Earlier this week, the Baseball Writers Association of America released its ballot for the 2017 Hall of Fame. Among the 34 players included in this year’s ballot, there are three Latino standouts: Manny Ramirez, Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
Guerrero, an outfielder who spent most of his career with the Montreal Expos and the Anaheim Angels, batted over .300 for 12 seasons in a row and had 10 100-RBI seasons. He also had a cannon for an arm:
Ivan Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner, was one of the greatest catchers of all time. Like Guerrero, “Pudge” had a strong, deadly accurate arm.
And then there’s Manny Ramirez, widely acknowledged as a talented hitter who wasn’t as talented (err… focused) when it came to defense. Ramirez was also known for his eccentric personality:
So, how good are their chances to make the Hall of Fame? Based on their stats, all three would be shoe-ins to make it into Cooperstown. But Ramirez was busted twice for using performance enhancing drugs, which means his chances are basically zero. Hall of Fame-caliber players such as Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens have failed to make it into the Hall of Fame due to their association with PEDs.
Rodriguez, who hit more than 300 home runs in his career, has been dogged by PED rumors for years. His former teammate, Jose Canseco, claimed that he personally injected Rodriguez with steroids. Rodriguez has been vague about whether or not he used steroids, but several of Rodriguez’s teammates from the ’90s-era Texas Rangers — Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Rodriguez — have been linked PEDs, casting a shadow of suspicion over Pudge’s career.
That leaves Guerrero, who has not been linked to steroids, making him the player out of this trio most likely to be inducted into Cooperstown. Despite his impressive numbers, Guerrero could end up making it into the Hall of Fame in another year or two, as the Baseball Writers Association of America considers players who have been on several HOF ballots over the years, including Tim Raines and Fred McGriff.