It's that time of year where sanctimony intersects with silliness. It's the time when members of the BBWAA (sometimes) reveal their Hall of Fame ballots.
The BBWAA is a strange beast. The ballots for the Hall are on paper. Writers are supposed to tick check boxes for players to support, then the ballots need to be mailed. Is it any wonder some of the electorate hang on to pitcher wins and RBIs? The whole process vibes old school.
Take this writer's protest:
I’ve been voting since 1986 and I truly miss the good old days when we argued about home runs, batting averages, ERAs, World Series performances, All-Star Games, and a player’s dominance at his position in his era. Things were so much simpler then. Saying yes to Ron Santo or no to Jim Kaat was a serious baseball debate. This was before PEDs and WAR and ALDS and Deadspin buying a Hall of Fame ballot. Now there is so much to consider, it makes one’s head explode.
Ahhh... the good old days.
I'm not going to link to the above writer, because at best, he's uninformed. At worst, he's a troll.
Take the last sentence. There isn't "so much to consider." There's more to consider. That should be welcome. That should be a good thing. The writer of the above graph is a newspaper writer for crying out loud. They're supposed to be providing information.
Whatever. There's too much hand-wringing over this process and I've already spilled too much bandwidth discussing this. Let's just say as the old school moves on, we are going to get more of the current school. Take Jeff Passan's ballot:
Here's my first Hall of Fame ballot. A great privilege. I would've voted for more than 10 were I given the choice. pic.twitter.com/qotKRiohkG— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 29, 2013
Informed and transparent. I don't think his ballot is perfect, but I think it's pretty good.
As Passan touched on in his Tweet, if you have a ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame this year and you don't utilize all ten votes, then I don't know what to say. This ballot is so meaty, I simply can't understand how a voter could vote for fewer than the maximum.
I'm not going to go into great detail on my selections because the stats are all readily available. I just wanted to get a list of names out there I considered to be HoF worthy.
Played his home games in a park that was very unfriendly to hitters while in his prime. One of the best seven year peak performances by any first baseman not named Gehrig, Foxx, or Mize.
Why not put another component of the Killer B's into the Hall on the same ballot? Really an amazing career when you consider he played 1,989 games at second, 428 games at catcher, and 255 games in center.
I would probably vote him in just on the 2004 season alone. Or the 2001 season. Or his 1993. You get the idea. Collectively, a no-brainer.
Until Pedro Martinez came along, the most dominant starting pitcher I ever saw. Check what he did from 1990 to 1992.
So different from Clemens, yet just as dominant. Tom Seaver owns the record for highest percentage received on a HoF ballot. Maddux should come close.
Underrated and under appreciated. He didn't have an especially dominant peak, but he was consistent. That consistency carried over into October.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... so he wasn't a defensive wizard behind the plate. His bat more than made up for any defensive shortcomings he may have had. One of the best hitting catchers in the history of the game.
You know the story... Rickey Henderson's shadow, Montreal, cocaine, collusion. Ignore the noise and focus on the performance. A career .385 OBP and his slugging percentage of .425 was better than Henderson.
An amazing hitter who seems under appreciated to me. I'm voting for Bagwell and Thomas was better, so I'm voting for Thomas. Weird how that works.
Consistently great offensively at a position where there weren't many great offensive players. Especially given the era in which he played. He's not a guy who leaps to mind when discussing the top shortstops of all time, but he's certainly in the second tier. And that tier is HoF worthy.
Those are my 10. There are some players who are certainly worthy, but not on my ballot:
Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling
I enjoy the idea of the Hall of Fame and I enjoy the debate around the players. I'm keeping my fingers crossed there are enough current school members of the electorate that someone actually gets elected this year. We shall see.