One Man's Theoretical Hall of Fame Ballot

12/21/09 in MLB   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Along with the hot-stove, the other big offseason story in baseball is, as always, the Hall of Fame vote. Seemingly every baseball fan has their own opinions on who should get in and who should not. I am no different. Below is how I would vote if given the chance. I try to be an unbiased and numbers based as possible, but as it will show, now that we’re getting into players who’s career I can remember, that can be hard.

YES

Roberto Alomar Making his ballot debut, Alomar started his career with the Padres, but was traded to Toronto in 1991, and for the next decade was among the best players in the game, much less second basemen. Alomar combined both prowess at the plate with highlight reel level defense for the Jays, Orioles, and Indians. All three of his teams at his peak were playoff teams with him around, including the ’92 and ’93 World Champion Blue Jays. After 2001, he was traded to the Mets and all of a sudden he wasn’t the same player, but Alomar recognized it and retired in 2004 at the age of 36. Despite the fall-off, he finished with over 2,700 hits and a .300/.371/.443 career line, both excellent for a second basemen. His big negative is the spitting incident, which while unfortunate, doesn’t have much of anything to do with his play. Alomar should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and of those new on the ballot, has the best chance to be elected.

Bert Blyleven I’ve spoken on Blyleven before on this website, and the argument hasn’t changed. Blyleven ranks 5th all-time in strikeouts, 9th in shutouts, and despite a reputation of not being a “winning pitcher,” 27th in wins. His career ERA is 3.18 for a very good 118 ERA+ despite a 22 year career. This ERA is better than Lefty Gomez, Ferguson Jerkins, Phil Niekro, and Robin Roberts. Pitching for a lot of mediocre teams hurt his overall record (287-250), but when he got a chance in the playoff, he shined, going 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA. Again, that’s despite a strange rep that he was “unclutch.” The numbers say otherwise, and momentum has been building for his induction. He received 62.7% of the vote last year, and with this being his 13th year on the ballot, the race is on to see if he makes it.

Barry Larkin Larkin isn’t getting that much pub, despite a 19 year career, all with the Reds. The problem is in the 80s, he was overshadowed by Ozzie Smith, and then in the 90s by Cal Ripken and the offensive explosion from shortstops. This ignores the fact that Larkin could really hit. For his career, Larkin hit .295, with an even more impressive .371 OBP, especially for a shortstop. His MVP season in 1995 was brilliant (.319/.393/.492), and his next season was even better (.317/.410/.567). His defense was also considered excellent, although thanks to Ozzie, Larkin didn’t rake in the Gold Gloves. Durability is also considered a knock, but he still played in over 2100 games. It doesn’t look like Larkin will come close to election on his first ballot, but the numbers say otherwise.

Edgar Martinez
Edgar has some significant negatives that I understand would make people not want to vote for him. Primarily, the fact he spent most of his career (1412 games) as a DH. Obviously, Edgar provided little to no defensive value for his career (although I hear when he did play third base he wasn’t bad). His other issue is thanks to the Mariners’ incompetence; his career didn’t really get going until age 27, which really hurts his career numbers. That said, Edgar could really hit. He finished his career with a 147 OPS+ (top 50 all-time), and finished with over 1.000 OPS five separate season (with one .993 thrown in there). I understand why some would say no on Edgar, and I’m probably a bit biased toward him, but there aren’t many pure hitters around like him.
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12/22/09   |   Drewcifer   |   24 respect

Gotta get Trammell in there.

I like Donnie Baseball, and he might be worth a veterans committee induction down the line, but he's not that impressive.  Not Hall of Fame stats.  However, his style and numbers jive with that of a personal favorite, and Hall of Fame member, Robin Yount.  On a yearly average, Mattingly actually has better numbers.  But like Yount, he's a great example of some who Played Baseball The Right Way.  A solid player, fan favorite, great ambassador of the game.

Raines is also due his time in the light.  Dawson, however, is not.

12/21/09   |   jerryyelverton   |   165 respect

If any player gets elected of this group, it should most definitely be Blyleven. If his stats are not deserving, then none of them are.

Alomar was one of the best all-around 2nd basemen of the last fifty years. If you only compare him to other 2nd basemen, he belongs.

Dawson probably will make it eventually, if not this year.

Murphy, Martinez, and Mattingly were huge fan favorites (myself included), but I have rigid standards and don't think they belong. However, there are many others already in the hall who don't belong either.

McGwire has the numbers, but the roid factor will keep him out.

