Miami Marlins Hall of Famer No. 1- Gary Sheffield
At the end of the day though, the Miami Marlins best case for having a player make the Hall of Fame is probably still the player that was just told no this past Tuesday.
That'd be Gary Sheffield, one of the two greatest hitters to ever wear a Marlins uniform. Of course, that statement dramatically understates his brilliance. Sheffield is arguably one of the five greatest hitters to play the game of baseball, period, in the last 30 years. The only reason any doubt may exist as to his place atop Marlins offensive history is that Miguel Cabrera played here too once upon a time, and is another player that qualifies for both those lists. Flip a coin between those two.
Obviously, there are a few significant obstacles to Sheffield entering Cooperstown. He was terrible defensively. He played for multiple teams. No reason to dive into all of that again, as it has all been brought up time and again over the last couple months as Hall of Fame resumes were parsed and rehashed on multiple platforms in multiple formats. Deficiencies brought up ad nauseam because they sounded more insightful than "once upon a time in the offseason my workout buddy handed me a tube of steroid cream."
Yes, Sheffield was mentioned in the Mitchell Report. He admitted on the record to just that, applying some cream to his knees once. No lies on the record. No failed tests. No proof that his performance ever benefited at all from the use. That's very different from cream supplier Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and your other favorite steroid users. Yet it's a difference that it would appear nearly forty percent of the BBWAA chose not to appreciate.
I'll confess to not being entirely convinced the Veteran's Committee is going to see it that way when they get their chance to right this wrong a few years from now.
That being said, they probably will. Enough of them anyway. Yet are the odds of my being right about the Veteran's Committee believing Sheffield to be if not entirely innocent, at least as innocent David Ortiz, worse than of the other scenarios mentioned here? Stanton hitting 500 HRs and returning to Miami to do so? Arraez becoming the next Tony Gwynn as a Marlin? Multiple Cy Young awards from Sandy or Eury?
It's not even close. Gary Sheffield still has one more chance, and he remains the best chance at a Miami Marlins player entering the Baseball Hall of Fame.