BBWAA Releases 2007 Hall of Fame Ballot
Harold Baines 1st year. PRO: Six-time All-Star, 2,866 hits. CON: 1644 games played at DH (of 2830)
Albert Belle 2nd year. PRO: Named to five All-Star teams (1993-97). One season with 50-plus home runs, three seasons with 40-plus home runs, eight seasons with 30-plus home runs. Nine consecutive seasons with 100-plus runs batted in and nine seasons with 30-plus doubles. And a lot more. CON: Prickly, unlikable character.
Dante Bichette 1st year. PRO: Six seasons batting .300 or better, with a career average of .299. Named to four All-Star teams (1994-96, 1998). CON: His most productive years were in mile-high Denver.
Bert Blyleven 10th year. PRO: Ranks 5th all-time in strikeouts, 9th in starts, 9th in shutouts, 25th in wins, and 7th in innings pitched. CON: Wasn’t a dominant pitcher.
Bobby Bonilla 1st year. PRO: Named to six All-Star teams (1988-91, ’93, ’95). CON: Didn’t live up to the potential he had when he came up with Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh.
Scott Brosius 1st year. PRO: Was in four World Series, winning three. CON: Not much else to distinguish him.
Jay Buhner 1st year. PRO: Three consecutive seasons of 40-plus home runs. CON: Such potential not realized.
Ken Caminiti 1st year. PRO: Named to three All-Star teams (1994, ’96-97), Won the 1996 NL MVP. CON: A One great year, a couple very good years, but admitted to steroid use, had a drug problem, and died of a heart attack in November 2004.
Jose Canseco 1st year. PRO: Named to six All-Star teams (1986, ’88-90, ’92, ’99). Three seasons with 40-plus home runs, eight with 30-plus home runs. Became first member of baseball’s “40-40” club when he hit 42 home runs and stole 40 bases in 1988 – and I saw him steal his 40th base that year. CON: The steroids; his book about the steroids.
Dave Concepcion 14th year. PRO: Won five Gold Gloves (1974-’77, ’79). Named to nine All-Star teams (1973, ’75-’82), Four World Series (1970, ’72, ’75, ’76), member of two WS championship teams, 1975-’76. CON: Should he get in because other members of the Big Red Machine did?
Eric Davis 1st year. Lots of solid numbers early: His “20-80” season (27 home runs, 80 stolen bases; 1986) was only matched by Rickey Henderson. Won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1987-’89) Named to two All-Star teams (1987, ’89). CON: Middling stats after that.
Andre Dawson 6th year. PRO: Won eight Gold Glove awards (1980-’85, ’87-’88. all time: 45th in hits, 24th in total bases, 42nd in doubles, 35th in HR, 25th in RBI, 22nd in extra-base hits, and 9th in sacrifice flies. CON: Not the dominant player in his position.
Tony Fernandez 1st year. PRO: Five time All-Star (1986-87, ’89, ’92, ’99). Won four consecutive Gold Gloves at shortstop (1986-89). Four times batted better than .300. Two seasons of 40-plus doubles. CON: Only once finished as high as 8th in MVP voting, so he wasn’t a dominant player, and doesn’t hold career records either.
Steve Garvey 15th (and final) year. PRO: Ranks second all-time in fielding among first basemen (.9959). Ten All-Star teams, including eight consecutively (1974-’81, ’84-’85). Won four NL Gold Gloves, consecutively (1974-’77). Eight seasons with .300-plus batting average. Good hitter, GREAT fielder. CON: His fall from grace (two women each having a child by him at the same time) wrecked his moralist posturing.
Rich Gossage 8th year. PRO: Named to nine All-Star teams (1975-’78, ’80-’82, ’84-’85). Ranks 17th all-time in saves in an era the closer wasn’t as specialized as it’s become. CON: But only 17th?
Tony Gwynn 1st year. PRO: Eight-time National League batting champion, matching Honus Wagner for the most in NL history. Fifteen All-Star selections. Finished in Top 10 of MVP voting seven times, finishing as high as 3rd in 1984. Ranks 17th all-time with 3,141 hits, leading NL seven times in hits. Ranked among Top 10 in NL batting average during every season in which he had enough at-bats, ranking outside the top 5 only twice. Never hit lower than .309 in a full season. Five seasons with 200+ hits. A career .987 fielder. CON: (Really?) OK, not a power hitter.
