Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Unofficial Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot: 2014

I, quite obviously, am not a member of the Baseball Writer's Association of America. Currently.

However, I do not envy the people who do have membership, at least not at this time of year. Tomorrow, every vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame needs to be in, so they can tabulate how many times Alan Trammell's family members voted for him. While I do know someone who holds a ballot (and who better not be turning it in blank like last year), I'm not going glorify his picks. Instead, as is tradition at Mint Condition, I'm going to make my own, nonbiased, well thought out picks for an unofficial ballot.

I made sure to take every possible stance, so I kept out people who I don't see as amazing, or worthy of recognition, which means Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff and Jack Morris, all of whom are great players but not necessarily Hall of Famers, are all out. Also, this ballot is steroid and substance free. Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Sosa and McGwire are all nowhere to be found. And while I appreciate the blog support for people like Hideo Nomo and Jeff Kent, they're not here either.

On with the ballot. I'm limited to ten, so I'll list in alphabetical order:

Jeff Bagwell
I don't want to say the voting system the Hall uses is flawed, but really, if it wasn't, Bagwell would be in by now (this bit of unintentional irony brought to you by Lucille Bluth). Honestly, when he wasn't injured, Bagwell was one of the strongest hitters of the 1990's. He was a definite power hitter, and he hit one less than 450 home runs, which is the third highest for non-steroid abusers up for induction. He also had consistency, having several seasons with 162 games or around that area. It's becoming evident that the sportswriters love this guy even without a world series ring, and it's become clear that if he doesn't make it this year, he will eventually.
Team of Induction: Astros
Odds of 2014 Induction: 6 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 3 to 1.

Craig Biggio
Biggio, in my opinion, has a leg up on his teammate Bagwell solely because he was more of a defensive threat, playing multiple positions over the course of nineteen seasons, and staying out of the 'eventual DH, let's trade him category'. He was more consistent in terms of hits than Bagwell, cracking 3,000 in his final season. That alone should propel him in this year, but he's also one of the speediest on the ballot, seconded only to Tim Raines (obviously) in non-tainted nominees. He would have been a Hall of Famer last year had it not been 7 percentage points too short. Unless everyone gets busy fawning over Glavine, Maddux and Thomas, he'll be in this year.
Team of Induction: Astros
Odds of 2014 Induction: 3 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: Even.

Tom Glavine
A no-brainer. The Atlanta Three will likely all be in the Hall of Fame eventually, but Glavine, even if he's not as good as Maddux in a few categories, can't go unnoticed. He's won 300+ games, pitched 2500+ strikeouts, with a 3.54 career ERA, and 4413.1 innings pitched, and that's just a bunch of silly statistics. He pitched twenty-two seasons, seventeen of them for the Braves. He won the Cy Young award twice, which is two less than Maddux, but still one more than Smoltz. I swear, if he doesn't get in this year, he's getting in next year. I don't care if Randy Johnson's getting in next year, so if he. Tom Glavine is a Hall of Famer.
Team of Induction: Braves
Odds of 2014 Induction: 2 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: Even.

Greg Maddux
Do I even need to explain why Greg Maddux is a Hall of Famer? Do I really need to? Maddux is probably as good as some of the greatest pitchers in the game's history. Yes, I think he should be compared to people like Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and even Christy Mathewson. Yes, I think he deserves an almost unanimous induction, even if some poor schmucks won't allow it. Yes, I think that 3,371 strikeouts is enough to be admitted, and I think that 355 wins is more than enough. Greg Maddux is getting in, no ifs ands or buts. He's one of the greatest pitchers of my lifetime.
Team of Induction: Braves
Odds of 2014 Induction: Even
Odds of Eventual Induction: Definite.

Edgar Martinez
If I were actually submitting this ballot, the sportswriters would give me crap for not including a fine player like Jack Morris, in favor of a career DH. It's sad that nobody understands that Martinez is THE GREATEST DH of all time. I don't care if David Ortiz is gonna rival that once he retires. I don't care. I also don't care that there hasn't been a career DH in Cooperstown yet. I doubt he'll get there immediately, but he'll stay on long enough to gain entry. I hope he will, at least.
Team of Induction: Mariners
Odds of 2014 Induction: 10 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 6 to 1.

