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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot

IMPORTANT: Please read:

This election should follow BBWAA rules, not Hall of Merit rules. However, we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name (examples of whom I am referring to are Mookie Wilson, Scott Broscius, Buddy Biancalana - players who were well liked or were underdogs, but have no creditable HOF resume). Leaving 1st-year candidates off your ballot is also frowned upon. IOW, we would like to see an absence of some of the silliness that permeates Hall of Fame voting by the writers.

The election will end next Monday (8 PM EST).

Here are some of the rules by the BBWAA that pertain to our electorate:

3. Eligible Candidates — Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:

A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).
C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
E. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

4. Method of Election

A. BBWAA Screening Committee — A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
B. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.+
C. Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

The eligible candiates are: Harold Baines*, Albert Belle, Dante Bichette*, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Bonilla*, Scott Brosius*, Jay Buhner*, Ken Caminiti*, Jose Canseco*, Dave Concepcion, Eric Davis*, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez*, Steve Garvey**, Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn*, Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Wally Joyner*, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire*, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Paul O’Neill*, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Jr.*, Bret Saberhagen*, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Devon White*, and Bobby Witt*.

+ Write-ins are allowed, but wont be included with the official tally.

* 1st-year candidates.

** Last year of eligibility.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2006 at 12:10 AM | 315 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2271997)
Ballot:

1) Cal Ripken, Jr. - Easily #1 on my ballot without even looking at his big record. Except for only a couple of seasons, he was always a very valuable player. At his peak, he was one of the best.

2) Tony Gwynn - Undeniably great in my book. With that said, even though he had a long career of quality, just think what he could have done if he had taken better care of himself.

3) Bert Blyleven - Enough of a peak and plenty of career for me. He belongs.

4) Mark McGwire - Toughest guy to figure out where and if he belonged on my ballot, but it had nothing to do with his stats (which would have placed him slightly ahead of Gwynn, IMO). If the HOF didn't have their 5% rule for candidates, I might have entertained a one-year non-vote for him (which I may do so with the HoM), but removing him from consideration his first year of eligibility would be too much of a punishment, IMO. Though I feel he was helped by PEDs, I'm not convinced that he wouldn't have fashioned a case for Cooperstown regardless. He was, without a doubt, a great hitter before his physique took on mammoth proportions.

BTW, I respect anyone's right to leave him off their ballot. I agree with the premise that enshrinement should be an honor and that we shouldn't just rubber stamp statistics or eyewitness accounts.

5) Goose Gossage - The greatest combined career and peak fireman of his time. Not even arguable.

6) Alan Trammell - Playing in the shadow of Cal Ripken's all-around excellence and Ozzie Smith's defensive wizardry (Robin Yount should also be mentioned) shouldn't diminish his own value and high place among shortstops in baseball history.

I'm not sure about Saberhagen, Murphy, or Dawson at the present time, so I'm leaving them off my ballot at the present time.

No write-ins for me.
   2. DanG Posted: January 01, 2007 at 05:52 PM (#2272001)
According to Dan Greenia, no write-ins are allowed for players retired more than 20 years ago, too.

To clarify, the BBWAA "allows" no write-ins, period. Occassionally, you will see a tally of write-ins published, but these are unofficial votes that don't count.

So, AFAIK, you can "write-in" Sherry Magee or Pete Rose or Joe Shlibotnik if you want; they all equally do not count.

For our purposes, I suggest that we apply the 20-year rule and only allow write-ins for those retiring 1987-2001.
   3. sunnyday2 Posted: January 01, 2007 at 06:38 PM (#2272017)
Why would we allow some write-ins and not others? I mean, why any? This is supposed to parallel the evil empire vote, no?
   4. base ball chick Posted: January 01, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2272019)
well i guess we doing this thread all over again, so i am copying from the last one

baseball chick Posted: January 01, 2007 at 12:33 PM (#2272014)

happy new year yall!!!!

ballot #1 (ignore roids)

- tony gwynn (how to be good without hitting homers)
- alan trammell (how to be good without doing streaks)
- cal ripken - he long and he strong and he down to get the hittin on
- blylevin - AS and CY votes don't really count with me because theres too much popularity stuff
- gossage - if relief pitchers gonna be elected, he's the 3rd best ever so he's in
- mcgwire - because he saved baseball from utter ruin
- dawson - well far as i'm concerned the defense make up for the low obp

(write ins bobby grich and dewey evans. they don't get no respect because they didn't hit no home runs)

and the no ways:

- garvey - good hair, hard working penis and that's it
- murphy - if you gonna get in for basically 5 years you better be a better hitter, runner and fielder than babe ruth and rickey and ozzie all rolled into one. and i don't give no brownie points for playing a goodie 2 shoes for the media
- parker, belle - see murphy. without the goody 2 shoes
- john - long lasting without being real too particularly good
- lee smith - got lotsa saves. see john
- morris - he wasn't HOF good, he just waszn't. i don't care how many opening days he started.
- rice - see murphy. stats outside of fenway not exactly HOF. also no goody 2 shoes


as far as roids in the hall
IF we gonna convict mcgwire out because of supposed roid use WITHOUT no proof at all except for mr. felon jose canseco's book - far as i am concerned no other person who played in the steroid era can go in neither. because they CAN'T PROVE THEY DIDN'T NEITHER!!!

so lets look at all the ways we decide a guy has used roids (and i do NOT mean no andro which anyone could have got offn a grocery store shelf and when i say anyone i also mean a 10 year old FEMALE and so andro is NOT the same as deca or nandrolone or testosterone etc...)
- the player got bald
- the player has more muscle at the end of his career than he did when he started at age 22
- the player had an injury like bad knees (like barry bonds getting arthritis and infextion)
- the player hit more than like league average HR a year
- the player had some temper and was not dale murphy sugar sweet to reporters

this lets out gwynn (bald and more weight)
this lets out ripkin (bald, more weight, too many homers)
this lets out murphy (same knee injury as barry bonds so he must be guilty too)
this lets out parker (you see them arms at age 40? bald, bad temper)
this lets out rice (more muscle, bad temper)
this lets out lee smith (DEFINITELY more muscle at age 40 then age 22 and bald)
probably trammell too - i mean, he knew people who probably used and besides he hit homers and whoever heard of a SS who was a great hitter before arod
probably gossage too (bad temper, too much muscle)

so it look like in is blylevin and garvey and conception

everyone else must be a dirty cheat. until they PROVE they are not
   5. GregD Posted: January 01, 2007 at 06:54 PM (#2272023)
My ballot would be:

1) Mark McGwire I understand why people wouldn't vote for him. If you don't immediately disqualify him, then I think he's got a good case to be the player at the top of the list.

2) Cal Ripken Jr. Though I wouldn't criticize anybody who gave him the top spot, either. I hated the Cal hype as much as anybody, but he's obviously one of the 5 or so great shortstops ever.

3) Tony Gwynn I wouldn't have guessed him as an HOFer early on, even with the gaudy batting averages. His continued effectiveness into his late 30s surprised me a lot, since he seemed to be gaining weight at Cecil Fielderesque levels.

4) Bert Blyleven Getting elected will probably mean less publicity for him, since as with Phil Rizzuto his name circulates more as a snub than it will as one among the included.

5) Alan Trammell I would have voted for Lou Whitaker, too. I fail to see the need to vote more high-peak, short-career, defensively challenged left fielders into the Hall over somebody like Trammell who played the key defensive position well, and hit at a high and consistent level for two decades.

That would be my ballot. I can see arguments for the high-peak, short-career stars like Belle, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Don Mattingly and Jim Rice. And even Dawson is essentially that kind of player once you discount the effect of Wrigley on his late-career stats.

I'm tempted by each of the two relievers, Lee Smith and Goose Gossage. If I had a clear sense of what made a reliever HOF calliber, it'd be an easier decision for me. To me, I have a hard time saying that they contributed more to their teams than Tommy John or Jack Morris, who aren't quite HOF quality starters, but they were clearly among the best relievers ever.

A few guys who looked like HOFers at their best but couldn't put together enough full seasons to crack my list: Eric Davis, Canseco.

And a couple of guys who deserve the Hall of the Very Good in Tony Fernandez and Dave Concepcion. Not HOFers but guys you almost always wanted to have on your team, over a long period of time.
   6. rico vanian Posted: January 01, 2007 at 06:56 PM (#2272024)
Happy new year to all!


1. Cal Ripkin Jr.
– What more could you ask for? Power, fielding, consistency, longevity.
2. Tony Gwynn – He could hit. And eat.
3. Dave Parker – I don’t care about the drug abuse, he was a top five outfielder in the 70’s
4. Mark McGwire – Hasn't been convicted of breaking any rules that were in effect when he played.
5. Rich Gossage – Top 5 reliever all time.
6. Jim Rice – Tough to choose between Rice, Murphy and Dawson, but I think Rice had more quality seasons.
7. Albert Belle – Surprised to find him here, but he was a great hitter. The HOF has plenty of other a-holes, so that shouldn’t be held against him.
   7. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2272033)
Ballot:

-Cal Ripken, Jr. - Watching A-Rod's case to beat him on the list of all-time shortstops slowly slide from slam-dunk to probable and maybe further has locked in just how great Ripken was

-Tony Gwynn - arguably the greatest hitter for average of the modern era, and batting average is a huge percentage of offensive value, and he did the occasional other thing, too

-Bert Blyleven - seems much more comparable to Hall of Famers than to non-HoFers

-Goose Gossage - the Hall is an institution whose past actions are constitutive of its standards, and given that Sutter and Fingers are in, Smith has a shot and Hoffman will have a shot, Gossage has to go in

-Alan Trammell - seven full seasons of OPS+ 120 or higher, don't see any competent gloved SS who missed the Hall with a batting record like that

Missing Ballot:

-McGwire - I think the Hall is still in the process of constituting their steroid standards, and I think it will be a good thing for baseball if the Hall decides to make exclusion from the Hall a punishment for steroids. Such a choice will necessarily lead to partially arbitrary enforcement, given that the Hall and BBWAA are not legal fact-finding organizations, but those are eggs I'm willing to break to help clear steroids out of the game as best as we can.

