Because six new players were enshrined in Cooperstown over the weekend, many baseball broadcasts have included discussions about the current inductees as well as possible future inductees. During one particular game, an analyst praised the fact that two of the new Hall of Famers spent their entire careers with just one team.
He was referring of course to Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones and Detroit Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell. Jones received 410 of 422 votes during his first year of Hall eligibility, while Trammell was elected by the Veterans Committee.
The point was made that baseball fans may not for at least another decade see even a single one-year player reach Cooperstown, much less two of them. The announcer identified two certain future inductees, Albert Pujols and Adrian Beltre, who each have played for several different teams.
A cursory look at other stars nearing retirement, however, seems to indicate that we will indeed soon see another one-year player. Indeed, there could be two or more.
Here is a list of likely or highly possible one-team players who could be enshrined in Cooperstown after they leave the field.
Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals
This guy is a no-brainer for Hall of Fame induction in his first year of eligibility, no matter what his offensive statistics are. He has been the premier catcher for almost two decades, has led the Redbirds to multiple World Series appearances, been selected as a perennial All-Star,and remains one of the best clutch hitters in all of baseball.
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners
Closing in on his fourteenth season King Felix is likely to amass two hundred wins by the time he hangs it up, which is far short of the coveted three hundred mark that guarantees enshrinement. His era, however, makes it nearly impossible to get more than fifteen victories per year, so that fact in addition to a Cy Young Award and six All-Star games might land him a plaque.
Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds
His lengthy contract almost ensures that the Canadian will finish his playing days at Great American Ball Park, and his numbers are approaching HOF statistics.
Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins
The native Minnesotan has declined since winning the Most Valuable Player Award as Twins catcher, which could hurt his chances to get into the Hall. Plus, because he is at the end of his current contract with his home town team, Mauer could be dismissed from this list if he signs elsewhere next year.
Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants
Ten years into his career the catcher is a six time All-Star with both a Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Award, but it might be his three World Series Championships that eventually get him to Cooperstown.