I love baseball and history, so the Baseball Hall of Fame is important to me. It's a big deal. These guys will live on in baseball lore forever. It means something. There's an exclusively. It's not like the basketball hall of fame where anybody who retired with over 15 ppg makes it in.
I don't love all of it. The days of 3,000 hits or 500 HR being automatic tickets to Cooperstown are no more. It's a case by case basis to me, but to me those milestones should get you in. There is still a heavy "this is exactly what is wrong with baseball" vibe to the way a lot of it goes into which guys go in. There's examples of guys who should be, but in aren't, or had to wait way too long to get in because of pettiness by voters (old, many times out of touch sportswriters). There's dudes who won't vote for anybody on the first ballot just because someone 30 years ago didn't get a high enough percentage of votes. I think it's a fucking joke that Pete Rose is kept out. But despite the flaws, I'm a big fan of the HOF and what it means to be a Hall of Famer. I love all of it. The speeches, the stories, the pieces of the fame kept at the hall.
One of my favorite thing about whenever the ballot is announced is the poor guys who for sure had nice careers, but could receive no votes to stay on the ballot for the following year, your Travis Hafners, Ted Lillys and Jason Bays of the baseball world just don't look right being in the same realm as a Mariano Rivera. It's crazy to see some of these names already on the ballot, 2013 season doesn't seem that long ago. These are guys who's entire careers I witnessed a baseball fan. I grew up as a baseball fan watching these guys. It makes your boy feel v old.
A trip to Cooperstown is close to the top of my life bucket list, I think when Papi gets inducted (which should be on the first ballot) I'll go to the ceremony. That's my guy. I went to his final regular season home game.
Shitty game, that ended with the Blue Jays clinching a wild card spot.
Whatever, we're here for the HOF.
I'm definitely skeptical about steroid guys making it into the hall; especially if they were the caliber of player you could just tell wouldn't have been nearly as good without them, a Ken Caminiti type player for example. Not a hall of famer at all, but just a pure steroid guy imo.
But a Roger Clemens type to me is a completely different story.
You never see 10 guys make it in on one ballot, but since you're given 10 votes. I'm picking 10 guys I think are worthy of the Hall of Fame. FTR I think over time more than 10 of these listed guys should/will get in. But this is what your boy Doz' ballot would look like if he had one for 2019. Team pictured in players photo is team I believe they should go into HOF with.
RP Mariano Rivera
New York Yankees 1995-2013
The easiest pick of the list is Mariano Rivera. Mo is the greatest closer of all time. so of course he's a first ballot Hall of Famer. He pitched for the last true dynasty in baseball. The New York Yankees of a run that truly went from 1995-2004. They had division titles after, but it was not the same. IMO Mo is the best player of the 90's Yankees dynasty.
Mo is the all-time leader in saves, games finished, and ERA+. I still don't really understand ERA+ but baseball nerds say it matters a lot. His counting stats are incredible. 652 regular season saves, another 42 in the post season. Nearly 700 in total for his career.
The numbers are stupid.
5 World Series Rings.
Career 0.70 post season era.
2.21 in the regular season.
1999 World Series MVP, 2003 ALCS MVP, 2013 All Star Game MVP (used in the 8th inning, what a shame)
13 Time All-Star
5 Top 5 Finishes for Cy Young
Last man to wear #42. What a way for the number to go out. As a Red Sox fan I have a great appreciation for Mariano Rivera. No way you watch the whole video, I didn't even. but Mo is a Yankee I'll always respect and not hate.
Favorite Mariano Rivera Moment:
I can't believe there's no clip on Youtube, but has to be when the Red Sox fans cheered him on 2005 Opening Day and how he played along. Awesome moment.
SP Roy Halladay
Toronto Blue Jays 1998-2009, Philadelphia Phillies 2010-2013
One of the greatest pitchers of the 2000's Roy Halladay IMO is without a doubt a Hall of Famer. His unfortunate, and untimely death in a way immortalized him even more, he may have not been a 1st ballot HOFer, but I think with his passing he for sure will make it in.
