The secondary MLB Hall of Fame

What if there was a secondary Hall of Fame for the best 274 players who are not in the HOF?

There’s plenty of players who are borderline Hall of Famers, but haven’t gotten into the Hall. Players like Lou Whitaker and Dale Murphy. What if there was a Secondary Hall of Fame for them? These players are really good, they should get some sort of recognition.

What would this Hall be called?

Silver Hall: This implies a ranking just below the top (often considered gold), acknowledging their excellence and contribution to the sport without equating them with those in the Hall of Fame.

Hall of Aim: Players who aimed for the Hall of Fame, but never quite got there. But they still aim to get into the real Hall.

Hall of Claim: This could celebrate players who made a significant “claim” to fame through memorable moments or unique contributions to the sport. Or maybe the claim could be their “claim” that they belong in the real Hall.

Hall of Excellence: This name suggests a high standard of achievement without implying the absolute pinnacle, making it suitable for players who were outstanding but didn’t quite make the Hall of Fame cut.

Junior Hall: Conveys the idea of a secondary tier of recognition. Might be a little too biting?

Number of players in the Secondary Hall of Fame

The Hall of Aim would match the same number of players in the Hall of Fame. Right now there are 274 players in the Hall of Fame. Thus, the Hall of Aim would also have 274 players. 190 hitters, 84 pitchers.

Every year when the Hall of Fame inducts players in, the Hall of Aim would induct the same number of players. This year, three players are being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Hall of Aim would induct three players.

Come to think of it… as the Hall of Fame inducts players, they would probably be taking players away from the Hall of Aim. So if the Hall of Fame takes three players from the Hall of Aim, then we would need to induct SIX more players. That’s kinda fun.

With all the choices of who gets into the Hall of Aim, we can give some of the guys who aren’t even close to the Hall some chance to be in a debate of greatness. Guys like Gary Gaetti, Lenny Dykstra, and Steve Finley.

Steroids or officially banned?

Do we include players who are known to use steroids? Or players who have been banned from the HOF? Yes. We do. This is the Hall of Aim. C’mon. Let’s put Pete Rose and Barry Bonds in some sort of Hall. That’s the point of this exercise—to give all the players who aren’t the HOF some attention.

Criteria for entry into Hall of Aim

  1. If your number is retired, you are automatically in.
  2. Ranking by career WAR.

Critera: Retired numbers, but not in HOF

If a player gets their number retired, then they are automatically included them into Hall of Aim.

The 57 players with a retired number, but not in the Hall of Fame:

NumberPlayerTeamDate retired
18Darryl StrawberryMetsJune 1, 2024
16Dwight GoodenMetsApril 14, 2024
25Andruw JonesBravesSeptember 9, 2023
34Fernando ValenzuelaDodgersAugust 11, 2023
34Dave StewartAthleticsSeptember 11, 2022
21Paul O’NeillYankeesAugust 21, 2022
1Lou WhitakerTigersAugust 6, 2022
22Will ClarkGiantsJuly 30, 2022
17Keith HernandezMetsJuly 9, 2022
11Ryan ZimmermanNationalsJune 18, 2022
36Jerry KoosmanMetsAugust 28, 2021
15Dick AllenPhilliesSeptember 3, 2020
10Michael YoungRangersAugust 31, 2019
25Barry BondsGiantsAugust 11, 2018
56Mark BuehrleWhite SoxJune 24, 2017
14Pete RoseRedsJune 26, 2016
46Andy PettitteYankeesAugust 23, 2015
20Jorge PosadaYankeesAugust 22, 2015
51Bernie WilliamsYankeesMay 24, 2015
14Paul KonerkoWhite SoxMay 23, 2015
20Luis GonzalezDiamondbacksAugust 7, 2010
6Johnny PeskyRed SoxSeptember 28, 2008
13Dave ConcepciónRedsAugust 25, 2007
24Jimmy WynnAstrosJune 25, 2005
49Ron GuidryYankeesAugust 23, 2003
49Larry DierkerAstrosMay 19, 2002
23Willie HortonTigersJuly 15, 2000
11Jim FregosiAngelsAugust 1, 1998
18Ted KluszewskiRedsJuly 18, 1998
23Don MattinglyYankeesAugust 31, 1997
35Randy JonesPadresMay 9, 1997
14Kent HrbekTwinsAugust 13, 1995
20Frank WhiteRoyalsMay 2, 1995
3Dale MurphyBravesJune 13, 1994
25José CruzAstrosOctober 3, 1992
33Mike ScottAstrosOctober 3, 1992
18Mel HarderGuardiansJuly 28, 1990
6Steve GarveyPadresApril 16, 1988
19Billy PierceWhite SoxJuly 25, 1987
32Elston HowardYankeesJuly 21, 1984
9Roger MarisYankeesJuly 21, 1984
14Ken BoyerCardinalsMay 20, 1984
15Thurman MunsonYankeesAugust 3, 1979
19Jim GilliamDodgersOctober 10, 1978
40Don WilsonAstrosApril 13, 1975
32Jim UmbrichtAstrosApril 12, 1965

