We already know about our beloved Jeff Bagwell going to the hall – but what of some of the other Houston Astros potential Hall of Famers?
After seven long years on the ballot, it seems Jeff Bagwell is poised to join the elite Hall of Fame group. This will be two years after his infield mate Craig Biggio. They were the central figures in a Houston Astros lineup for 15 years together. Together, they proved to the world that Houston does belong on the map when it comes to Cooperstown.
Who else deserves the hall?
There have been other Houston Astros potential Hall of Famers throughout the years and this year is no different. As we count down to January 18th, let’s look at some of our beloved Astros who just might have their ticket punched in the next couple of years.
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- Roger Clemens
- Billy Wagner
- Jeff Kent
- Brad Lidge (eligible in 2018)
- Carlos Lee (eligible in 2018)
- Andy Pettitte (eligible in 2019)
- Lance Berkman (eligible in 2019)
- Roy Oswalt (eligible in 2019)
- Octavio Dotel (eligible in 2019)
One Year Wonders (for Astros)
Officially eliminated from Hall of Fame induction
So who else deserves the hall?
All the above mentioned were mostly a part of the Astros only World Series appearance in 2005 and early 2000 playoff runs and had long careers in their own rights with teams other than the Astros.
Breaking down the other Houston Astros potential Hall of Farmers for the 2017 class:
Roger Clemens (Houston Astro from 2004-2006)
Clearly the most talented and most decorated of the bunch, Clemens mowed down National League hitting for the three years spent here. He led the Astros in strikeouts (218 & 185) and ERA (2.98 & 1.87) in 2004, and 2005, winning the Cy Young in 2004 and starting in the All-Star game in Houston. For all his records, Cy Young wins and strikeout performances, Clemens’ career, however, is shadowed by his PED scandal. He has climbed the HOF ladder, however, and was at 65% in the 2016 vote. He will most probably get in 2018 or 2019.
Billy Wagner (Houston Astro from 1995-2003)
A fan favorite from the get-go, this hard-throwing closer reached 100 MPH regularly as the Astros every day closer. He had three All-Star game nods, amassed 422 saves with a lifetime 2.31 ERA and almost 1200 strikeouts for his career. Closers in the hall of fame are hard to come by, but Wagner can certainly make his case. Given the hall’s aptitude for closer enshrinement and his 10.5% in last year’s ballot, chances are Wagner misses the cut.
Jeff Kent (Houston Astro from 2003-2004)
This power hitting second baseman came to Houston to push the Astros into playoff contention. Moving Biggio to center field for Kent to play second proved to be a winning combination, sending the Astros to the playoffs in the 2004 campaign. Hitting a combined 49 home runs, 200 RBIs and hitting .293. Kent provided the offense the Astros needed.
In perhaps his most memorable moment as an Astro, Kent hit a walk-off homer in the 9th inning of game 5 of the NLCS to break a 0-0 tie. The probability of Kent making the Hall of Fame might depend on the competition around him as he got 14% of the vote in 2016’s voting.
Curt Schilling (Houston Astro in 2001) & Ivan Rodriguez (Houston Astro in 2009)
In the case for these one hit wonders for the Astros, Schilling was too early and Rodriguez was too late amid great careers for the two. Schilling would go on to be traded to the Phillies and amass 216 wins, 3116 strikeouts and a lifetime 3.46 ERA with championship campaigns for the Diamondbacks in 2001 and Redsox in 2004. He finished the 2016 Hall of Fame with 52% of the vote and should get in the next couple of years.
Rodriguez was an Astro in the late part of his career. Following an illustrious career as possibly the best defensive catcher in history. Hitting 311 home runs, 1332 RBIs, and a lifetime .296 batting average, Rodriguez proved he can be productive at the plate as well as behind it. This is his first year of eligibility, and he is projected to get in either this year or next.
Who will wear the Astros hat?
Among the above mentioned from those eligible this year, Wagner would be the best bet to don the Astros cap into the Hall of Fame. As the years go by, more Astros greats will be eligible and would be sure to represent the Houston Astros proudly.
For now, let’s wait for the Bagwell announcement and celebrate his possible induction in January!
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***