Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot/thoughts

This is my first foray into picking HOFer, er potential ones anyway, as a member of the BBA.  I will probably match many of my fellow bloggers on most things, given the players listed for 2012.  But, if you've been reading along at all, you know I have some pretty weird quirks and I'm sure some of those will find their way into my decision making.  My criteria for choosing certain players hinges on one thing - do I think the player is "Hall-worthy."

And, before we get started, let's just clear something up right here: The late-great players that have been in the Hall since its inception (not all, I know!) have been boozers, potheads, schizos, womanizers, whatever.  As I read on another post, I'm not looking for players that helped old ladies across the street (though that helps in my book), but players who should be listed in the Hall because they deserve to in the Hall of FAME.  Are they baseball-famous?  Would a sports fan, possibly even a casual one, know who this person is due to their contribution to baseball?  Infamy can work just as well as fame. Well, maybe. Sometimes not so much.

Naturally, these are not sorted in any form or fashion. However, I will list my top 5 or 10 or whatever at the end.

Barry Larkin - One of my favorite players during the height of my early collecting years. HOFer? Maybe. He's a cusp vote in my book. Vote: MAYBE

Jack Morris - Another cusp vote. Hard to say outright, but with the other names on here, I don't see him making it. Fair or not, that's the way it happens. Vote: MAYBE

Juan Gonzalez - How is he not already in? Seriously. He'd get a yes from me. Vote: YES

Lee Smith - Without looking up any numbers whatsoever, I don't recall much about Smith. I'll say no based on that alone. Vote: NO

Jeff Bagwell - Of course. Bagwell, for me, is synonymous with the Astros and a name that stands out among the others. Er, well, some of the others. Enough to get my vote. Vote: YES

Tim Raines - How is he not already in? Yes, it is time to put Tim Raines in the HOF. Vote: YES

Edgar Martinez - Mariners perennial. As soon as I see the name, I think of a kickin' 3rd baseman that I watched play for many years. A career Seattle player that ought to be in the Hall. Vote: YES

Alan Trammell - I know the name instantly. Is he Hall-worthy, though? Not that I can think of. Maybe his numbers say something else, but not off the top of my head. Vote: NO

Larry Walker - Like Trammel, I know the name, but can't see him in the Hall. Sorry, guy. Vote: NO

Mark McGwire - Ah, the steroids poster boy. Here's the thing: Pete Rose is booted for life because he got caught betting on baseball, as a MANAGER. McGwire used 'roids as a PLAYER. The "Pete Rose Barometer" needs to be abolished. He and Sosa should be in Hall. Period. Steroids or not, a player still has to hit a ball coming at them at 95+ miles per hour. Steroids or not, I can't do it. Can you? Oh, I know, the argument is more about the distance, power, etc.  Whatever. You could walk up to just about anyone on the street and mention his name and people will know who he is. Vote: YES

Fred McGriff - The Crime Dog!  Of course he goes in the Hall!  DUH! Vote: YES

Don Mattingly - How in the heck is DON "FREAKIN" MATTINGLY not already in the baseball Hall of Fame!?  Seriously.  Don Mattingly!?  Hello, people! Vote: YES

Dale Murphy - Refer to comment above.  It is DALE "FREAKIN" MURPHY here, folks!  Come on. How do people like Murphy not get into the Hall on the first ballot!?  The system, my friends, is broken.  Vote: YES

Rafael Palmeiro - Ah, yes, another 'besmirching' name for the Hall.  Like McGwire, I would venture that even non-fans know his name, probably would say he was an Oriole (without even knowing who the Orioles were), and would say, "Isn't he in the Hall with Babe Ruth?" Well, okay, maybe a stretch there at the last, but you get my point. Vote: YES

Bernie Williams - I could see him in. I could see him not in. Another cusp player for me. Vote: MAYBE

Vinny Castilla - Probably not. I have no reason other than my gut telling me no. Vote: NO

Javy Lopez - I don't know why, but I think he should be in there.  For me, Javy is one of those players that immediately brings baseball to mind. And for that alone, I'll say yes. Vote: YES

Ruben Sierra - Meh. Like several others, I know the name but very little about his career or his contributions to baseball as a whole.  For that, I say maybe. Vote: MAYBE

Jeromy Burnitz - I can't think of why he would be in the Hall. Vote: NO

Tim Salmon - Nothing jumps out at me here. Vote: NO

Tony Womack - Never heard of him. Vote: NO

Phil Nevin - I actually thought he was a pitcher. Turns out he was an infielder. There's all I need to vote. I didn't remember anything about him. Vote: NO

Brian Jordan - Okay, another name that rings no bells whatsoever. Vote: NO

Eric Young - Hmmm... Trying to recall... Nope. Nada. Sorry, man. Vote: NO

Bill Mueller - Again, nothing rings a bell.  In fact, I'm starting to get cobwebs up there. Vote: NO

Terry Mulholland - Ah, pitcher. A name I know. Not sure Hall-worthy, though. He's probably cusp for me at best. Vote: MAYBE

Brad Radke - Another name I know, but not sure if he is Hall material.  Let him ride the fence. Vote: MAYBE

So, let me review my picks (in order of appearance, not my voting order):
Juan Gonzalez, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Javy Lopez

And now, let's put them in order of my vote:
Dale Murphy
Don Mattingly
Jeff Bagwell
Juan Gonzalez
Edgar Martinez
Tim Raines
Javy Lopez
Fred McGriff
Rafael Palmeiro
Mark McGwire

And, lookie there, I ended up with exactly ten names. Without even trying.  I guess things just have a way or working out, eh.  Feel free to comment.  Have fun!


  1. Interesting post!
    I always start by admitting I am an HOF elitist...only the best of the best get in my ideal BBHOF.
    Of your 10, my only "NO WAY" goes to Javy Lopez.
    A softer "no" goes to Juan Gonzalez, Mattingley and Edgar.
    I am lukewarm on Murphy, Raines and McGriff.

  2. On behalf of the 'Still can't hate him' club, thanks for the McGwire vote!

  3. I don't buy the Hall as a recognizer of players who are already famous. The Hall should reward the best players, thus bestowing perpetual fame upon them. If we all voted for the guys we remember, Doc Gooden and John Rocker would be in the Hall, but future generations would never learn about worthy players like Raines and Blyleven. Larkin and Walker helped their teams win far more baseball games than Mattingly and JuanGone... and Terry Mulholland, for that matter.

  4. My areas of greatest disagreement are (1) Javy Lopez - are you serious? and (2) Jack Morris doesn't even deserve your MAYBE. On the other hand, love your blunt statements of disbelief regarding one-day HOFers Don Mattingly and Tim Raines (did these writers watch any baseball?)