Criteria: Career WAR

With 46 players listed, we now have 228 more to induct. Part of the fun of the real HOF is all the debates on who should be in. There is no one clear-cut way of determining who is in the Hall. Should the secondary hall also make it more esoteric?

I don’t want to make this brain surgery. We’ll rank the 274 best players by their career WAR and be done with it. (190 hitters and 84 pitchers)

190 hitters in the Hall of Aim

Bonds clearly rules the top. Pete Rose comes in 5th. Impressive that Lou Whitaker is 7th.

1Barry Bonds162.819862007Yes
2Álex Rodríguez117.619942016
3Albert Pujols101.520012022
4Mike Trout85.220112023
5Pete Rose79.519631986Yes
6Bill Dahlen75.318911911
7Lou Whitaker75.119771995Yes
8Rafael Palmeiro71.919862005
9Bobby Grich71.119701986
10Carlos Beltrán70.119982017
11Manny Ramírez69.319932011
12Kenny Lofton68.419912007
13Robinson Canó68.120052022
14Graig Nettles67.919671988
15Dwight Evans67.219721991
16Miguel Cabrera67.120032023
17Buddy Bell66.419721989
18Willie Randolph65.919751992
19Mookie Betts64.820142024
20Chase Utley64.520032018
21Joey Votto64.520072023
22Reggie Smith64.519661982
23Ken Boyer62.819551969Yes
24Andruw Jones62.719962012Yes
25Joe Jackson62.219081920
26Mark McGwire62.119862001
27Jack Glasscock6218791895
28Paul Goldschmidt61.520112023
29Sal Bando61.519661981
30Willie Davis60.719601979
31Gary Sheffield60.519882009
32Jim Edmonds60.419932010
33Keith Hernandez60.319741990Yes
34Bobby Abreu60.219962014
35Ichiro Suzuki6020012019
36Sherry Magee59.419041919
37Darrell Evans58.719691989
38Dick Allen58.719631977Yes
39Evan Longoria58.620082023
40Sammy Sosa58.619892007
41John Olerud58.219892005
42Bobby Bonds57.819681981
43Joe Torre57.619601977Yes
44Will Clark56.519862000Yes
45Johnny Damon56.319952012
46Robin Ventura56.119892004
47Freddie Freeman56.120102024
48Jim Wynn55.819631977Yes
49Chet Lemon55.719751990
50Bob Johnson55.619331945
51Stan Hack55.519321947
52Jeff Kent55.419922008
53Manny Machado54.820122024
54José Cruz54.419701988Yes
55Nolan Arenado54.220132023
56Vada Pinson54.219581975
57Ian Kinsler54.120062019
58Ron Cey53.719711987
59César Cedeño53.119701986
60Jack Clark53.119751992
61Bert Campaneris5319641983
62Norm Cash5219581974
63Lance Berkman51.919992013
64Dustin Pedroia51.920062019
65Luis Gonzalez51.619902008Yes
66Brian Downing51.519731992
67Toby Harrah51.519691986
68Brian Giles51.119952009
69Bob Elliott50.919391953
70Tony Phillips50.919821999
71Torii Hunter50.719972015
72Mark Teixeira50.620032016
73Jason Giambi50.519952014
74Fred Lynn50.219741990
75Ellis Burks49.819872004
76Brett Butler49.719811997
77Bernie Williams49.619912006Yes
78Jimmy Sheckard49.518971913
79José Altuve49.420112023
80David Wright49.220042018
81Jim Fregosi48.719611978Yes
82Andrew McCutchen48.520092023
83Buddy Myer48.419251941
84Heinie Groh48.319121927
85Larry Gardner48.319081924
86Bobby Veach48.119121925
87Wally Schang4819131931
