As we look back to the players of the past, we’ll be able to see one of the greatest hitters in the game. Manny Ramirez played eighteen seasons in the majors and earned an All-Star appearance in twelve of those eighteen seasons. He’s not only a multiple time All-Star, but he also earned eight Silver Slugger Awards. While his style of play was sometimes controversial, he brought energy to the game of baseball. He added flair to everything he did on the baseball diamond. All told, he should be a strong candidate for the Hall of Fame.
Making the Case: Manny Ramirez and the 2018 Hall of Fame Ballot
Ramirez was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1991 during the June Amateur Draft. He made his debut in 1993 against the Minnesota Twins, where he went 0 for 4. Ramirez then went on to played seven seasons with the Indians before joining the Boston Red Sox in 2001. From 2001 to 2008 Ramirez stayed with Boston, before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers later in 2008. Ramirez spent 2009 and 2010 with the Dodgers before being traded again to the Chicago White Sox. After he spent 2010 with the White Sox, he finished his career with the Tampa Bay Rays. Ramirez slashed a career .312/.411/.585 with 555 HR and 1831 RBI.
It’s assumed that most players primes are from 25 to 30 years old; but for Manny, this was not the case. From 1998-2008, Manny’s age 26 through 36 seasons, he collected eleven All-Star appearances, eight silver slugger awards, and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting from 1998 to 2005. He has a career 154 OPS+, meaning he was able to rake in all the ballparks he played in. Ramirez actually got better as he got older.
Tail of the Tape
Ramirez averaged a 1.278 OPS from 1999 to 2004, which is better than current Hall of Famer Frank Thomas‘s 0.968 OPS average from his age 27 to age 33 seasons. Ramirez has a better OBP than slugger Mark McGwire. Ramirez has an average OBP of.429 from his age 27 to his age 32 seasons (1999-2004). McGwire has an average OBP of .417 over the same period of time. Ramirez has a better OPS+ than” the kid” Ken Griffey Jr, another current Hall of Famer. Junior has a career OPS+ of 136, while Ramirez has an OPS+ of 154.
While all of these former sluggers began their major league careers before Manny did, he still surpasses two Hall of Famers. Ramirez, like Griffey, should also be recognized for the flair that he had while on the field.
Manny Being Manny
While we all were overcome by his performance at the plate, he was just as entertaining on the field. He brought an energy to the field that created great team chemistry, which I’m sure helped when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and then later in 2007.
However, while entertaining, Ramirez was a bit of a wildcard. During his stint with the Red Sox, he clashed with management and was eventually put on waivers; although no one claimed him. He got into an on-field fight with Kevin Youkilis, and his antics were topped off with him admitting to using PEDs.
Ramirez, like other players during the 90’s era of baseball, tainted his career with the use of PEDs. While statistically, he’s a slam dunk to be in the Hall of Fame, his off the field episodes are holding him back from becoming a Hall of Famer at this point; but I believe he will be a Hall of Famer in the future.
Embed from Getty Images