On Wednesday, the new Hall of Fame Class will be announced, and it looks like we will have a few players in. I fully admit that I have not seen some of these players in their prime due to my youth but I understand most of these players and what they brought to baseball. If I had a ballot this year, here would be my votes, going in order of last name:
Roberto Alomar (2B, .300, 210 HR, 1134 RBI, 474 SB, 12 All-Star Games, 10 Gold Gloves), YES (Just Missed)
Quite possibly one of the best second basemen of all time, Alomar was a great offensive and defensive player. He was a great five-tool player and contributed well to playoff bound teams with Toronto and Baltimore. No doubt he should be in, and likely will get in on the first ballot.
Kevin Appier (SP, 169-137, 3.74 ERA, 1994-933 K-BB ratio, 1 All-Star Game), NO
Appier was one of the best ever Royals pitchers, but normally a very good pitcher overall. He had some very solid seasons, but never was one of the best and should not be considered a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Harold Baines (DH primarily, .289, 384 HR, 1628 RBI, 6 All-Star Games), NO
A great hitter and one of the best hitters for the White Sox, but Baines is not Hall of Fame material to me right now. He was one of those players that got everything out of his ability, and I hope he can survive to the next ballot, but I would not vote for him yet.
Bert Blyleven (SP, 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 3701-1322 K-BB ratio, 2 All-Star Games), YES (JUST MISSED)
Bert Blyleven is one of the people that Hall of Fame voters and fans alike can never agree on. His stats are tremendous, and people seem to agree he is the best qualified pitcher not in the Hall, but he was never a dominant pitcher. The difference with Blyleven is that he was very good for very long, and I believe now is the time to put him in. It won’t be a crime if he is left out, but he is now on his 13th ballot and time is running out for him.
Ellis Burks (OF/DH, .291, 352 HR, 1206 RBI, 2 All-Star Games), NO
He had some good years, but Burks was never great, and I don’t believe he should be in. The stats are not there plus he was always overshadowed by players around him.
Andre Dawson (OF, .279, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, 8 All-Star Games, 8 Gold Gloves), YES—IN
Another player some just cannot seem to agree on. Dawson was a great all-around player who you could rely on for power and defense, though the contact sometimes was not there, plus he does not have a ring due to most of years on the Expos and Cubs. But Dawson is an example of a good player for the game of baseball and a person who put 110% into the game, and that is why he should be in the Hall.
Andres Galarraga (1B, .288, 399 HR, 1425 RBI, 5 All-Star Games, 2 Gold Gloves), NO
Had some dominant years, but overall not someone who I would right now place in the Hall. First basemen have it rough in future Hall of Fame ballots just because of how many very good but not great ones there have been.
Pat Hentgen (SP, 131-112, 4.32 ERA, 1290-775 K-BB ratio, 3 All-Star Games, 1996 Cy Young), NO
His 1996 season with the Blue Jays was incredible, winning the Cy Young with a 20-10 record, 3.22 ERA and 10 complete games, but other than that nothing that is Hall of Fame worthy.
Mike Jackson (RP, 62-67, 142 SV, 3.42 ERA, 1006-464 K-BB ratio), NO
To enter the Hall as a relief pitcher, you need to be an elite closer, and though Jackson had some good years, he was not an elite player.
Eric Karros (1B, .268, 284 HR, 1027 RBI), NO
He had some great years with the Dodgers, but simply not a long enough or strong enough career for the Hall.
Ray Lankford (CF, .272, 238 HR, 874 RBI, 258 SB, 1 All-Star Game), NO
Another very good player and solid running athlete for the Cardinals, but not a Hall of Fame player.
Barry Larkin (SS, .292, 198 HR, 379 SB, 12 All-Star Games, 3 Gold Gloves, 1995 MVP), YES
Often one of the most overlooked shortstops in the game because of Ripken, the Wizard, Rodriguez and Jeter among other current/future Hall of Famers, Larkin was tremendous for the Reds and the one of the best in the National League in his time. A great contact hitter that could run the basepaths well, he is also a great ambassador to the game. I’m not sure he will get in on the first ballot, but he should.
Edgar Martinez (DH, .312, 309 HR, 1261 RBI, 7 All-Star Games), YES
I had a hard time on this choice. He is a great designated hitter, had a great career and should be in the Hall eventually, I only hesitate on whether he should be a first ballot choice. But he defined the position and was solid many years for the Mariners, so I vote yes.
