Last week, baseball’s newest class of Hall of Fame inductees was unveiled which included former starting pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine as well as former first baseman and designated hitter, Frank Thomas. To this point, there has yet to be a player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a member of either the Florida or Miami Marlins. Hall of Famer, Andre Dawson, spent some time with the Florida Marlins, but not until very late in his career. Here is a list of potential future Hall of Famers that could wind up in Cooperstown as a member of the Marlins:
Kevin Brown, P
Hall of Fame ballots have not been kind to Kevin Brown to this point, but the former starting pitcher was a six-time All-Star including in each of his two seasons with the Florida Marlins. Brown led the National League with a 1.89 ERA in 1996 and led the 1997 world champion Marlins with 17 wins which included the second no-hitter in team history. Brown finished his career with 211 wins and an ERA of 3.28.
Miguel Cabrera, OF/3B
While Miguel Cabrera has become the best hitter in baseball with the Detroit Tigers, he spent more than four very good years in South Florida for the Florida Marlins. As a rookie in 2003, Cabrera helped Florida win its second World Series — still the only world championship of Cabrera’s career. Cabrera was also named an All-Star and drove in at least 100 runs in each of his final four years with the Marlins.
Jose Fernandez, P
It’s probably way too early to speculate about Jose Fernandez’s Hall of Fame future, but after winning National League Rookie of the Year in 2013, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Fernandez went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA for a last place team in his rookie season and at 21 years old, Fernandez may still have two decades of baseball left in him. The sky is certainly the limit for Fernandez.
Jim Leyland, Manager
In 22 years as a Major League manager, Jim Leyland won six division titles and three pennants, but his only World Series victory came as skipper of the 1997 Florida Marlins. Although Leyland finished with a losing record in his two years in Miami, his 1997 team became the youngest franchise ever to win the World Series doing so in its fifth season in existence.
Hanley Ramirez, IF
Injuries have derailed his career of late, but former Marlins’ infielder Hanley Ramirez could one day find himself in Cooperstown. Ramirez was named National League Rookie of the Year with the Florida Marlins in 2006 and made three All-Star games as a member of the Fish. Ramirez hit at least .300 four times while with the Marlins and in 2009, Ramirez hit .342 making him the first and only Marlin even to win a batting title.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, C
Arguably the greatest catcher of all-time, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez spent just one of his 21 big league seasons with the Marlins, but what a year it was. In 2003, Rodriguez hit .297 with 16 home runs and 85 RBIs, but had a myriad of postseason heroics for the world champion Florida Marlins. Despite playing on many contenders throughout his long illustrious career, Rodriguez won his only world championship as a member of the Marlins in 2003. Unfortunately for Miami however, when it’s all said and done, Rodriguez will almost certainly enter the Hall of Fame as a member of the Texas Rangers.
Gary Sheffield, OF
A member of the 500 home run club, Gary Sheffield spent better than four years with the Marlins and was a key piece of the 1997 world championship team. His four-plus years with the Florida Marlins was the longest stint of his career and in his All-Star campaign of 1996, Sheffield hit a franchise-record 42 home runs which still stands to this day.
Giancarlo Stanton, OF
As is the case with Jose Fernandez, it’s way too early to speculate on Giancarlo Stanton’s Hall of Fame future, but Stanton certainly has the talent to one day reach Cooperstown. Stanton made his first All-Star game in 2012 and at just 24 years old, has a lot of baseball left. Stanton needs 38 home runs to break Dan Uggla’s club record for career long-balls.