Once all voting results were in, it was officially announced that Cooperstown will be welcoming three new players to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Huston Astros’ first baseman Jeff Bagwell was inducted along with Montreal Expos’ left fielder Tim Raines and Texas Rangers’ catcher Ivan Rodriguez, while Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell short of enshrinement. These players were also joined by GM John Schuerholz and Ex-Commissioner of baseball Bud Selig.
Now that this is settled, there is a question being asked by many baseball fans. “Which baseball teams don’t have any Hall of Fame players?” and “Which one of those teams will get the next Hall of Famer and who will it be?” I have been asking those questions too and I am going to answer them for you in this article.
There are five teams in the MLB that do not have a player in Cooperstown, they are the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Miami Marlins, the Washington Nationals, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Colorado Rockies. I am going to go through team by team and look at which teams are closest to getting their first Hall of Fame player, and who that player will most likely be.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
This is the first order of business because the Angels have been around the longest of the six teams (founded in 1961). The Angels have had plenty of Hall of Fame players play for them but they just have not stuck around long enough to wear an Angels cap in the Hall. Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Nolan Ryan, Reggie Jackson, Bert Blyleven and Dave Winfield have all played for the Angels but they all went in with different teams.
Albert Pujols has definitely punched his ticket to Cooperstown but it is hard to imagine him not going in as a Cardinal. The player that is most likely to go in for the Angels is Mike Trout, who if he stays with the Angels long enough will be a guarantee for the Hall.
The Colorado Rockies were founded in 1993 and have never been that great of a team. The Rockies were formed in the same year as the Marlins to whom they are commonly compared to, the difference is the Marlins have two World Series Championships while the Rockies have never won the Fall Classic.
The Rockies have never even had a player in the Hall play for them at any point in their career. The Rockies have one player on the ballot in Larry Walker, but after getting 29.9 percent of the votes in the 2017 Hall of Fame election in his seventh year on the ballot, it is pretty clear that he will not be enshrined in Cooperstown. Todd Helton will be on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, but since Coors Field is at such a high elevation which increases the distance the ball travels, he will most likely not get in due to inflated stats.
Unless the voters look past the advantages of playing in Colorado, the Rockies will have to wait a long time for their first Hall of Fame player.
There are three players in the Hall of Fame for this franchise (Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, and Tim Raines) but they all went in as Expos. The Nationals went from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
The Nationals do not have any players on the ballot that could go in as a Nat (obviously). They do however have two stars that could be their best hope. Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg are both in the running for the Hall. They are both Scott Boras clients which could cause the Nats trouble if they don’t stay with them long term.
The Nationals’ best bet right now is if they can keep Bryce Harper for his entire career.
The Miami Marlins were founded in the same year as the Colorado Rockies and as far as having Hall of Fame players, they are in the same boat. The Marlins have one player on the Hall of Fame ballot, Gary Sheffield, but considering the 13.3 percent of the votes he received in his third year on the ballot, he is not going to be immortalized in Cooperstown. I would also love to hear any arguments regarding the fact that Mike Piazza should have gone into the Hall as a Marlin after a whopping 5 games in Florida.
The best shot the Marlins have at a Hall of Famer is if Stanton stays healthy, and hits 40 or more home runs a season for the rest of his career. Stanton is already the Marlins franchise home run leader with 208 round trippers.
Tampa Bay Rays
Wade Boggs spent the last two years of his big league career with the Devil Rays, but he went into the Hall with a Red Sox cap. The only player that there is even a small chance for is Evan Longoria. He may be closer than you think, though. He is nine years into his career with over 1300 hits. The third baseman is underrated in Cooperstown, and if he can keep increasing his hit total each season, he could get in the 2600-2700 range and could possibly get elected, but it is very unlikely and I believe that the Rays will be the last team in the MLB without a Hall of Fame player.
Well there you have it, every team without a single Hall of Famer and who might be their first. I cannot wait to see which team gets off this list first. I am hoping the Angels will be first but that is just me being biased towards my favorite team. Hopefully, all five of these teams get off this list in the next two decades. I can say this without any bias, the Tampa Bay Rays will be the last on this list to get a Hall of Fame player. I would also love to hear which team you would like off this list first in the comments below.