The case for Jim Edmonds
Edmonds' career summary was 60.4 career WAR, 1943 hits, 393 HR, 1199 RBI, and 1251 R, with a slash line of .284/.376/.527/.903 (132 OPS+). His accolades include 4x All-Star, 8x Gold Glove winner, 2004 Silver Slugger Award winner, and 2006 World Series Champion. His peak years from 2000-2006 with the Cardinals were the best of any center fielder in the rich franchise's history. 2004 was marked as his defining career year where he finished 4th in the NL MVP voting
As pointed out by @notgaetti on X (formally known as Twitter), Edmonds was an elite center fielder during his generation.
Based on career WAR, Edmonds places higher than the following greats of the game:
Harmon Killebrew, Ichiro Suzuki, Yogi Berra, Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Willie Stargell, Joe Torre, David Ortiz, and many more (including the infamous Harold Baines). Edmonds would be considered a “Hall of Very Good” player and was quickly written off the ballot. Years to follow, players such as former teammate Scott Rolen, Harold Baines, Edgar Martinez, Ted Simmons, Larry Walker, Gil Hodges, and Fred McGriff were all inducted which Edmonds was better than or comparable to.
Many people will use the same stance to defend the Hall of Fame case for Andruw Jones. If you believe Jones belongs in the Hall of Fame, then you better acknowledge the fact that Jim Edmonds deserves to be in. Both players were the premier center fielders of the mid-2000s, and both have very similar career numbers. Jones was the obvious best fielder in the game, but he was a feared slugger and held strong career numbers until injuries plagued him. Edmonds was the human highlight reel and backed it up with 8 gold gloves, but he was one of the premier hitters in the game. Both players have their strengths and weaknesses, but both balance out equally for a whole career.
As we sit and observe the horrendous Hall of Fame ballots and watch writers hold unceremoniously montages to their decisions, let's not forget the fact that they are behind the decision-making for who is deserving of the Hall and who is not. The same writers and peers that allowed Harold Baines into the hall of fame, are the same writers and peers that will snub a tremendous amount of names that deserve to get in. The most notorious snub in recent history belongs to Jim Edmonds. Enjoy the greatest catch in MLB history.