HoF voting concluded and voting is announced next week. By all counts, a weak crop – mostly of holdovers – but with the recent steroid era having ‘ended,’ old players are getting fresh shots.
As all of my closest and most thorough baseball fan friends, I would like all of your "ballots" with or without reasons when you get a chance, ideally before the real voting is announced. Without further adieu, here are the candidates as well as some comments from yours truly. All players are linked to their Baseball Reference pages for easy statistical overview.
- Barry Larkin –> potentially, but not a first balloter in MY book. I loved him, and Jared will attest he was my ‘shortstop’ on our front yard baseball games, but even with an MVP & WS Ring, it troubles me to see him as an automatic HoFer.
- Jeff Bagwell –> would have said no until about a year ago. I’m softening on him, and I really like him but still NOT yet. I think of Fred McGriff more than I think of Frank Thomas.
- Edgar Martinez –> no, a DH
- Tim Raines –> emphatically YES. 2nd best leadoff hitter of all time. great, overlooked ballplayer.
- Alan Trammell –> No
- Mark McGwire –> YES. Controversial, but I give him credit (literally) for helping ‘save’ the game. Numbers aren’t even outstanding, but enough baseball memories to span many lifetimes. This is the first ‘ballot’ I’ve considered him a yes.
- Larry Walker –> Closer than I thought, but no. Sorry, Colorado & hockey fans.
- Lee Smith —> I would like to say I’d feel bad about this one, but I really don’t. Saves are cheap, and unless you’re Eck or Mo Rivera dominant, I am hard-pressed to give closers a real shot.
- Jack Morris –> No. I typed YES even initially here, then though ‘Jack Morris in the Hall? Not quite.’
- Don Mattingly —> Love love love this guy and what he represents but five great years not enough.
- Rafael Palmerio —> cmon
- Fred McGriff —> 2nd favorite player for a time growing up and better credentials than you think, but No.
- Dale Murphy —> YES. Will not get in, but two MVPs and a career with a stellar body of work.
- Bernie Williams –> No, but at least makes my personal ‘cut’ of guys worth talking about.
And the cutoff, or players not really worth talking about: