By In Baseball, Hall of Fame

A Special Hall of Fame Ballot

OK, here’s a poll that will lead to our next Hall of Fame post … I put up a survey here. On it are are the 21 best players on the 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot — or, anyway, the 21 players most likely to get serious Hall of Fame consideration. It was 20 — I originally forgot Larry Walker. I got him on there, so that it shouldn’t affect the voting.

Anyway: Your mission is to vote, of course. But we’re going to do it a little bit differently this time. Instead of just checking off the candidates you like for the Hall of Fame, you actually have to RANK the players you are voting for. This idea comes from Tom Tango and Bill James — more on that in the next post.

For now, all you need to do is vote the players you think belong in the Hall of Fame IN ORDER. So, if you have 10 players you want to vote for the Hall of Fame (remember, 10 is the limit), you have to rank them 1-through-10. So if you think Greg Maddux is the best person on the ballot, you vote him No. 1. If you think then it’s Edgar Martinez, you vote him No. 2. If you think then it’s Lee Smith, you vote him No. 3. And so on.

If you only want to vote for one person, say Jack Morris, then click him at No. 1 and send click “send survey.” This option is really only for Murray Chass.

This should be fun.

Again, the survey is here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

81 Responses to A Special Hall of Fame Ballot

  1. terry says:

    Joe I love your sport blog buddy, man stop by and show us some love too bro http://fohmat.com/tag/loudoun-roofing-company/

  2. invitro says:

    Larry Walker? 🙁

    • Rob Smith says:

      Isn’t Walker the definition of borderlline candidate? I could go either way on him depending on the day. That said, I think he’ll get in eventually. But I don’t think it will be in the next few years with the crammed ballot and all the steroid cheats and rumored cheats. Those that vote for the cheats and rumored cheats can fill up their ballots and mess it up for the borderline guys. Since the cheats, at least the convicted cheats, won’t get enough votes to actually get in the HOF, this could repeat itself for quite a few years.

    • invitro says:

      Well, no, I don’t see how Walker is anything close to borderline. He is #9 among RFs in JAWS. Ok, maybe you don’t like WAR and like OPS+… well, he’s #11 in OPS+. I guess I’m missing something, and it’s not Coors Field, as both of those correct for park advantage. I know the readers here don’t like him (he got only 50% in the BRHoF vote). Maybe he missed too many games or didn’t have a long enough career. Or is too Canadian.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Well, no, he’s not 11th in OPS+. He’s tied for 68th in OPS+ and 85th in WAR. He’s 16th on standard OPS, so you can see the park adjusted number causes a large drop. Yes, Coors field is a factor and it shows once his numbers are adjusted for park effects. Baseball writers like him even less than the BRs since he got slightly over 20% on the real HOF vote last year. You can make the argument for Walker, but he far from a slam dunk elite player once you adjust for Coors. Maybe you could propose a Canadian HOF. He’d definitely be in that…. and probably already is in one somewhere.

    • invitro says:

      Well, since I said “#9 among RFs in JAWS” I thought it was clear that “#11 in OPS+” was referring to RFs. Again, Coors Field is not a factor even a tiny little bit in either WAR or OPS+.

      Do you think everyone over “borderline” is “slam dunk elite”, or do you think there may be a little bit of room for “easy HoFer”? 🙂

      Among RFers, I might call Dwight Evans a definition of a borderline candidate.

  3. Devon Young says:

    OOhh are we doing a borda count? 😀 That would be awesome! Ever since I read http://baseballmusings.com/?p=90998, I’ve wished they did borda count’s for HOF voting, especially since all the other seasonal awards are done that way & they play heavily on voters minds when voting for Cooperstown. Ok, ’nuff said, off to the survey. Just had to express my support for the idea.

  4. Bob says:

    My votes are in….and I do think this would be an interesting way to do the votes. They already to the MVP, CY, and so on this way…why not the HOF?

  5. Trent Phloog says:

    What terrible choices this ballot forces on you… I voted for 10 and would have gone for 18 if I could. Too many deserving candidates. Get on it, HOF voters!

  6. Adam says:

    E gad. I didn’t find the ranking that hard for the first 7 or 8.

    But I ranked 10 obvious Hall of Fame players and realized I left Glavine off my list. Trying to pick THE 10th player was hard. I would have voted for 13 or 14 if I could and there are at least 3 or 4 other candidates who probably deserve a closer look. Might be 20 eventaul Hall of Fame players on that list, IF we change the voting.

