6. Roy Oswalt

From 2005 to 2007, Roy Oswalt was regarded as one of the elite pitchers in Baseball.  Over that time, he was an All Star each year and has a Wins Title, a bWAR for Pitchers title and won the 2005 NLCS MVP award though the Astros were unable to win the World Series that year.  Oswalt may have never won the Cy Young, but he finished in the top five in voting six times, a very impressive accomplishment for the man who was the best pitcher in Houston Astros history.

Roy Oswalt

In the mid-2000’s, Roy Oswalt was considered one of the top pitchers in the National League. “Os” would have five seasons where he was voted in the top five in National League Cy Young balloting and it was his arm that won the NLCS MVP in 2005 getting Houston to their lone World Series appearance.

Oswalt was a very good starter for an extended period of time, but was it enough for Cooperstown? It probably isn’t.
You know how hard it is to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame? In 2013, with a ballot brimming with qualified candidates, not one player received the 75 percent of the votes needed for admission. (I identified 14 likely Hall of Famers on the 2013 ballot.)

Granted, 2013 was the first year of eligibility for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, both poster boys for performance-enhancing drugs (PED), bringing to a head the contentious debate about "cheaters" and their admission into the Hall. But there were certainly several "clean" players on that ballot, and a few of those, such as 3000-hit-club member Craig Biggio, would have been uncontroversial picks in any previous year.

And although 2014 saw the election of three players—Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas—it was merely the tip of a talent-heavy iceberg (I identified 18 likely Hall of Famers for that ballot), while providing a burn to Biggio yet again as not only did he miss election by one vote (he garnered 74.8 percent of the vote), but three first-time candidates leapfrogged him into Cooperstown.
Baseball immortality: Precious few attain it, most do not even come close—and some perch on the cusp of that immortality as signified by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Theirs are the test cases, players whose careers, accomplishments, and legacies form the threshold of what separates a Hall of Famer from the rest.

Baseball Hall of Fame voting in the last few years has been fascinating for a number of reasons, particularly the logjam of qualified candidates, which promises to remain an issue for the next few years. That logjam puts additional pressure on the borderline candidates—will they be overlooked, perhaps unfairly, because there are too many candidates from which to choose?