For at least one more year, the Red Sox will be able to say they did not trade a Hall of Famer for 22 innings of Larry Andersen. Former Red Sox prospect and new Hall of Fame candidate Jeff Bagwell will not make the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Appearing on about 40% of the ballots, Bagwell has some significant ground to cover before reaching the requisite 75%. Candidates do tend to gain steam as the years go by, though, so Bagwell isn't in too bad of shape.
The Red Sox dealt the star first baseman to the Houston Astros during the 1990 season in exchange for relief pitcher Larry Andersen, who threw 25 innings for the Red Sox, including three during their ALCS loss to the Oakland Athletics. Andersen would take the loss in Game 1, while Bagwell would go on to hit 449 home runs in a 15-year career.
Bagwell represents a unique category of player in the steroid era who have been connected to performance enhancing drugs, but not nearly as convincingly as the poster boys like Mark McGwire (who appeared on just 20% of all ballots) and Jose Canseco. For some, the situation is muddy enough to warrant leaving Bagwell off the ballot-at least for now. If no more proof emerges, and push comes to shove, many of these voters could well add Bagwell to their ballots as his eligibility winds down.
The Hall will only induct two players this year: Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven. Alomar, who came in a at an even 90%, is an easy choice with his twelve All-Star selections, ten gold gloves, and four silver sluggers to go with a pair of rings won with the Toronto Blue Jays. For Blyleven, it took him until his 14th year of eligibility to finally get in, but the Minnesota favorite will will at long last find his way into Cooperstown with 79.7% of the vote.
The first player below the cutoff is Barry Larkin. The 1995 NL MVP and lifelong Red appeared on a strong but insufficient 62.1% of ballots.