Milwaukee Brewers: Former Players On The Hall of Fame Ballot
By Trevor Hooth
As the date for the Hall of Fame election results approaches, there are four players who once wore a Milwaukee Brewers uniform in contention.
None of them are known for being a part of the Milwaukee Brewers, but nonetheless, they spent time as a part of the Crew. There is only one player who spent more than two years with the team, and he spent four. That means no one will be entering Cooperstown wearing the Brewer hat.
It is split between two new names, and two returning members of the ballot. So, who are these former Brewers being considered for baseball immortality?
Though controversial in Milwaukee, Sheffield will go down as one of the great hitters in history. This is his fourth year on the ballot, after receiving 13.3 percent of the vote last season. He is an eight time All-Star and a five time Silver Slugger award winner. None of these came as a Brewer.
Milwaukee was the starting point for Sheffield’s career, and he played shortstop and third. He did not become an outfielder until a few years after his departure. He totaled 294 games, 287 hits and only 21 of his 509 career homers for the Brewers. In 1992 he was traded along with Geoff Kellogg to the Padres for the package of Ricky Bones, Matt Mieske, and Jose Valentin.
Overall, it was a 20 year career for Sheffield, playing for eight different teams. Baseball Reference predicts that he will eventually be in the Hall of Fame, as his ratings surpass that of an average Cooperstown member.
Hoffman is the mist likely of the group to be elected to the Hall of Fame. His career with the Milwaukee Brewers lasted two seasons. When compared to the 16 he spent in San Diego, it is a small portion of his career.
The Crew got Hoffman at 41 and 42 years old. That being said, one of his seven All-Star appearances came in a Brewer uniform. He saved 47 games over those two seasons with an ERA of 3.73.
As a closer, it is a tough conversation to try and say anyone was better. In 677 save opportunities in his career, he converted 601. That is a save percentage of 88.8 percent, and at the time of his retirement, he held the record for career saves. He looks to improve upon his 74 percent vote from last season to secure his induction for 2018.
This is the first season that Lee is on the ballot. 12 of his 14 seasons were split evenly between the Astros and the White Sox. His career with the Milwaukee Brewers lasted only 264 games. However, that does include two of his three appearances in the All-Star game.
His career with the Crew began when the team traded for him during the offseason after the 2004 season. The Brewers got Lee in the deal, sending Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino, and a player to be named later. That player, now named, turned out to be Travis Hinton. Then, at the Trade Deadline in 2006, Milwaukee sent Lee and Nelson Cruz to Texas for Julian Cordero, Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench, and Laynce Nix.
By the end of his career, Lee accumulated over 2,200 hits and was two shy of 360 homers. It was a great career. However, he does not add up to a Cooperstown member for Baseball Reference, falling 22 points shy on their Hall of Fame Monitor.
Another first year name is Hernandez. His career with the Milwaukee Brewers lasted 26 games in 2012. All of the appearances were in relief, and they totaled an ERA above seven. Not the greatest Brewer ever, but he did have a 17 year career with two All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award.
The Brewers signed Hernandez in June of 2012, after he had been released by the Atlanta Braves. He finished out the season, then became a free agent once again. His last appearances in the MLB were in Milwaukee.
To be frank, his lifetime ERA is above four with a record of 178-177. His Hall of Fame induction is not on the horizon. The Hall of Fame monitor puts him at 41, with the average player in Cooperstown being at 100. The odds are not great.
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Though the Milwaukee Brewers were not the focal points of any of these players careers, they still played for the Crew. Hoffman and Sheffield will have their date with Cooperstown, but the other two are questionable.