I know. If a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his bootie when he hopped.
I don’t, of course, have a Hall of Fame vote. I never will (most likely). But, that doesn’t mean I can’t churn out a blog post letting everyone know who I would vote for if I did. Right? Let’s see.
Why not start with an easy one. One of the best games I’ve ever been to was the 1999 All-Star game. It was wonderful for many reasons. But, one of the biggest reasons was the pre-game ceremony. Major League Baseball announced that they were selecting an all-century team of players to commemorate the coming end to the 20th century. As part of that selection, MLB came up with the top 100 players ever, and fan voting would whittle it down from there into an actual team. Not only was Ken Griffey Jr selected as one of the best 100 players of the century, even though he was still active…and pretty much mid-career, he was eventually selected to be on the team. Once MLB says you’re in the top 100 (and, I suppose you don’t get banned from baseball or people don’t find out that you were only there because you cheated) can you really be kept out of the Hall of Fame? I really want to know why anyone wouldn’t vote for him. If they don’t, it’s because they’re playing one of those crazy “saving my vote for players who might actually need the help” games that are insulting. He should be the first 100%er. (well, others before him should have been...but you get the idea.)
Frankly, that might be the only person on my ballot.
But, I should probably at least hit on a couple others.
Joining Griffey as first timers are Trevor Hoffman and Billy Wagner. They, along with holdover Lee Smith, can be passed over pretty easily using the same argument I made against Mariano Rivera. They didn’t start for their teams. How can they even be considered as the best of all time when they weren’t even good enough to start for their teams? Those are three more easy ones.
Jim Edmonds rounds out the real potential first-time candidates. But, with only two top-five MVP finishes, I have no reason to let numbers change my gut feeling that he’s just not worthy.
The rest of the newcomers aren’t even in the conversation.
As for the holdovers…I’m a bit too young to comment on Alan Trammell. I’ll let others explain why Barry Larkin is in, and Derek Jeter is apparently a shoe-in, but Trammell needs to buy a ticket just like me.
Same goes for Tim Raines. I know I saw Rickey Henderson when he was with the Sox. I saw the way he terrorized pitchers and thought to myself, “He must have been the most valuable player ever when he was in his prime.” If Tim Raines was even close to that, he should be in. But, people who actually saw him play say no. So, I guess I need to defer.
For Edgar Martinez and Mike Piazza I apply the David Ortiz test. If they played first base, would they be in the Hall? So, I don’t care if Martinez DHed. If he had played first, are his numbers good enough? I say not quite. Nothing wrong with just being a very good player. Same goes for Piazza. He gets credit for being a great hitting catcher. But…he couldn’t catch. If he played where he was supposed to, he doesn’t have the numbers to go in. Electing him because of his catching is like having Dwight Evans pitch relief and say he’s a Hall of Famer as a great hitting pitcher, even though he has a 73.36 ERA.
Bagwell and Schilling fall just short for me. Like Edgar, the Hall of Very good. There’s no shame there. Although, it kills me that Biggio is in. When I thought of the Houston B&B’s or whatever they called them, I always thought Bagwell was the main B carrying Biggio.
The rest of the returning class are more not quite good enough. As much as it pains me to say it about Nomar.
So, I guess I was right.