Now that the Human Highlight Reel has played his last Major League game, let’s discuss his chances of making the Hall of Fame. Jim was a terrific center fielder–one of the best of all-time–who could hit in the heart of the order and play the field like circus acrobat. He clubbed just under 400 career homeruns, eclipsed 1,200 runs scored and came within one RBI of reaching 1,200 runs batted in. A gifted slugger, Jimmy retired with a hefty .527 slugging average and a nifty .376 on-base percentage. He eclipsed 100 runs scored and RBI in four separate seasons, finished with just under 2,000 career hits, made four All-Star teams and won eight Gold Glove Awards. When you compare Edmonds to great center fielders of yore, he comes off as a modern version of Duke Snider–albeit with a better glove.
Those credentials are quite impressive but Jim did play in the bashing Steroid Era and his greatest deficiency is that he never led the league in any major offensive category. Edmonds did strike out a lot but this was a time when high whiff totals were the norm and he never paced the circuit in getting fanned either. But he also failed to reach 2,000 career hits, which can be seen as a drawback as well, but his high on-base percentage helps offset his decent career base hits total.
When you look at Jim’s entire game, what you get is an amazing talent, but is his talent amazing enough for Cooperstown? We’ll have to wait and see, but with Snider in the Hall–Jim’s Doppelganger from the 1950s–he has a legit case once his name reaches the ballot.