Orel Hershiser 2nd year. PRO: Finished among top 5 in ERA five times (1984-’85, ’87-’89). And had one great 1988. CON: And his later years paled to his great ones.
Tommy John 13th year. Pitched 26 seasons. Three 20-win seasons. Ranks 24th on the all-time win list, 6th in games started, 18th in innings pitched, and tied for 26th in shutouts. Four All-Star teams (1968, ’78-’80). And he has a surgery named for him! CON: Seldom the dominant pitcher, even on his own teams.
Wally Joyner 1st year. PRO: All-Star selection in 1986 as a starter, the first rookie to do so since fan balloting resumed in 1970. Runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year in 1986. Six seasons of 150 hits or more. Four seasons with .300 or better average. CON: Wally World started off with such promise, but except for a mild resurgence in 1997, never lived up to his exciting start.
Don Mattingly 7th year. PRO: Won AL Gold Glove Award nine times (1985-’89, ’91-’94). Named AL Player of the Year by The Sporting News three times, consecutively (1984-’86). Named ML Player of the Year by The Sporting News (1985). Six All-Star teams, consecutively (1984-’89). Seven seasons with .300-plus batting average. Led AL in batting (.343, 1984), RBI (145, 1985), doubles three times (1984-’86), hits twice (1984, ’86), and slugging percentage (.573, 1986). Led AL in total bases twice (1985-Â86). Ranks 5th all-time in fielding percentage among first basemen (.9958). Led AL 1B in fielding percentage seven times (1984-’87, ’92-’94), in putouts and total chances (1986) and in double plays (1985, ’91). CON: I think Donnie Baseball suffers from the fact that he was a Yankee who never took his team to the World Series.
Mark McGwire 1st year. PRO: Twelve-time All-Star selection. Unanimous AL Rookie of the Year in 1987. Ranks 7th on the all-time home run list with 583. All-time leader in at-bats per home runs (10.6). Led league in home runs four times (1987, 1996, 1998, 1999), including then-major league record 70 HR in 1998, a season in which he, along with Sammy Sosa, practically saved baseball after the 1994 strike. Ranks 10th all-time with a .588 slugging percentage. Four times led league in slugging percentage. Also led league in on base percentage in 1996 and 1998. Led NL in RBI in 1999. Led league in walks twice (1990, 1998). Three times among Top 5 in total bases (1987, 1998, 1999). A career .993 fielder. Success in two leagues. Has the support, FWIW, from his former teammate, Canseco, and his former manager, Tony LaRussa. CON: Should have been a mortal lock except for this from March 17, 2005 in front of a Congressional committee regarding his use of steroids: “I’m not going to go into the past or talk about my past. I’m here to make a positive influence on this.”
Jack Morris 8th year. Three 20-win seasons, 11 seasons with 200-plus innings and three 200-strikeout campaigns. Received Cy Young Award votes seven times. Member the 1991e WS championship teams in 1984, ’91 and ’92; the 1991 10-inning 1-0 victory in Game Seven was one of the greatest pitched WS games ever. CON: None really. Maybe not a dominating enough pitcher.
Dale Murphy 9th year. Won back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1982-83. Seven All-Star teams (1980, ’82-’87); CON: Probably played too long, for he was a mediocre player in his last half dozen years.
Paul O’Neill 1st year. PRO: Five-time All-Star selection. Won AL batting title in 1994 (.359). Fourteen consecutive seasons of 100+ hits. Collected 100 or more RBI four times, consecutively, 1997-2000. Three times among league Top-10 in on-base percentage, including 2nd in 1994 (.460). Hit .300 or better six times, consecutively, 1993-’98. CON: Solid numbers, but HoF? And what a hothead.
Dave Parker 11th year. PRO: Won three Gold Gloves, consecutively (1977-’79). Elected to seven All-Star teams (1977, ’79-’81, ’85, ’86, ’90). Four 100-RBI seasons (led NL in 1985 with 125), three 100-run seasons (consecutively from 1977-’79), three seasons of 40-plus doubles (led NL in 1977 and ’85). Led the NL in slugging percentage in 1975 (.541) and ’78 (.585). Topped NL in total bases in 1978 (340), ’85 (350) and ’86 (304). Led NL in intentional walks in 1978 (23) and tied for intentional walks in ’85 (24). Led AL in sacrifice flies in 1990 (14) and tied for NL lead in 1979 (9). Plus Three World Series (1979, ’88, ’89, winning the first and last ones. CON: Definitely a player on the bubble.
