In fact it made me start thinking about some of the other first ballot hall of famers I've been fortunate enough to see play. Currently the list stands at around twenty-eight... five of which were included in the 1986 Fleer Future Hall of Famers six card insert set.
And the one who didn't get in on the first ballot, second ballot, or any ballot for that matter?
The all-time hits leader and notorious gambler... Mr. Pete Rose:
A few years ago, I made the decision to forgive Pete for his poor choices involving betting on baseball and trying to cover it up. That doesn't mean I'm ready to announce his HOF induction, but I'm open to the discussion.
Fleer did a pretty good job of predicting the other five players' futures...
Year of Induction: 1991
Percentage of HOF Votes: 90.5%
Year of Induction: 1999
Percentage of HOF Votes: 98.8%
Year of Induction: 1993
Percentage of HOF Votes: 93.6%
Kudos Fleer! I'm sure back in 1986, all six of these guys were pretty obvious selections. But overall I really enjoy the concept behind this set. If you've never seen these cards, they were inserted into 1986 Fleer rack packs at a rate of one per pack.
I guess Mama Fuji only purchased one rack pack for me, because for years I only owned the Reggie Jackson. Luckily the complete set usually sells for only $2 to $3 on eBay. Not bad for a twenty-eight year old insert set loaded with first ballot hall of famers.
Okay... it's been awhile... but let's try out one of them "questions of the day"...
If you worked for Topps and were given the task of creating a six card insert set of current players who are destined to be "future hall of famers"...
Who would you include in your set?
I'd probably start with these four players: Ichiro Suzuki, Miguel Cabrera, Derek Jeter, and Albert Pujuls. I wouldn't be surprised if all four of these guys ended up being first ballot hall of famers. The final two spots weren't so easy.
There are several solid hitters who should eventually end up in the hall, but I ended up choosing Adrian Beltre over David Ortiz, Carlos Beltran, and Todd Helton.
And I reserved the final spot for Clayton Kershaw. Now before I start receiving all of the negative comments, I want to preface my decision by stating that he hasn't guaranteed himself a spot in Cooperstown. But the guy is on pace to win his third Cy Young Award in four years, he's the best pitcher in baseball, and he's only twenty-six years old. Hopefully he stays healthy and has several more solid seasons in front of him.
Okay... it's your turn. Let's see who you've got.
Happy Monday and sayonara!