So...good day for Chicago.
Two names, out of 12, were chosen by the Veteran's Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame. One of them, Lee Smith, is definitely supported by me. Smith has been in my binders for years, he's been a perennial pick on the blog's HOF ballots, and he's one of the most dominant closers of all time. Like Goose Gossage, Smith was one of those pitchers that would just get on the mound and dare you to hit him. He's also one of those pitchers that was on fire no matter where he played, though he's going in as a Cub, and he's remembered most fondly by Cubs and Cardinals fans.
Smith I could have called. I didn't know it'd take this long, but Lee Smith is a Hall of Famer.
Harold Baines, though? That one didn't really occur to me until he got voted in last night. Harold Baines was a fantastic hitter, a wonderful DH, and a gifted home run hitter, who was, rightfully, a legend in Chicago and Baltimore, was a part of those great A's teams of the early 90s, and hit well into his forties. I always considered him a member of the 'Hall of Very Good' despite some support from bloggers out there.
Now...here's what I have a problem with. Baines is a career DH, essentially, and a great one at that. But...as a DH, I don't think Baines was as good as Edgar Martinez, who still hasn't been voted in. Does this Baines decision means 2019 induction is inevitable for Edgar? Or does it mean it's not happening? It'd be cool to have Edgar and Baines go in together, which is just as cool as Mariano Rivera going in alongside Smith (and that is happening, FYI). But...I dunno, something makes me slightly uneasy about the fact that Baines was voted in slightly before Edgar was, even if Edgar was the better player. I'm not completely there on that.
Still...these are some solid picks, and better than some run-of-the-mill administrator inductees (and thank the gods Steinbrenner didn't get in). I'll look forward to adding them to my HOF binder.