Somehow, I missed the fact that the ballots for the 2018 Hall of Fame were distributed in November to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). They voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players and were returned by December 31. The results will be announced on January 24.
The candidates can be found here – inductees will need 75% of the vote.
The ones I would have picked:
1 Barry Bonds (6th year of eligibility, out of 10; 53.8% of the votes last ballot)
2 Roger Clemens (6th year, 54.1%)
Still, by far, the best players on the ballot. One of the greatest position players (Bonds) and pitchers (Clemens) of all time. Performance-enhancing drugs were not really regulated until 2004, and their achievements before any allegations were stellar. They each received over 50% of the vote last time, with 75% needed, which is on the upswing.
3 Vladimir Guerrero (pictured, 2nd year, 71.8%) – the outfielder had career batting average of .318, with 449 home runs. If the ballot wasn’t so stuffed last time, he would have made it then
4 Chipper Jones (1st year) – the third baseman/outfielder spent his 19-year career with the Atlanta Braves and hit over .300, with 468 homers
5 Trevor Hoffman (3rd year, 74.0%) – painfully close for the guy with 601 saves
6 Jim Thome (1st year) – with 612 home runs, he is 8th on the all-time list
7 Larry Walker (8th year, 21.9%) – though having a .313 batting average, his 9.5 years playing his home games in Colorado, advantageous to a hitter, has made him a less attractive choice
8 Edgar Martinez (9th year, 58.6%) – voters have been resistant for voters to select a full-time designated hitter to the Hall, though they’ve picked Frank Thomas, who was a DH about 58% of the time
9 Jeff Kent (5th year, 16.7%) – solid infielder at three positions, solid hitter, and has the same birthday as mine
10 Mike Mussina (5th year, 51.8%) – solid pitcher for many years, not always the ace of the staff – he won 270 games at a point that winning 300, once the gold standard, is almost impossible to achieve with a five-man rotation
One could make a good case for Omar Vizquel, the slick-fielding infielder with over 2800 hits
The National Football League playoffs start this weekend. My rooting interests this postseason, in order:
1. Buffalo Bills – only team that plays its home games in New York State
2. Pittsburgh Steelers – the favorite team of Chuck Miller
3. Philadelphia Eagles – my favorite bus driver’s favorite team
4. Carolina Panthers – where my parents moved to in 1974
5. Jacksonville Jaguars – they’ve been terrible for a decade, went from 3-13 in 2016 to 11-5 in 2017, and the city took a beating from Hurricane Irma in September 2017
12. New England Patriots