There is no question that Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg belong in the Hall of Fame. I’m very happy that both were voted in this year. I’m not sure, but I would imagine that the recent enthusiasm for underdog teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox helped boost their chances as Sandberg was a Cub for his entire career and Boggs spent most of his time with the BoSox.
However, just to put things into context I will point out that Boggs and Sandberg both fell far short of posting the career numbers achieved by Pete Rose.
Boggs is celebrated for being one of the few batters in history to surpass the 3,000 hit mark just before retiring after 18 seasons. But even if he had played six more seasons to match the number of years that Rose played, it is unlikely that he would have caught up to Rose’s record 4,256 hits mark. In fact, he would have to have averaged more than 200 hits per season (208 to be precise) during his final six years to have caught Rose. Boggs had just 80 hits during his final season.
There is still one year left for the Baseball Hall of Fame to redeem itself. If Bud Selig would reinstate Rose’s eligibility he could still be voted in to the Hall in 2006 before the matter goes to the Veteran's committee. As I have noted previously, I think that Pete Rose has suffered enough for the heinous crime of gambling on baseball. The fact that none of his gambling activity impacted his playing career should make his induction into the Hall of Fame a simple matter. It’s not like he was pumped up on steroids, afterall.