What’s Your Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Look Like?

 

Today the 2011 candidates for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced. Who are your Top 3 and why? Inductees will be announced on Jan. 5, 2011. Here’s the list:

Newbies: Jeff Bagwell, Carlos Baerga, Bret Boone, Kevin Brown, John Franco, Marquis Grissom, Juan Gonzalez, Lenny Harris, Bobby Higginson, Charles Johnson, Al Leiter, Tino Martinez, Raul Mondesi, John Olerud, Rafael Palmiero, Kirk Reuter, Benito Santiago, B.J. Surhoff, Larry Walker

Returning to the ballot: Roberto Alomar, Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell

I’ll simply offer my totally insignificant list of Most Decent Fellows* among these candidates: John Olerud, Al Leiter, and Tino Martinez.

*Qualities include, but not limited to, patience and fully intact basic manners when asked irritating questions by pesky reporters at inopportune times. You’d be surprised how rare these qualities are.

There are 14 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @

    The issue of steroids is starting to loom large with McGwire and Palmiero both on the ballot. Since this is a center-right website, I’ll take the moral high ground and leave both confessed cheaters off my ballot.

    1. Jeff Bagwell

    2. Bert Blyleven

    3. Harold Baines (Okay, it probably should be Tim Raines or Lee Smith but Harold was one of my favorite players as a kid.)

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @CharlesMark

    Ursula, Should “played for Mets” be added to your criteria?Nothing wrong with that,I should stress, but just wondering( also, why not Franco?).

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MatthewGilley

    (1) Jeff Bagwell. Really, this one is the easiest call to me.

    (2) Don Mattingly. I’m no Yankee fan but come on, folks – really? Let’s not overthink this.

    (3) Dale Murphy. I’m not surprised people don’t really realize how good he was since he did play for the Braves in the ’80s, which means no one actually saw him play in person. Still, he hit for power, average, caught and played center with great skill, and was excellent on the bases. And if baseball is looking for a dignified face to induct this year you can’t get anyone better than Murph.

    Michael Tee: 2. Barry Larkin. He would have won more GGs if it wasn’t such a popularity contest. 1995 MVP and 12 time All-Star.

    Larkin would be my #4 and should get in, no question. However, I am a Cardinal fan and must take umbrage with your implicit slur of Ozzie Smith. J’accuse!

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @UrsulaHennessey
    Charles Mark: Should “played for Mets” be added to your criteria?Nothing wrong with that,I should stress, but just wondering( also, why not Franco?).

    Fair point, Charles! I did cover mostly NY teams and so would know those folks best, but I did cover virtually all of the athletes above.

    Nothing wrong with Franco, per se. I respected him deeply for his toughness. It was hard to be John Franco. Very hard, at times. However, he was also one of the “stars” of that club. He knew it, and could call some of the shots with regard to media access. Not a bad thing. He earned it. He was a fine fellow. Nothing bad to say about him. But I was a frightened, naive reporter in the mid/late-90s. I asked my share of stupid questions. The folks I mention above never leered at me for being female (a few on the list certainly did that) and they listened and gave thoughtful answers to me, even if I was the only one asking; just me and my notepad, no TV cameras. I thought that was remarkably decent, because so many others were different.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @

    My criteria is hardly scientific. I looked at the list and asked my self: Which of these names make me me think “Of course he should be in the Hall of Fame!” the most?

    1. Don Mattingly

    2. Dave Parker

    3. Jack Morris

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @BillWalsh

    Tim Raines and two other guys. The Expos were my NL team in the ’80s.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @VanceRichards

    Sadly, the late Bart Giamatti also thought that being a “Most Decent Fellow” was more important than being a great baseball player.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @CharlesMark

    That’s interesting Ursula, wish I was there. My picks: Mattingly, Murphy, Trammell.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MichaelTee

    1. Fred McGriff. Hit nearly 500 HR and clearly did not do steroids when practically everyone else did. Class act.

    2. Barry Larkin. He would have won more GGs if it wasn’t such a popularity contest. 1995 MVP and 12 time All-Star.

    3. John Franco. According to Baseball-Reference, he should be in. Most saves by a lefty, and 4th all-time.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @VanceRichards

    Mattingly and Morris both had 4-5 year periods where looked like they would be shoe-ins for the Hall. Unfortunately, when you look at their career totals…meh.

    I do like the Crime Dog, though.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Inactive
    @WhiskeySam

    There’s going to have to be a re-evaluation of the players from the 70s-80s at some point in light of their numbers being dwarfed by the steroid era 90s-00s. Mattingly and Murphy were considered two of the best players in the game when they played, but their numbers paled when the homer binge started thanks to expansion teams, smaller parks, and juiced players. I’m not sure that they get in, but they need a fair look. I’d put in Baines, Blyleven, and Trammell (and wish Tommy John gets in on the Veteran’s Committee ballot). There needs to be a decision made on the steroid players as a group. The ones who would otherwise be locks (McGwire, Bonds, Palmeiro) should either all get in or none of them.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Paladin

    John Olerud – better be wearing his Blue Jays cap in!

    Jack Morris – Okay, he can wear his Twins hat. And yes I know his career stats were incredibly mediocre but that man could absolutely turn it on in the postseason! A regular joe for 162 games a year and then a near-deity in the playoffs. Can’t that earn his way in?

    Larry Walker – Apart from his great career stats he is a) Canadian, b) a class act and c) was a part of the (for me) legendary 1994 Montreal Expos, perhaps one of the best teams to ever play cut down in their prime by the strike.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Member
    @DuaneOyen

    I’m wondering why we get so hung up on arbitrary stats, such as power, 300 wins, etc. Mattingly and Blyleven belong there becausee they were money players, Blyleven over a very extended period of time. I also sometimes think that we need to have a time every 5th year when no New York or California sportswriters are eligible to vote (sorry Ursula).

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DavidWard

    Larry Walker, Mark McGuire and not sure if any others deserve it this year.

    • #14

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