Earlier this summer, Rafael Palmeiro was voted onto the Texas Rangers’ 40th anniversary team by the fans. On Saturday, he was introduced with the rest of the team during festivities before Texas took on Detroit.
But one place where it appears Palmeiro will struggle to ever be introduced is the Baseball Hall of Fame . . . and the former Rangers first baseman believes the reason why is unfair.
Palmeiro was interviewed this past weekend on the “Rangers Magazine” show on 103.3 KESN-FM and was asked about the struggles he’s facing in getting voted into Cooperstown.
“It is what it is, it’s not in my control and if it’s not in my control, I’m not going to worry about it,” Palmeiro said. “I controlled my career and I did everything I could as a player to help my team win. I know that I can look back on it and know that I gave it everything I had.”
Despite finishing his career with more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, Palmeiro has missed out on his first two chances at being selected for the Hall of Fame, the primary reason being a suspension near the end of his career for testing positive for steroids.
Palmeiro famously appeared at a Congressional hearing on steroids in baseball in 2005 and denied, under oath, ever using steroids.
Less than five months later, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days after testing positive for steroids while playing for Baltimore in his final MLB season. Palmeiro has always contended that the failure was due to a tainted vitamin B-12 shot he injected.
It seems many of the Hall of Fame voters have lumped Palmeiro in with other players in the so-called steroid era, and he thinks that his lapse in judgment is unfair in keeping him out of baseball’s ultimate shrine.
“It bothers me, obviously, with what happened at the end,” Palmeiro said. “People are questioning my career and my integrity and what I did throughout my career . . . and it’s unfair. They’re judging me on a mistake in judgment that I made near the end of my career.
“If people want to think that I cheated or did something to enhance my performance, then that’s fine.”
When Palmeiro was first up for selection to the Hall in 2011, he received only 11 percent of the vote. During his second time around, he received 12.6 percent. Players need to receive at least 75 percent of the vote to be selected into the Hall.
Despite his Hall of Fame-worthy numbers, though, it seems that Palmeiro has come to terms with the inevitable and believes that he will never see his name up along with other baseball greats.
“There’s nothing else I can do,” Palmeiro said. “I can’t prove it to anyone, it is what it is. Some people are going to believe me, some people are not and that’s just the way it is.”