Rocky Colavito, OF, Cleveland Indians 1955-1959, 1965-1967
One of the more tenured Hall of Fame arguments in baseball is for Rocky Colavito. He’s already in Cleveland’s Hall of Fame, but not Major League Baseball’s. While his career stats don’t scream Hall of Fame, Colavito still put up strong enough seasons that should have warranted a closer look than he was granted.
The 1956 season saw Colavito finish second in the Rookie of the Year voting and it was only two years later in 1958 that he finished third in the MVP voting. He would go on to finish in the top five of the MVP voting two more times over the course of his career.
Colavito also led the American League in home runs with 42 during the 1959 season as well as RBI (108) and walks (93) in the 1965 season.
Colavito’s career numbers at the plate don’t have the look that typical Hall of Fame candidates might. He slashed just .266/.359/.489, but his extended success is what is intriguing. He played the game well in multiple different areas, essentially transforming from a power hitter early in his career to drawing more walks later in his career.
For Colavito, he’s on the fringe for the Hall of Fame. His career numbers took a big hit in the last few years of his playing days, but the early days were impressive. He’s the type of player that gets shut out of Cooperstown, but would probably get in for other sports.