12/21/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

wrote:
The problem is none, and I mean none, of these guys scream "Hall of Famer" to me. Alomar? I guess. He was the best 2B throughout his career. Was that career better than recent inductee Ryne Sandberg? Or future inductee Jeff Kent? I don't think so. Blyleven deserves to be in. Everyone else is borderline at best. I'm a bit of an elitist; I believe the Hall of Fame is truly for the greatest players ever, and if there's any doubt about a player's worth reaching that level, then it should be a "No." There's many more players who are in that I don't think should be than there are players who I feel are deserving but aren't in yet.

Alomar: .300/.371/.443, 2724 hits, 116 OPS+
Sandberg: .285/.344/.452, 2386 hits, 114 OPS+

Looks pretty similar to me, once adjusted for Alomar playing in a higher scoring environment. I don't know, I really don't think my standards are particularly low. Who are these players more deserving you speak of?

12/21/09   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

gobigblue1960 wrote:
These pitchers all are in the Hall of Fame...Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson, Joe McGinnity, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Don Drysdale, and Hal Newhowser. What do they all have in common, besides being in the HOF.? They all won fewer games than Jack Morris, who won 254.
Jack Morris won three World Series rings, with the Tigers, the Twins, and the Blue Jays. In the 1984 post-season Morris allowed only 5 runs in 26 innings, going 3-0 in his three starts. He was the 1991 WS MVP, and his classic 10 inning, 1-0 series clinching win over the Braves is one of the greatest performances in WS history.
Morris won more games over a 14 year span (1979-1992) than any other pitcher, and started over 500 games in a row.
All of this malarkey about his ERA ...Jack Morris pitched in Tiger Stadium for 12 years, hardly a pitchers ballpark.
One more thing...from 1979 to 1992, Morris won 65 more games than HOF pitcher Nolan Ryan...oh, one more thing...Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

According to BR, during Morris' time in Detroit, Tiger Stadium was a slight hitters park, then became more neutral in 1982 and stay neutral (or even slightly a pitcher's park.

As for the ERA, 3.90 is not just higher than any current HoF'er, it's higher by a lot. The current highest is Red Ruffing's 3.80, who is a borderline selection, at best.

12/21/09   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

gobigblue1960 wrote:
Pioneering the head first slide.? Sorry, but Pete Rose started sliding head first out of the womb.

Yes, I know. But I had to get in the line about diving in head first so he didn't break his cocaine bottle.

12/21/09   |   gobigblue1960   |   4803 respect

100%InjuryRate wrote:
"Rock" Raines. Pioneering the head first slide, thanks to having cocaine in his back pocket.

Pioneering the head first slide.? Sorry, but Pete Rose started sliding head first out of the womb.

12/21/09   |   gobigblue1960   |   4803 respect

These pitchers all are in the Hall of Fame...Carl Hubbell, Bob Gibson, Joe McGinnity, Juan Marichal, Whitey Ford, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Don Drysdale, and Hal Newhowser. What do they all have in common, besides being in the HOF.? They all won fewer games than Jack Morris, who won 254.
Jack Morris won three World Series rings, with the Tigers, the Twins, and the Blue Jays. In the 1984 post-season Morris allowed only 5 runs in 26 innings, going 3-0 in his three starts. He was the 1991 WS MVP, and his classic 10 inning, 1-0 series clinching win over the Braves is one of the greatest performances in WS history.
Morris won more games over a 14 year span (1979-1992) than any other pitcher, and started over 500 games in a row.
All of this malarkey about his ERA ...Jack Morris pitched in Tiger Stadium for 12 years, hardly a pitchers ballpark.
One more thing...from 1979 to 1992, Morris won 65 more games than HOF pitcher Nolan Ryan...oh, one more thing...Jack Morris belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

12/21/09   |   marcus_nyce   |   27038 respect

As an EXPOS fan I like the love you're showing Raines. The guy was awesome. Yeah, I'm biased, but whatever. Hawk should be in too.

12/21/09   |   Dream_Machine   |   13216 respect

TheRoss wrote:

I have a hard time putting in Martinez over a lot of guys already on the ballot.

Being A Seattle Mariner Fan, I Can Honestly Say That You Have A Point. Being A DH Hurt His Chances To Show If He Had Any Defensive Capabilities But He Will Surely Be A Hall Of Famer, Without A Doubt. Just Not This Year.

12/21/09   |   mk_donley   |   2554 respect

This Year: Robby Alomar. Next Year: Bert Blyleven.

12/21/09   |   TheRoss   |   356 respect

I have a hard time putting in Martinez over a lot of guys already on the ballot.

12/21/09   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

"Rock" Raines. Pioneering the head first slide, thanks to having cocaine in his back pocket.