Gray Ink: Batting - 37 (632) (Average HOFer ~ 144)
HOF Standards: Batting - 50.5 (72) (Average HOFer ~ 50)
HOF Monitor: Batting - 200.0 (37) (Likely HOFer > 100)
Overall Rank in parentheses.
Ivan Rodriguez WILL go into the HOF. Very, very few players rack up 200 on the HOF monitor, and the ones that do have cases for the Hall that are easily made and easily understood.
Ivan Rodriguez has been the best catcher in the AL for most of his career. Arguably, he still is. He's caught over 1,800 games, won perennial Gold Gloves, led a team to an unlikely World Championship, has won an MVP, and has played in TWELVE All-Star games.
Ivan Rodriguez has done the kinds of things that HOFers do. In fact, he's done just about everything a HOFer would do, and he's certainly done the kinds of things a HOF CATCHER would do.
What catcher with Rodriguez' numbers and defensive rep is NOT in the HOF? Not a one!
Overrated? Bill Dickey was overrated and he's in the Hall. There are a lot of players in the HOF that are "overrated", but that doesn't mean they aren't worthy of the Hall; it's an issue of where they rank, and that's a different question.
The issue with Rodriguez is two-fold: Where does he rank in history, and where does he rank vs. Piazza, his contemporary?
I am inclined to give Piazza an edge, based on the fact that Piazza was the greatest OFFENSIVE catcher of all time, but I'm less inclined in this direction as time passes, as Piazza is in deeper decline than Rodriguez. Rodriguez is still adding to his career in ways that Piazza isn't, so Rodriguez may end up on top in the end. I would rate I-Rod behind Bench, Berra, and Cochrane, but ahead of Harnett and Campanella. (I would rate Piazza the same as well.)
A lot of the arguments against Ivan Rodriguez here seem to be of the "I don't like him!" variety. The selection of HOF catchers has always been a little subjective, but what's not to like? That he's overrated. OK, he's not the greatest catcher ever, but that's not a disqualifier. That he used steroids? Prove it! Until then, it is clear that what Ivan Rodriguez has done to date towers over what the real standards of induction are for HOFers.
"I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do it will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I don't care if it wrecks the National League for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another. The National League will go down the line with Robinson whatever the consequences. You will find if you go through with your intention that you have been guilty of complete madness."
NL President Ford Frick, 1947