Your Hall of Fame Ballot
Today we will hear the results of the Hall of Fame voting by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
What if YOU had a vote? Who would you pick for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and why?
Here is the ballot:
This is a tough ballot, because to me, no one up there screams “Hall of Famer”. Though, part of that is because I completely disregard anyone who played the bulk of his career after 1985, which seems to be around the year that steroids and other PEDs started to infiltrate the game (no doubt there was some use in the 1970s, but no one is fessing up and it didn’t seem to be as widespread). But even if you don’t care whether a player used PEDs or not, there still aren’t any clear-cut HoFers here; the closest is Bagwell (OK, maybe it’s Palmeiro, but should a liar and confirmed cheater be voted into the Hall?). I’m not sure he’s a slam-dunk when you compare his numbers to others who played in his era. Compared to hitters from the 1950s through 1980s, sure, his numbers are HoF quality. But compared to his peers? I’m not 100% convinced. If Bagwell is a HoFer, then Bernie Williams, Fred McGriff, Carlos Delgado, Larry Walker, and Frank Thomas go in as well (and maybe they do). In fact, if Bagwell is a HoFer, then Jason Giambi, Andres Galarraga, Jim Edmonds, and even Ellis Burks should at least get consideration.
To me, Bagwell is to the 1990s-2000s as Steve Garvey was to the 1970s-1980s — and Joe Torre was to the 1960s-1970s: an All-Star, an excellent all-around ballplayer, and maybe a Hall of Famer but not a shoo-in.
As for the others on the ballot, again, it’s tough. Barry Larkin is right there on the cusp, much like Bagwell. But can you vote for Larkin and not vote for Alan Trammell? I’m not sure. And if you vote in both Larkin and Trammell, then what about Lou Whitaker, who’s no longer on the ballot?
I would consider Dale Murphy and Don Mattingly for the simple reason that they both, for a short time, were considered by many to be the most dominant player in the game — or at least, among the most dominant players. But, neither kept up superior performance long enough to garner HoF votes. Personally, I’d rather see short-term dominant players like Murphy, Mattingly, Dick Allen, Luis Tiant, Vida Blue, Dwight Gooden, and J.R. Richard get more consideration. Maybe that sounds crazy but to me, if a pitcher or a batter can make his opponent soil his pants, then there is a unique greatness that should be recognized in some way. But I digress … that’s not what the HoF is about. Rather, the HoF is more about sustained goodness, and sometimes greatness, over a long period of time. And considering that, maybe Tim Raines, Jack Morris, and Lee Smith deserve your vote. Or perhaps you vote for Edgar Martinez, who might fit into that sweet spot between short-term dominance and long-term sustained goodness.
Personally, I’m glad I don’t have a vote — this is tough stuff to consider.
So how about it? Who would YOU vote for, and why? Post your ballot in the comments.