If I had a Vote
As a lifelong Baseball fan, I have
an opinion on who I believe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame from this year’s
class. I know don’t have a vote, and my
opinion means nothing to the actual Hall of Fame, but I felt the need to write
who I think should be in and why. I used
to be against the players who were attached to the steroid era, especially if
they were accused of using, but I have moved past that; those were the
times. There are non-pitchers who are in
from the dead ball era, the times should dictate the criteria on which the
votes are based. If there was a
committee that could go though and look at all the players in the Hall of Fame
and re-judge them by today’s standards, I truly feel that many of the Hall of
Famers would not make the updated list.
When making my choices I used my gut opinion from watching them play
through the years, I looked at their stats over their careers, I looked where
they align with other Hall of Famers, and I even used the newer Sabermetrics to
come to my conclusions. With my list of
ten players, which I have ranked, I did have a few that were on the cusp of
making my list. I will break down why I
did not include them in my top ten for this year. My list, in order, is:
- Mariano Rivera
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Sammy Sosa
- Roy Halladay
- Edgar Martinez
- Todd Helton
- Manny Ramirez
- Scott Rolen
- Fred McGriff
- Andruw Jones
- Omar Vizquel
- Billy Wagner
- Miguel Tejada
There you go. Those
players listed 1-10 are who I believe belong in the Hall of Fame from today’s
ballot. Andruw Jones was very close in
my mind to making the list, but I felt that Scott Rolen and Fred McGriff were
just barely more deserving of the right.
I believe that Andruw Jones will make the Hall of Fame eventually, I
just ran out of room on my imaginary ballot.
Mariano Rivera. He is a Hall
of Famer to me because I believe he is the best closing pitcher the game has
ever seen. He is the All-Time leader in
Saves, won the AL reliever of the year five times, and has a career WAR of
56.3. From my eye test, every time I saw
a Yankee game, and he pitched, I knew the Yankees were about to win the
game. He was dominant for 16 of his 19
years in the MLB. One of those years he
was recovering from a torn ACL, when he was 42.
The other two years were his first two in the major leagues. All of these factors tell me that he will be
a no doubt Hall of Famer.
Barry Bonds. I think he
should already be a Hall of Famer d. He
is the All-Time Homerun leader, both career and single season, All-Time leader
in Walks and Intentional Walks, He was a seven-time NL MVP, eight-time Gold
Glove winner, two-time NL Batting Champion, and has a career WAR of 162.8. He was a beast when he was in the batter’s
box. There was a time where he either
walked or it seemed he hit a Homerun.
His most notorious season where he hit 73 Homeruns, he also batted .328
and had 137 RBIs. Yes, I know he has
been accused of using steroids, and I believe that he did. I also believe he was going to be a Hall of
Famer before he ballooned up. Before the
season when he hit the 73 Homeruns, he was hitting 25-45 homers, around 100
RBIs, and hitting around .310 every year.
He was also a factor on the bases; he stole 514 over his career. All these factors tell me that he is
definitely a Hall of Famer, and shame on the Baseball writers for not including
him in the hall.
Roger Clemens. This is
another player who I believe should already be a Hall of Famer. He is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers of
all time. He won 20+ games 6 times in
his career, leading the league four times, lead the league in ERA seven times, lead
the league in strikeouts five times, he won the Cy Young award seven times, and
even was an MVP once, which is rare for pitchers to do. In his career his win/loss record was
354-184, with a career ERA of 3.12, he amassed 4672 strikeouts, and had a
career WAR of 139.0. He is another
player who was extremely feared when he was on the mound. He too has been tied to the usage of
steroids, I don’t doubt that he used them.
It was the times, and I feel that if you weren’t using them, you were at
a major disadvantage. I think he used
them, not to get better, but to extend his career; he pitched until he was 44
years old. He is a player that when I
watched him play, I knew he deserved to be a Hall of Famer. He will be
Sammy Sosa. This one is hard
for me to say, but Sammy Sosa should be a Hall of Famer. Growing up a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I
absolutely hated Sammy Sosa, but respected him for what he was doing on the
field and for the game. He deserves to
be a Hall of Famer purely for the run he went on from 1996-2002. He was one of the most feared batters in the
game during that time. He finished his
career with 609 Homeruns, 1667 RBIs, .273 batting average, 58.6 WAR, 1 MVP, and
6 Silver Sluggers. His stats line up
with other Hall of Famers, not many players have hit over 600 Homeruns. He would have more MVPs if he didn’t play
during the Barry Bonds era. For how he
helped save the game of baseball during the 1998 season with his Homerun race
with Mark McGuire, (who I also believe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame), is
enough of a reason, to me, why he deserves to be in. I believe Sammy Sosa will eventually be a
Hall of Famer, but probably not until the veterans committee votes him in, with
most of the big names from the steroid era.
Roy Halladay. He should be
elected to the Hall of Fame because he was a special pitcher and dominated the
batters he faced during the steroid era.
He was never accused or attached to any steroid scandal but maintained
his excellence over the league. He won 203
games over his career, struck out 2117, had a career ERA of 3.38, won the Cy
Young award twice, would have been more if he wasn’t battling Roger Clemens for
the award. The cumulation of all his
stats, and how he dominated the league during his playing days, tells me that
he is deserving of being a Hall of Famer.
I’m not sure if I’d say he’s a top 10 pitcher of all time, but he is
definitely a top 3 pitcher of his era.
