Jeff Bagwell (7th year on ballot):
Bagwell was drafted in the fourth round of the 1989 draft by the Boston Red Sox. On August 30, 1990 the Red Sox sent Bagwell to the Houston Astros for RHP Larry Andersen. Bagwell went on to make his debut at the start of the 1991 season.
He played his entire 15-year career with the Astros. Bagwell had a career slash line of .297/.408/.540, and also had 2,314 career hits. Bagwell also smashed 449 home runs and drove in 1,529 runs.
He won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1991. Jeff Bagwell is a four time all-star, won the NL MVP in 1994, and also won a gold glove and silver slugger that year. Bagwell also won the silver slugger award in 1997 and ’99.
Jeff Bagwell retired in 2005 and had his number retired by the Astros in 2007.
Tim Raines (10th and final year on ballot):
Tim Raines was drafted in the fifth round of the 1977 draft by the Montreal Expos. The switch hitter made his debut on September 11, 1979. “Rock”, as he was nicknamed, played for six teams (Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles and the Florida Marlins) in his 23 big league seasons.
Raines reached base more than 3,000 times in his career (2,605 hits, 1,330 walks). He posted a career slash line of .294/.385/.810. “Rock” also hit 130 home runs and had 980 RBI’s.
One thing that separated Raines from the rest was his ability to steal bases. He stole 808 bags on 954 attempts (approx. an 85% success rate). Compare that to Rickey Henderson, who had 1,406 career steals on 1741 attempts (approx. an 81% success rate). Granted, Henderson had more attempts, but Raines missed the 2000 season then retired in 2002, while Rickey played in 2003.
Raines made the NL All-Star team seven times, all consecutively (1981-’87); He won the NL silver slugger award in 1986, and was a World Series champion in 1996 with the New York Yankees. In 2004, the Montreal Expos retired Rock’s jersey, the franchise’s final season.
Ivan Rodriguez (1st year on ballot):
“Pudge” Rodriguez was signed as an amateur free agent out of Puerto Rico by the Texas Rangers in 1988. Rodriguez played for six teams in his 21-year career; Texas Rangers (1991-2002, 2009), Florida Marlins (2003), Detroit Tigers (2004-2008), New York Yankees (2008), Houston Astros (2009), and the Washington Nationals (2010-2011).
“Pudge” posted a career slash line of .296/.334/.798, and blasted 311 home runs while driving in 1,332 runs.
Although he was reliable at the plate, he was even better behind it. Pudge appeared in 2,427 games behind the dish, catching a total of 20,348 innings, and committed just 142 errors. Rodriguez also had a career fielding percentage of .991.
“Pudge” is a 14-time All Star, a 13-time gold glove award winner, and a 7-time silver slugger award winner. In 2003, he won the World Series with the Florida Marlins; he also won the NLCS MVP award that year.
One play that he will always be remembered for comes from the 2003 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants: