Much like winning a championship, making it into the Hall of Fame is no easy task. You’ve got to be dedicated to your craft and have made an impact on the sport you play in some shape or form. Magic Johnson, Emmit Smith, and Nolan Ryan were athletes that needed to be inducted with no question. There are others that left some people scratching their heads when they entered. We’ll name names as you continue reading, but for every mistake, there’s a snub who could take their place. Find out who they are ahead.
Glenn Anderson – NHL
When voting on the Hall of Fame, postseason success matters more than regular-season triumphs in most cases. That’s fair because that’s when games matter the most, so we can’t be mad at that. This would be the case for Glenn Anderson, even being the sixth-best player on the Oilers’ dynasty.
What’s shocking is that Anderson played 16 seasons but never made an All-Star team. Anderson making the Hall is a testament to him teaming up with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. Players that made other players better. A perfect substitute for Anderson would be Keith Tkachuk, who had better numbers.
Yao Ming – NBA
Placing Yao Ming on this list might be a controversial decision, but hear us out. Yes, Ming made a significant impact on the NBA across borders. Yes, he helped his team compete in several playoff series (all first-round exits). Ming was the ultimate bridge between connecting those from China to the NBA.
While those are all significant accomplishments and things to be proud of, does it warrant a Hall of Fame selection? If we’re going on achievements and what a player brought to the court, Rasheed Wallace would be a great replacement. Someone who has a championship and was a pivotal piece in securing that title.
Jim Rice – MLB
One could argue that Jim Rice deserves his spot in the Hall of Fame but one could also propose a strong counter-argument. Being an eight-time All-Star bodes well for Rice’s case, and at face value, he’s an easy decision.
In his prime, Rice was one of the best. Sadly, as he aged, his slugging skills dropped way before he retired. It didn’t take long for Rice to become a shell of himself. Pete Rose feels like a better fit for the Hall with his unmatched hitting credentials.
Bill Walton – NBA
Bill Walton was a monster during his college basketball days. In fact, he’s one of the best college players to do it. After making his transition to the NBA, he won two titles. The issue here is his longevity and career stats.
Naturally, his college career played a big part in making it into the Hall, but the man only played in the NBA for ten years. His career averages were 13.3 points and 10.5 rebounds, which isn’t anything to laugh at. Still, a man named Jack Sikma isn’t in the Hall and we have no clue why.
Bill Mazeroski – MLB
Bill Mazeroski has one of the greatest moments any MLB player can hope to have. When he knocked the ball out of the park during game 7 of the 1960 World Series to win it all, he became an easy nod for the Hall of Fame.
The only thing is that his numbers don’t really add up. Don’t be deceived by his ten All-Star appearances and eight Gold Gloves. The thing is, he’s known more for his glove than his bat (.260 career batting average). Bobby Grich would be an ideal replacement. Grich was stellar on defense and a better slugger.
Bill Bradley – NBA
Bill Bradley is a former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate, but many might not know he made it into the NBA Hall of Fame too. Is Bradley, a two-time champion, worthy of the Hall?
He might’ve been apart of a team that won a Euroleague title, and an Olympic gold medal, but having a career average of 12.4 points per game is laughable. He also only made one All-Star game in his “Hall of Fame career. Chris Webber would be a great replacement because of his illustrious resume.
Phil Rizzuto – MLB
Phil Rizzuto played with the Yankees for 13 years and helped them win seven championships in that time frame. He won an MVP as a shortstop, but his career didn’t carry the same longevity as his contemporaries in the Hall.
Rizzuto left baseball in favor of the Navy for three years, which changed the trajectory of his career. Had he stayed around for that time, his resume would have been way more polished. Some say Barry Bonds would be a better fit.
Reggie Miller – NBA
Before you get up in arms over this decision, blame Michael Jordan. Before the world was introduced to Stephen Curry, there was Reggie Miller. The man who scored eight points in nine seconds during the Eastern Conference semifinals. Not only was he clutch, but his shooting skills were superb.
Those were the only two things that stood out about the Hall of Famer. He might’ve shown up in the big moments, but Jordan would always make sure to eliminate him from the playoffs, preventing Miller from ever winning a ring. Now that Curry is on the rise, he would be a reasonable replacement.
Lynn Swann – NFL
Generally speaking, a receiver who totaled 5,462 receiving yards in nine seasons wouldn’t be considered a Hall of Famer. Here we are with Lynn Swann. While he did make one of the most famous catches in Super Bowl history, the numbers speak for themselves.
Swann made the Pro Bowl three times and was an All-Pro once. In nine seasons, he never crossed the 1,000-yard threshold, which is typical for elite receivers. He might be a big name in NFL history, but Chad Johnson could easily take his place.
Arvydas Sabonis – NBA
Arvydas Sabonis makes you question whether or not international success should factor into making the Hall of Fame. Sabonis was a superstar internationally, but he didn’t capture that same success while in the NBA.
