Monday, January 13, 2020

2020 Obligatory Hall Of Fame Post

Later on this month, we'll find out who gets to join Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller in next summer's Hall of Fame class. I enjoy this time of year, especially as voters reveal their ballots. I actually like reading about these votes, and the thought process each writer makes in choosing who they think is worthy. I wish more writers gave us a inside look at their choices. It's fascinating.

Last year, I wrote about who I felt deserved to get elected. I decided to do that again this year as well. Pardon me while I copy and paste from part of my original post from 2018:

I obviously do not have an official vote, but I too have thought about who is worthy and who would make my unofficial ballot. Before I list my choices, a few clarifications into my voting process:

  • I'm a "Big Hall" type of guy - I believe that the Hall's main purpose is to reflect the history of the game. I'm not going to cross a guy off just because he's not an inner circle type.
  • As far as PED users go, I generally don't have a strong opinion. Again, the Hall should reflect this era of the game. To be honest, I have genuine reservations as to how much PED usage affects a player's overall stats. That being said, those guys are placed in the back of the line. As much as I may feel Manny Ramirez deserves to get in, if there are at least 10 other worthy candidates, he won't make my ballot.
I'm going to categorize players into 3 groups - definitely worthy, probably worthy, and maybe worthy. (Real scientific, I know...)

Definitely Worthy

These are the guys I don't have to think hard about. They belong, and that's all there is to it. Obviously, because of the PED issue, not all of these guys may make my final ballot.

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Derek Jeter
Manny Ramirez
Curt Schilling

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #90 Curt Schilling

Probably Worthy

These players have strong cases, but not airtight. There are usually some reservations. However, if they get elected, I won't have a problem with it.

Todd Helton - There's a significant gap between his home/road splits. Should that matter? I haven't really decided.

Jeff Kent - Greatest power hitting 2nd baseman of all-time, at least until Cano becomes eligible.

Scott Rolen - Ive started coming around on him. He never struck me as a superstar, but his career shows that he might belong.

Gary Sheffield - He may not have been the most likable person, but he was a scary hitter at his peak.

Billy Wagner - Wagner was a "Maybe Worthy" last year, but after researching him a bit more, I feel he's earned a bump up. He's the closer equivalent to Larry Walker. He was dominant on the field (more so than Trevor Hoffman), but pitching under 1,000 innings in his career is a tough hurdle to jump.

Larry Walker - His final year on the ballot will make this an interesting story. A perennial .300 hitter, the fact he averaged less than 80% of games played per season bothers me.

1993 Score #534 Gary Sheffield (DT)

Maybe Worthy

I'll be honest, I'm not convinced these guys belong. They have genuine cases though, and I'll have to put more thought into it.

Bobby Abreu
Jason Giambi
Andruw Jones
Paul Konerko
Cliff Lee
Andy Petite
Alfonso Soriano
Sammy Sosa
Omar Vizquel

Abreu, Konerko, and Vizquel never gave me the impression I was witnessing greatness. Giambi, Sosa, and Petite are PED guys and there's a definite question if what they took got them even in the discussion. Jones, Lee and Soriano had short peeks that rivaled Hall of Famers, but little else. Lee in particular surprised me. He was arguably the best pitcher in baseball for 6 years, but outside of that was downright pedestrian.

2011 Topps #103 Cliff Lee

My Ballot

Here's my unofficial 10 player ballot:
  1. Roger Clemens
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Todd Helton
  4. Derek Jeter
  5. Jeff Kent
  6. Manny Ramirez
  7. Scott Rolen
  8. Curt Schilling
  9. Billy Wagner
  10. Larry Walker
Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, Sheffield, Giambi, Petite and Sosa are held back due to their PED connections. That leaves 2 players from the Definitely Worthy list and 5 guys from the Probably Worthy list. Three remaining spots on the ballot for the PED connected players, which goes to the three guys remaining on my Definitely Worthy list. This marks the first time in the three years I've done this that all the players from the top tier make the ballot. Only Sheffield keeps this from being a two-tiered sweep, and I think next year's weak class may get him there next time.

In the end, I expect Jeter will be the only one elected, and probably unanimously like his teammate last year. I think that Schilling and Walker will get very close but just miss. The era of crowded ballots has come to an end, and it'll be awhile before we'll hear the writers complain about the 10 player maximum again.

No matter how it shakes out, it'll be another fun and exciting Hall class!( I'm just not looking forward to reading/hearing about how great Jeter is all over again.)


  1. As much as I dislike the Yankees... I'm looking forward to seeing bloggers show off their Jeters. I wasn't a fan of him during his career... but I admire how he played the game... even if he hurt the A's in doing so.

  2. Good choices and good reasoning. The other player I'd love to see make it to the Hall is Omar Vizquel. Eleven gold gloves and a more than adequate bat (2,877 hits, .272 avg). He was exciting to watch, too.

  3. I'm definitely a big hall/anti-PED guy. If I had an official vote this year I'd probably only vote for three or four players. I like how you arrived at your selections, and your final ballot.