Wednesday, January 4, 2017

If I Had a HOF Ballot...

I am a big fan of the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I have visited Cooperstown a couple times, I collect HOFer autos, I watch all the speeches on Induction Day each year and have read several books about the Hall.

It seems like the tide is turning a little on the era of my younger days - the Steroid Era.  In all honesty the use of PEDs hasn't really impacted my views on who should belong in the Hall.  The Hall is a museum showcasing the best players in baseball history, period.  For what it is worth, if right in candidates were allowed I would definitely vote in Pete Rose and possibly Shoeless Joe Jackson.

However that isn't within the rules.  I am going to play make believe and pretend I have a ballot.  The rules are pretty simple, vote for 10 players that appear on this year's ballot. Feel free to comment with agreements, disagreements and/or your 10 picks.  I actually think there are more than 10 players I think could be qualified but I am going to stay within the rules and give you my top 10.

As a reference, here are the players on this year's ballot:

Arthur Rhodes
Barry Bonds
Billy Wagner
Carlos Guillen
Casey Blake
Curt Schilling
Derrek Lee
Edgar Martinez
Edgar Renteria
Fred McGriff
Freddy Sanchez
Gary Sheffield
Ivan Rodriguez
J.D. Drew
Jason Varitek
Jeff Bagwell
Jeff Kent
Jorge Posada
Larry Walker
Lee Smith
Magglio Ordonez
Manny Ramirez
Matt Stairs
Melvin Mora
Mike Cameron
Mike Mussina
Orlando Cabrera
Pat Burrell
Roger Clemens
Sammy Sosa
Tim Raines
Tim Wakefield
Trevor Hoffman
Vladimir Guerrero

Here are my 10 votes.  The order is alphabetical by first name (it was easiest to sort):

Barry Bonds - simply the best player of my generation and arguably of all time.  He was so feared he might only get 1-3 hittable pitches in a game and was still able to produce record breaking numbers.

Curt Schilling - very solid stats and one of the best big game pitchers of all time.  He as an ace for a nice stretch and has an epic moment with the bloody sock game.  Think epic moments don't matter for HOF induction, check out Bill Mazeroski's stats and Similarity Scores (and I am fine with Mazeroski being in the Hall).

Ivan Rodriguez - he and Piazza were the two best catchers of the era.  Pudge put up some great hitting stats and was a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove winner.

Jeff Bagwell - I haven't always been a big Bagwell supporter, primarily because I didn't feel he was the best player at his position (or even top 3-4) for a stretch in his career.  However after looking at the entirety of his career I think he should be in - kind of like a Tony Perez or Orlando Cepeda type in my book.

Jeff Kent - speaking of the best at his position.  Jeff Kent was one of the 2 or 3 best 2nd baseman in the league for a pretty solid stretch. He has better numbers in several key categories than any 2nd baseman in baseball history.  I honestly don't understand why he doesn't have more support unless it is just a matter of the media not liking the guy.

Lee Smith - He was a dominant closer for a nice long stretch - one of the best in the game.  Closers get tough to evaluate as their roles keep changing, WAR doesn't really work well for them and it is hard to compare them to other relievers who played in a different era.  How about a novel idea like an eye test - was Lee Smith one of the best relievers of his era and does he have impressive enough stats to back up induction into the HOF - to me a pretty easy yes.

Roger Clemens - simply the best pitcher of my generation and arguably of all time.  Dominated over a long stretch and has an amazing resume of awards and stats.

Tim Raines - he is probably the 2nd best lead-off hitter of all time.  I think he gets overlooked in part because Rickey Henderson was so head and shoulders better than anyone as a lead-off hitter.  Raines did it all and I hope he makes it in this year since it is his last year - very deserving.

Trevor Hoffman - Similar to Lee Smith, just watch this guy in his prime (which extended for a pretty
long period of time) and you just knew he was great. The game was over when Hoffman entered. To
me that is a HOF closer.
Vladimir Guerrero - One of the best all around players ever. Could hit any ball thrown his way.  An amazing arm, a total 5 tool player.  It would be great to see him and Raines both go in together in Expos caps.

There you have my votes, what do you think?


  1. Here are my 10:

    wagner, mcgriff, sheffield, irod, smith, manny, clemens, raines, hoffman, and vlad.

  2. I am on board with Manny and Sheffield for sure, if I have 12 votes they would be my next 2. I am on the fence with Wagner and McGriff - my gut says yes to Wagner and no to McGriff right now but that may change.

    How do you get there with Clemens and not Bonds? For most they seem to be a package deal.

  3. I'm a big Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina fan. I'm not sure how to handle the relievers. Don't think I would vote for Lee Smith. Hoffman is a little fringy as well. Overall his numbers are good, but Billy Wagner's are better.

    Here is my list
    Ivan Rodriguez

    That is only 9....I would pick 1 more for sure, but would have to really think about it

    1. whoops left our Moose. Thanks Brett for the reminder.

  4. I'm a bit more of a less is more guy:
    Ivan Rodriguez

    I'm on the fence with Hoffman. But that would be it.