Five former Cincinnati Reds fell off of the ballot, but two of them deserved more consideration.
The Cincinnati Reds had three players on the Hall of Ballot who probably didn’t deserve strong consideration. Mike Cameron, Orlando Cabrera, and Arthur Rhodes were all on the ballot for the first time. None received a vote. None are perennial National League MVP candidate, Joey Votto, exactly, either. Votto should make the Hall no problem.
Mike Cameron is known for two things. He was an elite defensive center fielder and he was the centerpiece of the trade where the Reds got Ken Griffey Jr. from the Seattle Mariners. He also was the player that the Reds got from the Chicago White Sox for Paul Konerko, a likely Hall of Famer in his own right.
Former shortstop Orlando Cabrera deserved only slightly more consideration. He was a Montreal Expo to start his career and the Reds’ shortstop for the National Central Division winning team in 2011. He played for nine teams and won the 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, but was never considered an elite player.
Arthur Rhodes’ issue is that middle relievers don’t make it to the Hall of Fame. As a starter and closer he was average at best. As a set-up man and lefty specialist, he was elite. That isn’t enough to garner real Hall of Fame consideration.
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Of the other two Cincinnati Reds, one deserved to be voted in and the other deserved more consideration.
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Lee Smith was only with the Reds for the 1996 season. He also closed with the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Saint Louis Cardinals. When he retired, his 478 saves were the MLB record for the most ever.
He played 18 seasons and after 15 years on the ballot, his time is up for the Hall of Fame. Smith made the All-Star team seven times and was the saves leader on four separate occasions, including a three year stretch where he did it for three separate teams. He played for eight teams in all, coming in second in CY Young Award voting in 1991. He is a Hall of Famer.
Edgar Renteria deserved more consideration, even if he does not belong in the Hall of Fame.
Renteria played in the majors for 16 years with seven different teams, the last one being Cincinnati. Unlike Cabrera, his career accomplishments sound like those of a Hall of Famer.
Renteria twice won the World Series, once with the Miami Marlins and once with the San Francisco Giants where he won the World Series MVP. He was also a five time All-Star with three different teams. Perhaps most impressively, he won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards the same years in back to back years in 2002 and 2003.
Cabrera, Cameron, and Rhodes are not Hall of Famers. Lee Smith was, is and should be as soon as the veteran’s committee looks at his resume. As for Renteria, he was the best shortstop in the era that included Derek Jeter. He deserved at least 15% of the votes in the steroid era balloting. At this rate, Adam Dunn will be the next Red in the Hall of Fame.