    • Rob Smith says:

      You left a two time Cy Young Award winner (with two 2nds and two 3rds) and 300 game winner off for who? Come on. Glavine was 3rd on my list. No worse than 4th or 5th. Even if you’re caving on all of the blatant steroid users, he’s still eighth or ninth at worst. What was your criteria?

    • Driver says:

      Relax, he said he “realized he left him off,” not that he had made a careful evaluation and Glavine fell short. For my part, I had him 7th or 8th.

    • Driver says:

      Relax, he said he “realized he left him off,” not that he had made a careful evaluation and Glavine fell short. For my part, I had him 7th or 8th.

  7. I could only convince myself to vote for 3. Some very good players, but HOF? Not quite there.

    • Owen Ranger says:

      Is that because you left off Clemens/Bonds/Sosa/Palmeiro/McGwire for steroids? Even without them, I fail to understand how you didn’t at least vote for Maddux, Glavine, Piazza, Bagwell, and Thomas, to say nothing of Biggio or Raines.

    • David Barry says:

      I assume he is a small hall kind of guy and rejects people who have steroid accusations so that removes Piazza and Bagwell. That would leave just Maddux, Glavin and Thomas (I would assume is his ballot) and I think this is the most we can expect to have a chance with maybe Morris slipping in as well as Bagwell and Raines gaining. I am relatively big hall kind of guy and felt bad leaving so many names off.

    • Rob Smith says:

      After researching Piazza and Bagwell pretty thoroughly, there is really no evidence that either used steroids. With Piazza, speculation comes from his size, bacne and his low draft position. With Bagwell, it’s his size and being teammates and friends with guys like Caminiti. I’m OK with voters taking a few more years to sort out what’s rumor vs. fact, but today, I can’t convict them, so I added them to my list. I also went with Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Biggio and Schilling.

  8. Ian R. says:

    Man, that was tough. I would have voted for 15 if I could.

    I left Bonds and Clemens off my ballot not because I don’t think they’re Hall of Famers, but just because there are so many other great candidates that I’m OK with making them wait.

  9. ceolaf says:

    An idea for a companion survey:

    When you vote in these surveys do you:
    A) Go with your gut and vote pretty quickly.
    B) Think on it, reconsider, change your mind a bit and then submit your answers?
    C) Do research, compare numbers, study and taken it somewhat seriously?
    D) Take it as seriously with as much thought and research as you think actual HOF votes ought to?

  10. Paul Zummo says:

    I voted for Bonds but not Clemens. Admittedly that’s the Mike Piazza fan in me and not the rational part of me making that decision.

    There were a couple of guys that I left off that I otherwise would have liked to have voted for – Edgar Martinez and Mussina especially. It’ll be interesting to see the results of this one.

  11. Vin says:

    I don’t care a whit about steroids and did this without thinking too hard about it. Here’s my ballot:

    1) Barry Bonds
    2) Roger Clemens
    3) Greg Maddux
    4) Mike Piazza
    5) Jeff Bagwell
    6) Tim Raines
    7) Craig Biggio
    8) Frank Thomas
    9) Tom Glavine
    10) Curt Schilling

    It’s a stacked ballot. I also think McGwire and Trammell are HOFers, and I’m open to arguments on Edgar, Walker and Mussina.

    • Almost exactly the same ballot as mine. Even the order is similar. I had Glavine 10th and did have Edgar and Trammell but not Biggio or Schilling although I think both belong.

      My argument for Edgar is that he was one of the greatest hitters in the history of the game. There is ample precedent for putting great hitters who were poor fielders in the HOF. His hitting stats, whether looking at the traditional or advanced ones single him out as a great offensive force.

      The DH is now 41 years old, enough time for it to have become traditional itself. It has been around almost as long as the lively ball era before its existence, and promises to outlast that 52 year period. While I think it legitimate to require a higher level of performance for DHs to earn enshrinement than it does for position players, when after 41 years you are arguably the best ever-certainly in the top 3, and carved out an 18 year career of superb play, I think you deserve the honor.

      In some ways it is analogous to the entry of relievers, who, in my view, must be even more outstanding to deserve consideration. Right now I would probably only vote for 2 or 3 full time relievers, perhaps not even that many. So with the DH, the role has become significant, and when filled brilliantly the player should be rewarded with the HOF to memorialize that brilliance.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Edgar Martinez is one of the greatest hitters of all time? A 147 OPS+ and a 68 WAR are nice numbers but nowhere near greatest of all time. None of his numbers are at that level. You can argue that he should be in the HOF, but he’d be at the low end, especially since he played no defense. If you disagree, make your case.

