Looking at the Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot (Part Three): The Second Half of the Newbies
In my mind, Aaron Sele was a decent mid-level starter most of his career. What surprised me is that after his first three seasons, he only had one other season with an ERA under 4, a 3.60 in 2001 with the 116 win Mariners. He went to the Angels after that and was never close to that good.
Sammy Sosa: NO
This ballot makes it very hard to be fully objective, and it shows here. Part of it is there are returning players I want to vote for, and if I’m keeping with the 10 yes votes only rule, someone has to get bumped. Sosa’s main qualifier for induction is his 609 career home runs, 8th all time. Despite that, his career line of .273/.344/.534, good for just a 128 OPS+. That’s not everything of course, but it’s interesting to note. Early in Sosa’s career he was a low power, low OBP flailer. Sosa’s OBP problems continued until the famous 1998 season. The year before he hit just .251/.300/.480 (in fairness, he had three pretty good years before hand). 1998, of course, started a six year run as a Superman. If this were a less crowded ballot, I’d stop making excuses and say Yes, but there are players I want to vote for *more* than Sosa.
Mike Stanton: NO
Stanton pitched for 19 years in the big leagues, which is what happens when you are a reasonably competent left handed reliever. Obviously, reasonably competent left handed reliever does not equal Hall of Famer.
Todd Walker: NO
Todd Walker has the lowest career WAR of anyone on this year’s ballot, with 8.3 according to Baseball Reference. If it weren’t for his time in the fishbowl that was the 2003 Boston Red Sox, I doubt many of us would remember him.
David Wells: NO
A first ballot Hall of Personality inductee, Wells could throw a lot of innings, and didn’t walk anybody. However, he had surprisingly few great years, a heck of a lot of slightly above average ones, and finished with a career ERA of 4.13, which doesn’t cut it even in such a high offensive era. I didn’t think Wells was a Hall of Famer by any means, but before I looked I thought he was closer than that.
Rondell White: NO
This ballot is full of outfielders who were above average for a good long time. White is the final one of those on this ballot. It’s nice to see him, Conine, Finley, Green, Sanders, and Klesko get a hat tip before they fall off the ballot for good in a few weeks.
Woody Williams: NO
I’ll be honest. I had no idea Woody Williams had been retired for 5 years already. A career 4.18 ERA obviously isn’t close to enough.
Tomorrow we conclude with a look at the returning players. To review, so far I’ve voted yes on 5 players: Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, and Schilling.