Jim Rice 13th year. PRO: Eight All-Star teams (1977-’80, ’83-’86). Seven .300 seasons, four 200-plus hit seasons, three 100-plus run season (consecutively from 1977-’79),30-plus HR four times, 40-plus HR once, and 100-plus RBI eight times. ed AL in total bases four times in 1977 (382), ’78 (406), ’79 (369) and 1983 (344). One of 31 players with 350+ home runs and a .290+ career batting average. Only player in history with three straight seasons of 35+ home runs and 200+ hits. CON: Prickly relationship with the press, who would note that the one time his Red Sox got to the World Series (1986), they didn’t win.
Cal Ripken Jr. 1st year. PRO: One of eight players in ML history to amass at least 3,000 hits and 400 home runs. Two-time AL MVP (1983, 1991); Named to 19 consecutive All-Star teams (1983-2001).Four seasons of 100-plus RBI and batted better than .300 four full seasons. CON: Yeah, he played in 2,632 consecutive games, 2,216 at shortstop. But should he have?
Bret Saberhagen 1st year. Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner (1985, 1989); Three-time All-Star (1987, 1990, 1994). CON: Had some good years, but not enough.
Lee Smith 5th year. Ranks second in ML history for saves (478). Seven All-Star teams (1983, ’87, ’91-’95); Led NL in saves three times (1983, ’91, ’92) and AL in saves once (1994) Holds NL career record for most consecutive errorless games by a pitcher (546). CON: None, really, if the closer is a real position that merits HoF consideration.
Alan Trammell 6th year Seven .300 batting average seasons.Won four AL Gold Glove awards (1980, ’81, ’83, ’84). CON: Solid player with a 1984 WS ring, but is that enough?
Devon White 1st year PRO:Seven-time Gold Glove Award winner. Three-time All-Star selection. CON: Not nearly enough.
Bobby Witt 1st year. Won a World Series. CON: When “Twice ranked among AL top-10 in wins (1990, 1996)” is the most salient fact in one’s career stats…
So the questions:
1. Who should get in?
2. Who will get in?
3. Who will fail to get the requisite 5% and never be on the ballot again?
I decided to look at last year’s voting:
Bruce Sutter 400 76.9
STILL UNDER CONSIDERATION
Jim Rice 337 64.8
Rich Gossage 336 64.6
Andre Dawson 317 61.0
Bert Blyleven 277 53.3
Lee Smith 234 45.0
Jack Morris 214 41.2
Tommy John 154 29.6
Steve Garvey 135 26.0
Alan Trammell 92 17.7
Dave Parker 75 14.4
Dave Concepcion 65 12.5
Don Mattingly 64 12.3
Orel Hershiser 58 11.2
Dale Murphy 56 10.8
Albert Belle 40 7.7
ELIMINATED FROM CONSIDERATION
Will Clark 23 4.4
Dwight Gooden 17 3.3
Willie McGee 12 2.3
Hal Morris 5 1.0
Ozzie Guillen 5 1.0
Gary Gaetti 4 0.8
John Wetteland 4 0.8
Rick Aguilera 3 0.6
Doug Jones 2 0.4
Greg Jefferies 2 0.4
Walt Weiss 1 0.2
Gary DiSarcina 0 0.0
Alex Fernandez 0 0.0
1. Belle, Blyleven, Dawson, Gwynn, John, Morris, Parker, Rice, Ripkin, Smith – yeah, that’s liberal, picking 10 (the max), but I think the writers have been overly stingy in the past.
2. Dawson, Gossage, Gwynn, Rice, Ripkin (the first two are probably, “I hope so”)
3. FOR SURE: Brosius, Joyner, White, Witt. PROBABLY: Bonilla, Caminiti, Davis, Fernandez.
The least deserving to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’d agree with Percy Sledge, not with the Lovin’ Spoonful.