-Belle - I browse HoM enough to be impressed by the argument for pure peak/prime voting, but, um, probably should have looked this up more

-Dawson would be in as a CF, but looks short as mainly a corner outfielder
   8. rawagman Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:23 PM (#2272036)
Happy New Year to everyone.

My ballot. I am maxing this baby out, and would even vote for 11, plus 1 write in, but I'll stick with 10. I'm hoping that next week, we see more than 2 men elected in. Here goes:
1) Cal Ripken Jr. - Very close in the top two spots. My system cares not a whit for the streak, but Ripken earns this based on his baseball package.
2) Tony Gwynn (isn't he really Tony Gwynn Sr?) - I just love it when a hitter knows how to field as well. Almost as many Gold Gloves as batting titles.
3) Rich Gossage - An amazing pitcher to the end. Much more consistent than any of the other relievers the HOM project has seen recently - including Fingers.
4) Bert Blyleven - Not a no-brainer, maybe, but definitely should be in. I wonder if any of the BBWAA men are voting for other startes, but not for Blyleven.
5) Dale Murphy - I think he is being punished as his career didn't look like his peak. He was phenomenal at his best, and very good at his worst. Gold Glove CF who hit like a Silver Slugger LF. That, to me, is a Hall of Famer.
6) Mark McGwire - He broke the records, not the rules.
7) Alan Trammell - Is he the Nomar to Ripken's ARod? A marvellous all-round SS.
8) Andre Dawson - Take the Dale Murphy mold. Add some career. Subtract some knees. I'd take his glove over someone elses walks.
9) Don Mattingly - One of the best hitters of the 80's and one of the best defensive 1B in history.
10) Jim Rice - He may have taken advantage of his home park. Good for him.

(also above my personal in-out line are Tony Fernandez and Will Clark write-in)
   9. AndrewJ Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:42 PM (#2272042)
My ballot (no McGwire)

1: Cal Ripken, Jr. - Though he's no Honus Wagner, and though I think Ozzie Smith developed into a better all-around player, Ripken's still the greatest shortstop in American League history

2: Tony Gwynn - He had obvious limitations as a player, but winning eight batting titles in a 12- and 14-team league is, IMHO, a more impressive accomplishment than Ty Cobb winning 11 batting titles in an 8-team league. His lifetime BA is seven points higher than Stan Musial's.

3: Lee Smith - Seven-time All-Star (how many relievers have done better?) and held the MLB record for saves for 13 seasons.

4: Bert Blyleven - Might his HOF chances been hurt by the 1981 strike? He went 11-7 that year and probably lost out on five or six more wins. And what team wouldn't have given a pitcher with 293 career wins a shot at #300?

5: Alan Trammell - If the MVP voters had given him the hardware in 1987, he might be in Cooperstown today.
   10. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2272044)
Why would we allow some write-ins and not others? I mean, why any? This is supposed to parallel the evil empire vote, no?

No write-ins will be tallied, Marc, but if you're going to have any on your ballot regardless, make sure that they retired after 1986. That means no Caruthers, D. White, Joe Gordons, etc. But as I pointed out on the discussion thread, it doesn't really matter in the end who you have as a write-in.
   11. Paul Wendt Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2272051)
(write ins bobby grich and dewey evans. they don't get no respect because they didn't hit no home runs)

Yeah, they tied for the league lead in 1981 with about 32, pro-rated.
I doubt that anyone who considers ten players worthy of the yes vote will leave any of them off the ballot in favor of a write-in. (I won't, if I make up my mind about the bubble in time to vote.) That is the only important point regarding write-ins.
   12. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 01, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2272053)
There are only, IMO, three no-brainers on this ballot:

1. Tony Gywnn - Underrated by statheads (as is Clemente, who was the player he reminded me of the most) because he didn't walk much - not because he didn't know the strike zone, but because he could drive many pitches that would have been called balls.
2. Cal Ripken Jr. - The 1982-1991 sustained stretch of excellence makes his case, but one has to wonder whether he might have been a more productive player after age 30 had he, in fact, taken a day off every now and again earlier in his career.
3. Goose Gossage - The one guy I'd like to have on the mound to close out a one-run game in the ninth. Even when he didn't succeed (see George Brett, 1980 ALCS), he'd just come right back atcha with his best the next time out. He didn't back down from *anyone*.

There are enough question marks about everyone else so that no one else makes the ballot. Blyleven is the closest case, and the weight of the evidence suggests that - even when you consider his run support and bullpen support - he should have won more often than he did, which to me is enough reason to keep him off the ballot. McGwire wasn't on a HOF path prior to 1996, IMO, and to the extent that we don't know whether or not the supplements he (may, or may not have) used after that time boosted him onto that path, I think that's enough reason to keep him off the ballot.

-- MWE
   13. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:08 PM (#2272061)
1. Tony Gwynn - easy
2. Cal Ripken Jr. - easy
3. Mark McGwire - didn't break any rules during his playing time (that we know of)
4. Rich Gossage - we need to set a base for relievers, and he's a good one
5. Bert Blyleven - overdue
6. Alan Trammell - overlooked
7. Andre Dawson - just a bit of an Expos bias here
8. Tommy John - for his career and his surgery
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:13 PM (#2272062)
Assuming that non-HOM voters are allowed to participate, I vote for:

Bert Blyleven
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Alan Trammell
   15. AJMcCringleberry Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:23 PM (#2272064)
1. Ripken
2. Blyleven
3. Gwynn
4. Trammell
5. McGwire
6. Dawson
7. Gossage
8. Murphy
9. Parker
10. Belle

If write-ins counted I'd vote for Clark, Simmons, and the two Evans' instead of the last 4.
   16. Adam Schafer Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:24 PM (#2272066)
I filled out my ballot as if I truly had a HOF vote. I ranked them in the order I believe that they belong.


1. Cal Ripken Jr. - not a lot of thought here

2. Tony Gwynn - a lot of hits, a great average, rarely struck out. he did absolutely everything you're taught to do as a baseball player growing up.

3. Bert Blyleven - I thought he should've been in years ago

4. Alan Trammell - playing at the same time as Ripken hurts him with the Coop voters.

5. Rich Gossage - I like relievers. I am not really a small hall type of guy, I just want a few players replaced...that's why I love the HOM project so well. Not being a small hall guy per se, I leave a lot of room for relievers. Sutter, Gossage, Smith, Quis, Fingers, Wilhelm, Rivera, and Hoffman are all ones I know I'd be comfortable having in the HOF.

6. Mark McGwire - I don't think he'll end up being someone I give HOM votes for, but by HOF standards he deserves to be in. If I had a real HOF ballot I'd put his name on it. Steroids? probably, but he was a product of his time. He was never caught or punished for breaking any rules, so I won't punish him for it.

7. Lee Smith - see Gossage and McGwire

8. Tommy John - again, probably no HOM vote from me, but a serious candidate and a person I would vote for if I had a HOF vote.
   17. Mark Donelson Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2272070)
I'll take the alphabetical route:

Albert Belle
Bert Blyleven
Goose Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Alan Trammell
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2272071)
1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Bert Blyleven - not as good as some here think he was, but good enough nonetheless
4. Alan Trammell - he is as good as most here think he was
5. Goose Gossage - I'm ambivalent about relievers in general, and the "he's better than Sutter and Fingers" argument is a terrible one in a lot of cases, but here, the BBWAA has established the standard for HOF relievers and Gossage meets that standard easily

The rest of my ballot I'm not 100% sold on, but I'm feeling in a Big Hall mood. If I were a real voter and these guys were close to 75%, I'd do a more serious analysis. But I'm not and they're not, so I'm going to vote for them.

6. Dale Murphy - imo, the best of the Belle/Parker/Dawson/Rice group, he also gets the 'intangible' vote over the rest of them for being a much better person (although Dawson, in particular, also has this as a 'positive') and for starting his career as a catcher and overcoming what could have ended his career before it began when he inexplicably lost the ability to throw to second base (if I'm remembering his story correctly).

7. Dave Concepcion - I think that the way to judge a player is relative to his contemporaries, and Dave Concepcion towered above other shortstops of the 1970s, both offensively and defensively. Dan Rosenheck makes a compelling case for Concepcion in this thread.

8. Jack Morris - as I said, I think the best way to judge a player is relative to his contemporaries, and, for pitchers, I think the position is sufficiently important (unlike, say "shortstop") that being the best pitcher in baseball over a 10-year period is sufficient to warrant induction in the Hall of Fame. I think Jack Morris is the best pitcher in baseball over the 1980s - he has the most "Neutral Wins" and Innings Pitched of the 1980s, and I think the evidence suggests that his reputation for being able to "pitch to the score" had some truth to it. He's sort of the bizarro Bert Blyleven - Blyleven was maybe the 6th-10th best pitcher among his contemporaries and won less than he should have; Morris was the best among his contemporaries and won more than he should have. I'm voting for them both.

If the Hall of Fame allowed voters to abstain from voting on individual players, I would abstain on Mark McGwire, or, if one were allowed to vote to keep a player on the ballot, but not vote 'Yes', again, I'd vote for Mark McGwire. The HOF requires a 'Yes' or a 'No' on everybody, however, so, for now, I'm going to vote 'No' on McGwire.
   19. Rafael Bellylard: A failure of the waist. Posted: January 01, 2007 at 08:55 PM (#2272078)
I've got 5, in no particular order:

Gwynn, Ripken, Gossage, Trammell, McGwire.
   20. Ziggy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2272085)
1. Mark McGwire Why count steroid use against him? One might argue that it would violate the sportsmanship, character or integrity clauses. But I don't see it. Steroids weren't prohibited, and were widely available. Some try to subtract those portions of his numbers that were steroids induced, but this, I believe, is also mistaken. Consider, when we evaluate players from the homer-happy 30's we take context in to account; Mel Ott's career would have been much more impressive had he played in the 1960s, for example. To see if McGwire's performance merits inclusion in the hall, the appropriate thing to do is evaluate it relative to his contemporaries (who also had access to steroids, weight training, etc, etc). His OPS+ is 13th all-time, which should give some indication of his relative performance. Now, OPS+ is skewed in favor of post-expansion players because having more players in the pool increases variation, but 13th all-time is not marginal. Nor is his performance all slugging, his career OBP is nearly 20% higher than league average for the seasons he played. I have spoken so far of performance, and have ignored the ability clause. One might argue that, dispite the fact that McGwire's performance merits induction, his ability does not, as his performance was steroid's enhanced and not reflective of his ability. I agree that his performance was probably steroids enhanced, but that is not to say that his natural ability was such as to disqualify him from enshrinement. And an indication that his ability met at least the minimum standards: he posted at 289/370/618 line, with 49 home runs, as a 23 year old rookie, prior to bulking up and chasing Maris.

