Manny Ramirez has officially retired at age 39, only a few games into the 2011 season. His Hall of Fame candidacy will be largely impacted by his involvement with performance-enhancing drugs, of course, but Manny produced the sort of statistics that would otherwise merit a shoo-in to Cooperstown.
One of the very most dangerous hitters of his era, Manny produced statistics that should more than qualify for the Hall of Fame. Through 19 seasons, he has maintained an unbelievably impressive on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of .996. That is the ninth-highest career OPS mark of all time, and among active players, that number is second only to Albert Pujols' 1.084.
He was a very patient hitter at the plate, drawing walks and waiting for quality pitches to hit. As a result, he's finishing his career with a .312 batting average and .411 on-base percentage. He was also a very powerful hitter; his 555 career home runs place him at 14th on the list. These are the sort of digits that Hall of Fame voters tend to look at.
Of course, Manny's Hall of Fame fate is tied to that of many of his fellow players, including Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and all the other otherwise-qualifying sluggers who have been associated with PED use. Manny's numbers are PED-induced, but they are still outstanding.
For more on Manny Ramirez's retirement, and reflections on his career, check out the rest of this StoryStream.