Sunday, January 13, 2019

My Hall of Fame Ballot - 2019 Edition

I, of course don't have a vote on who gets into the Baseball Hall of Fame but I am a big fan of the HOF and follow the process pretty closely.  I have made a couple visits to Cooperstown, read several books on the Hall and subscribe to their weekly newsletter (which if you don't you should, it typically included a feature on a baseball card in each edition).

Last year I submitted a list of 10 players I would vote for and 4 of them did get it.  I will start with the other 6 as my mind hasn't changed on them.

1. Barry Bonds - simply the best hitter of his generation and one of the top handful of players all time.  You will see that for the elites, the PED thing doesn't really impact my vote.  I am of the camp that it was part of the game during that era and suspect those that predict 75% or more players were on some sort of PED and that there are players already in that used is probably accurate.

2. Roger Clemens - simply the best pitcher of his generation and one of the top handful of pitchers all time.  See above for my PED thoughts.

3. Curt Schilling - sure the guy has said some politically charged stuff and been off the rails on twitter several times but in today's age we have a president that does the same thing.  He has great career stats and even better postseason stats.  A true big game pitcher.

4. Jeff Kent - one of the best second basemen of his generation and all time when you take into account his offensive stats. Wasn't the best defensively but his peak years with the Giants were amazing.

5. Larry Walker - the more I look at his career the more convinced I am that he belongs.  My original hang up with the Coors Field effect but with his home and away splits it seems like less of an issue.  His durability is also a concern but not enough for me to support his induction.

6. Edgar Martinez - this is his last year on the ballot and I suspect he gets in.  I am not a fan of using one induction to support another but come on, if Harold Baines is a HOFer, how can Martinez not be?

That leaves me with up to 4 more votes and I will start with the new guys on this year's ballot:

7. Mariano Rivera - a slam dunk HOFer as perhaps the best reliever in history.  I was and am a Yankee hater but I won't let that skew my evaluation, the guy is a first ballot HOFer.

 8. Roy Halladay - I struggled a bit when looking at Halladay and assessing his HOF worthiness.  Ultimately I looked at his 8 All-Star game appearances, 2 Cy Young awards and the fact he was seen as one of the top couple pitchers in the game for a while and decided he would make my ballot.

Other guys on the ballot for the first time I considered were Todd Helton and Andy Pettite but I don't feel at this time they reach beyond the Hall of Very Good in my book.  Helton had the Coors Park effect to boost his stats and his splits aren't as nice as Walker's.  Pettite was a very good pitcher in both the regular season and playoffs but I think his stature was inflated due to his play on some very good Yankees teams.

I have two votes left so I went back to look at guys who hadn't earned my votes in years past and decided that I would add two more players to my ballot.

 9. Mike Mussina -he is getting my vote based more on longevity versus peak and this is against my normal thought process.  I generally think a HOF should have a strong peak as one of the best at their position for a few years and I don't think this fits Mussina but he was really good for a long time, I see him at his generations Don Sutton.

10. Scott Rolen - he was a 7-time All-Star and 8-time Gold Glover, one of the best 3rd basemen of his generation.  His stats hold up well in comparison to other HOF 3rd basemen and I believe he should be getting more HOF buzz than he did in his first year last year.

I thought this might be a year where I didn't vote for 10 but in the end I guess I am a big Hall advocate.  Who do you think should get it?


  1. I completely agree with your top 8, which is saying a lot for me as I've done a 180 on PED users recently. I don't know about Rolen/Helton/Mussina/Pettitte... maybe they get in down the road, but it's too early for me to vote for them now.
    I really hope Edgar makes it this year. Baines was a shock for me... and you're right, if Baines makes it then Edgar has to.

  2. Mike Mussina should already be a HOF, Curt Schilling was a great pitcher so who cares what he said on Twitter, Mariano Rivera is my favorite player ever.. On Todd Walker, I think he only hit .276 on the road.

  3. Correction: His name was Larry and he hit .278

  4. I'm a small hall kind of guy, but the flood gates have been opened and there's no turning back. Bonds, Clemens, and Rivera are three of the greatest to ever play their positions, so they're my locks. There are other guys on your list who would also get my vote... but I'll only comment on one. I think it's terrible that athletes get punished for playing in their own ballparks. Did Larry Walker decide to build a ballpark in Colorado? If Cooperstown isn't going to count the offensive statistics at Coors Field, then have a minor league team move in there and have the Rockies play somewhere else.

    1. I tend to agree about the stats at Coors. I kind of looked at the splits to make sure that the environment wasn't the only reason he had elite stats. With his great defense and solid offensive stats, even on the road, I am now in support of Mr. Walker.

  5. I can't argue with any of your choices, they are all worthy. Since you said the PED issue doesn't affect your choices, what are your opinions on Manny Ramirez and Gary Sheffield? Just curious.

    1. Very good question, I am closer on Manny than Sheffield. I feel that Manny was a top tier player (at least hitter) for a number of years. The thing that kept him out of my top 10 were the distractions he caused but I suspect, in a future year he will show up on my list. Sheffield has the counting stats but I just never felt he was elite. Might be worth a deeper dive. The PEDs are the issue from my perspective.