2017 Hall of Fame Ballot


Chipper Jones

I’ve spent the last while waxing wonderful (I do that, you know) about the Modern Era Veteran’s Committee’s upcoming vote, that I’ve basically set the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot on the back burner. As I can pretty much only do one thing at a time anymore (doing two things at once is now doing three too many), that was the right thing for me. But now it’s time to weigh in on the players who will be announced in January.

The rules allow for 10 picks and as I believe in voting as many times as they’ll let me I’m picking 10 guys again this year. Some years because of a weak ballot, that’s not the best idea in the world, but this year there are a lot of really worthy candidates for the Hall so I’ve actually had to eliminate some I might otherwise at least consider. Normally I write-up short blurbs attempting to justify my choice of a particular player for the Hall of Fame. Well, I’m tired, I’ve done it a gazillion times, so this year I’m going to skip it for most of my list. Because most of the list consists of holdovers from 2016. So seven of my picks are seven players I’ve chosen before: Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Curt Shilling, and Larry Walker. If you want to know my reasons for each, find the post about this time last year when I wrote about each. Having written all that, there are still three spots on the 10 man ballot. All are new guys and all deserve a comment, in alphabetical order.

Chipper Jones: During my lifetime baseball has produced an inordinate number of truly great third basemen, Brook Robinson, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, Mike Schmidt, George Brett (in no particular order). Chipper Jones deserves recognition as a member of that group. He has an MVP award which maybe he shouldn’t, but there is nothing wrong with his statistics with either the bat or the glove. As “first ballot Hall of Famer” has become a thing, I think he probably deserves to be one of them.

Scott Rolen: Hear me out before you yelp. Rolen doesn’t have the big offensive numbers that guys like Jones, Mathews, and Schmidt have, but he was an excellent hitter. His OPS+ is 122, his offensive WAR is 52.1. That’s good enough for consideration. But he was an amazing defensive player. His defensive WAR is 20.6, he’s 11th in career assists, is top 20 in both double plays turned, and fielding percentage. He has a Rookie of the Year award (which he probably deserved). He’s going to have trouble making the Hall because he followed Schmidt at Philadelphia and he wasn’t Schmidt (but then neither was anyone else) and he’s up against Jones who was always more well known, played for a more popular team, and was flashier. I just want him to get enough votes so he’ll hang on the list. Then maybe voters will take time to look over his career and move him up the ballot and ultimately into the Hall.

Jim Thome: You get 600 home runs without a whiff of steroids in the steroid era you should automatically get consideration for the Hall of Fame. That’s Jim Thome. But he also has 1699 RBIs (what? He couldn’t stay around for one more?), an OPS of .956 with an OPS+ of 147, and 77.1 WAR. But then he struck out a lot, you say. Yeah, he did, but he also walked a lot, leading his league in both three times. And of course he got bigger as time went on (so did I, but I’m not talking about around the waist) and that surely will lead someone to go “Ah ha, steroids.” We’ll see how well he does. I expect him to stay on the list, if not be elected.

So there’s my list. I’m sticking with seven previous picks and adding three new ones. Good luck to all of them.




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7 Responses to “2017 Hall of Fame Ballot”

  1. wkkortas Says:

    The only one of your choices I have even a touch of disagreement is Hoffman. I think Rolen has the Tim Raines problem–as Raines was a more-or-less exact contemporary with Rickey Henderson, Rolen’s career pretty much ran concurrently with Jones’, which I think will cost him support.

  2. Miller Says:

    Hello, my friend. You know that on my blog I grade ballots. And I’m hard on non-steroid voters, not because I object to the non-steroid vote, but because they’re all-too-often proselytizers. I very much respect the anti-steroid ballot. And for yours…

    Vlad, Kent, Edgar, Mussina, Schilling, and Walker get you to 60 points.

    Hoffman keeps you at 60.

    Chipper, Rolen, and Thome bring you to 90.

    You share your reasoning, there’s no logical inconsistency. That’s an “A” from someone who would vote for Bonds, Clemens, Manny, Sheff, and Sammy.

    We can disagree on steroids, and I can still think your ballot is great. It is! Thank you! I’ll cite this post when I write about the awful ballots of the anti-steroids crowd. You can be anti-steroid and still pro-thinking. Clearly, you are. Thank you!

    Three questions:

    1. Did you vote for Ivan Rodriguez?

    2. Why no vote for Johan Santana?

    3. Why no vote for Andruw Jones?

    Thanks for this. Great ballot!

    • verdun2 Says:

      No votes for either Andruw Jones or Santana simply because I ran out of room. There are several people I’d like to see stay around, including both of them and a couple of others, but you only get 10 votes.
      Frankly I don’t remember if I did Rodriguez last year or not (and I’m too lazy to look it up).
      And thanks for the vote of confidence.

      • Miller Says:

        Yet another reason to expand. Even anti-PED voters find more than ten worthy candidates. Thanks for the reply!

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