No, of course they won’t.
You don’t get into the Hall of Fame on the basis of any single feat, though, of course, some of your game-used stuff might make it to Cooperstown to commemorate the occasion. (That’s Edwin “you” … not you “you.”)
But when Edwin Encarnacion of the Seattle Mariners took two Kansas City Royals (Homer Bailey and Kevin McCarthy) deep in the sixth inning on April 8, 2019, he joined some select company.
See, Edwin turned the trick once before, on July 26, 2013, then as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
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And, by hitting two homers in an inning twice in his career, Encarnacion lumped himself in with …
That list is telling in a couple of ways.
First, you have to be something of a power hitter to make this club, as even Jeff King was known for his power later in his career.
And, second, it doesn’t hurt to be a great player if you want to make this list.
McCovey and Dawson are Hall of Famers.
A-Rod is one of the greatest players any of us have ever seen, whether you want to admit it or not, and should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer (though he won’t be).
And King? Well, every group has an outlier.
So … where does EE fit?
Well, he will be 36 all season long (in 2019) and has “just” 33.0 WAR and 1719 hits to his name.
And, he’s played more games at designated hitter than anywhere else, though his combined 1B-3B tally eclipses his 679 DH appearances.
The Hall of Fame seems like a tall order, and that view is not helped any by looking at the historical players most similar to Encarnacion, according to Baseball Reference:
Lots of big names here — Rocky Colavito, Frank Howard, Roy Sievers, Gil Hodges, George Foster, Jack Clark, Joe Carter.
Who wouldn’t want to have a career like any of those guys?
But the only Hall of Famer in any of the similarity lists is Willie Stargell, third most similar to Encarnacion through age 35.
Stargell is sort of a “soft” Hall of Famer, at that, with 2232 hits, 475 homers, and a .282 batting average.
But he played another seven years past where Encarnacion is now and led the “We Are Family” Pittsburgh Pirates to a World Series championship in 1979 (not statistically, even though he won the National League MVP award).
So again, the deck seems stacked against Encarnacion.
But if you look at it another way, he’s only 36 and hasn’t hit fewer than 32 home runs since 2011.
Let’s take that number down a notch and say he averages 25 over the next four. That will leave him staring at his age-40 season less than 20 homers away from 500.
Unless one of his legs has fallen off in the process, you’d have to think he hangs around to hit the big milestone.
And is a 500-home-run Edwin Encarnacion likely to get enshrined in Cooperstown? I wouldn’t necessarily bet against him.
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1981 Topps Baseball Cards Complete Your Set U-Pick (#'s 1-200) Nm-Mint
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