Make no mistake, Greinke will end up in Hall –

Baseball fans, most of us anyway, believe we know when we are watching a future Hall of Famer. We will watch a player like Clayton Kershaw or Mike Trout and say to our kids or our grandkids or someone who happens to be standing nearby: “Someday, you’re going to see that guy in Cooperstown!”

Sometimes we’re right: Kershaw and Trout will undoubtedly be in the Hall of Fame. Sometimes we’re wrong. In the 1970s and ’80s, for instance, people said things like that all the time about Steve Garvey, Pete Rose, Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela and Dale Murphy, but for one reason or another, none of them has been elected yet. Don’t even get anyone started on Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and those guys.

Meanwhile, other players whose greatness might have eluded us at the time — such as Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines, Don Sutton and Alan Trammell — have been elected to the Hall.

So it’s a dangerous game thinking that you are seeing a future Hall of Famer in mid-career.

But I’m going to make the call right now: Zack Greinke is going to the Hall of Fame.

Greinke was just added to the All-Star Game roster on Thursday. It will be his fifth All-Star appearance. Greinke has some nice bonafides: He’s a Cy Young Award winner, finished second another year, he’s a two-time ERA champion and, this is crazy, he’s only 34. But by year’s end, Greinke could have a higher career WAR than Juan Marichal, Don Drysdale, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Bunning and certainly the short-career legends like Sandy Koufax and Whitey Ford.

The thing about Greinke is … well, stop right there, there is no one “thing” about him. He’s one of the most fascinating, strange and thought-provoking athletes I’ve covered in my way-too-long career.

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