Eddie Murray versus Jim Thome
The numbers compare well, but one is a Hall of Famer. Will the other someday join him?
Editor's note: Hot Stove U. is a six-week course devoted to higher learning, a series consisting of 30 need-to-know topics for 2010.
The setupWell before he turned 30, Eddie Murray was considered a future Hall of Famer. And that prophecy came true. In 2003, Murray's first year of eligibility, he was swept into the shrine with the support of 85 percent of the electorate, far ahead of future Hall of Famers Bruce Sutter, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg and Rich Gossage. For many years there was no doubt about Murray's greatness. The same has rarely been thought about Jim Thome. While it's not easy to predict what Hall of Fame voters will do seven or eight (or more) years from now, it's probably safe to say that few of them have recently referred to Thome as a future Hall of Famer. For a variety of reasons, he's just not been considered in Eddie Murray's class. Which doesn't mean he's not.
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Hot Stove U., which runs from Jan. 11 to Feb. 18, taps into the vast knowledge of ESPN's diverse collection of contributors and presents 30 need-to-know topics for 2010.