Only nine of his 21 professional years were in the NBA, so his candidacy is complicated. As we’ve seen over the years, dominating in Europe doesn’t equate to ruling the NBA. Do career averages of 12 points, and 7.3 rebounds sound Hall of Fame worthy? Switch Shawn Kemp with Sabonis.
Igor Larionov – NHL
Igor Larionov happened to be apart of the Detroit Red Wings’ famous “Russin Five” line. The three-time Stanley Cup champion was a good NHL pro, but an even better international player for the Soviet Union.
The gripe here is that his numbers don’t stack up to others in the NHL Hall of Fame. Larionov had one foot in the Soviet League and the other in the NHL; splitting half of his professional career between both leagues. His Soviet League stats are far greater than his NHL’s, which leads us to believe that Butch Goring is a better fit.
Terry Bradshaw – NFL
Pretty much every NFL fan knows of Terry Bradshaw. The quarterback is a commentator these days, so you can watch him talk up current players during on Sunday during the season.
Yes, we know he won four Super Bowls, but he also played for practically the best teams ever. His stats indicate he was an average player at the quarterback position. His touchdown to interception ratio was 212-210 and his career completion rate was only 51.9 percent. Ben Roethlisberger could be a replacement when he becomes eligible thanks to his more impressive stats.
Gerry Cheevers – NHL
Gerry Cheevers played goalie for the “Big Bad Bruins” and helped them secure two Stanley Cups in the process. While the goalie was pivotal to hockey history, Cheevers skill-set didn’t seem worthy of a Hall of Fame selection.
Cheevers played in an era when there were only 15 teams, thus being only 15 starting goalkeepers playing. Still, he never would finish in the top-five of goals-against average in any season. Meanwhile, Chris Osgood might join the Hall soon and would be an excellent replacement.
O.J. Simpson – NFL
There are a ton of folks that want O.J. Simpson tossed out of the Hall of Fame and right into the garbage can. His post-retirement lifestyle hasn’t exactly been respectable.
For the Hall, however, it’s about on-field achievements, not what’s going on off of it, so that’s why he’s in there. Still, after causing such mayhem and tearing lives apart, perhaps it’s best to leave him out of there. Roger Craig wouldn’t mind replacing him.
Troy Aikman – NFL
Winning Super Bowls as a quarterback drastically increases your chances of making the Hall of Fame. Troy Aikman would go on to win multiple rings, but he was never a true game-changer.
The Cowboys already had some of the greatest talents in the world with Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin. If we’re looking at stats alone, Aikman’s aren’t that spectacular. After 1996, his record was a measly 38-52. His touchdown to interception ratio wasn’t too impressive either at 165-141. We’d be completely fine if Ken Anderson took his place.
Joe Namath – NFL
Broadway Joe Namath had the pleasure of playing during an era that is much different than the others. He isn’t a bad player, don’t get us wrong, but he played when there wasn’t much talent to go around.
Namath did well in AFL, but the NFL was still the dominant league. After the AFL and NFL merged, he helped legitimatize the NFL. Perhaps he deserves it because of that, but if we’re talking numbers only. Charlie Conerly could have been a better fit.
Dennis Rodman – NBA
Dennis Rodman is clearly one of the best rebounders and defenders the NBA has seen. His hustle was hard to match and he came with the same intensity every single night. That motor helped win the Bulls some championships when he teamed up with Michael Jordan.
Rodman was also a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. What more do you want from a man? Well, some would say a cleaner record off the court would have been pleasing. We won’t get into all the antics Rodman participated in but will say Ben Wallace could replace him.
Dave Bing – NBA
The former Detroit mayor Dave Bing is another player who is a borderline Hall of Famer. This could be one of the toughest players we had to include, but hear us out. He averaged 20 points per game throughout his 12-year career and even won Rookie of the Year.
His biggest downfall is that he never played on a great team, but you can’t really call that his problem. As a result, he was never able to lead his teams to a title. Tim Hardaway seems like a better fit for being a more well-rounded point guard.
Frank Gatski – NFL
During a time long ago, the Cleveland Browns weren’t as bad as they’ve been over the past decades (hopefully that changes in 2019 and beyond). Frank Gatski played on the Browns when they were good, but as we said, that was long ago.
It took him almost 20 years to make the Hall because he only made one Pro Bowl and wasn’t a star in any sense. You do the math now and tell us Joe Jacoby wouldn’t be a better fit.
John Stallworth – NFL
Not to pick on the Steelers here, but John Stallworth has a case that is very similar to Lynn Swann’s. Like Swann, Stallworth was apart of four Super Bowl championship teams. Stallworth also only made three Pro Bowl teams and was only an All-Pro during one season.