Doc was at times the lone bright spot on a lot of mediocre Jays teams of the 2000's. I think he finished in 3rd place like 18 years in his 16 year career. 203-105 record, but is a prime example of how wins should be much lower on the factors of determining how great a pitcher was. Doc ate innings, 4 times leading the league, a career 3.38 era in an era of offense when he had many starts against the Red Sox and Yankees at the high of their offensive era. 2117 strikeouts, to only 592 walks. 1.178 WHIP.
Doc's best days may have been in Toronto, but his biggest moments were in Philly. His 2010 season was legendary. Cy Young winner, perfect game, and first post season no-hitter since Don Larsen's Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series.
Doc Halladay was an 8 time All-Star. 2 time Cy Young winner. He finished in the Top 5 in Cy Young Voting 7 times, including six straight seasons from 2006-2011.
Favorite Roy Halladay Moment:
DH/3B Edgar Martinez
Seattle Mariners 1987-2004
Sure he was a DH for most his career, but after 9 years on the ballot, this is Edgar's last chance on the regular ballot. He deserves to be in. Perhaps it's because he played on Seattle his entire career, a team who had success, but never fully blossomed into a true winner.
In my eyes Edgar Martinez is a Hall of Famer. He's at worst 1b for greatest DH ever. Whether you like the DH or not, it's been a part of baseball for over 40 years. He is one of the best men ever to do it, he's a Hall of Famer.
Career .312/.418/.515 hitter. 309 HR, 1261 RBI. 514 doubles.
7 time all-star. 5 time silver-slugger, 2 time batting champ. These are hall of fame numbers. If the 95-2001 Mariners ever even make a World Series, he's likely already in imo. In October Martinez numbers weren't jaw dropping but in 34 career playoff games he drove in 24 runs, although 10 came in one series.
With a shade over 70% of the votes cast last year, I really hope this is the year Edgar gets his due.
SP Roger Clemens
Boston Red Sox 1984-1996, Toronto Blue Jays 1997-98, New York Yankees 1999-2003; 2007, Houston Astros 2004-2006
Roger Clemens is one of the greatest pitchers of all time. His numbers speak for themselves.
7 time Cy Young Award Winner
7 time ERA leader
11 time all-star
2 time triple-crown winnner
2 time World Series Champ
6 20 win seasons
It's his 7th time on the ballot, just like the guy I'll get to next. There are obvious steroid allegations, but in my eyes just from his Red Sox career alone Roger should be in the HOF. He may he have done what hundreds of other players of his era did, but I am of the school of thought that you can't erase an era. The steroid era helped save baseball, you cannot just act like it never happened. The Rocket belongs in Cooperstown.
LF Barry Bonds
Pittsburgh Pirates 1986-1992, San Francisco Giants 1993-2007
Barry Lamar Bonds is the greatest hitter of this generation, steroids or not. All-time home run leader.
7 time MVP
8 time Gold Glove winner
14 time All-Star
11 time Silver Slugger
2 time Batting Champ
If you go on Barry Bonds baseball-reference you'll see a lot of bold. This man was a pitcher's nightmare. For four seasons in a row Barry Bonds OBP was over .500. You'll never see that again. Last year he received 56.4% of the vote. Likely won't get in this year, much like Clemens, they will be forever linked, but in my eyes they both should be in Cooperstown because the first halves of their careers between alleged steroid use began they were already HOFers.
SP Mike Mussina
Baltimore Orioles 1991-2000, New York Yankees 2001-2008
Mike Mussina was a very good pitcher, for a really long time. Mussina's ERA was under 4.00 for 12 of his 18 major league seasons. His conventional numbers might not be jaw dropping, but he's a guy who's HOF case has been made by the advanced numbers.
Fans around my age will likely remember Mussina more for his Yankee days, I know I do, his best days were in Baltimore, and his brightest moment was in a series he didn't win a game in. All 5 of his all-star appearances were in Baltimore. In the 1997 ALCS, a series the O's would lose to the Cleveland Indians in two starts Mussina pitched 15 innings, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and 25 strikeouts. How the Orioles didn't win I'll never understand?
My biggest Mussina takeaway is how the knock against him his entire career was how he never won 20 games, then he finally did in his final season, making many wonder what he may have had left in the tank. Although I hate the Yankees it kind of bums me out he didn't stay one more year to be a part of that 09 team. This is a guy who just pitched and did what he was supposed to do, and ended up having a fantastic career. Twice made it to the World Series, but never won.
