MLB: The one-and-done All-Star team of Baseball Hall of Fame rejects

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08: Lance Berkman #17 of the Houston Astros homers to left field in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates as catcher Jason jaramillo #35 frames the pitch at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08: Lance Berkman #17 of the Houston Astros homers to left field in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates as catcher Jason jaramillo #35 frames the pitch at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Lance Berkman. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Lance Berkman. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

One and done: Lance Berkman

We’re looking here at a career .293 hitter with 366 home runs, 1,234 RBI, a .943 OPS, and a half-dozen All-Star Game appearances.

Berkman played 15 seasons, most of them for the Astros, although toward the end of his career he also suited up for the Yankees, Cardinals, and Rangers. He had positional versatility, starting more than 300 games at first base, left field, and right field.

In his prime, Berkman was one of the National League’s most feared hitters. He had a league-leading 128 RBI in 2002, one of his six 100-plus RBI seasons between 2001 and 2008. He hit .331 in 2001, one of his five plus-.300 seasons.

In 2001, again in 2004, and for the third time in 2006, his OPS surpassed 1.000.

Berkman was particularly effective in October. He carried a .317 average through 52 postseason games, hitting .385 in the 2005 World Series and .423 in the Cardinals’ 2011 World Series championship run.

None of that lifted Berkman out of the realm of run-of-the-mill talent when his name debuted on the 2019 ballot. He got five votes.

James puts Berkman’s monitor number at 98, virtually in line with the 100 average for a “likely” Hall of Famer.