3. By the Scandal
As we know, the Astros were proven to have cheated during the 2017 season, therefore tarnishing the trophy to some degree forever. That season was arguably the best of Altuve’s career, and he won the AL MVP award for it.
However, baseball writers may leave out that season as one that counts towards Altuve’s Hall of Fame odds, as it was a cheating season for his team. However, there also is evidence that exists that proves Altuve did not cheat during that season, but who knows whether or not the baseball writers will believe this evidence, or even consider it.
The problem comes when we look at the other similar cases that have already occurred. Shoeless Joe Jackson, who also had evidence presented that could to some prove his innocence when it comes to the fixing of the World Series in 1919, is still banned from baseball and the Hall of Fame to this day.
Jackson played phenomenally in the series, managing a .375 batting average. I believe it is safe to say that he was not throwing the series. In 1921, a Chicago jury acquitted Jackson of any cheating. With both of these facts in place, Jackson has still been banned from baseball and the Hall of Fame to this day.
Pete Rose is one of the greatest baseball players and hitters of all-time. However, during his managing career, he was proven to have bet on games he was managing, although he claims to only have bet for his team to win.
This has left him banned from baseball and the Hall of Fame to this day. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were never proven to have used PEDs, yet just with the speculation of having done so, both remain out of the Hall of Fame.
Here’s the deal. Jackson was in a very similar situation to Altuve, but with one key difference. Jackson was banned from baseball shortly after the scandal came to light, whereas Altuve was not only not banned, but he was given immunity by MLB.
This would lead me to believe that Altuve has a great shot of getting in, but this becomes a slippery slope, because if Bonds and Clemens remain out just for suspected cheating, why would they let it Altuve? It really depends on what Altuve does with the rest of his career, and what information comes out about whether other teams were cheating in 2017.
Verdict: I believe that Altuve needs a clean World Series championship in which he plays a key role, in order to secure his chances of getting into the Hall of Fame.