Joe Pos makes a strong case for Robbie Alomar, Hall of Famer:
Alomar, to me, has a case as the greatest second baseman since Hornsby. I am not the best person to make that case — I, of course, happen to think that Joe Morgan is the greatest second baseman since Hornsby. But I could give it a try: Alomar won 10 Gold Gloves — more than any second baseman — and I think he was probably slightly better defensively than Morgan. He hit .300 for his career, walked just about as often as he struck out, hit double-digit home runs nine times, stole 30 or more bases eight times and was a terrific postseason player (.313 postseason average, .347 in his two World Series victories). He had his best year at age 33 in Cleveland — he could have won the MVP that year. He did get traded to the Mets, where he finished off with three uninspiring years, and he retired at 36. So he did not get the number bump that so many players get in their later years.
Still, it’s hard to imagine a much better Hall of Fame case — a great fielding, great hitting, great running second baseman.
But…I sense no buzz about Alomar’s candidacy. I guess there are a couple of reasons for this. There was the spitting incident back in 1996 … he spit in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck. And then, post-career, an ex-girlfriend filed a civil suit alleging that Alomar had unprotected sex with her despite having AIDS. Alomar denied that he has AIDS. This, of course, should have nothing at all to do with his Hall of Fame candidacy, but when a player has some sort of controversy swirling around, it probably does affect the way people think about him.
And then…Alomar seems to be another player who was probably better than many people seemed to think when he was a player. Well, no, that’s not exactly right — he made 12 All-Star Games (10 as a starter) and won all those Gold Gloves and was top 6 MVP five times. So people did know of his brilliance while he was playing. It just seems like he was someone who did not stick in people’s minds.
To sum up: Alomar won more Gold Gloves than Sandberg, Mazeroski, White or any other second baseman. He also cracked 2,724 hits — more than any second baseman since World War II (Craig Biggio got more hits, but he spent quite a bit of time at other positions). He hit more than 500 doubles. He’s one of only two players in baseball history to hit .300 with 200 homers and 400 stolen bases — the other is first ballot Hall of Famer Paul Molitor who, as mentioned, spent most of his career as a DH.