With the Class of ’08 being announced today (Goose Gossage and Jim Rice may squeak in, though Gossage, Tim Raines and Bert Blyleven may be most deserving), Baseball Analysts posts the best player at each position currently eligible for but not in the Hall. They’re the “All-Overlooked” starting eight, and Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly and others need not apply for 1B:
Clark’s peak was tremendous, and there is little doubt that toiling for the better part of his career in Candlestick Park hampered the general public’s appreciation for him. A terrific gloveman, Bill James famously ranked Clark among the best first baseman in baseball history in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. A Hall with Orlando Cepeda, Jim Bottomley and Tony Perez ought to be able to make some room for Clark.
Not mentioned is that he’s also a master swordsman. Look at that unibrow!
For real, it’s good to see Clark getting recognition. I’ve long maintained that he may have been the best player in baseball during the five-year span from ’87-’91 and he has the great intangibles (a .650 batting average in the ’89 NLCS, an amazing finish with the Cardinals in ’00, the “Will to win,” etc.) that voters love. Alas, he went from rocking 4% of the vote in ’06 to 0% last year, so let’s not hold our breath.
Update: Predictably, Goose got in. Sadly, Clark did not.