This legend is now the best Dodgers player not in the Hall of Fame

Los Angeles Dodgers -Steve Garvey (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Dodgers -Steve Garvey (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers are one of baseball’s gold star franchises after rostering some of the most unforgettable names in history, this team still has several deserving Hall of Fame candidates that are not in Cooperstown. Maury Wills and Steve Garvey have compelling cases to be made for induction.

For the longest time, the exclusion of Gil Hodges was a black stain on the Hall of Fame. Not only was Hodges one of the premier offensive players of his era, but he routinely put up All-Star numbers as the first baseman for some of the most iconic teams in baseball history during his run in Brooklyn.

After Cooperstown shunned him dozens of times, Hodges finally broke through and earned induction thanks to the Golden Days Era Committee. Hodges joined the Hall alongside names like Buck O’Neil, Minnie Miñoso, and Tony Oliva. No. 14 may have earned this prestigious honor, but several notable Dodgers remain on the outside looking in.

The most noteworthy omission is Garvey, who never received a ton of love from the writers despite the fact he put up quality numbers for almost two full decades. Wills has a case to be made for induction, but Garvey’s numbers should be good enough to get him inducted after years of waiting.

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Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey should be in the Hall of Fame.

In his 19-year career (14 years of which were spent with the Dodgers), Garvey hit .294 and was one knock shy of 2,600 hits. With 272 home runs, 440 doubles, and over 1,300 RBI, traditional stats paint a very flattering picture of Garvey’s time in LA. A four-time Gold Glove winner, Garvey was sharp on the defensive end as well.

As durable as anyone, Garvey played 155 or more games 11 times in 13 years. In the shortened championship season of 1981, Garvey managed to play all 110 games.

In his eight-year peak from 1974-1981, a time in which he made eight straight All-Star game appearances, Garvey hit .306 while averaging 21 home runs and nearly 100 RBI against some very tough NL pitching. He picked up an MVP in 1974. With 30.7 WAR and a 125 OPS+ in that span, modern stats also show Garvey was an elite offensive player.

Want to go beyond the box score? Garvey excels here as well! In tandem with Davey Lopes, Bill Russell, and Ron Cey, Garvey formed one of the best infield combinations in baseball history, guiding Tommy Lasorda’s squad to a winning season in every season this group was together. Garvey picked up a championship in 1981 and was named NLCS MVP twice.

He even picked up two All-Star selections in San Diego while helping the Padres win the pennant in 1984, just for good measure.

Garvey’s numbers should be good enough to help him join Hodges in Cooperstown. Sure, his low walk totals might make him seem less appealing to on-base percentage-obsessed modern voters, but No. 6’s consistent play for almost 20 seasons may be enough for a committee to eventually vote him in.