. That thought makes a lot of old timers cringe.
Raffy & ‘roids
Palmeiro is the only player tainted by steroid rumors that I am going to give the benefit of the doubt to. He went in front of congress and, without being asked, denied all the allegations with authority and the appearance of sincerity. Nobody else did that. Not Mark “I am not here to discuss the past” McGwire or Sammy Sosa, who gave a timid denial only after being badgered.
The 40-year-old also never had an unnatural single season homerun total – 47 is his career high – and never got hurt – minus the 1994 strike year, he’s played 154+ games in 15 of the last 16 seasons. Plus, he just never got that big.
Skip Bayless is a total moron. I really don't think the man has ever made a single statement I've agreed with. Palmeiro is a first ballot Hall of Famer without question.
Whoa! Stop the presses on Raffy 'n 'Roids and all of your disbelief!