88Joe Judge47.919151934
89Jimmy Rollins47.620002016
90Devon White47.319852001
91Curtis Granderson47.220042019
92Art Fletcher47.119091922
93Miguel Tejada47.119972013
94Ryan Braun47.120072020
95Tommy Leach47.118981918
96Gene Tenace46.819691983
97Roy White46.819651979
98Josh Donaldson46.720102023
99Mike Cameron46.719952011
100Matt Williams46.619872003
101Dale Murphy46.519761993Yes
102Lave Cross46.518871907
103Ed Konetchy46.419071921
104Mark Grace46.419882003
105Bryce Harper46.320122023
106Vern Stephens46.219411955
107Willie Wilson46.219761994
108Thurman Munson46.119691979Yes
109Rusty Staub45.719631985
110John McGraw45.718911907Yes
111Del Pratt45.619121924
112Omar Vizquel45.619892012
113José Ramírez45.620132023
114Roger Peckinpaugh45.519101927
115Augie Galan45.419341949
116Tony Fernández45.319832001
117Harry Stovey45.218801893
118Larry Doyle45.119071920
119Paul Hines4518721891
120Dixie Walker44.919311949
121J.D. Drew44.919982011
122Buster Posey44.820092021
123Bill Freehan44.819611976
124Jim Gilliam44.719461966Yes
125Chuck Knoblauch44.619912002
126Rocky Colavito44.519551968
127Matt Holliday44.520042018
128Lonny Frey44.519331948
129Troy Tulowitzki44.520062019
130Ben Zobrist44.520062019
131Cupid Childs44.418881901
132Carlos Delgado44.419932009
133Brett Gardner44.320082021
134Nomar Garciaparra44.319962009
135Steve Finley44.219892007
136George Foster44.119691986
137Fred Tenney4418941911
138Al Dark4419461960
139Giancarlo Stanton43.920102023
140Al Oliver43.719681985
141Charlie Keller43.619391952
142Jimmy Ryan43.618851903
143Julio Franco43.619822007
144Adrián González43.520042018
145Fielder Jones43.418961915
146Dolph Camilli43.219331945
147Amos Otis42.819671984
148Ken Williams42.719151929
149Francisco Lindor42.720152023
150Jorge Posada42.719952011Yes
151Wally Berger42.619301940
152José Canseco42.519852001
153Don Mattingly42.419821995Yes
154Davey Lopes42.419721987
155Lenny Dykstra42.419851996
156Mike Tiernan42.318871899
157Felipe Alou42.219581974
158Yadier Molina42.220042022
159Nelson Cruz42.120052023
160Darryl Strawberry42.119831999Yes
161Ben Chapman42.119301946
162Gary Gaetti42.119812000
163Curt Flood41.919561971
164Bill Nicholson41.919361953
165Harlond Clift41.919341945
166Plácido Polanco41.919982013
167Ken Singleton41.919701984
168Doug DeCinces41.719731987
169Marcus Semien41.720132023
170Jason Kendall41.719962010
171Dick Bartell41.619271946
172Eddie Stanky41.519431953
173Aaron Judge41.420162023
174Andy Van Slyke41.319831995
175Jack Fournier41.219121927
176Mark Belanger4119651982
177Hardy Richardson40.918791892

Interesting how lots of these guys are current players. I’m not sure if we should have them in the Hall of Aim. I kinda like the notion of inducting active players. I suppose that means some retired players who are on the borderline (like like Andy Van Slyke and Mark Belanger) might get cut off as more active players join the Aim list.

