The 2018 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame class will be inducted Sunday at Cooperstown. Six players – Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Alan Trammell and Jack Morris – will be enshrined in the league’s Hall.
Jones and Thome were first-time ballot selections and were expected shoo-ins. Jones, out of DeLand, Fla., is one of the state’s all-time top athletes. A 19-year Major League player (all with Atlanta), Jones finished his career with a .303 batting average that included 468 home runs. The switch hitter also was a top fielding third baseman in his tenure and a Most Valuable Player in 1999.
Thome blasted 612 homers (eighth in the all time list) while playing for Cleveland, Philadelphia, the White Sox and Minnesota. Both Thome and Jones were great game ambassadors and both knew when to get out, not prolonging a career when they were way past their prime. Guerrero played 22 years, mostly with Montreal and California and was a 2004 MVP. He hit .318 and had 449 home runs in his distinguished career.
Hoffman was an 18-year player who pitched in over a thousand games, racking up 601 saves, which is second on the all-time list. The majority of those saves came while throwing for San Diego. Trammell and Morris were selected by the Veterans Committee. Both were outstanding Detroit stars in the 70s and 80s with Trammell being a 20-year top notch shortstop, all with the Tigers.
He won a World Series MVP award in 1984 and finished his career with a .285 batting average. Morris won 254 games in the show, mostly with Detroit. These six certainly are deserving of induction in what may be the largest class for awhile.
By Joe Ferolito