When Will the Padres Trevor Hoffman Get His Due?

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Padres fans were disappointed this week when Trevor Hoffman did not make it into the Hall of Fame. Trevor himself however seemed to handle the whole thing in stride, and many analysts do believe that given his high voter turnout in his first year – he will eventually make it into baseball’s coveted Hall of Fame. When?

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As written by Dalton Mack, he sees Trevor Hoffman getting in his third year of eligibility. His logic comes down to the fact that the Hall of Fame ballot is a crowded one – and that as writers only have so many votes with each new round of eligible players some great players still have to be left off of the ballot every year.

Furthermore, he does argue and I agree that with Mike Piazza being elected this year – it appears some Hall voters are loosening their perhaps hard line stance against PED users or those even suspected of using. The biggest victim of this is Jeff Bagwell, who just missed this year and should gain entry next year. So he has Bagwell and Tim Raines elected next year. I only got to watch Tim Raines near the end of his career, but his numbers are pretty compelling and he does seem to clearly be the “second best” lead-off hitter of all time behind Rickey Henderson.

Speaking of second best of all time, that brings us to the Padres very own Trevor Hoffman. Mack sums up my thoughts almost exactly when he says:

"“Hoffman is Lee Smith with a more compelling case. And in this, Smith’s first year off the ballot, Hoffman will gain enshrinement. While there is no “magic number” for saves — like what 3,000 hits or 500 homers once were — the fact of the matter is only two pitchers have 600 saves, and one of them could be a near-unanimous Hall selection (Mariano Rivera). While Hoffman does not have Mo’s postseason resume, two Cy Young runner-ups as a relief pitcher and a career 2.87 ERA spanning perhaps the biggest 18-year chunk of offense in baseball history make Hoffman an inevitable Hall of Famer. Although he debuted with an impressive 67.3 percent in his first cycle, I don’t see him getting in on the second go, instead following the Craig Biggio path (68.2, 74.8, and 82.7).”"

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As I have talked with people about how Hoffman didn’t get in the first time – I keep pointing to that “magic number” argument. Hoffman and Rivera have established that number. In time, that number itself might even drop to 550 saves. No one else is even at 500. There are a few closers to keep on eye on now: Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, Huston Street, and Craig Kimbrel, but those are the only four active closers in the top 40 of all time saves. Many more of Hoffman’s contemporaries have slipped by the wayside with time and regression. I believe that with time Hoffman’s accomplishments look all that more impressive. Immortal even.

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