Monday, January 7, 2013

My Hall of Fame Ballot

After examining the Hall of Fame ballot holdovers and newcomers, here are the ten players I would vote for on my imaginary ballot:

Mark McGwire-Hit home runs at a faster clip than anyone else and has a claim as the top power hitter in baseball history, or at least the greatest from the right side (with all due respect to Jimmie Foxx and Harmon Killebrew)

Curt Schilling-Three seasons with at least 300 strikeouts and a postseason legend.

Jeff Bagwell-Maybe the finest all-around first baseman since World War II, at least until Albert Pujols came along

Edgar Martinez-The best Designated Hitter in baseball history (but David Ortiz is making it close)

Tim Raines-Best leadoff hitter not named Rickey Henderson

Sammy Sosa-The only player with three 60 home run seasons

Barry Bonds-Possibly the greatest player of all time. You could make the case he was better than Babe Ruth.

Craig Biggio-Diverse statistical portfolio includes 3,060 hits, 1,844 runs and 668 doubles

Mike Piazza-The best hitting catcher of all time blows away Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, and Mickey Cochrane in terms of offensive production

Roger Clemens-Arguably the greatest pitcher of all time

Given the strength of this year's ballot I encountered overflow, meaning there were several candidates I believe had Hall of Fame caliber careers and would vote for them under normal circumstances. I think the following players deserve to be inducted, but there's just not enough room for them on this year's ballot:

Fred McGriff-As many career home runs as Lou Gehrig

Rafael Palmeiro-One of just four players (Eddie Murray, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron are the others) with at least 3,000 career hits and 500 dingers

Alan Trammell-I'm not impressed by his offensive statistics, but he's one of the best two-way shortstops that ever played

Larry Walker-If you want to exclude him from Cooperstown because of his Coors Field split, then do you want to kick out every player who took advantage of a hitting-friendly environment?

Lastly, I thought long and hard about these guys, but decided they ultimately fall short of Cooperstown's standards:

Jack Morris-Outstanding big game pitcher, but his regular season numbers are too pedestrian

Dale Murphy-Great guy had some outstanding seasons, but not enough of them

Kenny Lofton-Poor man's Tim Raines was the perfect table setter for Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez and Albert Belle in Cleveland

Lee Smith-Many good seasons, but few great ones

Don Mattingly-See Murphy, Dale


  1. Larry Walker was a very good player but Coors Field made him a superstar. 70 pt higher home batting average for his career .348 v .278. And his splits for his Coors Field years are even greater.
    So, to answer your question. Yes, I would exclude them from the HOF providing their home field offered them the same advantage as Coors Field. Unless they performed like a HOF'er on the road also

  2. OPS+ factors a player's home ballpark into account, and his 141 OPS+ rates higher than Duke Snider, Ken Griffey Jr., and Dave Winfield, to name a few. It's easy to dismiss Walker as a product of Coors Field even though he was already a great player in Montreal before he joined the Rockies and continued to be great after he left Colorado.

    Baseball Reference can neutralize a player's hitting statistics to put them in the context of a neutral run scoring environment, and even then Walker still has a .294/.378/.530 batting line and 357 home runs. Those aren't slam dunk Hall of Fame figures, but they're good enough for me.

    People lose sight of the fact that he was a terrific hitter and would have been a great player anywhere. Probably wouldn't have won the batting titles and MVP, but still a terrific all-around player.

  3. l think that BB can be justifiably given Ruth's unofficial title. I will admit Ruth was a five-tool player in his younger days, but Bonds was like a left-handed Say Hey Kid. Ruth could run, hit for power and average, field and throw. But Barry could run as fast as Bo, smash the ball with unmatchable power, hit well enough for a batting title or two(Ruth was unlucky enough to play at about the same time as Ty Cobb, and by the time Ty was gone, so was Ruth's ability to hit for high averages)and field well enough to contend for Gold Gloves. No disrespect for the slugging and OPS. champ, but Barry's better.