There are a few former Mets on the current Hall-of-Fame ballot. Johan Santana, Billy Wagner, Livan Hernandez, and Jeff Kent but one stands out over the others, Gary Sheffield. Sheffield only played one season as a Met in 2009 but his career speaks for itself.
Sheffield for his career slashed .292/.393/.514 with a 140 OPS+ from 1988-2009. Sheffield was 19 when he made his debut with the Brewers and did not get consistent playing time and he also demanded his way out of Milwaukee. He left Milwaukee in 1992 and from 1992-2009, he hit .296/.402/.533 with a 146 OPS+.
Sheffield ranks 93rd all-time in OBP and he ranks 38th in OBP among players with more than 8000 plate appearances. The longevity of Sheffield’s career and his ability to be one of the best hitters of all-time should be a big point in his resumé.
Vladamir Guerrero is a lock for the Hall-of-Fame this year and rightfully so but how does he stack up against Sheffield? The two are very similar in terms of their WAR but Guerrero was the better defender and Sheffield had the longer career. Sheffield’s oWAR was nearly 80 over his career whereas Guerrero’s was 58.5. Sheffield could have gone 0-for-403 with no walks or HBPs in his next 403 plate appearances and he still would have had a superior OBP to Guerrero. Omar Vizquel is another player receiving Hall-of-Fame love but Sheffield 60.3 WAR outpaces Vizquel’s 45.3 WAR.
Sheffield also notched the magical 500 home runs that voters tend to love but he still has not gotten the love he deserves. His offense really speaks for itself. His wRC+ is 62nd all time in major league history and he played in one of the toughest offensive eras of his generation. His defense was poor but he made up for it with his awesome offense.
I think we just have to consider Sheffield if other hitters and players that have failed to matchup to Sheffield’s statistics are also getting consideration. Even if you “believe” these players are better than Sheffield, then surely you must admit that the gap between them is much closer than it seems. All these players seem likely to get in at some point while Sheffield will be battling it out to stay on the ballot this winter.
Even if Sheffield got in, it would not be as a Met but these are reasons why I think he should get in. Sheffield by all accords has a Hall-of-Fame resumé or at least he does on offense.