Thomas Wayne’s Hall of Fame Ballot
By: Thomas Wayne
Best way to get a tried and true baseball fan riled up is to tell them who does or doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame when said fan carries an opposing opinion. We’ve all cried out for those who are in Cooperstown but shouldn’t be and those who have been left out but shouldn’t have and those who will or won’t make it when their time comes. Some of us sight old school numbers and compare them with those already enshrined; others scream new school numbers and rank potential members exclusively via mathematical formula taking the debate even further.
On January 9th the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) will unveil the 2013 Hall of Fame class – a class filled with FLAT OUT STUDS, but many of those studs may have had a little help along the way via the needle or the pill. When you couple all of this with the fickle and sometimes selfish or unreasonable behavior of many of the voters of the BBWAA you get a less than accurate accounting of Hall of Fame status. Anyone remember Corky Sampson of Arizona who didn’t vote for based on the fact that he “wasn’t a Rickey guy”? It’s true, and he wasn’t alone. 28 voters didn’t vote for Rickey, presumably for bullshit personal reasons like Sampson. Under any standard, old or new, Henderson is about as Hall of Fame worthy as a man can get retiring as the all time leader in Walks, Runs, and Stolen Bases to go along with 3000 hits, an MVP, 10 all star appearances and two World Series rings yet Corky and 27 of his pals didn’t vote for him based on personal beliefs and not the facts. Here in lies the rub of Hall of Fame voting. I dare say that when you couple this hubris with the fact that the vast majority of BBWAA writers really don’t know shit about baseball-as-a-whole we get the foundations of our never ending Hall of Fame debate.
For this year, officially, there are 37 names on the ballot. Most of those guys (like , , and roughly 12 to 13 others) won’t receive a vote, except maybe from Corky, and will fall off the ballot going into next year.
That leaves us with roughly 24 or 25 men. The next group of 6 men will get some votes and may or may not hang around for a ballot or two (or more) depending on the mood of the voters: Reggie Sanders.
I can already hear some of you rumbling and mumbling from your own personal friendly confines. But keep this in mind:
Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley are two of eight men who have 300 career homers and stolen bases. The others are.
Julio Franco has over 2500 career hits. Shawn Green was a stud for a solid 8 years. Kenny Lofton, in some circles, is revered as a Tim Raines type (I don’t see it but I have heard it said). In the end all will never see enough votes to make it to Cooperstown.
That leaves us with this group of men. The men who will receive the bulk of the writer’s votes. They are as follows (along with number of years on ballot):
- Tim Raines – 6th
- Barry Bonds – 1st
- Jack Morris
- Jeff Bagwell
- Tim Raines
- Alan Trammell
- Edgar Martinez
- Larry Walker
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Mike Piazza
- Craig Biggio
The BBWAA will choose primarily from this list. The ballot allows you to vote for no one, or as many as ten.
With all of this in mind I’m going to submit my ballot – which means nothing in the large scope of things since my vote has zero pull or power for those who do or don’t get into Cooperstown.
Without further ado – here is my ballot:
That’s my ballot. Now here is my prediction – Your BBWAA voted Hall of Fame Class will be….
Jack Morris, Barry Bonds, and Craig Biggio (with Tim Raines coming up just short).
I would write more but something tells me I should save it for the comments section.
I await the debate…..