2. Tony Gwynn I don't think Gwynn's case is as strong as it is usually taken to be. His batting average is his most noticable stat, but batting average on its own is unimportant. It is importance is primarily as a proxy for ability to reach base, which he did well, but not as well as one might think based on his phenomenal batting averages. His raw OBP was lower than McGwire's, and he beat league average by only 15% (a smaller margin than McG). Gwynn consistently slugged for a reasonable percentage, persumably because he made so much contact, but he was never a real big masher. He was, however, a very good fielder, and his long career allowed him to amass a great amount of career value. He is, for example, 41st all time in runs created, and most of the players on either side of him on the list are HOFers.

3. Cal Ripken The slugging short stop before there were slugging short stops. His streak went on too long, but even at the end he was no worse than an average batter.

4. Bert Blyleven His case has been made over and over again. Just seaerch this site for "Blyleven".

5. Allan Trammell Poor man's Ripken with the bat, by all accounts a better fielder. A 450/500/800 line in the world series.

Comments on others: Gossage threw 1002 innings with an ERA+ of 126. David Cone threw nearly three times as many innings with an ERA+ of 120. If Gossage is a HOFer than Cone is too, and Cone is not a HOFer. Dawson's OBP was actually below average for his career.
   21. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:24 PM (#2272089)
Hey, all! I voted very early in the HOM process under a different name (I voted for Dickey Pearce!), and I hope to get back into the swing starting here. I'm basically looking to vote in the players who end up ranking among the all-time best at their positions considering their entire careers (James' Definition B: "consistently among the best in the league at his position for many years,") as long as they had some kind of a peak and weren't just hanging around being "just good" for their entire career.

1. Cal Ripken, Jr. - I'd estimate 3rd or 4th best SS ever, behind Wagner and Lloyd and depending on how you classify A-Rod.
2. Tony Gwynn - Remarkably... well-rounded! ROFLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
3. Bert Blyleven - Over the past few years, I've become convinced that he's not just an improved version of Tommy John/Jim Kaat, but probably a top-30 or so pitcher of all time.
4. Alan Trammell - Easily a top-15 SS.
5. Goose Gossage - Much more demanding workloads of pre-Eckersley "closers" makes voting in this childhood favorite easy.
6. Andre Dawson - Jim Rice and Dave Parker are just on the wrong side of the line. I think the otherwise comparable Dawson gets pushed over it because of his better longevity, time spent in CF, and eight Gold Gloves. (Seriously, eight? I'm surprised this doesn't get mentioned more.)
7. Dale Murphy - Much like my Dawson analysis, if you take Rice/Parker and make them Gold Glove CFs, then I think they're in, and that's pretty much Murphy.
8. Tommy John - IMO, if you're a modern pitcher with 250+ wins, the question shifts from "why should you be in?" to "why shouldn't you be in?" If your name is Jack Morris and you have a career ERA+ of 105 (and only above 130 once) despite pitching the vast majority of your career supported by good offense and defense... well, then you still fail that easier criteria. John's significantly better than that, so to me, he goes in. This is pretty much where the line is.
9. Lee Smith - I think his rep as a journeyman stems from outside circumstances -- pitched on bad teams, moved around a lot, pitched mostly in hitters' parks -- more than his performance. Like wins, although saves are a very flawed stat, you're still not gonna lead the world in them over your entire career unless you're very good. I think that, like John, he should be in, with the line drawn right underneath him.

Off my ballot:

Jim Rice and Dave Parker - See above; borderline OF offensive stats need to have something else going for them, and I don't see it.
Mark McGwire - Pretty much hate to do this, but it's not just a "he got big and hit homers" case. We do have an eyewitness -- Canseco -- and I'm allowed in this context to interpret McGwire's taking the 5th as incriminating. I would like to be able to interrogate Canseco and anyone else who can give specific information about what McGwire did and when; if I could do that and didn't like the answers, then I could let McGwire off the hook. Not being able to do that, and based on what I know right now, I can't. Good job, Jose! (And no, I'm not voting for you either, sleazebag.)
Harold Baines - An example of the guy who was just hanging around being "just good" for his entire career. I think people romanticize how good he was before the injury -- '84 is the only season there that impresses me. And although he hit well as a platoon DH who couldn't move, I don't think seasons like that can carry that much import in a HOF case. (Or to put it another way, since we shouldn't compare DHs just to other DHs but to all hitters, he was almost literally never "among the best in the league at his position.")
Dave Concepcion and Tony Fernandez - Willing to be convinced about Concepcion, but I'd like to see arguments for him that don't depend specifically on comparing him to the weak SS class of his day. The fact that these two players seem quite comparable to each other also makes me think less of each of them.
Albert Belle - Not enough career; that isn't his fault, but that's how the ball thrown off a fan's chest bounces sometimes.
Don Mattingly - Not enough career; that isn't his fault, but that's how the sideburns get shaved sometimes.
Scott Brosius - Scott Brosius?
   22. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:36 PM (#2272095)
Umm, probably shoulda posted that extraneous stuff in discussion, not here. Sorry! I'm way out of practice.
   23. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:38 PM (#2272097)
However, we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name.

I'm of the theory that the ballot is a temporary Hall, and the HOVG guys get up to 15 years to hang around before getting booted. I don't know if Dale Murphy is worthy of the Hall, but he's better than getting 8 percent of the vote, like he got a few years ago. I think 30-40 percent would be a fair tribute to his career.

Buttoning up is why Bobby Grich & Co. fall off the ballot in the first year. They don't necessarily feel like HOFers to the voters, so they play it conservative and those guys end up getting support from nobody. I think that mindset's one of the biggest voting flaws.

If somebody feels Jay Buhner is worth one tip of the hat, then he/she should get to vote for him. Considering the amount of empty ballot spaces, it's not like he's going to be stealing votes from future HOFers, or challenging the 75 percent threshold.

That said, my ballot:

Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., Bert Blyleven, Goose Gossage, Alan Trammell, Harold Baines, Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, Tommy John, Jose Canseco.
   24. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:47 PM (#2272099)
Hey, all! I voted very early in the HOM process under a different name (I voted for Dickey Pearce!), and I hope to get back into the swing starting here.

First of all, a friend of Dickey Pearce is a friend of mine. :-)

Secondly, are you still into Strat-O-Matic? ;-)
   25. Juan V Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:52 PM (#2272100)
Again, I repeat the disclaimer that I'm not using my full array of HOM tools in this excercise. Still, I'm pretty comfortable with my choices. The players are ranked.

1) Cal Ripken: He was good. My spreadsheets like durability, hence they love Cal, but he doesn't need no steenkin' streak to get here.

2) Goose Gossage: Blows the likes of Fingers and Sutter out of the water. His peak may even push him past Wilhelm (I'm working on changing my ERA+ system to a RA+ one, and that's what it tells me. I wouldn't take that result as dogma, though). Anecdote: Early on my baseball watching days, I thought Goose Gossage and Rich Gossage were different people.

3) Tony Gwynn: For a career .338 hitter, who cares about walks? However, the power department keeps him out of the inner circle. I agree that Roberto Clemente is a nice comp.

4) Alan Trammell: As said above, the Nomar to Ripken's Arod. Only this one seems to have stayed productive and in the middle infield longer than Garciaparra. I'll take Larkin (the Jeter in this group?) over him, but there is plenty of room for both. His placing below Gwynn is the one most likely to change if I used my full evaluation systems.

5) Bert Blyleven: I will circle Bert, but he has completed the cycle of perception ("So underrated, he's now overrated"). He doesn't quite reach Beckley-esque levels of peaklessness, but he's clearly a career candidate on my system, and I see some little merit to the traditional "He was never dominant" argument. I think very good for very long is a valid way into the Hall, though.

6) Dale Murphy: His peak is long enough for me to call it a prime, and high enough to compensate what came outside of it. The offensive value of his prime was similar to Rice's, and his came as a Gold Glove centerfielder.

7) Albert Belle: Ralph Kiner-lite, but at this stage one is really testing the limits of the peak/career balance. The in/out line is drawn close enough to him that I wouldn't complain if he were left out.

Close, but no cigar (In no particular order): Saberhagen, Concepcion, Fernandez, Rice, Dawson, Parker, Mattingly.

McGwire: I think the perspective given by time is necessary for a proper evaluation of his case, and I don't want to make any final decisions on him as of now. Like Kiko Sakata, I would abstain on voting for him, or vote to keep him in the ballot (as opposed to voting for inducting him) if I could. In other words, I want to keep him eligible for as long as possible, and since I don't see any danger of him falling off the 5% mark here, I'm comfortable with not voting for him now.

For the interests of disclosure, he would have been #2, had I taken his stats at face value. And when the time for evaluating him for the HOM comes, I might apply a discount, but I'll stop short of applying the one-year boycott.
   26. Daryn Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:53 PM (#2272101)
1. Cal Ripken Jr.
2. Gwynn
3. Mark McGwire
4. Rich Gossage
5. Bert Blyleven
   27. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:55 PM (#2272103)
PH:

My personal view of HOF selection is to place on your ballot the guys you feel belong and that's it. But if someone wants to place Scott Brosius on their ballot, that voter's ballot wont be censored by me or anyone else (though I suspect some bandwith would be eaten up over it :-)
   28. Chris Fluit Posted: January 01, 2007 at 09:57 PM (#2272105)
Scott Brosius?