    • blovy8 says:

      A case can also be made that its harder to hit as a DH exclusively. And while Edgar didn’t provide any defensive value in his later years, he was an average 3B moved off the spot because of the fear of injury, not because he couldn’t play there. He could easily have played 1st as well as contemporaries like Frank Thomas and Jim Thome who won’t carry the same stigma. That said, he couldn’t crack my top ten either, since his career was a bit too short and there are just a lot of great players there. If it came down to it, I might find a way to have he or Larry Walker on my ballot, but for whatever reason I feel like Trammell deserves the vote more.

    • Ian R. says:

      If you look only at the offensive portion of WAR, Edgar is comfortably in the top 75 all-time at #67. If you look at OPS+, he just misses the top 40 (he’s in a six-way tie with four Hall of Famers and Jim Thome for #41), and many of the guys ahead of him had much shorter careers than he did.

      I suppose it depends on how you define ‘one of the greatest hitters of all time.’ If only the top 10 or top 20 are among the greatest, then sure, he’s on the outside looking in. If you consider everyone in the top 40 to be one of the greatest, he has a case.

    • We can use many different sorts of advanced stats to measure a hitter’s value. For example, lets consider George Brett, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Edgar Martinez. Now, let me be clear. Emphatically, I am not saying Edgar is as good a player as any of them, but I think it fair to say that the first three are considered great hitters. It seems to me that if a hitter is in their company, he is among the greatest hitters of all time.

      Here is each of their wRC+: Brett: 132; Aaron: 153; Mays: 154; Edgar: 147. Are those 6-7 points enough to say Edgar is not reasonably close to Mays and Aaron? Are those 15 points enough to say that he was a better hitter than Brett-by that measurement?

      Another measure, wOBA:
      Brett: .374; Aaron: .403; Mays: .409; Edgar: .405

      In no way do I claim those two stats are sufficient demonstration, but considering all the players who have ever played the game, I think it fair to say that Edgar is among the greatest. I don’t think you have to be Bonds or Ruth or A-Rod to be counted among the elite.

      WAR of course would not place him there, but that number considers many non-offensive categories. If we consider Edgar among DHs, he is miles ahead of most. For example, Hal McRae was a solid DH for much of his career, and his WAR (by Fangraphs) is 28.7. Baines, who has some supporters (not me) is 38.4. David Ortiz has earned 40.9 so far.

      Consider, Edgar had 9 seasons of WAR between 5.3-7 as a DH. Once we accept the role of DH as legitimate, and 41 years ought to allow us to consider that view, then it is just a matter of deciding where the line(s) is/are for a DH to require consideration. I think if Edgar is the bar, the line is very high.

    • Rob Smith says:

      If you are taking the tact that Edgar is the best DH of all time, I can live with that. I haven’t looked closely, but I’m guessing he is pretty clearly the best DH of all time. One of the Greatest of all time, however, isn’t the Top 50 or 75 in a well known offensive category (OPS+, WAR, etc), nor is it cherry picking obscure stats to show parity with Willie Mays.

    • http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/onbase_plus_slugging_plus_career.shtml

      Edgar is tied for 41st in adjusted OPS+, tied with Mike Schmidt, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, Jim Thome and Sam Thompson. The actual number, 147, is the 24th best mark in history. So by your own standard, he easily merits induction.

      WAR is not a purely offensive stat so it is unlikely a DH ever achieves top 50-75 in that, although Edgar managed it at 74. In offensive WAR, Edgar comes in at #67, tied with Santo and ahead of Gwynn, Piazza, Billy Williams and Fisk.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_off_career.shtml

      The appearance of Piazza and Fisk’s names makes the point another way. Different positions have different standards for excellence in terms of WAR. The highest WAR for a catcher is Bench at 75.2. That is less than half the WARs of Ruth, Bonds, Mays and Cobb, and 25 less than the 20th highest WAR (Joe Morgan). Bench is ranked 46th in career WAR.

      There is only one other catcher with a higher WAR than Edgar-Carter, 68th in career WAR. Edgar is actually tied with 2 catchers at #74-Fisk and Ivan Rodriguez. That places him ahead of HOFers Eddie Murray, Banks, Sandberg, Alomar, Snider, Cronin, Reese and McCovey.

      So with catchers like Berra, Hartnett and Campanella about whom there are few quibbles that they belong, we compare the WAR to other catchers not to outfielders. When a DH breaks into that company he has established himself as an elite hitter in the history of the game.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_bat_career.shtml

    • Ian R. says:

      wRC+ and wOBA aren’t exactly obscure statistics. They’re two of the best measures of offensive prowess out there today. Admittedly, it’s a little cheaty to use BOTH of them because they’re based on the same data, but it’s good data.

