Four Hall of Fame moments that epitomize | Forum

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sherry2018love Dec 5 '18, 02:27AM
Baseball players don't make it to the Hall of Fame based on one big moment, but rather on a string of big moments that consistently played out over a decade or longer.Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman the newest players whose plaques will line Cooperstown's hallowed halls certainly meet those qualifications. They Miguel Cabrera Jersey each had so many big moments, in fact, that it might be tough to narrow things down to a perfect top 10, or even top 20. Still, each had particular big moments that epitomized their status as all-time greats.FAGAN: Handicapping the 2019 Hall of Fame ballotThey are ...Chipper JonesThe moment: The final home run of his career, Sept. 2, 2012.Why I chose it: It wasn't just that Jones' 468th and last homer was a walk-off, but it's the way it happened. The Braves entered the bottom of the ninth that night against the Phillies trailing 7-3.But they chipped away, and eventuallyit came down to Chipper Jones vs. Jonathan Papelbon with the Philliesholding a two-run Alan Trammell Cool Base White Jersey lead with two outs and runners on second and third. Jones, at age 40,connected ona 95 mph Papelbonfastball and put it deep into the right field seats for a thrillingwin. The moment was vintage Chipper Jones: cool under pre sure, coming up big when it mattered most, against the odds, and against the best his opponent had to offer. Vladimir GuerreroThe moment: His first MLB homer, Sept. 21, 1996Why I chose it: This was perhaps the first indication that the slender but strong Guerrero could hit anypitch, no matter the speed and nomatter the location, and do big damage. Just two days after he made his MLB debut, Guerrero came to bat against Braves closer Mark Wohlers at the time the best closer in baseball and took a low-and-away fastball over the right-field wall for an opposite-field homer. That the young Guerrero was allowed to bat in that situation, with his team down by just two runs, was an affront to broadcasterandDon Sutton, who called the move a "white flag" surrender on the part of Expos manager Felipe Alou, apparently believing the skinny kid would be no match against Wohlers' 100 mph fastball. Guerrero surprised Sutton and everyone else, the first of Victor Martinez Jersey many times he did something big in his career and left observers thinking, "Oh yeah. Vladimir Guerrero is pretty good." Related cool thing: Chipper Jones was playing third base when Guerrero hit that homer. Related cool thing, No. 2: Sutton and Guerrero can share a laugh about this when they share the stage in Cooperstown in July. MORE: Cla sic Sporting News covers of Baseball Hall of FamersJim ThomeThe moment: His 600th home run, Aug. 15, 2011Why I chose it: Nearly everything about Thome's career seemed understated even when he made history.He was never a superstar, despite his superstar numbers. He was never flashy, despite his obvious talent. Add it all together and he had, as I wrote last year,the quietest 600-homer career of all time. And despite being just one of nine players to ever hit 600 homers, Thome joined the club with the mildest of fanfares and in the mildest of circumstances: on Detroit Tigers Cool Base Navy Jersey a random Monday night, on the road, playing for the Twins. That madethe milestone homerjust like the rest ofhis career: strong, productive, historic and worthy of celebration, but also rarely discu sedfor some unknown reason. Oh, yeah:He reached 600 that day because he also hit No. 599 earlier in the game. Not a bad way to make history at age 40.But you probably forgot that. Because of course. Trevor HoffmanThe moment: His 600th save, Sept. 7, 2010Why I chose it: To reach 600 saves, one must have incredible longevity. And one must also have proven himself to be consistently reliable and consistently succe sful. Hoffman embodied all three qualities. When he recorded the final three outs in that 5-3 Brewers win against the Cardinals to earn No. 600, he was no longer the dominant closer who made hitters look bad for the Padres for so many years. But that he Jordan Zimmermann Jersey was still asked to close out games spoke to his reputation and his remaining talent. In other words, he was still trusted to getthe job done a heck of a high compliment at age 42, and a testament to a stellar career.