Mussina is 20th all-time in strikeouts with 2,813.
7 gold gloves.
SP Curt Schilling
Baltimore Orioles 1998-1990, Houston Astros 1991, Philadelphia Phillies 1992-2000, Arizona Diamondbacks 2000-2003, Boston Red Sox 2004-2007
Curt Schilling Red Sox jersey was my first ever baseball jersey so I may be biased here.
All-time leader in playoff victories. A stat that for sure matters. A true winner. Dude just got it done when it mattered most. 2001 World Series Co-MVP. 3 time World Series champ. Had some memorable moments and seasons for three different teams. Despite all the teams, many may not want to claim him because of shit I really don't wanna get into. I know a lot of New Englanders have turned their back on Curt Schilling, but I have not. Dude ended the fucking curse. Bloody Sock. Do I need to keep going?
3116 strikeouts (15th all-time)
4 time top 5 finisher in Cy Young voting, including 3 second place finished.
11-2 in the postseason with a 2.23 ERA.
4-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 7 World Series starts.
To me, winning championships is the most important thing about playing and watching sports. We can get enjoyment out of other things in the game, and reckongize that simply counting rings isn't want differentiates who is better over a career. Nobody thinks Chuck Knoblauch is better than Ted Williams. But in October Schilling was literally all-time. That combined with the stretches of brilliance over a long career gets him in (eventually) in my eyes. The hardest thing about Curt Schilling's case is what hat does he wear? The Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox all have strong claims. Most seasons in Philly, won his first WS and had best seasons of his career in Arizona, helped Red Sox break curse, and won two World Series in Boston.
1B Todd Helton
Colorado Rockies 1997-2013
One of the best first basemen in all of baseball for a few years. IMO Todd Helton is the most deserving Rockies player of a spot in Cooperstown. I get the whole Coors Field thing, but does that just mean if you played for the Colorado Rockies you're ineligible for the Hall of Fame?
From 2000-2004 Todd Helton was a 5 time all star, 3 time Top 10 MVP finisher, 3 gold gloves, 4 silver sluggers.
For his career Helton hit 369 home runs, drove in 1406, with a slash line of .316/,414/.539.
2000 NL batting champ.
Helton likely won't make it in on the first ballot, possibly may never make it, but as a career one team guy, he is the face of the Colorado Rockies, if they are ever gonna get someone in (and it's not Larry Walker) it should be Todd Helton.
Let's not forget he was a key part of the 2007 Colorado Rockies. One of the most improbable World Series teams of all time. Even though they got swept by MY Boston Red Sox, they are still a team with a legacy. That 21 of 22 or whatever it was run is all-time.
OF/1B Lance Berkman
Houston Astros 1999-2010, New York Yankees 2010, St. Louis Cardinals 2011-2012, Texas Rangers 2013
At first glance you might not think Fat Elvis is worthy of a HOF spot, but I am gonna prove you wrong.
I was actually thinking about this very topic last night, then the ballots came out, sort of weird, but whatever, I love Manny and think he should get in, but I mean it's hard to overlook the steroids, and how he quit on the Red Sox. Sammy Sosa I think is a pure product of steroids.
Lance Berkman quietly had 6 top 10 MVP finishes on some pretty good Astros teams.
Hit .293/.406/.537 for his career. 366 home runs, 1234 (fun!) RBI, 422 doubles, 6 x All-star.
59th all time in walks.
43rd all time in OBP% ( .406%)
39th all time in slugging % ( .537%)
Played a major part of the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series championship. Hit .436 in the 2011 fall classic. With a key hit in the game 6 rally that kept their season alive. A career .317 playoff hitter, batted .410 in 11 World Series games, 9 home runs and 41 RBI.
Lance Berkman's 162 average is 32 HR and 106 RBI. To me he has a very intriguing HOF case.
What do you think? Who would you vote for? I would also love to see Manny, McGriff, Andruw Jones, and Larry Walker get their due. I think Andy Pettite is borderline, he's usually lumped in with Mussina and Schilling, and if Schilling is gonna get in then I can definitely see people who want Andy ins POV.