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Baseball Notes: The Great Steve Finley

It's Hall of Fame results day today and MLB network interviewed Steve Finley as a former teammate of a couple of the former players on this year's ballot Jeff Bagwell, Curt Schilling, and Trevor Hoffman and I was reminded that Finley is one of the most overlooked almost Hall of Fame players in recent memory. He was a World Series Champion with the 2001 Diamondbacks as a starter, 5 time gold glover, had 2583 hits, 304 homers, and 320 stolen bases. His batting average was not the greatest, it was in the .270's but his onbase percentage was respectable in the .330's. His numbers aren't good enough for Hall of Fame consideration now, but in another era he would have been a shoe-in.

One interesting thing about Steve FInley is the teammates he's had. It turns out he has had Hall of Fame, or borderline Hall of Fame, or possible future Hall of Fame teammates that could field a whole team. The "Leaving Steve Finley on the bench All-Stars"

C - Craig Biggio

1B - Jeff Bagwell

2B - Roberto Alomar

3B - Adrian Beltre

SS- Cal Ripken

OF - Tony Gwynn

OF - Rickey Henderson

OF - Barry Bonds

DH - Vlad Guerrero

RHP - Curt Schilling

LHP - Randy Johnson

CP - Trevor Hoffman

Manager - Frank Robinson

Obviously I took a few liberties but Craig Biggio did start his career at catcher, and his ability to move from catcher to second base to outfield was one of the keys to his resume that got him into the Hall. Ripken finished his career at third base but he was a short stop most of his career including the time he was teammates with Finley. This also lends the opportunity to include Finley's teammate for only 58 games, should-be future Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre who ranks as one of the all-time best hitting third basemen and is a four-time gold glover himself. Vlad Guerrero will be on the ballot next year but his power numbers, exciting swing and amazing arm in the outfield give him a compelling case to enter the Hall in his first or second year of eligability.

The one person on this team I don't expect to make it into the Hall is Curt Schilling and he is also the only person who I think Steve Finley might have been better than on this list. They would probably share space in the Hall of Very Good and I imagine they would be the only two in that club from this list. However, if the game is getting close, I think Frank Robinson would be inclined to pull one of his outfielders for Steve Finley to play defensively in centerfield.


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