Yeah, Scott Brosius. I'm not saying that Brosius deserves to be on the Hall of Fame. But I do like that he's on the ballot. The ballot committee applies the lowest possible standard. If you've played 10 years of professional baseball in the major leagues, then you're eligible for the Hall of Fame. So any player with 10 years and at least one All-Star appearance or appearance on a Cy Young/MVP vote is going to be nominated. And I say that's a good thing. It's up to the voters to hold up a high standard not the nominating committee. This way, everyone can say that they at least had a chance. Sure, it's silly that some writers will actually cast a vote for a guy like Danny Tartabull. But I'd rather have that happen then have somebody be denied the opportunity to at least have his name put before the voters. And with the 5% rule, it's not like these "minimum requirement" guys will crowd the ballot year after year.
   29. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2272107)
Chris:

I 100% agree with you.
   30. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2007 at 10:33 PM (#2272114)
Yeah, I know, it was a lame attempt at humor.

Grandma: Yup! I know intellectually that Diamond Mind better reflects my baseball worldview, but old habits die hard...
   31. DCW3 Posted: January 01, 2007 at 10:40 PM (#2272117)
1. Cal Ripken Jr.
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Mark McGwire
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Alan Trammell
6. Albert Belle
   32. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 01, 2007 at 10:47 PM (#2272121)
Grandma: Yup! I know intellectually that Diamond Mind better reflects my baseball worldview, but old habits die hard...

I hear you. Though I haven't played them in a while, I still own Strat versions for baseball, football, basketball, hockey,...even boxing!
   33. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: January 01, 2007 at 10:58 PM (#2272124)
1. Cal Ripken, Jr. - I personally don't see any way he's not the best player on the ballot by whatever measure you want to use - peak, prime, career, etc. Inner-circle, a monster at his best.
2. Bert Blyleven - Gwynn may have more value, I'm not sure, but I think at their bests, I would rather have Blyleven on my team.
3. Tony Gwynn - Sure, he didn't walk much, but you don't have to when you hit .338 - career OBP of .388 is better than Hank Aaron's .374 for example. Not that Gwynn is near Hank Aaron, just sayin'. Career OPS+ of 132.
4. Mark McGwire - Lots of walks, lots of homers, lots of value in that. An okay fielder at the easiest position, but he could smash the hell out of the ball.
5. Alan Trammell - Overshadowed by Ripken and Ozzie (both of whom I like better - yes, I prefer Smith) but still a Hall-worthy SS.
6. Dale Murphy - From 1982 to 1987 had a really nice prime, which I like enough to excuse his merely decent career totals and rates. Shame he fell off such a cliff.
7. Rich Gossage - Clearly deserving over Fingers and Sutter; should've been in already, certainly before the latter. Behind only Wilhelm when it comes to relief pitchers.
   34. The District Attorney Posted: January 01, 2007 at 11:31 PM (#2272141)
Grandma: I had no idea until this very moment that SOM made a boxing game. If you wanted to sell that on eBay, I bet you could finance your next vacation... ;-)
   35. karlmagnus Posted: January 01, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2272142)
1. Ripken
2. McGwire
3. Blyleven
4. Gwynn

Not convinced by Gossage or Trammell. Object to write-ins having to be post 1986, so won't have any -- my no. 1 write in would of course be Parisian Bob. Loved Dwight Evans, but he's just the teeniest smidgen behind Rice and I wouldn't vote for Rice.
   36. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 01, 2007 at 11:54 PM (#2272156)
2007 ballot

1. Cal Ripken Jr. - When this class first began to materialize I thought that Rickey Henderson would be a part of it. I woul dhave had him #1, but Cal is a worthy #1 either way.

2. Mark McGwire - No evidence of steroids (we have 'hey, he was big and good', and 'well, Jose canseco said so"). And I can't believe anyone would challenge his credentials on their own. And if anyone boycotts him in the HOM without evidence of steroids (anthro was both legal and allowed in baseball) I will go to the mat trying to make that illegal. One of the ten best 1Bman

3. Tony Gwynn - A little overrated by those who like Avg and hits. Still, an easy HOM/HOFer. My little brother's favorite player.

4. Bert Blyleven - I like OCF's analysis that we was as good as Perry. Even if that isnt' true there is a long distance between Gaylord Perry and the HOVG.

5. Alan Trammel - When I was a kid I thought his name was tramammal and I loved to say it. Great hitter for a SS.

6. Goose Gossage - Best reliever of his generation, better than Fingers and better than Sutter. That he isnt' in and those two are is a real travesty.

7. Don Mattingly - Kinda looks like Geroge Sisler's twin. I like Mattingly's defense better and will have him about a spot or two above where Sisler would have been had he not already been elected.

8. Albert Belle - Some have compared him to Kiner and Keller, as one of the latter's best freinds I disgaree. Still, his peak was good enough to get him into the HOM/HOF.

Just off (I am not voting for these guys)

9. Dale Murphy - I may end up putting him on a HOM ballot, but wihtout really running him through my system I must say that his peak was not quit good enough to overcome a short prime. He is close though.

10. Dave Parker - Better than Parker and Dawson, I like his peak and he has soem prime. Falls just short, about where I would put Frank Howard.

Others

Dave Concepcion - Dan Rosenheck's analysis has made think more about him. However, Dan's is the only analysis that gives him anything close to the sort of peak that I like to see and I am not quite sure if I buy the whole, "Best of a sorry lot" argument. I didn't support Joe Sewell, for instance.

Jim Rice - I agree with Bill James. Maybe Rice isn't the 35th best LFer of all-time but he isn't HOM/HOF material either. His peak wasn't as high as advertised and his career and prime aren't that long either.

Andre Dawson - Really not a fan. His OBP was never good enough to give him a big pe, or any peak for that matter, and he only played full-time CF for 5 seasons. He did have a long career, but I can't see him being better than someone like Jimmy Ryan or Goerge Van Haltren. He was a favorite of mine as a kid though.

Tommy John - Not enough peak and only like the 9th or 0th best pitcher of his generatio 9maybe lower). I will pass but I can see the attraction.

Tony Fernandez - Not sure why he is getting so much support. To me he looks a lot like Vern Stephens.

Lee Smith - I would like to know the reasoning behind voting for Smith and not Gossage.

Jack Morris - I prefer Stieb and I am nto sure if I really like Stieb.

Harold Baines - To me baines is the 80's/90's version of Jake Beckley except that Beckley could field. And we should all know how I feel about Jake Beckley.

Scott Brosius/ Paul O'Neill - They just knew how to win, what else can I say? Seriously though, two of my all-time favorite players. I must say that one of my favorite baseball memories was the send off that Paul O'Neill got in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series.

Finally,

PH is voting or Jose Canseco and not Mark McGwire. I would love to see the rationale for that one. McGwire was easily the better player and at worse did teh same steroids as Canseco while at best was claen. We know that Canseco took steroids. Is this vote because he admitted it? That to me is very specious reasoning and the kind of moralizing that makes me see red when I read BBWAA ballots.
   37. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2007 at 12:13 AM (#2272160)
In alphabetical order:

Bert Blyleven - clearly better than many pitchers in the HoF and HoM
Goose Gossage - best reliever of his era
Tony Gwynn - Pretty easy, median HoM player
Mark McGwire - comparable to Killebrew but not as nice a guy
Cal Ripken Jr. - duh
Bret Saberhagen - I'm with Chris Cobb, this guy is seriously underrated
Alan Trammell - Comparable to Joe Sewell

Lee Smith, Andre Dawson and Tommy John just missed the cut
   38. Buzzards Bay Posted: January 02, 2007 at 12:42 AM (#2272169)
Blyleven
Gossage
Gwynn
Ripken

I've gone back and forth on relievers and to me it's still too early in the evolution with regard to usage to have any real grasp on what a HOF is--but as a kind of contradiction Mariano Rivera is--it'll be interesting to see what shakes out over the next 10 to 20 years--how micro does it get
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 02, 2007 at 12:44 AM (#2272170)
Ripken - better fielder than perceived, should have won about 5 Gold Gloves.

Gwynn - easy call.

McGwire - the line between creatine and andro wasn't all that clear at the time, and without definitive proof I can't see singling out McGwire. Might be a closer call if he were a borderline candidate. Can live with "not 1st ballot" protest this year.

Gossage - if relief pitchers are eligible, Gossage should be in.

Blyleven - 8 of his top 10 comparators are in and the two others, Katt and John, are on the cusp. Bert should be in.
   40. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 01:10 AM (#2272180)
Grandma: I had no idea until this very moment that SOM made a boxing game. If you wanted to sell that on eBay, I bet you could finance your next vacation... ;-)

Oops! The boxing game was from Stats Pro.
   41. EddieA Posted: January 02, 2007 at 01:39 AM (#2272187)
Bert Blyleven
Rich Gossage
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire
Dale Murphy
Cal Ripken Jr.
Lee Smith
   42. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: January 02, 2007 at 01:59 AM (#2272192)
PH is voting or Jose Canseco and not Mark McGwire. I would love to see the rationale for that one. McGwire was easily the better player and at worse did teh same steroids as Canseco while at best was claen. We know that Canseco took steroids. Is this vote because he admitted it? That to me is very specious reasoning and the kind of moralizing that makes me see red when I read BBWAA ballots.

No moralization involved. Purely a nostalgia vote. Loved watching him hit, loved his stance, loved his aggression on the basepaths (even if he wasn't the best at it). I have serious conflicts with both him and McGwire, and would like to wait a year for the latter to see if anything more is uncovered. The difference is that Canseco won't get five percent in this crowd, so my vote for him doesn't really mean anything, and there's not a 10th guy I want to give a vote to.
   43. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:08 AM (#2272205)
Thanks, PH. I guess that is harmless then.
   44. Sandlapper Spike Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:37 AM (#2272208)
In order of how I would rank them:

1) Cal Ripken, Jr.
2) Tony Gwynn
3) Alan Trammell
4) Goose Gossage
5) Mark McGwire
6) Bert Blyleven
7) Dale Murphy
8) Andrew Dawson
9) Jim Rice

Those nine guys get my vote.
   45. Sandlapper Spike Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:38 AM (#2272209)
That would be Andre, not Andrew Dawson, obviously...
   46. OCF Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2272217)
All right, I'll try submitting a ballot. My player evaluation cycle is tuned to a HoM timetable, so there are some significant players here (for instance Saberhagen and Concepcion) that I don't think I've significantly evaluated yet. But I'll go with what I do have. In alphabetical order:

Bert Blyleven See my post on the discussion thread. There's just way too much here to discount.

