I don’t have a vote for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but I’m curious about who will be voted into the Hall. This past weekend, I interviewed a former Ranger who has HOF credentials with 3,020 career hits including 569 home runs. That former Ranger was first baseman/designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro, who was part of the celebration honoring the Rangers 40th anniversary all-time team.
The Palmeiro interview was heard in its entirety on Rangers Magazine (ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM). We discussed being on the all-time team, his college teammate and former Rangers first baseman Will Clark, the development of his sweet left-handed swing, the current Rangers including his view of Josh Hamilton, a passionate description of his former teammate Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez and Eric Nadel’s induction into the Rangers Hall of Fame.
We also discussed how much he thinks about the Hall of Fame, to which he replied he doesn’t unless others broach the topic with him. Palmeiro only received 11% of the votes in his first year of HOF eligibility and 12.6% in the second year.
In 2005 with Baltimore, the final season of his 20-year career, Palmeiro tested positive for an anabolic steroid. He was suspended 10 games. In previous interviews, he has indicated that it was a tainted B-12 shot.
“People are questioning my career, my integrity and what I did throughout my career, and it’s unfair. They’re judging me on a mistake in judgment that I made near the end of my career,” Palmeiro said. “If people want to think that I cheated or did something to enhance my performance, then that’s fine. I can’t say anything to make them change their mind, but other than that I played the game the right way. I never cheated the game, never missed any games, never on the DL or anything like that. I’m proud of the way I played the game.
“There is nothing else I can do. I can’t prove it to anyone. It is what it is. Some people are going to believe me and some people are not. That’s just the way it is,” Palmeiro said.
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Should Palmeiro be in the Hall of Fame? Why or why not?