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The Hall of Fame Case: Darin Erstad

Sure, there will be plenty who vote for the likes of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz on their National Baseball Hall of Fame player ballots. Even players like Gary Sheffield and Carlos Delgado have a shot at the Class of 2015. But there are players on the ballot who require a little more voter-cajoling. Players who may not have the on-field resume, but deserve an impassioned Hall of Fame case nonetheless. Players like …

Darin Erstad. Darin Charles Erstad. The outfielder/first baseman played 14 seasons in the bigs -- spending time with the Angels, White Sox and Astros. He's better than you are at baseball and here are five reasons why he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame:

A HOF year in 2000 

He slashed at a remarkable .355/.409/.541 mark with 25 HRs, 100 RBIs and 28 steals out of the leadoff position. He won a Gold Glove (his first of three), took home a Silver Slugger award and made his second All-Star appearance. Excluding Wade Boggs and Ichiro (twice), his league-leading 240 hits are the most by a big leaguer since 1930. That old-school Anaheim Angels jersey never looked so gritty:

jerz

Postseason glory

When the Angels won the 2002 World Series, Erstad was a major reason why. His 25 hits are the second-most ever in a single postseason. He also added two homers, seven RBIs, three steals and some clutch defense:

First in flight

If flying doesn't get you into Cooperstown, I'm not sure what will.

flying

Football skills

Erstad was the starting punter/field goal kicker for Nebraska's 1994 NCAA Championship squad -- averaging 46.2 yards per punt. He also had a double extra point during his college years. How many MLB HOFers have a double extra point??!!

Birthplace fame

Erstad was born in Jamestown, North Dakota. That's a short 67-mile drive from a little place called COOPERSTOWN, N.D. It's also an hour and a half from Fargo, N.D. What does Fargo think about putting a native North Dakotan in the Hall?