That, to me, makes him worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Edgar Martinez. He has been
growing on me, I didn’t get the chance to watch him play often, as he was in
Seattle and his games were rarely shown where I grew up. I do remember the name though and thinking
that he was a really good player. Being
a DH has handicapped his Hall of Fame selection over the years. It is hard for a pure DH to be elected,
however, he was the best pure DH, until David Ortiz. I believe if it weren’t for Edgar Martinez
being so good and so important for the team as the DH, then David Ortiz could
have fizzled out and not become the super star that he is. Martinez redefined the position. The award for the best DH in the league was
named after him, that alone tells me that he should be a Hall of Famer. He won this award five times and won the
batting title twice. He will be elected
this year, as voters have steadily increased their support for him over the
years. Although this is his last year
eligible, I believe if he does not get voted in now, the veterans committee
will vote him in in a few years.
Todd Helton. My favorite
stat about Todd Helton is that Peyton Manning was his backup Quarterback at
University of Tennessee. Yes, I know
that’s not related to his MLB Hall of Fame worthiness, but not many baseball
players can say they were ahead of a future NFL Hall of Famer on the depth chart
at any level of football. On the baseball
field he was a force for the Colorado Rockies.
Over his career, he hit 369 Homeruns, drove in 1406 RBIs, batted .316,
with a season of hitting .372, had a WAR of 61.2, won three Gold Gloves, won
four Silver Sluggers, and one Batting title.
He is hurt for playing in the thin air of Colorado, but I feel where a
player plays should not hinder their Hall of Fame status. If that were the case, move the Rockies out
of the Denver. I remember him always
being the most feared batter on the Rockies and one of the most in the
league. He was an amazing First Baseman
and with all of this, I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame.
Manny Ramirez. The Hall of
Fame needs a player like Manny Ramirez.
He was so entertaining, and so good at the same time. He was one of the most feared batters during
the time he played, amassing 555 Homeruns, 2574 Hits, 1831 RBIs, .312 Batting
Average, and a .585 Slugging Percentage.
Besides those stats, he won nine Silver Sluggers, one Batting Title, one
World Series MVP, and was in the top-5 of the MVP voting four times. He was a major part of the Boston Red Sox
team that ended their World Series Championship drought and was always great. He was one of my favorite players and I
always thought he was a little different, in a good way, and a step above the
rest of the players on the field. With
all this, I feel that he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Scott Rolen. Although he did
have a few years where he was a feared batter, he is more known for being one
of the best defensive Third Basemen ever in baseball. Offensively his career was still pretty good,
hitting 316 Homeruns, 2077 Hits, 1287 RBIs, and batting .281. His offensive numbers would be better if he
wasn’t battling injuries during the tail end of his 17-year career. Speaking of his defensive stats, he won eight
Gold Gloves and had a career Fielding Percentage of .968 which is insane
considering he had 5745 chances to make an error, of which he only made
186. Other awards that he has collected
over his career are the NL Rookie of the Year, one Silver Slugger, and chased
after a few MVP awards. I might be a
little biased because he played for my hometown team, but I always was beyond
amazed at how he played Third Base. It
made me want to play Third Base growing up, and I still do play in when I play
softball. His defensive skills were a
major inspiration to me. Again, I know
that doesn’t matter to his Hall of Fame worthiness, but it demonstrates how
good he truly was.
Fred McGriff. This player
was another of my favorites growing up.
I remember him always being so good.
Over his career he amassed some incredible stats, 493 Homeruns, 1550
RBIs, 2490 Hits, and a .284 Batting Average.
I believe if he had hit seven more Homeruns, he would already be a Hall
of Famer. He also brought home a lot of
awards over his career, three Silver Sluggers, one All Star Game MVP, and he
was in the Top-10 in the MVP race six times.
In reading up on Fred McGriff, I feel that the fact that he played for
so many teams is hurting his Hall of Fame chances. I’m not sure if he will get in on this
ballot, but I hope that he will get in through the veterans committee
eventually. He was one of the best that
played the game and deserves this accolade.
Well those were the players that I
would vote for, for the MLB Hall of Fame, if I had a vote. Now it’s time to talk a little about the
players that were on the cusp of my ballot.
Andruw Jones was the player who was the closest to making my ballot,
basically being vote 10b, with Fred McGriff being 10a. I honestly gave Fred McGriff the nod over
Andruw Jones because it is McGriff’s last year on the ballot and I believe that
he should be in the Hall of Fame. Andruw
Jones’ stats are very similar to Scott Rolen’s, but I liked Rolen more when he
was playing. I believe Andruw Jones
should be in the Hall of Fame, and I just ran out of room on my imaginary
ballot. Omar Vizquel was next, he would be going in purely on his defensive
merit, and I don’t think that he was good enough on the offensive side of the
field to deserve the right to be a Hall of Famer. I do believe he is close, but he didn’t make
my ballot this year. The next two
players I remember them being really dominant for a few years, but their peak
years did not last very long. These two
players are Billy Wagner and Miguel Tejada. These two players
are at risk of falling of the ballot for next year, purely because there are so
many great players ahead of them in many actual voters’ minds. Miguel Tejada was one of the best players in
the game for a few years, but he needed that to last a bit longer.
Well, there you have it, my ballot,
if I were to have one, for the MLB Hall of Fame. I wish that the actual voters would put out a
breakdown like this, so the general public can see where they are coming from
and to see why they made the decisions that that they did. I feel that it would make the Hall of Fame
process run smoother and create a lot of interesting conversation. If you have any thoughts about my choices,
feel free to leave a comment and start the conversation. I hope you all have a great day, and let’s go
see some houses, and talk baseball.