ARLINGTON – Rafael Palmeiro is one of only four players in baseball history to have 3,000 hits and 500 home runs in a career.
But a positive steroid test has kept him out of the Hall of Fame. He received 11 percent of the vote in 2011, his first year on the ballot, and 12.6 percent last year.
Palmeiro has accepted that he will likely never be honored in Cooperstown, but he believes two other players linked to the Steroid Era, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, should be.
Bonds and Clemens are eligible for the first time this winter and their fate will be decided by voting members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
“It’s going to be interesting, but you’re talking about, in my opinion, the best pitcher of all-time and the greatest player of all-time,” Palmeiro said. “Keep them out and then the Hall of Fame has no credibility.”
Palmeiro said Clemens and Bonds were “a different level of player” than him.
“Ten years before they retired, they were the best players in the game,” Palmeiro said. “These guys dominated the game before anything was ever mentioned about anything. So it’s going to be interesting, but we’ll see. I don’t know if they’re going to get in or not.
"I’m sure they’ll say the same thing [as me] – they didn’t play the game for the Hall of Fame. They played the game because they loved to play the game as kids and growing up and it was their career and that’s what’s going to happen.”
Palmeiro is part of the Rangers 40th anniversary all-time team, and was making an appearance at the Rangers Hall of Fame luncheon.
As far as his own Hall of Fame candidacy, Palmeiro said: “I put that behind me already. I know what kind of career I had. I’m good with it. I can look myself in the mirror and feel good and proud of what I accomplished. The Hall of Fame would be icing on the cake, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m fine with it.”
-- Drew Davison