      Another measure: Edgar is 21st all-time in on-base percentage, and three of the guys ahead of him (Ferris Fain, Bill Joyce and still-active Joey Votto) played less than half as long as he did. A hitter’s primary job is to get on base, and he was one of the best of all time at that particular skill.

    • Driver says:

      I had almost exactly the same list, I just stuck McGuire where you had Biggio (I would have put Biggio 11th).

  12. 1) Maddux
    2) Thomas
    3) Biggio
    4) Glavine
    5) Martinez
    6) Trammell
    7) Piazza
    8) Raines
    9) Schilling
    10) Morris

    No *confirmed* steroid users for me as long as there are other deserving choices. Bagwell should be ahead of Morris, but I’m a Tigers fan. Shoot me.

  13. Joseph Finn says:

    1. Maddux
    2. Thomas
    3. Raines
    4. Bagwell

    That’s a damn fine HOF class right there.

    • Rob Smith says:

      I realize that Raines is a cause célèbre on this board, but he’s nowhere near the top of this list. He’s getting a hard look, but as a clearly borderline candidate. Also, why Bagwell and no Piazza? Both have the same amount of steroid evidence against them, which is to say, not much. And Piazza is likely the best hitting catcher of all time, while Bagwell, though worthy, is not near the top of the heap for first basemen.

    • Joseph Finn says:

      I see no evidence except by implication for steroids by either of them and didn’t even consider it; I simply think Bagwell is more deserving. Piazza can wait a year or two. Raines is a clear HOF to me and certainly has waited long enough.

    • Ian R. says:

      You have ten slots on your (fake) ballot, and there are even more candidates coming next year. Why make Piazza wait?

  14. Morak99 says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. I found this activity captivating for sure!

    1) Maddux
    2) Thomas
    3) Glavine
    4) Piazza
    5) Biggio
    6) Bagwell
    7) Schilling
    8) Raines
    9) Mussina
    10) Trammell

    Would have voted for Walker, Kent, Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire in that order if I had room. I’m not fully anti-steroid, but those guys automatically go to the bottom in terms of importance of getting them in by me. This really is a stacked ballot, I can’t remember a time where I would ever have voted for more than 10 before this year.

  15. Morak99 says:

    Long time reader, first time poster. I found this activity captivating for sure!

    1) Maddux
    2) Thomas
    3) Glavine
    4) Piazza
    5) Biggio
    6) Bagwell
    7) Schilling
    8) Raines
    9) Mussina
    10) Trammell

    Would have voted for Walker, Kent, Bonds, Clemens, and McGwire in that order if I had room. I’m not fully anti-steroid, but those guys automatically go to the bottom in terms of importance of getting them in by me. This really is a stacked ballot, I can’t remember a time where I would ever have voted for more than 10 before this year.

  16. Hal says:

    I can’t keep out steroid users, as I have no idea who was using and who wasn’t. I tend to assume that all those homeruns were hit off some jacked up pitchers, too.

    I’ll second (or third, or fourth…) the notion that this is one really deep ballot. I picked my top 8 pretty quick, and then had to do some difficult thinking about the last two slots. For some reason Glavine was a tougher call for me, even with his impressive credentials. Biggio with 3,000 hits is just off my top 10, which maybe shows I’m an idiot. And I love that even among people who have no qualms about choosing steroid users, a guy with 3,000 hits and 500 homeruns usually doesn’t make the list! That shows the depth of talent right there.

    I’m not sure I got the right 10, as I could have chosen 14 or more:

    1. Maddux
    2. Bonds
    3. Clemens
    4. Bagwell
    5. Thomas
    6. Piazza
    7. Palmeiro
    8. Raines
    9. Glavine
    10. Trammell

    Biggio…Martinez…Mussina…Walker…Kent…that’s tough, man.

    • Rob Smith says:

      On the steroids question, “I have no idea who was using and who wasn’t” isn’t exactly true. We know that Bonds used and there is very good evidence that Clemens used, at least HGH, according to his friend Pettite. Palmeiro tested positive. No doubt on him. So, you seem to be taking a “see no evil” approach on them, because we do know. Bagwell and Piazza do not have hard evidence on them, so you can and probably should give them the benefit of the doubt.

      Rather than pretend that you don’t know, why not just say (like many) that you don’t really care who used steroids. That’s at least more intellectually honest.

