MLB Hall of Fame: Breaking down the 2020 ballot

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 02: Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees field a ball against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Five of the 2009 MLB World Series at Citizens Bank Park on November 2, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Gary Sheffield – sixth year on ballot (13.6% in 2019)

A bit of a baseball vagabond, Gary Sheffield was a solid player, but never had that defining moment or franchise that he was associated with.

This was partially his own fault. Sheffield played for eight different teams over his 22 years in the majors, and had a reputation as a malcontent early in his career. Out of those teams, he only had one franchise that he was a part of for more than four years – the Marlins. Spending six seasons in Miami does not exactly capture the imagination of the voters.

Sheffield does, however, have a strong statistical resume. He was a nine time All Star and won five Silver Slugger awards, finishing in the top ten of the MVP vote six times. Overall, he produced a .292/.393/.514 batting line, hitting 509 homers and 467 doubles while stealing 253 bases. He had eight seasons with 30 or more homers and stole over 15 bases seven times.

Aside from that lack of a defining moment and his prickly personality, there are other issues surrounding Sheffield’s candidacy. He forced his way out of Milwaukee early in his career, admitting that he would not give a full effort as part of his desire to be dealt. Sheffield has also been dogged by PED allegations, although he never failed a drug test. Chances are, those reasons are why his candidacy has not gained any traction with the voters.

Gary Sheffield had a strong career. However, despite a resume that would seemingly lead to induction, he does not appear likely to be enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame.