One of my favorite sports discussions is the Hall of Fame. A lot of time can be spent debating the merits of those selected, those left out, and most importantly, those who may be headed there some day. This article will address the last of these with an analysis of current baseball players who are on track to someday be elected to Cooperstown. It will also include a recommended prospect or rookie card for each player mentioned.
Before we get started, here are a couple of ground rules. First, only active players are part of this list. Ichiro Suzuki will be a first ballot Hall of Famer in 2025, but because he is retired, I did not include him here. In addition, I focused on players with at least 3 seasons of Major League experience. As fantastic as Ronald Acuna Jr., Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres seem to be, we do not have enough of a sample size to project Hall of Fame careers for these exciting young players. Therefore, you will not see some of the young stars here.
Finally, a word on the recommended cards. These are not necessarily the most expensive or most popular prospect or rookie cards for the projected Hall of Famer. Rather, I tried to focus on cards that with a little luck, patience and budgeting can be aspired to by the average collector. For example, the 2009 Bowman Chrome 1/1 Mike Trout Super Refractor is highly sought after and extremely expensive, but it is unlikely that anyone reading this will ever have a chance to buy it. As a result, recommending a card of that type is not particularly useful. With that said, away we go with part 2 of the list…
Recommended Card: 2012 Topps Pro Debut #164
After playing MVP caliber baseball for much of the 2018 season, Ramirez took a step back in 2019. He is still on track to make the Hall of Fame but is one of the more tenuous picks on this list. Pay close attention to his performance during the 60-game 2020 season. This will indicate whether the superstardom we observed in 2018 will be typical in the future, or if the lackluster 2019 will be normal going forward. The recommended card is a wonderful low-risk Ramirez option. It can usually be found for less than $10 currently.