Even aside from the general baseball fan frustration with 2013's Hall of Fame "class," Rockies fans have reason to be frustrated with the Hall of Fame topic. The best player in franchise history is treading water on the periphery of the Hall of Fame discussion, and as a slew of deserving candidates hit the ballots in upcoming years, Larry Walker is likely to get pushed aside.
When that happens, Rockies fans will likely have to wait a really long time to see a CR in Cooperstown. Todd Helton has good numbers, but if Walker does not have near enough support, things don't bode well for the ToddFather, who has inferior numbers and earned them all as a Rockie at a less premium position. He also does not have an MVP to his name.
Troy Tulowitzki has fallen a bit behind a Hall of Fame pace, and Carlos Gonzalez is not at that level. Six current MLB franchises are not represented in the Hall, butfive of those (Rays, Mariners, Marlins, Diamondbacks and Angels) have players who played for them in the Hall. The Rockies are the only franchise not to have be respresented in the Hall of Fame in any way.
Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus forecasted how long the wait will be for these six franchises, and the Rockies have the longest wait. Miller has essentially written off Walker and Helton, barring a miraculous 2013-15 run from Todd, who is coming back for one more year. Even if Tulowitzki gets on track, he would likely be waiting until after 2030. It just may be that the first Rockie Hall of Famer has not played in the majors yet.
So as we as Rockies fans are clearly left on the outside of the Hall, I propose celebrating what we as Rockies fans have had by introducing the Very Unofficial Rockies Hall of Fame. There are no retired numbers or Rings of Fame at Coors Field, so our only way to celebrate past Rockies heroes are through fantasy camp and cheering for our new coaching staff.
So the rules I have come up with:
- It has to be a very exclusive club, at least as high of a bar to get into as the BBWAA Hall of Fame.
- It must count players value in a Rockies uniform over total career value. Otherwise, we would have a "Rockies" Hall of Fame featuring Dale Murphy, Jamie Moyer and Steve Finley.
- For the ease of entry, I'll go with Baseball Reference WAR in a Rockies uniform to rank players.
There could be an argument that Tulowitzki should not be eligible, as he is still playing. If we were to follow the real Hall rules (five years post-retirement), we'd have a very different list, including Walker, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, Ellis Burks and Steve Reed. While Dante Bichette is certainly celebrated in Rockies' lore, he'd be a Jim Rice type addition - feared but without the requisite numbers, especially considering his defense.
What say you, do you agree with my five?