The January 2011 Hall Vote

I promised before I left that I’d comment on the writer’s vote for the Hall of Fame. That’s the vote that will be announced in January (not the one that’s coming this week). I commented that because they let you vote for ten, I’d vote for ten. Here they are in alphabetical order, holdovers first:

Roberto Alomar: Probably the finest second baseman of his era. Missed out by a handful of votes last time.

Bert Blyleven: I think this is the most important person who can be voted in. The writer’s haven’t elected a starting pitcher with less than 300 wins since Fergie Jenkins (the Vets Committee put in Jim Bunning). With all the excellent pitchers coming available with less than 300 wins (Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, etc) someone has to break through or we’re going to see a lot of worthy candidates dismissed. Hopefully Blyleven will be the player that opens the door.

Barry Larkin: If Alomar is the finest second baseman of his era, Larkin is the finest shortstop. He has an MVP and a World Series ring. Both should eventually help his cause. I’m not sure either should.

Edgar Martinez: One of the best hitters I ever saw. I don’t want to hear “Well, he was mainly a DH and not much of a fielder.” Putting Paul Molitor into the Hall of Fame should end the DH issue and besides there are a lot of Hall members who were lousy fielders.

Don Mattingly: The argument against him is that his career is short. So was Ralph Kiner’s (and Dizzy Dean’s and Sandy Koufax’s). For a handful of years he was one of the best players in the game and possibly the best. He was a good enough first baseman and a wonderful hitter.

Jack Morris: He was the winningest pitcher of the 1980s (which alone isn’t enough to get him into the Hall). His ERA is big for a Hall of Famer, but the latest statistics show us how much ERA can be overrated. He has multiple rings and his game 7 of the 1991 World Series was masterful. A dominant pitcher who may be helped by the explosion of new stats.

Tim Raines: One of the great base stealers ever. He has a batting title to go with all those stolen bases. I think his nomad phase toward the end of his career hurts him a lot.

Alan Trammell: Great, great shortstop. If Ozzie Smith was the premier shortstop of  his era in the NL, Trammell was, with the possible exception of Cal Ripken, the premier shortstop of the AL. Trammell hit better  than Smith and was a heck of a shortstop (if not quite so acrobatic as Smith). I think Trammell gets hurt because of the comparison to Ripken, rather than to Smith. He also has a ring. I’d be interested to know how much his disastrous stint as Tigers manager hurts his chances.

Jeff Bagwell: An MVP, a heck of a hitter, a team leader. He got hurt and missed out on 500 home runs but is still a Hall of Famer. To me, the only sure-fire Hall of Famer on the new list.

Larry Walker: I could say a lot about him, but I’ll simply suggest you go to Bill Miller’s site at The On Deck Circle (link to the right) for a fine overview of Walker’s career and qualifications. Sorry, Bill, but you didn’t convince me to vote for him. I’d already decided that.

So there’s my ten. Feel free to disagree.

There’s one player on the list I’m sorry to leave off, Tino Martinez. I think he may be shorted on the ballot, but hope he stays on so he gets more chances. I’m not sure he really belongs in the Hall, but I’d like to see him get a chance. I think a closer look at his stats is in order (and I want to do a later post on him and this so-called “Core Four” nonsense).


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3 Responses to “The January 2011 Hall Vote”

  1. sportsphd Says:

    A very solid list. I would probably take McGwire over Mattingly and Dale Murphy over Morris. But I would not mind seeing either player. This is a very deep ballot of players worthy of a look, including Kevin Brown, Fred McGriff, and the infamous Rafael Palmeiro. For me, I would put John Olerud in your Tino Martinez category. I hope he gets enough votes to hang around the ballot, because he was an excellent player for a long time.

  2. William Miller Says:

    Welcome back, V. And thanks for the shout-out.
    All of the players are worthy candidates to at least receive enough votes to stay on the ballot. That said, I just can’t get on board the Jack Morris bandwagon. Also, as much as I like Donny Baseball, I really don’t think he was much better than either Will Clark or Keith Hernandez. So for me, either all three go in, or none of them should.
    Trammell may be the most underrated player on the list.
    I would never vote for either McGwire or Palmiero.
    Alomar and Larkin should have gotten in last year.
    Since last year, I’ve come around to the fact that Edgar should be in The Hall.
    Did you see today’s VET committee results? Not a single player got in. Just on GM, Pat Gillick. The VET committee is essentially useless.
    Can’t wait for the January results. I’m sure the writers will screw this one up as well.
    Take care, Bill

  3. William Miller Says:

    By “all of the players,” I meant each of the top ten on your ballot, not every single player on the Hall ballot. Regards, Bill

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