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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Jim Edmonds. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)
Jim Edmonds. (Photo by John Capella/Sports Imagery/Getty Images) /

One and done: Jim Edmonds

Hall voters are a churlish lot when it comes to assessing center fielders. In recent years alone, they have refused to warm up to Andruw Jones, Bernie Williams, or Torii Hunter, and have summarily dismissed the idea of honoring Shane Victorino, Johnny Damon, Darin Erstad, Steve Finley, or Kenny Lofton.

But the case of Edmonds is the most obvious of all middle outfielders. A career .284 hitter with a solid .903 OPS, he helped the Cardinals, Cubs, and Reds all to divisional titles. In 2006, Edmonds was a cornerstone of St. Louis’ run to the World Series victory over Detroit.

Could Edmonds play defense? Eight Gold Gloves says yes, he could.

Could he hit? In four different seasons — 1995, 2000, 2001 and 2004 — Edmonds topped 100 RBI.

Jaffe and James are both leery of Edmonds’ actual suitability for election. Jaffe says his career 60.4 WAR is a bit light by comparison with the 71.6 average for Hall of Famers. On the other hand, the roster of Hall of Fame center fielders drives that average skyward. It includes Willie Mays, Ty Cobb, Ken Griffey Jr., Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Tris Speaker, and Duke Snider.

Standing a bit below the average for that crowd is not exactly a criticism of one’s Hall of Fame credentials.

Except, possibly, with voters. Given the chance in 2016 to recognize Edmonds, voters took a hard pass. Only 11 picked him, dropping him off the ballot with just 2.5 percent of the total vote. They seemed more enamored with the Griffey fellow, who got all but three votes in his ballot debut that season.