    • Hal says:

      When I say, “I have no idea,” this is what I mean: Even if a player failed a test or admitted use, I can’t say player x’s achievements are not legitimate and player y’s are, because even the guys who have failed a test or admitted use achieved some of their success against players who were also using PEDs. I know Rafael Palmeiro hit multiple homeruns off of Roger Clemens…who does that count for or against? Or are those extra impressive?

      Yes, I *know* Palmeiro tested positive. I *know* McGwire admitted use. There is an incredible mountain of evidence against Bonds (though no failed test or on-the-record admission that I can remember), and there is ample evidence against Clemens. There is hearsay and conjecture around Piazza and Bagwell. Does lack of hearsay and conjecture that mean Larry Walker or Alan Trammell are clean? I don’t know that it does.

      My definition of the Hall of Fame is that the elite of every era should be represented. I think the majority (probably the vast majority) of MLB players during the era represented by this ballot used PEDs at some point in their careers. Maybe for their entire career, maybe for a couple seasons to stave off father time when they got older, or maybe for a few weeks one season just to try and get over a nagging injury. Whatever the circumstances, I think that levels the playing field (at an artificially high level?) more than many want to admit, and I think the players who dominated their era, even with a failed test or admission of use, should be in the Hall of Fame.

      By the way, is it possible to be ‘more intellectually honest’? Isn’t it either honest, or not?

    • jkak says:

      Rather than pretend you know that only the very few players who have been subjected to high-profile crusades for their alleged PED use (or in an even fewer number of cases confirmed use) were the only players who used PED’s, why not acknowlledge that there is no way of knowing who did and who did not use?

      Like Hal, I assume that the vast majority of players from some point in the early to mid 90’s to the mid to late 00’s used PED’s, probable upwards of 75%. The league and the owners not only condoned it, but in my view actively promoted it. PED’s were the culture, and the financial incentives were huge. And I assume some significant percentage of players continue to use PED’s despite testing and a shift in the culture of the game.

      To say there is no evidence that, for example, Bagwell and Piazza used PED’s is incorrect. There is a good deal of circumstantial and hearsay evidence, the same types of evidence many have used to convict others.

      My view is that the best players of any era remain HOF’ers.

    • invitro says:

      “why not acknowlledge that there is no way of knowing who did and who did not use?”

      If you are saying that there is no way of knowing if Bonds or Clemens or McGwire used, that is of course just false.

      If you are saying that we should not punish those three because we have no way of knowing exactly every player that has used, that is nonsense, and a logical fallacy to boot. You might as well argue that we should not punish the Black Sox, because we have no way of knowing for sure that no other players have ever conspired with gamblers regarding their World Series play.

      I believe that punishment of PED users should be minor at most, because an unenforced law is no law at all. The real culprit in the PED scandals is not the players, it’s Bud Selig. I don’t feel all that strongly about that situation though and could change my mind tomorrow. (I do feel strongly that keeping Bagwell and Biggio out of the HoF because of unsubstantiated rumors is unethical, unprofessional, and well, ok, un-American.)

    • Rob Smith says:

      Invitro, exactly. You can carry the silly argument that we shouldn’t punish known steroid users because there are, probably many, unknown users even beyond suspected users..out many ways. I.e. you shouldn’t punish drunk drivers because they just got caught. Thousands of others do it and just never got caught. You could play that game with just about every immoral, illegal or unethical breach possible. It drives me crazy. Do they no longer offer logic courses in college…. Or is this a haven for GEDs with a keyboard and time on their hands?

  17. kris says:

    Would have voted for 14 if I could have.

    1. Maddux
    2. Bagwell
    3. Bonds
    4. Clemens
    5. Thomas
    6. Piazza
    7. Glavine
    8. Biggio
    9. Raines
    10. Mussina

    Next in line: Martinez, Schilling, Trammell, Kent in order. Walker is such a close case, difficult for me to say either yes or no. In a shallower year maybe yes.

  18. Phil says:

    I’m still sort of on the fence with regards to steroids and the HOF, but I mostly give Bonds and Clemens a pass for the usual they’d-already-done-enough-to-be-in reason. I moved them down a little, though. I gave Palmeiro a pass because…I’m wildly inconsistent–wish now I’d voted for Biggio instead. I did this a few hours ago, so I’m relying on memory for the order:

    1. Maddux
    2. Thomas
    3. Bonds
    4. Clemens
    5. Piazza
    6. Bagwell
    7. Walker
    8. Palmeiro
    9. Martinez
    10. Mussina

  19. BobDD says:

    Positional value is real to me (what was rather than what could have been), so that is why Piazza is ahead of Thomas, McGwire, Bagwell, and Martinez.