The bar to breaking into the Hall of Fame is a career WAR of 40.9. Aaron Judge and Marcus Semien passed that bar in 2023. Andy Van Slyke and Mark Belanger risk being dropped off from the secondary Hall, because this year, at least five active players will leap over them.

Players to are guys who got in due to their number being retired.

178Dave Concepción40.119701988Yes
179Ryan Zimmerman40.120052021Yes
180Paul O’Neill38.919852001Yes
181Kent Hrbek38.619811994Yes
182Roger Maris38.319571968Yes
183Steve Garvey3819691987Yes
184Frank White34.819731990Yes
185Johnny Pesky34.219421954Yes
186Ted Kluszewski31.419471961Yes
187Paul Konerko28.119972014Yes
188Elston Howard2719481968Yes
189Willie Horton26.419631980Yes
190Michael Young24.720002013Yes

Funny to see guys like Steve Garvey and Paul Konerko couldn’t even get into a Second-Tier Hall on their stats.

20 retired batters who did not make the Hall of Aim

It’s amazing how many players can not get into a Second-Tier Hall of Fame. Incredible players like Albert Belle, Magglio Ordóñez, and Juan González.

PlayerCareer WARFromTo
David Justice40.619892002
Tim Salmon40.519922006
Jim Sundberg40.519741989
Carney Lansford40.519781992
Dave Parker40.119731991
Albert Belle40.119892000
Moisés Alou39.919902008
Reggie Sanders39.819912007
Rafael Furcal39.520002014
Lance Parrish39.519771995
Jesse Barfield39.419811992
Carl Crawford39.120022016
Boog Powell39.119611977
Magglio Ordóñez38.819972011
Russell Martin38.820062019
Juan González38.719892005
Lonnie Smith38.519781994
Lorenzo Cain38.520102022
Tim Wallach38.519801996
Kirk Gibson38.419791995

20 current players who have a chance at making the Hall of Aim

Today’s players need to get past Hardy Richardson’s 40.9 WAR to get in. Five players stand a chance of doing this—Correa, Heyward, Yelich, Rizzo, and Bogaerts. If five players get in, that mean five players have to drop out. The five bottom players in the Hall of Aim have WAR ranging from 40.9 to 41.5. I’d say Correa, Heyward, Yelich, Rizzo, and Bogaerts will all accomplice that this year.

That leaves 34-year-old Starling Marte standing outside the door. He most likely will not enter, since he’s now going backwards instead of forwards with his -0.8 WAR last year.

PlayerCareer WARAge
Carlos Correa40.820-28
Jason Heyward40.620-34
Christian Yelich39.721-31
Anthony Rizzo39.621-33
Xander Bogaerts39.620-31
Starling Marte37.923-34
Justin Turner36.824-38
George Springer36.324-33
Carlos Santana35.524-37
Kevin Kiermaier35.523-33
Alex Bregman35.522-29
Michael Brantley34.322-36
Elvis Andrus34.220-34
J.T. Realmuto33.423-32
Trea Turner33.322-30
Anthony Rendon33.123-33
Salvador Pérez3321-33
José Abreu31.927-36
Corey Seager31.921-29
DJ LeMahieu31.422-34

The top 145 pitchers by career WAR (who are in the Hall of Aim)

