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Nomar's Peak


When Nomar Garciparra retired, my initial thought was "certainly on the Hall of Fame track, but just didn't play long enough." As I've looked closer, however, he looks better than I thought. Particularly when you look at wWAR, Nomar's peak really becomes apparent. He leapfrogs a bunch of shortstops on the All Time WAR list—many of them Hall of Famers. He's #19 on the shortstop wWAR list. And any time you're #19 of all time at your position, you deserve at least an extended look for the Hall of Fame.

He had just a single season with value in between 1997's 5.9 WAR and 2004's 0.9 WAR (that was 2.1 WAR in 2006). I can't find another player who packed so much of his career value (94.8%) into a half dozen seasons.

Even after this closer look, he's probably not a Hall of Famer. But he's really close to the borderline. He does deserve one of my favorite compliments you can give a borderline candidate—at least he was better than Jim Rice.

(WAR data from Baseball-Reference.)