    1. Bonds
    2. Maddux
    3. Clemens
    4. Piazza
    5. Thomas
    6. McGwire
    7. Bagwell
    8. Schilling
    9. Raines
    10. Martinez

    I also found the last three the toughest. Next I had: Biggio, Glavine, McGriff, Sosa, Trammell; wasn’t willing to take the time right now to investigate the possibility of Walker, Mussina, and Palmeiro. I expect to not vote for Walker, but likely the other two. Will not be voting for Morris or Kent; they are the hall of very good and if elected would not hurt the hall as much as the recent Rice and Dawson, but I do not agree with those four. That is 15 for me, with three more to look at more closely. That’s a lot, so those that want to label me a ‘small hall’ type, please explain a little extra.

  20. Bonds
    Maddux
    Clemens
    Bagwell
    Thomas
    Martinez
    Raines
    Trammell
    Piazza
    Mussina

    I’d have voted for Schilling, Biggio, Glavine, and Walker as well. Probably McGwire also.

  21. Rob Smith says:

    I gave my votes previously, but I predict that thr HOF voters will go Maddux, Glavine and Thomas. I give Piazza an outside shot in his second year. Based on the voting numbers, Bagwell isn’t gaining enough support, so I suspect he’s still a few years away. There is no chance that Clemens, Bonds, McGwire, Sosa or Palmeiro are getting in anytime soon. None of them have anywhere near enough support. A lot of posters voted for them, but they’re not close to actually getting in. I think Raines is a few years away.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Oh, and Biggio is really close too after looking. He was at 68% on his first try. That bodes well for him too unless he gets hung up in the packed ballot. I’d sat 50/50 for next year.

  22. steve2222 says:

    interesting to see how close together bonds and clemens are in everyones lists, including my own. they are 2 men whos futures are going to be very closely linked i feel, one way or another

  23. Herb Smith says:

    Posnanski Triple Crown alert: Miguel Cabrera won it this year. Yes, after winning the actual Triple Crown last year. When was the last time somebody won the Poz TC?

    If I had a vote for this year’s AL MVP, I’d of course vote for Trout. But with a bat in his hands, Cabrera is the most dangerous fellow in baseball.

    • Trent Phloog says:

      I read this site every day, so I feel like I should know, but… What’s the Posnanski Triple Crown?

    • invitro says:

      I don’t know what it is either. Posnanski wrote a “Triple Trout” post, but that includes SB. Cabby (I’m calling him that instead of Miggy now) led in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS and OPS+. He probably means BA/OBP/SLG. The last time someone led his league in those three is Mauer Power Hour in 2009. Other recent winners are Bonds in 2002 and 2004, Helton in 2000, LWalker in 1999, and McGwire in 1996 and 1998. Before that, it looks like you have to go back to Brett 1980.

    • Trent Phloog says:

      Good info invitro, but would Poz really have BA as part of his TC? He complains about it (rightly IMO) almost as much as RBIs. Still, I can’t see what else it could mean…

    • McGwire didn’t lead the league in Batting Average in either 1996 or 1998, invitro.

    • invitro says:

      Oops, thank you! I got confused and started doing OBP/SLG/OPS I think.

  24. Herb Smith says:

    Oh, I forgot to say why I posted the above post: Miggy certainly qualifies as a guy who will one day get upwards of 95% of the HOF vote. My mind goes back to the Ken Tremendous piece, when he was commenting on an Angel’s beat writer who said that the Anaheim should show little-to-no interest in acquiring the available Cabrera from the Marlins. I’m paraphrasing from memory:

    “According the baseball-reference, here are Cabrera’s comps since he came into the league:

    Age 21- Hank Aaron
    Age 22- Hank Aaron
    Age 23-Hank Aaron
    Age 24-Hank Aaron

    Yeah, who the hell would want THAT guy?”

    • Rob Smith says:

      Well, it was far from a sure thing. Cabrera was having alcohol issues and was getting pretty fat. It could have gone either way. I watched Cabrera a lot, and there is no doubt that he was a tremendous talent. The question wasn’t his talent, it was whether he was going to self destruct. At the time, as fat as he was getting and as the issues started to pile up, I would have come down on the self destruct side of the argument. It would have been really sad, so I’m very happy he’s straightened himself out and is achieving his potential.

  25. Mike says:

    Going on excellence. Couldn’t care less if guys did ‘roids. Any HOF without Bonds and Clemens is a farce. Hall of Morality, maybe. My (pretty obvious, at least for the first five) picks:

    1. Bonds
    2. Clemens
    3. Maddux
    4. Thomas
    5. Bagwell
    6. Piazza
    7. Biggio
    8. Raines
    9. McGwire
    10. Edgar

    Leaving off Schilling, Trammel, and Mussina was tough. Especially Trammel. Alwasy loved the Crime Dog, and would love to tab him, but he ain’t in this crowd. Alas.

