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: