Alan Trammell, SS: .285/.352/.415
Along with Cal Ripken, Trammell re-defined the shortstop position into offensively skilled players instead of just slick fielders. Trammell was a 6-time All-Star and 4-time Gold Glover. He played alongside Lou Whitaker in one of the most amazing double-play tandem’s I have ever seen. If he wasn’t so injury-plagued over his final 8 seasons, he would have ranked as elite, just like Sandy Koufax (what could have been?). Being one of the best at your position for nearly 7-8 seasons is good enough for me.
Barry Larkin, SS: .295/.371/.444
The 1st shortstop to ever go 30/30, Larkin really re-defined the position; however, he was solid but not spectacular for a long period of time. He played more seasons with Ozzie Smith than A-Rod and Jeter, but he’s compared to those who came after him instead of those who came before. If it were the other way around, only Ripken was better than him. Larkin was a 12-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover, and won an MVP. If he was healthy more, he would have had 3,000 hits and been an easy addition to the Hall, but he had 10 seasons in which he played 125 games or fewer, still compiling 2,340 hits in 2,180 games over 19 seasons.
Dale Murphy, OF: .265/.346/.469
Murphy was one of the most feared hitters of a decade. A two-time MVP. Injuries derailed a fine career which included 7 All-Star games and 5 Gold Gloves. He was on TBS every night and played for awful teams…give the guy some love for what he put up with!!!
Fred McGriff, 1B: .284/.377/.509
493 HR, 1550 RBI…a 162 game average of 29 2B, 32 HR, and 102 RBI, “The Crime Dog” finished in the top-20 of MVP balloting 8-times. He was a five-time All-Star and productive late into his career. His name doesn’t really pop-up among the Steroid Era group like Sosa, McGwire or Palmeiro, but he seems to have been overlooked due to those dirtbags. He played his last game in 2004, so he has been eligible for a couple of years now. He compared favorably to Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell in terms to his career production. Nice company.
Who else is missing?