Mike Piazza
Yes, I know what I said at the top of the post. Trouble is, I do not think that Mike Piazza took steroids. I know, a few reports are saying otherwise, but I didn't see a gigantic weight gain, and I didn't see any huge shift in power or mood. Piazza stayed the same in terms of numbers from his time with the Dodgers to his ending in Oakland. I do, however, think that enough people think he DID take steroids to keep him out of Cooperstown this year. However, he does deserve a spot- he is the greatest hitting catcher of all time, and he should be regarded as one of the greatest catchers period.
Team of Induction: Dodgers, though it could be the Mets
Odds of 2014 Induction: 5 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 3 to 1.

Tim Raines
I used to be against putting Raines into the Hall, but then I saw his numbers. He has enough stolen bases to be regarded as one of the best base-stealers, up there with Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson. Also, he had several seasons of work, lasting from 1979 to 2002, which basically makes him a year short of being Rickey Henderson. He does, on the other hand, have the same number of World Series rings as Henderson. I do think he should at least be considered, if not confirmed or denied.
Team of Induction: Expos.
Odds of 2014 Induction: 15 to 1.
Odds of Eventual Induction: 5 to 1.

Curt Schilling
I swear, if I wasn't a Phillies fan, I wouldn't be considering him. But dammit, if somebody pitched that well for my team in what was considered a drought for them, I'd take notice too. I'll give him credit, he was a part of some of the greatest teams in the game's history: the 1993 Phillies, the 2001 Diamondbacks, the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox- three of those teams garnered him World Series rings. He has 3000+ strikeouts, and a career ERA of 3.46. He's gonna get overlooked because he wasn't as big a star as some of the other guys on the ballot, but unless there's some backlash, he'll get in, I hope.
Team of Induction: Phillies. Besides, his Red Sock's already in the Hall.
Odds of 2014 Induction: 7 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 4 to 1.

Lee Smith
If Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera hadn't already broken his saves record, he'd already be in the Hall. People need to remember that.
Team of Induction: Cubs
Odds of 2014 Induction: 25 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 8 to 1.

Frank ThomasPeople are now thinking up reasons why the Big Hurt SHOULDN'T be allowed in the Hall of Fame, which is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard, especially considering the fact that he's a definite Hall of Famer, this year or next. He's one of the players that defined the 1990's, had two stellar MVP season, and even had a nice season at age 38. Most of all, the White Sox' closest things to imposing, memorable Hall of Fame legends are Nellie Fox, Luke Appling and Carlton Fisk. They have Thomas, and now they'll have Thomas in the Hall.
Team of Induction: White Sox
Odds of 2014 Induction: 2 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: Even

So, there's my ballot. It may not be perfect, but it's as close as it's gonna get. I imagine that Maddux, Glavine, Thomas and Biggio will make it today. Possibly another one of the people I listed, though less likely than those four. If Jack Morris makes it...some sportswriters do not know the meaning of the phrase 'Hall of Very Good'.


  1. Love the blog.
    I like your stance on the "amazement" factor. I am a bit of a HOF elitist and I totally agree. I also agree with your substance stance.
    I disagree with some of your choices based on several reasons.
    I just don't feel Lee Smith, Curt Schilling or Edgar Martinez deserve enshrinement. They were all excellent players, just not quite HOFers.
    I might be jaded, but if I had to bet, my money is on Bagwell and Piazza using PEDs. This is where it gets difficult in drawing that line of who to let in and who to keep out. I hate that they did this to baseball.
    I totally agree with Glavine, Maddux, Biggio and Thomas.
    I am on the fence with Raines.
    I do love the debate though.

    1. -(Smith, Schilling and Martinez)- those three are definitely debatable, and, at least in Martinez and Smith's case, it's unlikely that they're gonna get in, even eventually. I just think that even if they're fringe players, they still set records and standards in their personal categories, and shouldn't be ignored.
      Schilling I understand your displeasure with. Everyone's on the fence with him. For the last spot, I was between him and Mussina, and they're practically the same kind of player. I just took Schilling because he had more rings.
      Raines I kinda threw in because everyone else was still putting him on their ballots.
      Still, I'm at least happy that Maddux, Thomas and Glavine got in, as all three of them deserve it.
      Very nice points of rebuttal, though. I do see where you're coming from.