Keith Hernandez is the perfect example of meeting the minimal requirements to being elected into the Hall of Fame. He accumulated 60.1 career WAR which is barely below the JAWS average WAR for hall of fame first basemen at 65 WAR. This places him in the top 200 players in the overall history of MLB. He has over 2,000 hits, 3 top five MVP finishes with 1979 being his MVP year with the Cardinals.
He is a two-time World Series winner, five-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger, and the all-time leader at first base with eleven Gold Gloves. Hernandez does not have the attractive power numbers that voters are looking for with first basemen. But in his 18 seasons played, he finished with an OPS+ above 100 in sixteen of those seasons (100 is league average). Not only is he the greatest fielding first baseman of all time which is enough to get him inducted, but he was also very consistent on offense. If his playing days do not get him inducted, it better be for his broadcasting career.
Remember when you read about Mark McGwire changing the game by hitting home runs? He would not be here without Roger Maris. Maris hit 61 in 1961 that dethroned the game's biggest figure in Babe Ruth. This is an incredible feat that comes with major praise and also came with heavy scrutiny. The immense pressure put on Maris was taxing on overall health. Maris received hate mail, death threats, and could not escape the New York or national media. The stress got to Maris so badly that his hair began to fall out. Such a monumental moment in baseball history, to pass the greatest player of all time comes with great consequences.
Like McGwire passing him, Maris took the United States by storm. He and fellow teammate Mickey Mantle were in their own race to pass the great bambino before Mantle went down with injury. The spotlight moved to Maris which created a superhero image for the mortal man. The career numbers do not compare, but Maris was the biggest star in MLB in 1961. Even with two league MVPs, that 1961 season alone needs to be sitting next to 1998 in Cooperstown.