This year’s Hall of Fame ballot is very interesting.  Here are the players allowed on the 2012 ballot:

Jeff Bagwell, 1B
Jeromy Burnitz, OF *
Vinny Castilla, 3B *
Juan Gonzalez, OF
Brian Jordan, OF *
Barry Larkin, SS
Javy Lopez, C *
Edgar Martinez, 3B/DH
Don Mattingly, 1B
Fred McGriff, 1B
Mark McGwire, 1B
Jack Morris, RHP
Bill Mueller, 3B *
Terry Mulholland, LHP*
Dale Murphy, OF
Phil Nevin, 3B/1B *
Rafael Palmeiro, 1B
Brad Radke, RHP *
Tim Raines, OF
Tim Salmon, OF *
Ruben Sierra, OF *
Lee Smith, RHP
Alan Trammell, SS
Larry Walker, OF
Bernie Williams, OF *
Tony Womack, 2B/SS *
Eric Young, 2B *

* Denotes first time on the ballot

Each voter can vote for up to five players.  Here who is on my list and why:

  • Barry Larkin – He was the center of the Reds for almost a decade.  He has the MVP, lots of AS selections, lots of Silver Sluggers, and a few Golden Gloves.  If Alomar is in then Larkin has to be as I see him as a better player.
  • Juan Gonzalez – Two time MVP and five Silver Sluggers.  He was one of the most prolific hitters in the AL for years.  In his prime he was penned in for 40 plus homers and 150 plus RBIs.  His career 0.295 batting average is just the icing on the cake.
  • Dale Murphy – Two time MVP and leader for the Braves for nearly a decade.  He also put up respectable numbers for the years that he played.  He really just needs to get in, it’s been long enough and if Jim Rice gets in then Murphy needs to be in.

That’s it from me and here are some of the almost make it in my book:

  • Jeff Bagwell – He is so close, my gut tells me he’s not a Hall of Famer, but he’s about as close as he can be.  Next year at this time I might feel different but right now. I say no.
  • Jack Morris – Forget about it, no Cy Young  and not even a runner up.  In my mind  you have to win 300 games or strikeout 3000 hitters to be in the Hall of Fame if you weren’t dominant enough to win a Cy Young.
  • Lee Smith – Another guy I want to put in the Hall but he was just a good closer, who never had a Cy Young or exceptional season.  Just a guy that had a long career and saved games for good teams.
  • Rock Raines – Even with the 5th all time in SBs, it’s just not enough.  He is a career 0.294 hitter that just didn’t get enough hits.
  • Edgar Martinez – Great hitter, amazing hitter really, but if you are a DH you have to hit 3000 hits or 500 homers, which he didn’t.  I’m sorry to all the Mariner fans out there, but he’s just a no go.
  • Mark McGwire / Raffy Palmeiro – Automatic entry if not for the steroids issue.  In my mind they never ever get in.  Allowing them in just says to other hitters, admit you are wrong wait 10-12 years and you’ll get in.  It doesn’t work in my book.
  • Alan Trammell / Don Mattingly – Great hitters and because of the teams they are on, get a little more attention than they should.  Just not Hall of Fame worthy even with Mattingly’s MVP.
  • Fred McGriff / Larry Walker – Prolific home run hitters and maybe at some point they get in, but McGriff is the modern day Dave Kingman.  Larry Walker’s career mimics Albert Belle’s only he was a lot nicer than Joey.  Also he wasn’t the best player on his team (Vinny Castillo and Andres Gallaraga).

Of the first time people on the list, only Bernie Williams is worth mentioning.  Unfortunately Bernie as much as I want him to go into the Hall of Fame, just didn’t have the longevity of greatness.  No MVP award and only one Silver Slugger, just adds to my case.  His numbers are really similar to Paul O’Neill and as much of a fan as I am of him, he is also not a Hall of Famer.  Williams will make it to a 2nd and maybe a 3rd ballot, but none of the others will make it off this ballot.

Honorable Mention (just so that he gets one vote):

Brad Radke – He was like a robot on the mound, maybe the best mechanics of any pitcher I have ever seen.  Not remotely a Hall of Famer, but I really enjoyed watching him pitch.

Who is on your ballot?

The only Baseball Writers Pick for the Hall of Fame:

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11 responses »

  1. Scott says:

    Good to see some love for Murphy. If he had hit a couple of more homers to get to 400, he might have had a chance…

  2. Mike Webs says:

    The only reason why you mentioned bernie williams is because he was on great yankee teams. He wasnt the best player, but he was surrounded by mostly bought players, which made him good.

    • chemgod says:

      Although that is true for a portion of his career, he also played on some really bad Yankee teams leading up to the 1996 season. I will give you this, his numbers improved dramatically once 1996 rolled around 🙂 He still isn’t a Hall of Famer though.

