You probably read the title to this post, and clicked on the link trying to figure out if I'm smoking crack or something. Most people will probably dismiss this subject with a quick and resounding "NO!". But consider this:
Roberts has only truly played 6 full seasons. Granted, he is currently 31 years old, but I am going to make the case that if he can manage to play at or near his current level for another 10+ seasons, which is entirely possible, he may in fact end up a borderline Hall of Fame caliber player.
Let's compare his stats to another potential Hall of Famer, Craig Biggio. I'm sure some people will argue that Biggio may not make it into the Hall either, but in my eyes, he belongs there.
Home Runs: 291
On Base %: .363
Roberts (through 9 seasons, 6 full):
Home Runs: 67
On Base %: .355
You have to keep in mind that through his first 3 seasons he only played in 225 games. Jerry Hairston Jr. is the reason for his limited playing time. The Orioles could never decide whether himor Roberts was the future at second base. Ultimately they made the right decision, but too bad it took 3 seasons to decide.
Another factor to consider is that Roberts hasn't has the luxury of playing for a team that has made the playoffs, and hasn't been surrounded by the same level of talent that Biggio was throughout his career, which definitely effects his run and RBI totals.
If Roberts can play another 10 seasons minimun, surpass the 3000 hit mark, and hopefully reach 1000 RBI while maintaining his batting average and still stealing some bases, he just might sneak his way into "The Hall".
All of this comes as a bit of a shock to me, since even though Roberts has been here for quite a few years, I never really appreciated his game. When the steroid talk surrounding the Orioles really started to heat up in 2005, I pretty much decided I didn't like Roberts, since his name was mentioned amidst the specualtion.
Since then, he has done nothing but carry a struggling team in his tiny shoulders. Until Markakis came into his own a couple of seasons ago, Roberts and Melvin Mora were pretty much all the O's had, and when Roberts got on base, the O's typically scored runs. His balls-to-the-wall playing style has grown on me, which is why I am already attempting to make his case for baseball immortality.
There are a lot of "what ifs" that will have to happen in order for him to achieve Hall-worthy numbers, but I think the arguement could be made that it's possible.
I'm hoping he gets there, and not just because it would make this card more valuable:
That is of course, a 2009 Upper Deck Piece of History "Timeless Moments" patch card #'d to 25 that arrived in the mail yesterday. It's yet another piece of jersey lettering, just like the Markakis patch I've got from this set. I like how you can see a bit of the black that outlines the orange lettering.
If you think I am a total moron for even speculating that Brian Roberts could one day land in Cooperstown, please feel free to let me know. I didn't think it was possible either until I looked at his numbers.
*all stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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