Don Mattingly (1B, .307, 222 HR, 1099 RBI, 6 All-Star Games, 9 Gold Gloves, 1985 MVP), NO
This is a hard vote, because in a short career he was a great first baseman for the Yankees, but his lack of a ring and the fact his career was short avoids most potential votes. The Hall of Fame looks for great people over a long stretch of time, and Mattingly will go as one of those people that did not have a long enough career to warrant such an accomplishment.
Fred McGriff (1B, .284, 493 HR, 1550 RBI, 5 All-Star Games), NO
Another player with a fine career that was very good a long period of time, but not yet ready for the Hall. He was a consistent power threat wherever he went and teams would always be afraid of the “Crime Dog,” but for now, he should not warrant a first ballot HOFer. Eventually though, he should get serious consideration.
Mark McGwire (1B, .263, 583 HR, 1414 RBI, 12 All-Star Games), NO
There is no need to debate stats or accomplishments, we all know how dominant he was. This is about steroids. I realize he has not been convicted of anything, but his actions of being very unhelpful with the investigations of steroids and his overall negative demeanor about it has hurt baseball, and for now, should keep him out of the Hall. Had he admitted use and exclaimed that it was legal at the time, that would be much different, and he’d probably be in now.
Jack Morris (SP, 254-186, 3.90 ERA, 2478-1390 K-BB ratio, 5 All-Star Games), YES
Morris is another example of a very good pitcher with a long career, but Morris was a workhorse with the Tigers. He had 13 seasons with at least nine complete games and has four rings, so despite the high ERA and lack of a Cy Young I feel that his long career with many, many solid years should put him in, but likely he will not get enough votes to go in.
Dale Murphy (OF, .265, 398 HR, 1266 RBI, 7 All-Star Games, 5 Gold Gloves, 1982 and 1983 MVP), NO
There was a period of time where most pitchers feared this Braves outfielder, but Murphy is another example of a player who does not have a consistent enough career to warrant a HOF induction. He was always a power threat but not a contact threat and fizzled in his later career.
Dave Parker (RF, .290, 339 HR, 1493 RBI, 7 All-Star Games, 3 Gold Gloves, 1978 MVP), NO
Yet another example of a very good player with a long career, but Parker falls short of my vote. He simply did not have enough dominant years, and despite some of his great years on the Pirates, I just cannot vote yes on him.
Tim Raines (LF, .294, 170 HR, 980 RBI, 808 SB, 7 All-Star Games), NO
This is another hard one, but for now I vote no. Raines was one of the best leadoff hitters in the game with a great combination of speed and average, and though he had nearly no power, he was always a threat to get on and run on the basepaths for Montreal. The “Rock” should eventually get in, but not yet.
Shane Reynolds (SP, 114-96, 4.09 ERA, 1403-419 K-BB ratio, 1 All-Star Game), NO
A solid pitcher for the Astros in his time, but simply not enough on the stat sheet or a long enough career for the Hall.
David Segui (1B, .291, 139 HR, 684 RBI), NO
A good player, not a HOFer, simply put. Steroids might be mentioned, but really that issue with Segui should not be relevant.
Lee Smith (RP, 71-92, 478 SV, 3.03 ERA, 1251-486 K-BB ratio, 7 All-Star Games), YES
I often feel closers are the most unfairly treated players that are eligible for the Hall, simply because they have to perform in the highest pressure situations and the fact that there are very few great ones years after year. Smith was one of them, and held the number of saves record for years and was dependable for a long time. He did not have the flashiness of some pitchers, but he got the job done very often and should be in.
Alan Trammell (SS, .285, 185 HR, 1003 RBI, 6 All-Star Games), NO
Trammell was a very solid shortstop, but he is another player that although very good, should not be HOF worthy. Had he gotten a few more big years with the Tigers then I would vote yes, but he did not have a consistent enough career.
Robin Ventura (3B, .267, 294 HR, 1184 RBI, 2 All-Star Games, 6 Gold Gloves), NO
A very good player, but not a HOF player, not enough on the stat sheet and not enough great years of play.
Todd Zeile (3B, .265, 253 HR, 1110 RBI), NO
Zeile was one of those player who many teams could find a use for, and certainly a fun player to track, but he was never a great player, and will not be in the Hall.
Blog from Dave Vatz–’09 Terrapin Graduate