      • Mike Webs says:

        People will vote for him because he was a yankee and conceded yankee fans think every player is legendary and deserves the hall of fame.

  3. Mike D says:

    I feel in this class where we are having to pine over stats with no real standout players, you might want to also consider Larry Walker. If Juan Gonzalez is being shooed in (Mike) as a no-brainer, then Walker is right there in stats, which is what we all measure, right?
    While Gonzo had above average numbers and two MVPs, notice Walker was a lifetime .313 hitter with a lifetime OBP of .400 while Gonzo was .295 and .343. Walker had 2,160 hits, over 200 more than Juan and had seasons where Walker batted .366, .363 and .379 CONSECUTIVELY. Walker also has seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, the ’97 MVP award and is in the Canadian HOF, for what that’s worth! I can also remember Walker being a top-five fantasy pick from 1997-2000, if that carries any conversative value.
    It’s all brass tacks when you have to dig for numbers to support a claim and can’t just say – Tony Gwynn, shoo in HOF – or Cal Ripken Jr., shoo in HOF.
    I think Larkin will get in and eventually Murphy will also get in. The other on my personal list would be Edgar Martinez. He did what he was asked to do as a DH, and has numbers right with Walker (2247 hits, . 312 BA, .418 OBP, 309 HR, 1,261 RBI) but was a very consistent hitter and class act on Mariner teams that were both good and bad. Murphy gets points for being a good guy, why not Edgar?
    I think over time, the argument over steroids will cease because there were so many guys either caught or accused (Re: Gonzalez, Bagwell, Pudge Rodriguez, Pujols, ARod, Clemens, Bonds, etc. etc. etc.) that the lines will likely blur because the committee will be left to choose from guys like Radke, Raines, etc. Overall, I think Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, Canseco and Clemens will all get in, it will just have to come with some kind of caviat or ruling.

    • chemgod says:

      Walker entered a real good situation in Colorado. Personally I don’t care where a person hits, but I know some writers are stingy about inflated 90s and early 2000s stats coming out of Denver. Before they ended up using the humidor balls. I feel as though Gonzo and Pudge were leaders in Texas while Walker always took second fiddle to The Cat. Gallarraga was the emotional leader of that team for years.

      • Mike D says:

        I’ll take your Colorado (good situation) comment and counter with this on Walker: when you look at the great hitters that have made the HOF, most were in “good situations”. Take the 70s Reds, Murderer’s Row, even Griffey Jr. – its nice to have Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner hitting behind you so you can see a ton of pitches. Even if Edgar and Buhner are not world beaters, they allowed The Kid to see pitches just like those Texas lineups had with Gonzo, Pudge, Dean Palmer, Hank Blalock, eventually Michael Young, etc….
        Point being, Walker was a beast in Montreal, made hitting look easy in Colorado, and continued to hit once he left the Rockies. I would also vote for Todd Helton, who has been a hitting machine since he started playing baseball.

  4. Bill says:

    You should check out the article in the latest ESPN Mag by Peter Keating (don’t buy it, just pick it up and read it – its one page). He’s a stat guys and poses using a WAAS (Wins Above All Star Level) as a new way to look at these things. Its just a high level arguement really but the basic idea was taking the WAR (Wins Above Replacement) stat up a notch. So for instance, Sandy Koufax has like 54 WAAS and Frank Tanana has a 56 or something like that – but if you take out a factor for what the average all star has each year (something like 2.5) a person played, Koufax has a 38 and Tanana has a 18. I don’t have the article right in front of me so I am going from memory. I think the minimum HOF level was something like 20.

    You are then looking at how much better did you play compared to the elite players you played with – not just any schmo replacement player. So I believe by those calculations the best candidates were (in no particular order): Bagwell, Raines, Larkin, Martinez, Williams and Trammel. I could have gotten one wrong there. McGwire and Palmiero also would be in there but…. Morris and Gonzo may have been well below what they should be.

    Not saying I buy into all this, but I just thought it was interesting.

  5. Dave says:

    Bagwell and Larkin definitely belong in. Both are in the top 20 ( maybe higher) alltime of their position regardless of how you rank players. If steroids users are out then Gaylord Perry should be as well.

  6. Leaving Morris out because he doesn’t have a Cy Young award, is more of an indication that sportswriters are jackballs than Morris being un-hall-worthy.

  7. Chris says:

    Nice “analysis”. You’re requirements of a worthy Hall of Fame candidate seem to be grounded in the 1950s with the sportswriters. Hits, batting average, and awards ‘won’ do give a clear picture of how great a player truly was. Tim Raines was on base more times in his career than Tony Gwynn. Juan Gonzalez was muscle-bound and shared a dugout with Jose Canseco just like Mark McGwire did. Jeff Bagwell was above-average to great in all facets of the game (including baserunning and defense).
    Come back to the information age.

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