The 50 Best Baseball Players Not in the Hall of Fame, Version 3.0

“In 1995, on the eve of Game Three of the World Series, Albert Belle’s episodic rage surfaced in the Indians’ dugout. Spewing profanities, he drove media members from the benches, redirecting his attacks to NBC’s Hannah Storm while she braved the outburst.

In 1995, Albert Belle became the only player in MLB history to reach 50 home runs and 50 doubles in a single season. He led the league with 121 runs, 126 RBI, and a .690 SLG, missing the MVP nod by a single vote and, perhaps, a temper tantrum or two.

Over 12 seasons, Albert averaged 143+ hits, 30+ home runs, and 100+ RBI per season. He posted an OPS+ over 100 each year, topping out at 194 in 1994. His defensive value was a liability, reaching a high of -0.6 dWAR in 1995 and tanking at -2.3 in ’99. A bout of degenerative arthritis forced Belle into an early retirement with career totals of .295/.369/.564, a .933 OPS, and 36.9 bWAR.

Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger once described Belle this way: “He wants to be measured solely by his baseball accomplishments.” Although he has since been knocked out of Hall of Fame contention, it’s a mantra voters would do well to remember.”

Full post at Baseball Past and Present here.

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