There will be a time that I’m less invested in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I don’t follow the game nearly as much in the past decade as I did last century.
But the Hall points to past accomplishments. One must be retired for five years to be eligible. Then one must receive 75% of the votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America to be inducted.
There are 35 players on the ballot, 20 players eligible for the first time, and 15 players who had received at least 5% of the ballots in the previous year. The writers can pick up to 10 players.
If I were to be able to vote, I wouldn’t pick the colorful outfielder Manny Ramirez, despite his mostly stellar career. This article by Jay Jaffee of Sports Illustrated addresses the reason: “On performance alone, [he is] a Hall of Famer, but his drug transgressions make voting for him anything but automatic.”
Interestingly, the author “draws a distinction between allegations stemming from the ‘Wild West’ era before testing and penalties were in place and those that resulted in actual suspensions. I wouldn’t vote for Ramirez at this juncture.”
My picks – stats are HERE.
1. Barry Bonds (7th year on the ballot, 56.4% of the votes need last year) – 14-time All-Star, eight-time Gold Glove Award winner, seven National League Most Valuable Player Awards, the most of any player all-time.
2. Roger Clemens (7th year, 57.3%) – Won record seven Cy Young Awards. Jaffe alludes to the fact that the alleged performance-enhancing actions that the best outfielder and best pitcher on the ballot were not actually banned at the time.
3. Edgar Martinez (10th year, 70.4%) – Named to seven All-Star Games, Won AL batting titles twice. It’s his FINAL year of eligibility, and while I’m no great fan of the designated hitter, who generally bats for the pitcher, he’s SO close to the 75% promised land.
4. Fred McGriff (10th year, 23.2%) – A five-time All-Star. Also his final year of eligibility. “Crime Dog” is a borderline great player, and he won’t make it, but what the heck.
5. Mariano Rivera (1st year) – Led American League in saves thrice, Named to 13 All-Star Games Ranks first all-time in saves (652). The best closer (relief pitcher) of his generation.
6. Todd Helton. (1st year) – Five-time All-Star. I think I have an anti-Colorado Rockies bias because the altitude gives hitters an advantage.
7. Miguel Tejada (1st year) – Six-time All-Star. his name came up in the steroid scandal. Rafael “Palmeiro had told an arbitration panel he tested positive after receiving a vial of liquid vitamin B-12 from Tejada. Tejada was cleared of any wrongdoing,” but I’d be surprised if he got in this year.
8. Larry Walker (9th year, 34.1%) Won seven Gold Glove Awards, Named to five All-Star Games. Another Colorado Rockies player who deserves more support.
9. Andy Petitte (1st year) Holds all-time Postseason records for wins, innings pitched and games started. If he hadn’t been playing for the Yankees, he might not have had such opportunity to play in October.
10. Mike Mussina (6th year, 63.5%) 11 seasons with at least 15 wins, Named to five All-Star teams, Won seven Gold Glove Awards.
There are others I definitely considered such as the Omar Vizquel, Jeff Kent, and the late Roy Halladay, who died in a boating accident in 2017.