When comparing the two, Stallworth has slightly better numbers than Swann. His career year came in 1984 when he went for 80 catches, 1,395 yards, and 11 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002. Torry Holt is slightly more deserving.
Bob Griese – NFL
The term ‘game manager’ has taken on a negative connotation over the last ten years or so. Game managing quarterbacks, though, are generally quite successful players. As the leader of the dynastic early 70’s Dolphins, Griese was as good a game manager as there ever was.
When Griese’s statistics are compared to other Hall of Fame Quarterbacks, they fall far short. He never averaged 2,500 yards passing in a season. His career passer rating doesn’t rank in the top 50 all-time. Griese has been a bit overrated thanks to his team’s success. Maybe Donovan McNabb would be a nice replacement?
Herb Pennock – MLB
Herb Pennock was an outstanding pitcher for the ’20s Yankees. As great as he was, he’s another player in the Hall of Fame that benefited a tremendous amount on his team’s success.
By ERA+ standards, Pennock was only six percent better than the average pitcher throughout his career. We’re not saying he wasn’t a good player, but we are saying someone else with better percentages could replace him. A name that comes to mind is fellow Yankee Ron Guidry.
Gail Goodrich – NBA
Gail Goodrich had a solid NBA and college career. He was lucky enough to play for some talented teams along and had some even better teammates. Goodrich gained a reputation for being a smart player, like Steve Nash.
The champion averaged 18.6 points for his career and made the All-Star team five times. This all sounds great, but like Reggie Miller before him, he wasn’t versatile. Landing on great teams masked his shortcomings. Mark Jackson was someone who could have done the same as Goodrich, if not better had he been on those teams.
Clark Gillies – NHL
Clark Gillies shared the ice with the Islanders’ Trio Grande line that featured Bryan Trottier and Mike Bossy. Gillies was a physical specimen that helped give his team an edge. He might’ve had the intangibles, but Gillies didn’t have the numbers.
Outside of his peak two years, Gillies only finished in the top-60 in points four times ever. That indicates a severe lack of production. A player like Eric Lindros was someone who didn’t benefit from other greats as much as Gillies did, and would be a great replacement.
Calvin Murphy – Nba
Standing only 5’9″, we feel a bit bad for adding Calvin Murphy to this list. First and foremost, being as tall as he was is incredibly hard to do while playing in the NBA. He also averaged 17.9 points throughout his career, which isn’t too bad at all.
The thing is, he was pretty much the only a scorer for a Houston Rockets teams that badly needed scoring. We won’t hold it against the NBA for including him, but Kevin Johnson isn’t in the Hall.
Roger Wehrli – NFL
Roger Wehrli shocked a lot of folks when he entered the Hall of Fame, similar to that of Hanburger. Wehrli wasn’t a bad player and was pretty good, but his numbers weren’t elite enough to get a spot.
The defensive back never led the league in interceptions, and only made waves between 1975 and 1977. After retiring in 1982, he had to wait 24 years for his call to the Hall, which is an extremely long time. Shall we suggest John Lynch?
Joe Nieuwendyk – NHL
Joe Nieuwendyk is a player who was caught between really good and superstar. Really good can earn you a Conn Smythe Trophy, but Superstar gets you into the Hall of Fame. He wasn’t both, Nieuwendyk was more of the former in his 20 years of playing.
In an ironic twist of fate, Nieuwendyk was traded away for Jarome Iginla because Nieuwendyk didn’t want to sign a long-term contract. Flames fans ended up falling in love with Iginla, and that’s who deserves a spot in the Hall.
Paul Hornung – NFL
Paul Hornung made it to the Hall in a similar way that Marcus Allen did. The running back had a brief run-in with success, but really he was nothing more than a flash in the pan.
Yes, he won the MVP award in 1961, but other than that, he didn’t do much. He only averaged 4.2 yards per carry while never hitting the 700-yard mark in a single season. That’s tough to work with but hey, how about replacing him with Shaun Alexander?
Frank Ramsey – NBA
Frank Ramsey was a key part of the Boston Celtics dynasty during the ’50s and ’60s. The seven-time champion was the sixth man, but his Hall of Fame selection raised some questions. It was a shock mainly because bench players rarely make the Hall in any sport.
If Ramsey wasn’t apart of this marvelous Celtics team, he might not have made the Hall of Fame. Never did he make an All-Star game and he only averaged 13.4 points per game. Bob Dandridge would be a better candidate in this scenario.
Bruce Sutter – MLB
Bruce Sutter might be the most puzzling figure in the MLB Hall of Fame. The relief pitcher didn’t have numbers that were too overwhelming. He was a six-time All-Star but didn’t make the Hall until his 13th appearance on the ballot.
After he retired, Sutter’s 300 saves were good enough to place him third in MLB history. Well, three decades later, over 20 players who won’t even be considered for the Hall have passed that number. A controversial pick for a replacement would be Curt Schilling.