Bill Dahlen Write-ins will be disregarded anyway. Might as well go for the top of the line; see most of the rest of the HoM-not-HoF list for other possibilities. In preparing for this, I worked up Keith Hernandez and was surprised to find him not eligible. (I might well have voted for him had he been.)

Rich Gossage The HoF has established that relief pitchers are eligible - given that, Gossage should be in.

Tony Gwynn In my system, just a hair short of Paul Waner. My 1987 opinion was that he deserved the MVP that year. (I might think differently now.) Long Beach Polytechnic High School (the school my children have gone to) has had many successful professional athletes (mostly in the NFL), but of all of them, Gwynn had the greatest career.

Mark McGwire No boycott. His on-the-field accomplishments are a reasonable match for Johnny Mize in my system.

Cal Ripken, Jr. In my RCAA-based system, he comes out as significantly inferior to Robin Yount as an offensive player. But we're not comparing him to Yount here, and you have to respect his longevity, and he's clearly over the line for the HoF.

Alan Trammell I've got his offense as somewhere above Boudreau, Stephens, and Fregosi, and somewhere below Cronin. Wildly inconsistent from year to year, and his 1987 MVP year (well, he should have been) stands well above his career. Not clearly separated from a number of other modern middle infielders (including his teammate Whitaker), but perhaps many of them should also be in the HoF.

Selected others not on the ballot:

Steve Garvey: Somewhere around Joe Judge, Ed Konetchy, and Ron Fairly.

Andre Dawson: the RCAA system is not friendly to him - too many outs. Loses comparisons to Reggie Smith, and Smith isn't currently in my top 15 on the HoM ballot. Interestingly, this has 1988 as a better year for him than 1987 - but 1981 was clearly his best year.

Tommy John: RA+ Pythpat equivalent record 281-244. No peak. Better than Kaat, but that's not enough.

Jack Morris: RA+ Pythpat record 226-199. Not better than Kaat.

Albert Belle: His short and flashy career came in high-offense times. Short of Bobby Bonds in my system, and nowhere near Frank Howard.

Jim Rice: No way - just another corner outfielder making too many outs. I'd rather have Sam Rice - or George Foster, or (easily), Belle.
   47. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2272220)
1. Albert Belle - enormous peak offsets a career-shortening injury. Strikes me as the modern-day Sandy Koufax in that regard (though Koufax at his peak was probably better than Belle at his peak, Belle's peak was arguably longer and Belle was clearly better in his non-peak years).
2. Bert Blyleven - enough ink has been spilt on him already
3. Andre Dawson - nostalgia vote, though I think Dawson is right on the borderline. His 1987 season made the Cubs bearable to watch. I wish I'd had the opportunity to see him play more before his knees were shot.
4. Rich Gossage - Mmm... Goose.
5. Tony Gwynn - probably would be #1 on my ballot, and I'm paying tribute to him by adopting his retirement eating habits
6. Mark McGwire - [this space left intentionally blank out of fear of saying the wrong thing and turning this into an 800-post steroidpalooza]
7. Jack Morris - for some reason, I get the feeling that 20 years from now we'll look back and realize he belongs.
8. Cal Ripken, Jr. - I hated Cal Ripken Jr. with the white-hot passion of a million suns. When he got to 2129, I wished for the ghost of Lou Gehrig to rise from the grave and kneecap him. I think he's horribly overrated, the Jeter of 10 years ago. But I can't in good conscience leave him off the ballot.
9. Alan Trammell - poor Alan.

I really wanted to vote for Lee Smith, but I just couldn't do it. The man probably took 3 years off my life back when he was with the Cubs.
   48. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2272221)
no logic behind this
1. gwynn
2. ripken
3. mcgwire
4. dawson
5. gossage
6. trammell
7. tommy john
   49. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:22 AM (#2272225)
Ripken
Gwynn
McGwire
Gossage
Trammell
Blyleven
Dawson
Murphy
Frohwirth
   50. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:34 AM (#2272227)
Frohwirth

Trying to keep me on my toes, I see. :-)
   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:12 AM (#2272239)
If you don't think being the AL's best righthanded submarining long middle reliever over a period of TWO YEARS is worthy of the HoF, I think we're looking at two very different Keltner tests.
   52. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:28 AM (#2272246)
Cross-post from the discussion thread... my ballot has Blyleven, Gossage, Gwynn, McGwire, Dale Murphy, Ripken, and Trammell.
   53. cardsfanboy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:08 AM (#2272255)
Hof vote from me.

1. Cal Ripken as stated there is almost no fathomable reason not to vote for him.
2. Tony Gwynn ... see Cal, he may not be quite as valuable as Cal but when he was up to bat there were fewer people in baseball that you knew was going to get a hit.
3. Mark McGwire. Numbers tainter or not say Hof'er. It's up to the game to police itself during the time things were going on, once after the fact I don't care one bit about how the numbers happen.
4. Bert Blyleven how he isn't already in is beyond me, but considering the groundswell support for Morris it's weird to see what voters regard as "hof" talent.
5. Alan Trammel, better but not quite as exciting than Ozzie.
6. Goose Gossage, I wouldn't have voted for him last year, but Sutter has lowered the bar enough that he easily clears it. (mind you I'm not promoting lowest common denominator which is why I'm not campaigning for Quiz or Smith, but Gossage leaps clearly over Sutter, he's closer to Wilhelm than Sutter or maybe smack dab in the middle)

I still need stronger arguments for Dawson and Belle. (If I was a reall BBWAA writer I would vote for Belle to keep him on the ballot)

Write in Candidate has to be Lou Whittaker.
   54. Squash Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:23 AM (#2272261)
I think by the standards set by the HOF voters, Blyleven, Gossage, and Trammell et. al should be in ... but apparently in my heart I'm a small hall guy. I understand the big hall mindset but personally I would want to go and see the all-time greats, not the all-time greats and pretty goods.

I wouldn't vote for McGwire in year one as a punishment, but then vote for him in year two. I've never really bought the wasn't-against-the-rules argument, as it was, of course, against the rules ... by which I mean those of the federal government. And federal law, I believe, trumps the inner rules of privately held businesses. I think it's safe to say that anything that would land you in jail can be assumed to be illegal in baseball as well.

Let it also be said that as a young A's fan McGwire was my favorite player and I shook his hand on Fan Appreciation day in 1987, of which I was very proud. My ballot:

1) Ripken
2) Gwynn
   55. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:33 AM (#2272264)
HOF:

Ripken, Gwynn, Blyleven, Gossage, Trammell. In that order, but with Blyleven and Gossage in a virtual dead heat.

McGwire is an arguable HOM choice, even with a sizeable steroid discount, but an absolute never for the HOF. There is nothing worth honoring in that man's career. He made his choice and he's stuck with it (no pun intended).
   56. Jim Sp Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:44 AM (#2272267)
Ballot:
1. Ripken
2. Bert Blyleven
3. Alan Trammell
4. Rich Gossage
5. McGwire
6. Gwynn
7. Tony Fernandez
8. Dave Concepcion
9. David Cone
10. Bret Saberhagen

Worthy, but off ballot:
Albert Belle
Dale Murphy
Andre Dawson

Guys who never should have been dropped from the ballot:
Grich
Simmons
Whitaker
Darrell Evans
Dave Stieb
Keith Hernandez
Randolph
Nettles
Dwight Evans
Cey
Lance Parrish
Buddy Bell
Will Clark
   57. rawagman Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:01 AM (#2272270)
Tony Fernandez - Not sure why he is getting so much support. To me he looks a lot like Vern Stephens.

1) Fernandez isn't getting uch support at all. Just a few tips of the cap. No votes, at least prior to your cast ballot.
2) Vern Stephens is above my personal in-out line. Barely, but above. So is Tony Fernandez. If you watched the Jays play in the 80's and/or the 90's, you'd understand how much he meant to the team and to the city of Toronto as a whole. If intangibles mean anything to you, think about Tony Fernandez.
   58. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:15 AM (#2272272)
I've never really bought the wasn't-against-the-rules argument, as it was, of course, against the rules ... by which I mean those of the federal government. And federal law, I believe, trumps the inner rules of privately held businesses. I think it's safe to say that anything that would land you in jail can be assumed to be illegal in baseball as well.

There is a process for determining whether federal law has been broken, and it doesn't involve speculation by sportswriters or bloggers. Maybe something is going on that hasn't been reported, but it doesn't look like the feds are pursuing a case against McGwire.
   59. Repoz Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:10 AM (#2272277)
Cal Ripken
Tony Gwynn
Mark McGwire...(Wait until the uproar in 2098 when Francine Dubrovnic-Glerp-Mc~~~4 hits 144 HR's...due to her shooting-up an iffy mixture of Garfo-7 and imported Cansleeko Grease into her mechanically reupholstered assture nozzle!...people will look back at the McGwire/roids incident and wonder).
Bert Blyleven...along with Burt Bylevan too!
Alan Trammell
Albert Belle
Rich Gossage
   60. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:11 AM (#2272278)
1 Ripken
2Gwynn
Blyleven
McGwire
Whitaker (write-in)
Gossage
Dawson
Will Clark (write-in)
Trammell
   61. fracas' hope springs eternal Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:11 AM (#2272279)
1 Ripken
2 Gwynn
3 Blyleven
4 McGwire
5 Whitaker (write-in)
6 Gossage
7 Dawson
8 Will Clark (write-in)
9 Trammell
   62. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:41 AM (#2272282)
I know I'm late, but I just got back from the Big Island.

