On Wednesday, Hall of Fame first baseman Jeff Bagwell joined “The Mayor’s Office” podcast with former Major League Baseball player, Sean Casey. The former Houston Astros‘ MVP and four-time All-Star talked with Casey about his Hall of Fame career, the Killer B’s, team culture and his take on the modern game.
Casey had another former Astros’ great, Lance Berkman, on a few weeks ago. The former All-Star first baseman and outfielder tipped his cap to what he believes is one of the best bullpens of all-time: the 2005 Astros.
Former Astros’ great Jeff Bagwell believes Jeff Kent, Billy Wagner and Lance Berkman all belong in the Hall of Fame.
On Wednesday’s podcast, Bagwell was asked about the current and past Hall of Fame ballots, while he pointed to the careers of Berkman, Billy Wagner and Jeff Kent to being of value for the Hall.
Berkman, respectively, is no longer on the ballot, after not meeting the five percent requirement in his first year of 2019.
"“Let me tell you something: Lance [Berkman] can freakin’ hit,” Bagwell said. “He’s just a special hitter. He hits everybody. I don’t get it, man.”"
For 15 seasons, Berkman switch-hit and played first base and outfield at an elite level. The 45-year-old posted a career-OPS of .943 in that span, while being selected to six All-Star games, one when he was 35-years-old.
Kent, on the hand, is on his ninth year on the ballot with only 32.4 percent of the vote, and Wagner also remains on the ballot for his seventh year at 46.2 percent of the vote. Former players need at least 75 percent to make it into the Hall of Fame in a 10-year span.
Bagwell believes Kent and Berkman were not as active with the media in their major-league time, which he alluded to as a factor for voters. But for a player like Kent, Bagwell has high praise for, since he won a National League MVP with Barry Bonds on his team.
"“I mean, he [Billy Wagner] should be in the Hall of Fame and so should JK [Jeff Kent],” Bagwell said. “I think it’s ridiculous. Maybe they’re not great at talking to the media, but what do you do on the field, and you were dominant, and they both were. Jeff Kent won an MVP with Barry Bonds on the team. You know how hard that is to do? I mean, the guy has seven of them.”"
Bagwell, of course, was inducted into the National Baseball Hall or Fame in 2017, while on the ballot for a seventh year. The 1994 National League MVP holds the Astros’ franchise home run record with 449.