Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Jeff's Hall of Fame Ballot

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season.  After a short holiday-related hiatus, the blog is back and will be operating as normal from now on.  Look for posts roughly every 3 days up until the season starts.

A Few Words About My Votes

It's time for everyone to get over the steroid era.  Baseball has been here before with a little thing called the "dead-ball era".  Now I'm not going to be the first, or the last, to suggest that we all realize that we just lived through the "Steroid Era".  So many players have admitted, been outed, or hinted at using PED's that we really just need to accept that it was seemingly pervasive throughout baseball.  Take it how you will, but cheating is kind of a part of the game.  Whether it be players corking their bats, putting pine tar in their gloves or stealing signs; cheating is an integral part of the game.  (This coming from a guy who, in high school, specialized in interpreting the signs from the opposing teams).  I've come to terms with it, and you should too. That's my opinion at least, take it or leave it.

So when voting there are only 2 questions I ask myself.  1. Is he a Hall of Famer? and 2. Is he a 1st Ballot Hall of Famer?  I know these are vague, but the selection criteria is a little vague so blame Cooperstown, not me.

So that said, here would be my ballot if the BBWAA were to ask me (They won't).

In no particular order:

Barry Larkin
The 1995 NL MVP will go down as one of the best all-around SS that anyone younger than 40 has ever seen.

Edgar Martinez
He was a DH.  This is not a problem for me.  Still the gold standard in my book, and the guy who made the position more than just a spot to throw a bench hitter.

Mark McGwire
Given my thoughts on the 'Steroid Era' this one is a given.  583 career HRs and a career OBP near .400.

Jeff Bagwell
Bagwell had a career line of .297/.408/.540 and hit 449 career HRs.  Add a HoF Plaque to his mantle, next to his MVP and Rookie of the Year trophies.

Rafael Palmeiro
Raffy is one of the more debatable guys here given his unique steroid situation.  However, the guy hit 569 career HRs and played over 150 games in 15 of his 20 seasons in the big leagues (counting his first two years which were partial seasons).

Honorable Mention:

Larry Walker - I think that if he played outside of Coors he wouldn't have had the career he had.

Bernie Williams - Not a first ballot Hall Of Famer.  He gets my vote next year.

I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts in the comments below!

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