1. Ripken
2. Gwynn
3. Blyleven
4. Trammell
5. Gossage
6. Dawson
   63. andrew siegel Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:32 AM (#2272292)
Byleven
Gossage
Gwynn
McGwire
Ripken
Trammell
   64. David Concepcion de la Desviacion Estandar (Dan R) Posted: January 02, 2007 at 10:59 AM (#2272294)
1. Ripken
2. Gwynn
3. Blyleven
4. Trammell
5. McGwire
6. Gossage
7. Concepcion
   65. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 02:07 PM (#2272303)
9. David Cone

Cone is not eligible, Jim.
   66. Gonfalon B. Posted: January 02, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2272304)
Dave's not here, man.
   67. Buddha Posted: January 02, 2007 at 03:49 PM (#2272326)
Ripken
Gwynn
McGwire
Gossage
Trammell

(Poor Lou Whitaker and Bobby Grich...)
   68. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2272336)
I’ll get a lot of grief for my reasoning, but I don’t care.

In alphabetical order:

Bert Blyleven: I shouldn’t vote for him on principle – he seems to do way too much campaigning. You can’t ignore the numbers, though.

Dave Concepcion: Ozzie Smith without the backflips. A better hitter than many remember – twice a Silver Slugger winner. Does poorly on Keltner test, but only because of relative merit, not absolute.

Tony Gwynn: Not terribly patient (walked less than 8% of PA); not very durable (150 G five times, only once after age 27), but boy what a hitter.

Tommy John: No peak, but very definition of “slow and steady wins the race”. In ’65, he pitched 183 2/3 innings of 103 ERA+; in ’87, 187 2/3 IP 109 ERA+; in between, 16 seasons of at least 25 starts, with 14 having an ERA+ of over 100.

Mark McGwire: Career 583 HRs, .982 OPS. MLB and the MBLPA didn’t care what he may or may not have been ingesting, so why should I?

Cal Ripken, Jr: A thousand reasons he’s a HOFer, none of which have to do with “The Record” or “Saving Baseball”.

Alan Trammell: A better hitter than people remember (overshadowed by the "Big 4" who followed); a better fielder than people remember (overshadowed by contemporary Smith); played a long time doing both.

If there were a hall of “Oh, what could have been”, I’d add Eric the Red and Albert Belle (with less than 6700 PA, he'd need stupid good numbers).
   69. SoSH U at work Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:28 PM (#2272341)
My ballot:

Tony Gwynn
Cal Ripken
Bert Blyleven
Alan Trammel
   70. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 02, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2272345)
Come on guys, Frohwirth needs a lot more support if he's going to get to 5%.
   71. sunnyday2 Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:04 PM (#2272362)
1. Ripken--I see it. Best comp I can come up with is George Brett. IOW, he has no real comps, and there is no better SS not in the HoF.

2. McGwire--screw all the pompous moralizing. Comps are Mize and Greenberg. There is no eligible 1B who is better.

3. Gwynn--the greatest hitter of all-time? Well, not quite. Kaline, Crawford, Waner. There is no eligible RF who is better.

(gap)

4. Gossage. Fingers and Sutter. There are no eligible RPs who are more deserving.

(another gap)

5. Dawson--yes, really. Roush and Slaughter. There is no CF not in the HoF who is more deserving.

6. Trammell. No good comps--the really big hitting SSs (Ripken, Yount, Cronin) were better, the guys with similar value were your slappy types. Best I can do is Vern Stephens, which doesn't quite do Trammell justice. In a perfect world, I'd prefer Bill Dahlen at SS.

7. Blyleven. Sutton, Rixey, Lyons, for value obviously, not for style. There is no SP obviously more deserving though I could make a case for Bucky Walters or Eddie Cicotte.

8. Rice--Goslin, Minoso for value, not style, among LF. In RF, Slaughter and Winfield. Tim Raines is the only more deserving LF and he ain't eligible, though Minoso is virtually in a dead heat.

9. Parker. Not as good as Rice, Goslin, Minoso, Slaughter, Roush, Dawson, Winfield. More of a Klein, Flick, Keeler, Oliva. In a perfect world, I'd elect Oliva first.

10. Belle--best comp is Charley Keller. In a perfect world, Rice, Minoso and Shoeless Joe would go in first. Oh, and Charley Keller.

Might support someday when there's room on the ballot: Mattingly. L. Smith. Concepcion. Dale Murphy. Jack Morris. But this year, no room at the in.
   72. CrosbyBird Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:08 PM (#2272365)
My ballot:

Blyleven
Gwynn
Ripken
McGwire

Wouldn't break my heart if Trammel got in, but I'm a small hall guy so he's just out. I reject the proposition that the mistakes of the past force us to make more mistakes in the future; IMO relievers don't belong in the HOF and Gossage buys a ticket. (He is a better choice than Sutter, for sure, though).
   73. LargeBill Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2272374)
Gwynn, Ripken, Blyleven, Belle, Lee Smith, Gossage, Trammell
   74. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2272375)
I'm a Small HOF guy with concessions to my minority status, i.e., there is a lower standard for entrance than I'd like but I'll put in those who absolutely deserve it based on a looser Hall.
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Tony Gwynn -- I don't remember his youthful defensive prowess but I'll take the word of more astute observers. Pretty darned good hitter for a long time.
Alan Trammell -- Let's not even talk about Concepcion until this is fixed
Bert Blyleven -- Close but in. I worried more about my team facing him than Nolan Ryan in the day.
Rich Gossage -- Originally I wanted Sutter in and didn't think so much about Goose. But after reading the arguments and reassessing, you can't have Sutter and not Gossage, who was much better.

NOT IN for now:
Mark McGwire -- I think we need some cooling off after this steriods discussion runs its course.

All these hitters are very close but either not enough peak or not enough career:
Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Andre Dawson
Don Mattingly
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Jim Rice

Ditto these pitchers:
Orel Hershiser
Tommy John
Jack Morris
Bret Saberhagen
Lee Smith -- never seemed dominating to me; just a really good pitcher for a long time

Dave Concepcion -- When your main rival for best in position in your league during your peak is Larry Bowa (arguably), I can't give any value to a best at his position argument. Simply HOVG.
Tony Fernandez -- Being an NL guy, I never quite appreciated how good he was.
   75. sunnyday2 Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2272382)
Wow, is #72 a vote for some HoF not in Cooperstown or what!?
   76. DanG Posted: January 02, 2007 at 05:52 PM (#2272390)
Wow, is #72 a vote for some HoF not in Cooperstown or what!?

I impolitely tend towards the term "entrenched ignorance".
   77. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:00 PM (#2272394)
Ordered by confidence that each individual deserves to be in the Hall of Fame:

1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Alan Trammell
4. Andre Dawson
5. Bert Blyleven
6. Rich Gossage
7. Dale Murphy
8. Tommy John
9. Albert Belle
10. Lee Smith

Narrowly missed the cut:

Mark McGwire (due to extenuating circumstances)
Dave Parker
Dave Concepcion
Bret Saberhagen

I seem to rank Dawson higher than most, and I disagree with those who say he didn't have much of a peak and should be considered primarily as a corner outfielder. It is my understanding that this thread is mainly reserved for voting rather than analysis, but I will post my rationale for this viewpoint in the HOF ballot discussion thread.
   78. John Northey Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:05 PM (#2272396)
Always fun. My ballot would be/is...
Bert Blyleven, Tony Fernandez, Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn, Tommy John, Mark McGwire, Cal Ripken, Jr., Alan Trammell, Lee Smith

Fernandez is my personal favorite and a marginal hof choice. Lee Smith I keep debating, but his near 500 saves and how few guys will pass him anytime soon pushes him over the top along with his amazing consistancy (ERA+ of 100 or better in all but his last season, double digits in saves in all but his first 2 and last 2 seasons).

In the 'what if' area I'd put Albert Belle - what if his career didn't end early, what if he wasn't hated by so many writers, what if he didn't act crazy at times... Canseco goes into the 'what if' area too, another guy who could'a would'a should'a been one of the greats. I figure Saberhagen also lands here.

Close but no cigar to Baines, Concepcion, Dawson, Morris, Murphy, and Rice.

Dang, there are just too many very good players on the ballot lately. I wonder how many voters limit themselves to 1 or 2 per year, thus making 100% near impossible.
   79. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:06 PM (#2272397)
Dr. C's 2007 HOF Jamboree

Bert Blyleven: I defy anyone to find 50 better pitchers than Blyleven based on on reasonable criteria. You can't do it. In fact, you probably can't find 40 better pitchers. For that matter even 30 is going to be tough. I don't get how any observer can deny him. The whole "didn't win enough" thing seems kind of bogus to me. I mean, he won 287 games, threw 17,000 innings, struck out 122,000 guys, and it's not good enough because a clutch of decisions didn't go his way? That's the kind of nuanced argument that keeps someone in the class of Fernando or Luis Tiant out, someone who doesn't quite show enough peak to make up for a shortish career. Blyleven's got more than plenty of career and enough peak to show it's not just hang-on time. He's an easy In.

Andre Dawson: I used to oppose his candidacy, now I lean slightly to "in." He's the best CF of his league, then the best RF for a little bit. Long, long career, very productive for a long time, with lots of All-Star and MVP caliber years.

Rich Gossage: Best reliever since Wilhelm; only Rivera's comparable (and perhaps better) since then.

Tony Gwynn: Outstanding RF, too bad he couldn't keep the weight off, he might have hit .400 or racked up 4000 hits.

Mark McGwire: Not Mark Aguire. McGwire's borderline, believe it or not. He's just above the line, and he's superior, IMO, to several HOF 1B: Beckley, Perez, Sisler, Terry, Kelly. His peak years are tasty, and his career is more than 300 WS. I'm aware of the elephant.

Cal Ripken, Jr.: I would reckon that there are two HOF SS types who Rikpen should be compared against for the honor of Third Best SS Ever. Wagner and Vaughan are not them. Instead it's Yount and Lloyd. Ripken and Yount are nearly identical, but because Ripken played SS longer, I prefer him to Yount in the queue of HOF SS. Lloyd's MLEs (lurkers and non-HOMians, please see his HOM thread) suggest very similar players. I probably lean slightly to Lloyd but I see it both ways. Call it a tie. The trick here is that A-Rod will soon blow by both of them. If the Rod returns to SS, which isn't out of the question, it'll be an easy win for him. If he never returns and plays a good while longer, it's an open issue.