    • Rob Smith says:

      Hall of Morality? You may not like it, but look at Rule 5 for HOF voters:

      5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

      Integrity, Sportsmanship & Character are mandatory categories to consider when voters cast their ballots. How do Bonds, Clemens and McGwire rate in those categories? Some may consider Rule 5 more than others, but it’s requred that they DO consider it.

      I’m pretty tired of people who are not only ignorant of the voting rules, but just want to toss them out and ignore them…. or just make up their own. Fortunately HOF voters seem to, mostly, take their votes pretty seriously. Granted, it’s a tough job parsing through the steroids era. But the solution isn’t to just throw their hands up and say “I don’t know” or “It doesn’t matter”.

      It’s not like Clemens, Bonds and McGwire are some sort of victims. They made their choices. Calculated choices. They knew what they were doing was wrong, but they did it anyways. Now they are suffering the consequences. And it’s not like any of them ever owned up to anything they did….. except, of course, McGwire who only did it as a precondition to becoming a batting coach with the Cardinals.

    • Everyone knows that the HOF ballot includes that language; everyone also knows that no one gave a whit about it until the PED issue arose. For decades, the only things that mattered were the numbers that players produced; otherwise, Dale Murphy, a man who falls a little short on numbers but who by all accounts more than makes up for it as a human being, would be in the Hall, and Ty Cobb, a racist who kept a black orphan as a good luck charm (but kicked him to the curb when the luck ran out) and who nearly beat a black ballpark employee to death for saying hello, would not be.

      Plus, there is evidence that the language originally was included at the urging of Kennesaw Mountain Landis to justify including someone whose numbers were not deserving rather than to use it to exclude players whose numbers clearly are.

    • Rob Smith says:

      When Cobb was inducted, his views were within societies norms. If you’ll recall, baseball didn’t allow blacks until long after Cobb retired and was safely in the HOF. Even if you took points off for his being a hated jag off, he was still one of the top players ever. And, I’m a Murphy fan, but he’s no HOFer. Short peak, and then he just lost it. To me, Dick Allen is the guy who got the short end of the stick on this rule. There is no other explanation for the low amount of support he got other than he was rude to the guys that ended up not voting for him.

      Regardless of any of that, the language is in there. So if a voter believes, and many do, that the compiled statistics that make up a players HOF case were significantly enhanced by PEDs, then Rule 5 tells the voter that they can use that info to withhold their vote.

    • Mike says:

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    • Mike says:

      Indeed, voters “can use that info.” They can consider integrity, morality, church-going, baby-kissing, ‘Mercica-loving, honesty, and just about every other completely subjective criterion they wish

      And then they can weigh those factors against “the player’s record, playing ability . . . and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

      And because Bonda and Clemens finish at or near the top, all-time, in “player’s record, playing ability . . . and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played,” those voters can decide that poor-but-not-worst-all-time scores in integrity, Wheaties-eating, sexual abstention, reporter-fellating, and crack-of-the-bat-and-hot-dog-eating-with-Dad-ing still don’t hold these all-time greats below some arbitrary “this guy is a Hall of Famer” threshold.

      I’ll say it again, if the HOF fails to induct (i) the unquestionably greatest hitter of the last 50 years, and arguably one of the top 3 hitters all-time, and (ii) one of the two or three greatest post-war pitchers . . . then it’s a useless institution.

      I’ll pass. If so, when I take my son to Cooperstown, we’ll go to the Ommegang Brewery for BelgianFest and skip the inductions at the Hall of Morality.

    • invitro says:

      “There is no other explanation for the low amount of support he got other than he was rude to the guys that ended up not voting for him.”

      My understanding is that there are piles of facts and other hard evidence that he was at least disruptive to his teams. And you know what Bill James said about him.

      On the other hand…

      “then it’s a useless institution.”

      Do you believe the HoF is a little bit useless because it failed to induct Joe Jackson?

    • Mike says:

      Not apples to apples. What Jackson did was intended to make the game worse (and he and his co-conspirators succeeded). Bonds and Clemens tried to make themselves, and their teams, and the game, better. Of course whether they succeeded is debatable.

    • Mike says:

      Not apples to apples. What Jackson did was intended to make the game worse (and he and his co-conspirators succeeded). Bonds and Clemens tried to make themselves, and their teams, and the game, better. Of course whether they succeeded is debatable.

