Saturday, January 13, 2018

My Hall of Fame Ballot

Of course I don't have an actual vote but I do want to chime in on who I would select if I was granted the honor of voting for this year's HOF class.  I am pretty excited that Jack Morris and Alan Trammell have already been elected, I suspect this will be one of the bigger classes perhaps ever.

Here are the eligible players then I will walk you through my thought process:

  1. Andruw Jones
  2. Aubrey Huff
  3. Barry Bonds
  4. Billy Wagner
  5. Brad Lidge
  6. Carlos Lee
  7. Carlos Zambrano
  8. Chipper Jones
  9. Chris Carpenter
  10. Curt Schilling
  11. Edgar Martinez
  12. Fred McGriff
  13. Gary Sheffield
  14. Hideki Matsui
  15. Jamie Moyer
  16. Jason Isringhausen
  17. Jeff Kent
  18. Jim Thome
  19. Johan Santana
  20. Johnny Damon
  21. Kerry Wood
  22. Kevin Millwood
  23. Larry Walker
  24. Livan Hernandez
  25. Manny Ramirez
  26. Mike Mussina
  27. Omar Vizquel
  28. Orlando Hudson
  29. Roger Clemens
  30. Sammy Sosa
  31. Scott Rolen
  32. Trevor Hoffman
  33. Vladimir Guerrero
I can whittle that list of 33 down to 20 pretty quickly:

  1. Andruw Jones
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Billy Wagner
  4. Chipper Jones
  5. Curt Schilling
  6. Edgar Martinez
  7. Fred McGriff
  8. Gary Sheffield
  9. Jamie Moyer
  10. Jeff Kent
  11. Jim Thome
  12. Larry Walker
  13. Manny Ramirez
  14. Mike Mussina
  15. Omar Vizquel
  16. Roger Clemens
  17. Sammy Sosa
  18. Scott Rolen
  19. Trevor Hoffman
  20. Vladimir Guerrero
Yes there were some guys with good careers that I eliminated but I don't think any of them pass the eye test.  Now I have a list of 20 players one could argue have HOF credentials - while I don't think all of them should be in, there are a few slam dunks for me.

Of that remaining list of 20, there are 6 that don't really get consideration from me for a vote although I have seen some arguments in favor of them -  Andruw Jones, Billy Wagner, Fred McGriff, Sammy Sosa ,Scott Rolen and Jamie Moyer.  I saw all of these guys play in their prime and none of them ever screamed HOFer to me.  The closest would be Sosa but with the bat corking, the one dimension of his game (power) and his steep drop off I just don't see him with a place in Cooperstown.

Here is my ballot.  I have 14 players to consider now and only 10 votes.  Of course I don't have to use all 10 but I think there is a backlog on the ballot due to the holier than thou attitude of the sports writers with respect to the PED era.

1. Barry Bonds - simply the best player of his generation and arguably of all time.  Not going to get into a massive debate about PEDs, I am of the camp that most of the players were doing them, baseball knew and allowed it so players from this era deserve to be in the HOF - it is a baseball history museum.
2. Roger Clemens - see above on Bonds. Clemens is the pitching equivalent.

3. Jim Thome - great power hitter, nice long career.  He has a great 12 year stretch hitting over 30 HRs each year with the exception of one year that he missed most of due to injury.  He walked a lot resulting in an OBP above .400 despite a .270 batting average.  He exceeded 1.000 in OPS 6 times and finished his career at .956.

4. Trevor Hoffman - I know some of his records have been surpassed but he was the man as a closer.  He had a somewhat unique approach to closing using a change up as a dominating pitch - but he was just that, dominant.  One of the best closers of his time and the best in the NL for a long stretch.  I had him in my keeper fantasy league for years so I watched him closely and this is deserved.

5. Vladimir Guerrero - this guy could do it all.  He was one of the top hitters in the league for more than a decade.  He had a cannon for an arm.  He seemed to have so much fun playing the game and he fell just short last year.  I predict he will get in pretty easily this year.

6. Chipper Jones - let me be clear, I never liked this guy. I am not sure what drove it, maybe all the Braves love in the 90s, maybe it is a grown man going by "Chipper", maybe it was jealous that he wasn't on my team.  The fact is the guy was one of the best third basemen of all time and is deserving of going into the Baseball HOF.

7. Curt Schilling - maybe I am in the minority on my feelings about Chipper and I am pretty sure I am in my views of Schilling.  His rantings post retirement have left a sour taste in a lot of peoples mouths with respect to Curt.  I can put all this aside and recognize how great he was.  He was a big game pitcher, excelled in the playoffs and was on a very short list (maybe he, Pedro and the Unit) on who you would want on the mound in a big game.

8. Jeff Kent - this may seem like a homer pick for this former Giant but look at the stats and he was one of the best second basemen of his generation and all time.  There was a stretch where he was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball.  It is sad he gets so little HOF respect, my guess is he will have to wait until the veterans committee.

9. Larry Walker - I was on the fence about Walker for a little while feeling that the only reason his numbers were so good was due to the Coors Field effect.  I have done a little research and recalled his early years in Montreal and the fact is this guy was an all around great player.  While I think his home field should be taken into account, it shouldn't put on blinders to the greatness he displayed.

10. Edgar Martinez - In year's past I struggled with putting someone who was almost purely a DH in the HOF but with Big Pappy coming up in a few years I started to rethink it.  I recently read a book that statistically assessed all the HOFers and potential HOFers and they did a deep dive into several careers including Martinez.  It showed he was actually a fairly solid fielder that moved to DH due to some health concerns and because his team has some other players to play the infield corners.  It started to make me rethink his candidacy and when I think back, this dude was one of the best clutch hitters, and actually just best pure hitters of his generation.  He gets in on my ballot.

There is my ballot if I had one.  I would like to see all 10 of the guys I voted for get in eventually and it would be great is 4 or 5 of them made it this year.  What do you think about the players I chose and those I left off?


  1. Still deciding on my ballot... but Bonds, Clemens, Chipper, and Guerrero are my no-brainers.

  2. I like that you included Edgar. And I agree, I think Kent will get in eventually, although it may take the Veterans' Committee.

  3. No love for Billy Wagner is my only difference. I would remove Kent and replace with Wagner

  4. Andruw Jones is the greatest defensive center fielder of all time and it isn't close. He's the 8th best defensive player in history regardless of position. He has the second highest gap between he and the guy in second place in history. 3B is the only bigger gap thanks to Brooks Robinson. Throw in the fact that he was an above league average bat with 400+ home runs and he should be a shoo-in.

    Wagner was a better pitcher than Hoffman without question. In every stat other than saves he was much better than Hoffman. I'd vote Wagner over Hoffman without even questioning it but honestly Rivera is probably the only modern day closer worthy of the Hall.

    Rolen is a top 10 third baseman all time. He is one of the top 5 defensive third baseman of all time. He deserves to go in but I'm sure he'll have to wait for the Vets Committee because he didn't have a numbers accumulating decline phase like some others. He's an easy vote over Jeff Kent.