Lee Smith: He's the dominant post-Sutter NL reliever with seasons in both the Gossage mode and the Rivera mode. I'm not comfy with this vote, because he's inferior to Gossage, but I prefer him to Rollie Findars.

Alan Trammell: I don't get the non-support for Trammell. He's not right on the borderline; he's a bit above it. He's basically got the same career as Barry Larkin in many respects. I don't care if he's the third-best SS of his time, he's a great player with a fine peak (particularly for his position) and a lengthy and valuable career. Oddity: third best SS during his career (Ripken, Yount, Trammell), fourth best uninducted SS after it (Dahlen, Ripken, Glasscock, Trammell)---he can't catch a break....
   80. Ace of Kevin Bass Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:12 PM (#2272401)
1. Cal Ripken, Jr.
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Goose Gossage
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Alan Trammell
   81. Paul Wendt Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:13 PM (#2272403)
1. Ripken
2. Gwynn
3. Gossage

4. Blyleven - 11 wins above .500 in 11 Minnesota seasons, plus 3-1 in 1987 postseason. Why do I think of him as a Pittsburgh?
After 20 seasons, looked like a sure 300-game winner, but "fell off a cliff" as we say again and again around here.
5. McGwire
6. Trammell

7. Lee Smith - By Joe Dimino's new measure, he stands out. Was he better than Tekulve? There must be something wrong, but I don't have time to find it.

-- out
Tony Fernandez - a fine player, like Jimmy Key and Tom Henke. made everyone forget Alfredo Griffin. returned in time for the 1993 championship (14h 3r 10rbi postseason)

Dave Concepcion - more qualified than Tony Fernandez. perhaps merits careful assessment that would take me too long
BTF: Dave Concepcion for HOF?

-- travesty
Deacon Jim White
Bad Bill Dahlen
   82. Paul Wendt Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:39 PM (#2272417)
I wouldn't take the career of Lee Smith over that of Dawson, Murphy, Parker, Evans, Rice, Belle, or Canseco unless I could save a lot of money doing it.
   83. Daryn Posted: January 02, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2272423)
Wow, is #72 a vote for some HoF not in Cooperstown or what!?

I impolitely tend towards the term "entrenched ignorance".


Now, now gentlemen, I voted that way too. It is not entrenched ignorance to continue to vote for the way you think the Hall should be. I vote Green in elections. I know Green will never win a seat where I live and will never be the ruling party in my lifetime, but that doesn't make my vote ignorant.


If you watched the Jays play in the 80's and/or the 90's, you'd understand how much he meant to the team and to the city of Toronto as a whole.


My lasting memory of Tony (other than living up to his nickname "Cabeza") is that in his last 10 or so years of play he always struggled up to the plate as if he had two broken wrists and a broken leg. And when he lined a clean single he'd get to first base with a look on his face that said "not bad for a guy with two broken wrists".
   84. DCA Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:08 PM (#2272428)
In order

Ripken
Blyleven
Gwynn
McGwire
Trammell
Gossage
Dawson
Belle
Murphy
John
   85. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:11 PM (#2272430)
1) Ripken - Still baffled that someone in the discussion thread said he wouldn't vote for him.

2) Gwynn - If Gwynn never walked once in his career, he would still have an OBP above the league average for his career.

3) Blyleven - I don't see how 287 wins is a bad thing. Lots of Ks (dominance) and IPs (durability).

4) Trammel - Are the late 90s really the golden era of SSs? Trammel, Ozzie, Yount and Ripken with Larkin as a late comer, vs. Nomar, Jeter, A-rod and Tejada. I think I'll take the 80s group.

5) Fernandez - I really like middle infielders. Broke the Yankees poor SS run, and was my favorite SS until a guy named Jeter came along. Because he's gotten no other votes (and he's better then some that have gotten votes) and he's not taking a vote from anyone deserving on my ballot, I'm voting for him.

6) Mattingly - My favorite ballplayer until the day he retired. I've had dreams about him returning to play again as recently as two years ago. I can't not vote for him, even if there are better players I didn't vote for.

I have some problems with only four real votes (the only four I feel deserve it) and two cap tips, but I feel like these ballots are a little light on cap tips for HOF votes so I'm going to do it anyway.

Thought more about since the discussion but decided against:

McGwire - I'm not going to vote for him, but if he gets in (and he probably will), I won't be upset by it. Sorry for the pompous moralizing.

Gossage - There's only one reliever I'm going to vote for ever as of right now, and that's Mo. Gossage won't get my support, although I'm not going to be upset if he gets in someday.

Belle - I'm someone who's opinion has shifted from when he was first discussed on this site. He has one season in the top 100 for OPS+, just didn't get high enough or play enough for me to vote for him.
   86. SWW Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:15 PM (#2272433)
Mike Schmidt has encouraged me to be generous with my vote. Oh, alright. I'm not going overboard, but I've decided to heed his call, and at least one man benefits. As in previous years, I'll go with alphabetical order.

2006 Ballot
Rik Aalbert Blyleven – “The Dutch Master”
From a Rob Neyer column last year: “Blyleven's qualifications are so obvious, so compelling that reasonable citizens of the reality-based community have lined up behind him everywhere.” Them, and now Bill Conlin.
Andre Nolan Dawson – “Hawk”
Best of the available outfielders, with the lengthy career that I tend to like, despite repeated injuries. Plus, he's part of my covert campaign to pack the Hall with Expos.
Richard Michael Gossage – “Goose”
I find it remarkable that Sutter would manage to get over the hump while voters still hold out on Gossage. I remember him as the Mariano Rivera of his day, and the stats bear it out.
Anthony Keith Gwynn
About as reliable a hitter as they come. If there were a "Mr. Padre", this would be the man.
Mark David McGwire - "Big Mac"
Sigh. Does the Hall need another free-swinging first baseman? A frequent All-Star even before he helped "save baseball", his numbers have always struck me as worthy on enshrinement. For me to reject him because of his Congressional testimony seems inappropriate.
Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr
Durable, skilled, and to use the words of a friend of mine, "so freakin' clutch".
Alan Stuart Trammell
Okay, I'll bite. A solid career, one of the best shortstops of his day, and if Whitaker had stayed on the ballot, they might both be inducted by now.

And there's my seven. I have a strong compulsion to vote for Tommy John, but he's so similar to Jim Kaat -- whose election I don't endorse -- that I just can't pull the trigger. Jim Rice and Jack Morris also merit consideration, but aren't really close to my ballot at this time.
   87. McCoy Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2272437)
1) Tony Gwynn
2) Cal Ripken Jr.
3) Rich Gossage


Regardless of steroids I never thought of Mark McGwire as a hall of famer. I like Bert I have defended him in the past against those who don't view him in highly but in the end he just doesn't meet my standard of what a hall of famer is.
   88. SWW Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:29 PM (#2272440)
Obviously, that should read "2007 Ballot". It seems I have not yet acclimated to the new year.
   89. DanG Posted: January 02, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2272448)
Now, now gentlemen, I voted that way too. It is not entrenched ignorance to continue to vote for the way you think the Hall should be.

Nothing personal, but in this exercise, I think voters should deal with the Hall we have, not some personal utopian ideal. That means recognizing what the HOF's de facto standards are.
   90. Squash Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:01 PM (#2272462)
Did this famous post #72 get removed? I'm not seeing what makes the current one controversial.
   91. SoSH U at work Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2272470)
Did this famous post #72 get removed? I'm not seeing what makes the current one controversial.


I don't think so. Crosbybird (as well as others, including me) have Small Hall-type ballots. Why there's something wrong with that, however, remains a mystery.
   92. DL from MN Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:28 PM (#2272476)
> I like Bert I have defended him in the past against those who don't view him in highly but > in the end he just doesn't meet my standard of what a hall of famer is

My guess is half the pitchers in the Hall of Merit wouldn't meet your standards of a Hall of Famer then. A Hall of Fame that only has 30 pitchers seems pretty inadequate.
   93. Dizzypaco Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:34 PM (#2272482)
Personally, I believe that for this thread to have any meaning at all, we need to have some common agreement of what the Hall of Fame is. If you believe that the Hall of Fame should be restricted to the 10 greatest players ever, or include every player who has ever put on a uniform, that's great, but it doesn't help our discussion. If we are arguing about whether Trammell or Blyleven or Rice or whoever deserves to make the Hall of Fame, we need to have some common understanding what a Hall of Famer is.

This isn't to say that we need to agree on each Hall of Famer of course, or that everyone who is in is deserving. Only that there needs to be some general agreement as to what the Hall of Fame is, or else we are all arguing apples and oranges.
   94. Howie Menckel Posted: January 02, 2007 at 08:50 PM (#2272486)
1. CAL RIPKEN
2. TONY GWYNN
3. RICH GOSSAGE - So much better than Sutter, I can't believe the HOF made this error.
4. ALAN TRAMMELL - So good at everything that he winds up underappreciated in a profound way.
5. BERT BLYLEVEN - I am pleasantly surprised to see the "so underrated he's overrated" comments. Analysis does show he was to blame in part for his odd W-L record. Still, he was so good (if not great)for so long that he qualifies for the HOF in my book.

NOT IN
MARK MCGWIRE - "Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."

At this point, he's only making it on about half of these. I would vote for McGwire to the HOM, and would have to reconsider this vote on an annual basis. I'm not set in stone with him like many voters are; it's a tough one. The Congressional testimony was just so offensive.

SLUGGERS - The next-best half-dozen candidates probably are the indistinguishable hitters.
   95. Daryn Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:03 PM (#2272492)
or else we are all arguing apples and oranges

We are arguing apples and oranges. That is what the current Hall of Fame is and that is reflected in the current real Hall of Fame voters' ballots. Additionally, there are in practice two Halls -- one filled with those elected by the writers and one filled with those elected by the various committees over time. The small Hall ballots on this thread are more reflective of the writers' Hall than are the ballots filled with 10 candidates.

