Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Hall of Fame Ballot

Don't worry, I really don't get to vote.  Most years people have strong opinions about the players that get voted into the Hall of Fame and this year is no different.  I've seen arguments all over the place debating the credentials of players on the ballot and whether or not players who played in the steriod era should be included in the Hall.  At times this debate could be contentious, so I have generally steered clear of the topic until today.

The Hall of Fame debate this year seems more like a hearing on gun control than a debate about a game.  Everyone has an opinion on the issue of gun control and their is little you can often do to sway someone one way or the other on the topic.  The issue of steroids and the Hall of Fame seems to be a similar debate at this point.  Some people few the crowd of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Roger Clemens as permanently tainted while others argue that many players cheated and they should be put in since the field was really level.

What do I think?  I am going to give a quick look at my ballot in baseball cards, of course, and I will explain a little bit about each vote.  I will start off by say that as I have gotten older it is much easier for me to have an opinion about the players since I saw all of the people first hand.   I am sure some people are debated out...

Jeff Bagwell- Bagwell was the National League MVP in 1994, won the Rookie of the Year in 1991, and made four All-Star appearances at first base, which is always a hard position to make an All-Star team.  He missed the 500 home run plateau, but still ended up with over 400.  He also stole over 200 bases.  As a Cardinals fan, Jeff Bagwell spent many summers between being one of my most feared opponents.  However, unlike Barry Bonds, there was a level of respect with Bagwell and Biggio.  

Craig Biggio- He was a catcher, 2nd baseman, and an outfielder at different points of his career which is impressive.  Throw in the fact that he had over 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, and stole over 400 bases.  I loved watching Biggio play and could always enjoy Astros games with Biggio at the top of the line up and Bagwell, Berkman, Alou, and others hitting behind him.  One of the best teams I have ever seen in person, not sure how they didn't win the World Series, was the 1998 Astros.  

Edgar Martinez- The DH has now been around for forty years and I am not sure there is a DH in the Hall of Fame.  Not that there needs to be one just to have one, but Edgar Martinez is the best of the lot in my opinion.  He won two batting titles, hit over .300 for his career, and was an All-Star, Silver Slugger, and MVP vote recipient frequently throughout his career.  He was the "protection" in the line-up for Ken Griffey Jr. for the first half, or about 450 home runs, of his career.  

Fred McGriff- One of the true victims of the steriod era was Fred McGriff.  His career started just before the steroid era and ended somewhere near the end.  He almost hit 500 home runs, made multiple All-Star games, and was a key player on the run of 90s Braves playoff teams.  His comparables on Baseball Reference are Willie McCovey and Willie Stargell.  If McGriff had played ten years earlier he'd be in with little fanfare.  

Mike Piazza - Greatest offensive catcher ever and Florida Marlin for a week.  I know there is a lot of "suspicion" around Piazza, but if nothing comes out then put him in the Hall.  I am not sure their is an offensive statistic, besides steals, that he is not the all-time leader at for catchers.  

Tim Raines - Won stolen base titles at the same time as Rickey Henderson and played in Montreal.  He also has almost 3,000 hits to go along with almost 1,500 walks, and 800 stolen bases.  The stolen bases are about 100 short of Lou Brock, but he got caught half the number of times as the Hall of Fame outfielder.  He was also on-base more.  

Curt Schilling- He was similar to Don Drysdale during the regular season with innings pitched and strikeouts and similar to Bob Gibson during the post season with key performances and wins during the postseason.  Three World Series rings and 3000 strikeouts say he is in the Hall.  

1 comment:

  1. 1) Bonds
    2) Clemens
    3) Biggio
    4) Raines
    5) Schilling
    6) Trammell
    7) Bagwell
    8) Piazza
    9) McGwire
    10) Sosa

    Sanctimonious baseball writers who think that the HOF has integrity can blow it out their asses. Kick out all the greenie users if you're going to keep out the PED users (Yes, I'm looking at you Hank Aaron)