Friday, January 21, 2022

2022 Obligatory Hall Of Fame Post

On January 25th, we'll find out who gets to join an impressive 6 new veteran committee elected players 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.

For the past few years, 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
David Ortiz
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez
Scott Rolen
Curt Schilling

2017 Topps Update - Heroes Of Autumn
#HA-24 David Ortiz

I'm excited Ortiz is finally on the ballot, and hopefully he'll get in this year. Scott Rolen is someone I initially didn't think was a rock solid candidate, but the more I read about his candidacy, the more I became convinced he had a special blend of excellence on both offense and defense. He's one of the 12 best third baseman all-time!

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.

Andruw Jones - A decade of being one of the most dynamic and electrifying players in baseball might be enough to overcome a legendary drop-off in production.
Jeff Kent - The greatest power hitting 2nd baseman of all-time isn't getting the look he deserves.

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

Sammy Sosa - It's hard to not have a member of the 600 home run club in the Hall.

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 any of these guys belong. They're on the ballot, and have genuine cases though. I'll have to put more thought into it.

Bobby Abreu
Mark Beuhrle
Carl Crawford
Prince Fielder
Ryan Howard
Tim Hudson
Torii Hunter 
Tim Lincecum
Justin Morneau
Joe Nathan
Jonathan Papelbon
Jake Peavy
Andy Petite
A.J. Pierzynski
Jimmy Rollins 
Mark Teixeira
Omar Vizquel

Outside of Ortiz and Rodriguez, 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. 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. I never thought Omar Vizquel was a Hall Of Fame player - he was below average offensively - but it appears his post-playing career drama has made that argument a moot point. If any of the new guys gets past the 5% threshold, I may give them a deeper look.

2008 Topps #435 Torii Hunter

My Ballot


Here's my unofficial 10 player ballot:

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Roger Clemens
  3. Todd Helton
  4. Andruw Jones
  5. Jeff Kent 
  6. David Ortiz
  7. Scott Rolen
  8. Curt Schilling 
  9. Sammy Sosa
  10. Billy Wagner

Bonds, Clemens, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Sheffield, Petite and Sosa are held back due to their PED connections. That leaves just Ortiz, Schilling, and Rolen from the Definitely Worthy list and 4 guys from the Probably Worthy list. (And in case anyone wants to point out Ortiz - no, I have no reservations about his usage. His connection is flimsy at best.) Three spots remaining for the PED guys, and two are going to Bonds and Clemens.

One spot left. Ramirez and Rodriguez are definitely worthy, but they both got suspended after the drug policy went into effect. I'd rather give the last spot to either Sheffield or Sosa, neither of whom failed any tests during their career. It's a toss up, but since this is Sosa's last chance, I gave him the nod.

In the end, I expect Ortiz to just barely make it with slightly over 75% of the vote. Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, and Schilling will fall off the ballot and become future committee candidates.

No matter how it shakes out, it'll be another fun and exciting Hall class!


  1. I'll work on a response today. Probably explaining why none of these guys deserve it.

  2. I just watched a video where Greg Maddux advocated for Andruw Jones. He mentioned how Jones made pitchers' lives that much easier. Glad to see him on your ballot. I really hope Bonds and Clemens make it, but like you predicted... I doubt it'll happen now.