If we were only looking at what the Hall is, all ballots would have to have 10 candidates on them, because the top 15 eligibles this year are all clearly better than the bottom 10% of the Hall.
   96. James Newburg is in awe of Cespedes' CORE STRENGTH Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:03 PM (#2272493)
1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Bert Blyleven
4. Mark McGwire
5. Goose Gossage
6. Alan Trammell
   97. DanG Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:15 PM (#2272502)
This isn't to say that we need to agree on each Hall of Famer of course, or that everyone who is in is deserving. Only that there needs to be some general agreement as to what the Hall of Fame is, or else we are all arguing apples and oranges.

Thanks, Diz, great point. It’s exactly why the Hall is in such a mess today, that they never really defined what a hall of famer should be, never gave a hint as to how many players should be included.

The HoM has dealt with this directly, decreeing we will have the same number of players as the Coop. Likewise, in determining who on the 2007 BBWAA ballot deserves to be in the HOF, this is the only fair approach. It is what it is. “Small hall” voters really have no place here, IMO, since their approach is inherently irrational. There is no reason to employ High Standards in your voting, because those were irrevocably lost more than 30 years ago. These voters are indeed being small.

I don’t think there is a good argument against the idea that the definition of a hall of famer is: whomever the HOF has elected. We then refine this by attempting to discern at what level of value do the players in the HOF outnumber those not enshrined – that level is the actual de facto standard of value employed by the hall. I believe this level is near a point that would indicate about 20% of HOF players as being substandard.

A hall of famer, as currently defined by the HOF, is one of the top ~250 players in history. Anyone who meets that standard deserves a vote.

Absent this, you can blunder along like a typical BBWAA voter, employing your personal peculiar standards that are in sync with “knowing a hall of famer when you see him.”
   98. djrelays Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:18 PM (#2272505)
For the sake of the project, I'm voting for the first time after serving my ten years as a "BBWAA member." There's an obvious drawback, of course. Because I'm now employed every day, and I'm writing a column four or five days a week on more than just baseball, I actually follow baseball less than when it was a pure passion for me. I'm less able to vote well now than I was before I became a baseball professional, let alone before I became eligible to vote. But them's the rules, so here's my vote:

1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Alan Trammell
4. Goose Gossage

That's it. No more, although I won't mind seeing any of another half dozen go in. And no explanations for those four. They're reasonably self-evident and the people compiling the results don't care about what I have to say about these four. But, I've got some fodder for my next column, and it's not about the four for whom I voted, it's about the the persons for whom I didn't vote.

First, the large group, headed by Bert Blyleven. Sure, he probably should be on my ballot. But I'll rely on those writers who are paying more attention to make that decision. And when he gets closer to the end of his 15 years I'll pay more attention. But all I'm required to do with this ballot is vote in the idiot's choices, the choices any reasonable observer could obviously make. After all, that's why we have the Veterans' Committe, to put in the people that require real research, to put in the omissions that the other writers (including this idiot) have omitted.

On the other hand, the VC has some glaring weaknesses, and this is the rant for my first column. I've yet to meet many ballplayers who understood what statistics really bring to the game, except when it relates to their own statistics which make their salary negotiations or their lasting fame more favorable. And with the VC now being (in) the clutch of living Hall of Famers, it's in their own best interest to keep the club as small as possible. In other words, don't vote in anyone else so as to avoid diluting their importance within the Hall. "Well, maybe we can vote in some dead people; they won't take away anything from who I was when I played the game. Nobody's going to pay Bill Dahlen to sign autographs, so what the heck, put him in!"

So, I'll give the VC one more shot at fixing some of the past omissions. But they've got to do it, not just give lip service to looking at the records and then not put anyone in. If they're going to keep doing that, then it's up to the writers to be absolutely correct about everything, and I've got to do some real homework for next year. On the other hand, the VC makeup keeps getting changed every now and then when the Cooperstown people think something needs to be tweaked. Maybe the current VC members will get tweaked out of existence. And soon, I hope. In any case, I'll give them one more shot to prove themselves.

While I'm waiting for the VC to do its voodoo, I'll throw one name at them to make things right: Buck O'Neill. Heck, I agree that he shouldn't have gone in as a player, or as a manager, or as a coach. But the game hasn't had a better ambassador in the nearly 50 years that I've followed it. And that stewardship came from someone who could just as easily have harbored a grudge. I never saw the chip on his shoulder that he could have carried for eternity.

So, that was my first column.

Here's my second: Why I didn't vote for Mark McGwire. Hooray for Squash for posting (#54) "I've never really bought the wasn't-against-the-rules argument, as it was, of course, against the rules ... by which I mean those of the federal government. And federal law, I believe, trumps the inner rules of privately held businesses. I think it's safe to say that anything that would land you in jail can be assumed to be illegal in baseball as well."

It's to baseball's shame--both MLB and the players' union--that the two didn't agree to a reasonable testing protocol as soon as steroids use or possession (without a prescription) was criminalized. But that's water over, and not just under, the bridge.

McGwire has brought more suspicion upon himself than other players have. It doesn't mean he's guilty. But the BALCO tree is still being shaken, and if one of the things the grand jury hopes will fall out is patterns of usage with various suppliers, there could well be another set of disclosures from what seems now to be a distant past.

I have no idea of the likelihood of such disclosures coming to pass. But at the same time, the writers are given 15 years to make up their minds on Mark McGwire and anyone else. There is no need for a rush to judgment. We're dealing with shifting sands of information at the moment. Let's sift that sand with an idea of finding the bedrock. Wait until we have a firmer idea of what was going on with steroid usage before we make a decision that isn't likely to be undone.

I could certainly find myself voting for McGwire in the future. But I don't have to make a final decision now; I'll wait. After all, if McGwire's not willing to talk about his past, there's no reason I should vote on it.
   99. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2272509)
"that level is the actual de facto standard of value employed by the hall."

But not by every writer that votes for the HOF. Why do you have your heart set on making everyone's ballot as similiar and dull as possible?
   100. djrelays Posted: January 02, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2272512)
For the sake of the project, I'm voting for the first time after serving my ten years as a "BBWAA member." There's an obvious drawback, of course. Because I'm now employed every day, and I'm writing a column four or five days a week on more than just baseball, I actually follow baseball less than when it was a pure passion for me. I'm less able to vote well now than I was before I became a baseball professional, let alone before I became eligible to vote. But them's the rules, so here's my vote:

1. Cal Ripken
2. Tony Gwynn
3. Alan Trammell
4. Goose Gossage

That's it. No more, although I won't mind seeing any of another half dozen go in. And no explanations for those four. They're reasonably self-evident and the people compiling the results don't care about what I have to say about these four. But, I've got some fodder for my next column, and it's not about the four for whom I voted, it's about the the persons for whom I didn't vote.

First, the large group, headed by Bert Blyleven. Sure, he probably should be on my ballot. But I'll rely on those writers who are paying more attention to make that decision. And when he gets closer to the end of his 15 years I'll pay more attention. But all I'm required to do with this ballot is vote in the idiot's choices, the choices any reasonable observer could obviously make. After all, that's why we have the Veterans' Committe, to put in the people that require real research, to put in the omissions that the other writers (including this idiot) have omitted.

On the other hand, the VC has some glaring weaknesses, and this is the rant for my first column. I've yet to meet many ballplayers who understood what statistics really bring to the game, except when it relates to their own statistics which make their salary negotiations or their lasting fame more favorable. And with the VC now being (in) the clutch of living Hall of Famers, it's in their own best interest to keep the club as small as possible. In other words, don't vote in anyone else so as to avoid diluting their importance within the Hall. "Well, maybe we can vote in some dead people; they won't take away anything from who I was when I played the game. Nobody's going to pay Bill Dahlen to sign autographs, so what the heck, put him in!"

So, I'll give the VC one more shot at fixing some of the past omissions. But they've got to do it, not just give lip service to looking at the records and then not put anyone in. If they're going to keep doing that, then it's up to the writers to be absolutely correct about everything, and I've got to do some real homework for next year. On the other hand, the VC makeup keeps getting changed every now and then when the Cooperstown people think something needs to be tweaked. Maybe the current VC members will get tweaked out of existence. And soon, I hope. In any case, I'll give them one more shot to prove themselves.

While I'm waiting for the VC to do its voodoo, I'll throw one name at them to make things right: Buck O'Neill. Heck, I agree that he shouldn't have gone in as a player, or as a manager, or as a coach. But the game hasn't had a better ambassador in the nearly 50 years that I've followed it. And that stewardship came from someone who could just as easily have harbored a grudge. I never saw the chip on his shoulder that he could have carried for eternity.

So, that was my first column.

Here's my second: Why I didn't vote for Mark McGwire. Hooray for Squash for posting (#54) "I've never really bought the wasn't-against-the-rules argument, as it was, of course, against the rules ... by which I mean those of the federal government. And federal law, I believe, trumps the inner rules of privately held businesses. I think it's safe to say that anything that would land you in jail can be assumed to be illegal in baseball as well."

It's to baseball's shame--both MLB and the players' union--that the two didn't agree to a reasonable testing protocol as soon as steroids use or possession (without a prescription) was criminalized. But that's water over, and not just under, the bridge.

McGwire has brought more suspicion upon himself than other players have. It doesn't mean he's guilty. But the BALCO tree is still being shaken, and if one of the things the grand jury hopes will fall out is patterns of usage with various suppliers, there could well be another set of disclosures from what seems now to be a distant past.

I have no idea of the likelihood of such disclosures coming to pass. But at the same time, the writers are given 15 years to make up their minds on Mark McGwire and anyone else. There is no need for a rush to judgment. We're dealing with shifting sands of information at the moment. Let's sift that sand with an idea of finding the bedrock. Wait until we have a firmer idea of what was going on with steroid usage before we make a decision that isn't likely to be undone.

I could certainly find myself voting for McGwire in the future. But I don't have to make a final decision now; I'll wait. After all, if McGwire's not willing to talk about his past, there's no reason I should vote on it.
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