Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Unofficial Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot (2017)

I am writing this late.

Well, in two ways. I'm writing this late at night because I'll probably be sleeping in a bit this morning, as I'm still on break from school. But also...this is a post I should have written years ago, as the Baseball Hall of Fame results should have been announced in early January, instead of more than halfway through the month. That's just how it's supposed to be, sad to say. But, apparently we have to do it now, we are, I guess.

It's not too problematic. My zeal for the Hall of Fame, especially the voting results, still remains, and I'm insanely excited for the result, as there are several different outcomes, and we could be looking at a year where a nice bunch of ballplayers are gained entry.

So, as I'm not an official sportswriter, I'll have to settle for posting a ballot onto the blog, for you like-minded readers to chew on. I'm allowed ten names. Like usual, none of my names will have been associated with steroids- I don't do that sort of thing. A friend of a friend likes to keep his ballots blank for that reason, but I'm not going that far. I'm handing in a ballot (figuratively), but nobody with syringe stains will be on it.

Right...on with the ballot. This year I'm going with nine names.

Jeff Bagwell:
How many more times am I going to have to put this guy on my unofficial ballot until he finally gets in? Look, last year he only lost out on induction by 3.4%, so if something it's going to happen, it's bound to happen this year. I'm just pissed that nothing's happened in the last six years. This guy is one of the best hitters of the 1990's, won an MVP, kept a middling team in the spotlight, and nearly led said team to a World Series. He's got one short of 450 home runs, and he's got three points short of a career .300 average. The injuries are apparently keeping people from voting him in, and it's about time they didn't. He's a Hall of Famer, whether it happens this year, or within the next three.
Team of Induction: Houston Astros
Odds of 2017 Induction: 2 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 3 to 2

Vladimir Guerrero:
One of the heroes of my collecting youth is finally up for Hall of Fame induction. in 2007, Vlad was still one of the best hitters in the league, even three years after the MVP. The star power was thanks in part to that amazing hitting ethic and power numbers. Like Bagwell, he's one short of 450 home runs. He has more career hits and a higher career batting average than Manny Ramirez. From 1997 to 2008 he garnered Hall of Fame votes. He had the kind of swing that should go down in history, and probably will. A few minor details is preventing me from calling Vlad a 2017 lock, but if he's not in by the end of the decade, there's a flaw.
Team of Induction: Montreal Expos
Odds of 2017 Induction: 4 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: Even

Trevor Hoffman:
I still do not understand why several voters need to twist stats and make up reasons to not induct Trevor Hoffman. Why, again, is Trevor Hoffman Not a Hall of Famer? Because he doesn't have enough of this stat, or he has too many of this stat, or he didn't do enough of this, or he didn't look like this. Bullshit. You know what normal people measure closers in? Saves. And Trevor Hoffman has 601 of those. More than 100 more than anyone else on the ballot. Trevor Hoffman was the best closer of the 1990's, and if it wasn't for Mariano Rivera he'd have been in last year. Again, not a definite because of grumpy sportswriters, but...he SHOULD be!
Team of Induction: San Diego Padres
Odds of 2017 Induction: 6 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 4 to 1

Edgar Martinez:
He's getting some traction this year, but it's still not well-publicized enough how much of a force Edgar was back in the day. Greatest DH of All Time, by far- he hit when it was literally his only job, and made a difference even then. Probably not a definite for 2017, but I'm keeping him on the ballot anyway.
Team of Induction: Seattle Mariners
Odds of 2017 Induction: 10 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 8 to 1

Fred McGriff:
Look, McGriff has become one of my larger collections, and just talking about him in these HOF posts has given me more and more of an appreciation for the guy. He was 6 shy of 500 home runs, which would have made him a guarantee already. He helped the 1995 Braves win the World Series, he hit like hell for the Blue Jays, Braves and Rays- he was versatile, he was consistent, and he was a powerful ballplayer that you wanted on your team. Is he a Hall of Famer to most people, including the sportswriters? Probably not. But he is to me.
Team of Induction: Atlanta Braves
Odds of 2017 Induction: 25 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 10 to 1

Jorge Posada:
I'm thinking another catcher on this ballot is going to get a bit more publicity, but I still wanted to make sure Jorge Posada got some publicity. The question that's being asked is if he was on a team other than the Yankees, would he be considered a Hall of Famer? And the answer is...maybe. Like, if he was somewhere like Texas, and played as well as he did, he'd be considered. The fact is that Jorge Posada was a great hitting defensive catcher for one of the best teams in baseball, and he won five World Series rings as a member of said team. Was he ever the best in the league...maybe once or twice. He's not gonna get in this year, if at all, but he definitely deserves recognition.
Team of Induction: New York Yankees
Odds of 2017 Induction: 13 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction: 9 to 1

Tim Raines:
It is Tim Raines' tenth and last year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Those ten years have been spent with sportswriters campaigning left and right to get the guy in, and it's not looking like it's going to work fully until 2017. Raines is one of the best base-stealers of all time, one of the best Montreal Expos of all time, and one of the most versatile all-around players in the game. He has two World Series rings, several base-stealing titles, and the respect of most of the baseball world. If he's kept out this year, it's a shame, one that will likely be rectified on the next Veterans Committee vote. Still, he got 69% last year. It could happen. And I hope it does.
Team of Induction: Montreal Expos
Odds of 2017 Induction: 2 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction (via the Veteran's Committee if not this year): Even

Ivan Rodriguez: 
Of all the new additions to the ballot, Ivan Rodriguez has the absolute best chance. Why? Well, he's the absolute best catcher of the 1990's, one of the most consistent backstop performers of his time, a strong hitter, a clubhouse leader, and a guy who endured all throughout his career, even serving as a leadership position in his last year of service, in Washington. I-Rod is a catching legend, and even if we just let one of those in last year, it's time. He didn't take steroids, even if people seem to claim this is the case (also like Piazza). He should get in this year. If he doesn' year definitely.
Team of Induction: Texas Rangers
Odds of 2017 Induction: 5 to 2
Odds of Eventual Induction: Even

Lee Smith:
It's his fifteenth year on the ballot. If Hoffman's getting destroyed this year, then Lee Smith has absolutely no chance. I wanted to put him on here anyway, because he was an amazing closer, and I have a pretty nice collection of his. That's all.
Team of Induction: Chicago Cubs
Odds of 2017 Induction: 100 to 1
Odds of Eventual Induction, via the Veteran's Committee: 12 to 1

So, that's my nine. Mussina and Schilling I didn't have enough of a case for. Nobody else really made sense to me, even hometown favorite Pat Burrell. From my list, I'm hoping Bagwell, Raines and I-Rod make it in, while secretly pulling for Vlad.


  1. Have you checked out the site? They collate all of the ballots that have been made public, so you can have an idea of what to expect tonight. Looking like three guys get in tonight (Bagwell, Raines, and Pudge) with Hoffman and Vlad oh so close. Mussina gained traction, but will miss out again. Also, I get your endorsement for Posada, but he won't ever get in. Likely to fall off the ballot this year as well. Take care!


    1. well, as they clearly predicted the actual outcome, I may have to keep that in mind for next year.

  2. Glad to see Raines finally get in. Can't wait for Vlad to join him... although there's a part of me that was glad he was kept off this year. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy that first ballot hall of famers should be the elite of the elite.