RankPlayerCareeer WARFromToNumber retired
1Roger Clemens138.719842007
2Justin Verlander81.320052023
3Curt Schilling80.519882007
4Clayton Kershaw76.820082023
5Jim McCormick7618781887
6Max Scherzer74.120082023
7Zack Greinke72.420042023
8Kevin Brown68.219862005
9Rick Reuschel68.119721991
10Luis Tiant65.619641982
11Bobby Mathews62.618711887
12Tommy John62.119631989
13CC Sabathia61.820012019
14David Cone61.619862003
15Tony Mullane6118811894
16Tommy Bond6118741884
17Charlie Buffinton60.718821892
18Andy Pettitte60.719952013Yes
19Mark Buehrle6020002015Yes
20Clark Griffith59.918911914
21Jack Quinn59.819091933
22Bret Saberhagen58.919842001
23Chuck Finley58.319862002
24Eddie Cicotte5819051920
25Cole Hamels5820062020
26Frank Tanana57.119731993
27Jerry Koosman5719671985Yes
28Tim Hudson56.619992015
29Dave Stieb56.519791998
30Urban Shocker55.119161928
31Kevin Appier54.919892004
32Jack Powell54.618971912
33David Wells53.619872007
34Al Spalding53.418711878
35Billy Pierce53.219451964Yes
36Larry Jackson52.619551968
37Wilbur Wood52.219611978
38Theodore Breitenstein51.818911901
39Dutch Leonard51.719331953
40Tommy Bridges51.719301946
41Orel Hershiser51.419832000
42Bobo Newsom51.319291953
43Johan Santana51.120002012
44Kenny Rogers50.519892008
45Eddie Rommel50.319201932
46Babe Adams50.219061926
47Silver King50.118861897
48Mark Langston5019841999
49Jamie Moyer5019862012
50Roy Oswalt49.920012013
51Félix Hernández49.920052019
52Dennis Martínez49.319761998
53Jimmy Key4919841998
54Wes Ferrell48.819271941
55Wilbur Cooper48.719121926
56Mel Harder48.519281947Yes
57Dwight Gooden48.219842000Yes
58Bartolo Colon48.119972018
59Mickey Lolich47.919631979
60Ron Guidry47.919751988Yes
61Gus Weyhing47.718871901
62Nap Rucker47.519071916
63Jim Whitney47.518811890
64Chris Sale47.320102023
65Frank Viola47.119821996
66Hippo Vaughn47.119081921
67Bob Friend46.819511966
68Bob Shawkey46.619131927
69Bucky Walters46.519311950
70Milt Pappas46.219571973
71Noodles Hahn4618991906
72Brad Radke45.619952006
73Dizzy Trout45.319391957
74Steve Rogers45.119731985
75Larry French4519291942
76George Uhle4519191936
77Fernando Valenzuela37.419801997Yes
78Larry Dierker34.319641977Yes
79Don Wilson27.519661974Yes
80Dave Stewart26.119781995Yes
81Mike Scott2419791991Yes
82Fred Hutchinson20.719391953Yes
83Randy Jones18.819731982Yes
84Jim Umbricht4.119591963Yes

20 retired pitchers who are not in the Hall of Aim

Jon Letter, Vida Blue, Carlos Zambrano, Josh Beckett do not make the Hall of Aim. Kinda puts it into perspective that’s Jon Lester is not even a tier-2 HOF.

PlayerCareer WARFromTo
Vida Blue44.919691986
Jon Lester43.620062021
Bob Welch43.419781994
Javier Vázquez43.419982011
Al Leiter42.519872005
Cliff Lee42.520022014
Tom Candiotti42.319831999
Danny Darwin40.319781998
David Price40.320082022
John Candelaria39.919751993
Charlie Hough3919701994
Carlos Zambrano38.320012012
John Lackey38.120022017
Mark Gubicza37.419841997
Jake Peavy37.220022016
Josh Beckett35.320012014
Chris Carpenter35.219972012
José Rijo3519842002
Tom Gordon3519882009
Jered Weaver34.920062017

20 active players with a chance of getting into the Hall of Aim

These players need to get past George Uhle’s career WAR of 45 to break in.

PlayerCareer WARAge
Jacob deGrom42.126-35
Adam Wainwright40.923-41
Gerrit Cole40.822-32
Johnny Cueto38.522-37
Corey Kluber34.125-37
Madison Bumgarner32.519-33
Aaron Nola31.822-30
Yu Darvish31.525-37
Lance Lynn30.624-36
Sonny Gray30.323-33
Jose Quintana29.223-34
Zack Wheeler28.523-33
Kyle Hendricks24.224-33
Craig Kimbrel23.422-35
Kevin Gausman23.122-32
Luis Castillo22.124-30
Marcus Stroman21.523-32
Blake Snell21.223-30
Carlos Carrasco20.622-36
Kenley Jansen20.422-35

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