Monday, January 25, 2021

2021 Obligatory Hall Of Fame Post

Tomorrow, we'll find out who gets to join last year's inductees Derek Jeter and Larry Walker  in next summer's Hall of Fame festivities. 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, it's possible that not all of these guys may make my final ballot.

Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Manny Ramirez
Curt Schilling

2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #90 Curt Schilling

You know the world is a crazy place when the one guy NOT associated with PEDs is the most controversial figure...

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 - 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.

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
Mark Beuhrle
Tim Hudson
Torii Hunter
Andruw Jones
Andy Petite
Sammy Sosa
Omar Vizquel
Barry Zito

None of this year's first timers have a strong case. A part of me wants to bump Torii Hunter up a level, just because he was so fun to watch and was an amazing defender. Sosa and Petite were borderline candidates at best, and that was before the PED allegations. Abreu never struck me as a Hall of Fame player during his playing days, and seems to be a candidate just because he was consistent Andruw Jones built his entire case on the front end of his career, and if he didn't have such a mind-boggling drop-off we would be talking about a cartain all-time great. I'm going to just flat out say it - Omar Vizquel may be one of the great defensive shortstops in history, but he is not a Hall of Famer. It takes more just defense to make the Hall, and I'm not yet convinced that he belongs.

1997 Ultra - Gold Medallion
#G153 Andruw Jones

My Ballot

Here's my unofficial 9 player ballot:
  1. Roger Clemens
  2. Barry Bonds
  3. Todd Helton
  4. Jeff Kent
  5. Manny Ramirez
  6. Scott Rolen
  7. Curt Schilling 
  8. Gary Sheffield
  9. Billy Wagner
Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, Sheffield, Petite and Sosa are held back due to their PED connections. That leaves just Schilling from the Definitely Worthy list and 4 guys from the Probably Worthy list. Five spots remaining, but I only need 4 to add those remaining from my Definitely Worthy and Probably Worthy lists. For the first time since I started doing this, I'm not using up all 10 available spots.

In the end, I expect Schilling will be the only one who has a reasonable shot. Lucky for him, his latest political controversy happened after most ballots were submitted. I do think it'd be funny if he, Clemens and Bonds squeak in this year, just because it'd provide an interesting contrast to have them inducted along-side Jeter and his untarnished image.

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. I'm pretty sure nobody is getting in this year, which feels weird. Liked the writeup though!

  2. i believe in the magic numbers - 3000 hits, 3000 ks for example - and am also a bigger hall guy. i don't think anyone gets in on this ballot, however, based on the current tracking of known votes. i would vote for bonds, clemens, schilling, sheffield, and kent for sure, even though i don't necessarily "like" any of those guys. having said that, it wouldn't bother me if schilling never makes it.

  3. Wow.

    I'd vote for Schilling. End of list.

  4. Good post. I've had to back off the magic numbers of late but still mean something. Clemons and Bonds for sure. I also have Schilling in. Manny may be the greatest right handed hitter of our generation but I can't get over his being suspended twice/testing positive twice. I get the arguments for letting him in and as much as I like him I can't. Jeff Kent is a guy I think gets in. His numbers as a second basemen make me think he should be in. Love Hall of Fame discussions. I'm a "Hall of Fame" guy too and I definitely okay with keeping those in as best of the best.

  5. The fact that you would vote for Bonds invalidates everything else you say.

    1. Bonds never failed a drug test though he tested positive in a test that was before MLB had a testing program. A slippery slope I know and a debate that will go on long after we are gone.

  6. If I had a vote... I'd start with Bonds and Clemens. Once they're in I'll take a closer look at the other names on this list.

  7. I’d say if Bonds and Clemens make it, it opens up the door on Rose.