Short Hops: Rafael Palmeiro by Dave Brown

Dave Brown writes about baseball at Yahoo!’s Big League Stew. You can find him on Twitter @answerdave.

My finger points to Rafael Palmeiro when asked to identify the quintessential first baseman of the 1990s. The position yielded others who were better overall hitters; Certainly guys such as Jeff Bagwell or Frank Thomas qualify as such, and Mark McGwire was a bigger bopper. But Palmeiro also embodies two other qualities: Being a left-hander, he had a naturally iconic swing and soft hands on defense, and was aesthetically more pleasing to watch — like guys such as Mark Grace, Will Clark and John Olerud. Finally, his role in the steroid scandal — whether it be classified as a participant, pawn or patsy — must be accounted for.

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