    • Mike says:

      Not apples to apples. What Jackson did was intended to make the game worse (and he and his co-conspirators succeeded). Bonds and Clemens tried to make themselves, and their teams, and the game, better. Of course whether they succeeded is debatable.

    • invitro says:

      You are missing the point. You claimed that if the HoF doesn’t induct one of the two or three greatest post-war pitchers, then it’s a useless institution. You do not have any qualifiers on there at all. If you are now adding that it’s reasonable for the HoF to refuse someone who tried to hurt the game, well, that’s sensible. But that is not at all what you said. 🙂

      And I don’t agree that Jackson was trying to hurt the game. He was trying to make money. But he ended up hurting the game significantly. Which is what many people reasonably think Bonds and Clemens did. Rose didn’t intend to hurt the game, either. Now, Dick Allen…

  26. Justin says:

    1. Maddux
    2. Thomas
    3. Glavine
    4. Raines
    5. Biggio

    No roids, no roids suspicion, no really, really, really good numbers-guys, and no one-trick ponies. These 5 were the best at what they did and they did A LOT. For a LONG time.

  27. Tom Geraghty says:

    1. Barry Bonds
    2. Roger Clemens
    3. Greg Maddux
    4. Mike Piazza
    5. Jeff Bagwell
    6. Mike Mussina
    7. Tom Glavine
    8. Curt Schilling
    9. Frank Thomas
    10. Tim Raines

    Would have voted for everyone else except Kent, Smith, and Morris.

  28. nscadu 9 says:

    Bonds
    Clemens
    Maddux
    Schilling
    Thomas
    Raines
    Piazza
    Walker
    Bagwell
    Martinez

    Schilling is easily the 3rd best pitcher on this ballot. Better WHIP, Ks, K/BB, ERA+, post season performance… the only thing he lacks is Ugh… wins.
    Raines one of the best base stealers of all time and great OBP. Walker and Bagwell are close for me, but Walker peaks a little higher.

  29. invitro says:

    Maddux, Bonds, Schilling, a write-in for Walker, Trammell, Piazza, Thomas, Bagwell, EMartinez, Glavine, Mussina.

    I started with WAR & WAR7. I used postseason performance as a major factor, which is why Trammell & Walker are that high. I put Maddux over Bonds and moved Thomas up a couple notches just because I like them more. I left Clemens out because my impression of his character is lower than I think any superstar since Rose, even lower than Bonds. I didn’t take the thing all that seriously.

  30. KHAZAD says:

    This list is freaking stacked. It is hard to narrow it down to 10 players. I guess that is what happens when the writers get pissy about steroids and just decide to screw everybody. I think if I did this in a week my list might be slightly different and certainly in a different order.

    When Joe talks about the history of the hall of fame, he sometimes mentions that “player A” did not get in because the voters were particularly stingy during a certain period or there was alot of competition on the ballot.. I think future historians will look at this time as a time when both of these things happened + the steroid backlash, and those who don’t know about it will look back and wonder how certain players did not get in, and how some possibly worthy players fell of the ballot in one year.

    I don’t understand the whole Jack Morris thing. He didn’t even threaten to crack my top 15.

  31. dbutler16 says:

    I voted my 10, but hated to leave some guys off. I did vote in Bonds and Clemens 7 and 8 because I think they’d be Hall of Famers even without PED’s, though clearly they wouldn’t have the numbers they do. Maddux was an easy #1 for me.

  32. Unknown says:

    1. Maddux
    2. Thomas
    3. Raines
    4. Glavine
    5. Bagwell
    6. Martinez
    7. Schilling
    8. Piazza
    9. Biggio
    10. McGwire

    Voting for McGwire because…although he was definitely using PEDs rather heavily…he’s at least been honest about it, and finally admitted it. I think the argument is a valid one that baseball needs to recognize what DID happen during the steroid era. But in return, the players who abused ‘roids in compiling astronomical numbers owe it to us to come clean and stop trying to BS the fans. (Others free to disagree, of course…)

  33. rcharbon says:

    This is a loaded ballot (and not just on steroids). I’d vote for more than 10 if I could

  34. Pardon me, Joe, but what is the voting deadline?

  35. Dan Shea says:

    1) Maddux
    2) Thomas
    3) Bagwell
    4) Raines
    5) Schilling
    6) Glavine
    7) Piazza
    8) Biggio
    9) Mussina
    10) Trammell

    Toughest omission – Larry Walker.

    Interesting omission (or interesting inclusion, depending on your perspective I guess) – Lee Smith, at 47.8% of the BBWAA vote last year but not listed by any BRs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *