Returning Players: Andre Dawson (67%), Bert Blylevin (62.7%), Lee Smith (44.5%), Jack Morris (44%), Tim Raines (22.6%), Mark McGwire (21.9%), Alan Trammell (17.4%), Dave Parker (15%), Don Mattingly (11.9%), Dale Murphy (11.5%), and Harold Baines (5.9%)
First Time Players: Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Ellis Burks, Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Shane Reynolds, Dave Segui, Robin Ventura, and Todd Zeile.
To be considered an eligible candidate for the Hall of Fame, the player must adhere to the following criteria:
- Candidate has played at least 10 seasons in the Major Leagues.
- Candidate has been retired from the Major Leagues for at least 5 years.
- Candidate can not be on baseball's ineligible list to be considered for the Hall of Fame.
General Rules and Procedure for the Hall of Fame voters:
- Each voter will have ten votes to cast for who they think should be inducted into the Hall.
- If a player receives at least 75% of the total votes, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- If a player receives less than 5% of the total vote, he will not be eligible to appear of future ballots.
(Picture of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown provided by baseballhall.org)
So here's my 10 votes.... (if only I could really vote!)
Andre Dawson aka The Hawk
Dawson is already a Hall of Famer in my mind, and it's not just because he's a beloved Cubbie. He played 21 seasons in the Majors while compiling a .279 career average with 2,774 hits and 438 home runs. He's an 8x All Star, 8x Gold Glover, 4x Silver Slugger, while also being named the 1987 MVP, 1977 Rookie of the Year, and 1987 Home Run Derby Champion. In his 21 year career, he spent 11 seasons with the Montreal Expos (who have his #10 retired), 6 years with the Cubs (1987-1992), 2 years with the Boston Red Sox, then finished his last two Major League seasons with the Florida Marlins in '95 and '96. When he was on the ballot for consideration to the Hall in 2005 he received 52.3% of the vote. In 2006 it climbed to 61%, but fell back to 56.7% in 2007. In 2008 it went back up to 65.9% in what was considered to be a better class of candidates than who is in this year.
In Ryne Sandbergs 2005 Induction speech to the Hall of Fame, he said the following of Hawk: "No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He's the best I've ever seen. I watched him win an MVP for a last-place team in 1987 [with the Cubs], and it was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way, and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday."
"S" Vote: YES (1 of 10)
Blyleven played for 5 Major League teams over a course of 23 years in the Major Leagues. His numbers speak for themselves- he compiled a 287-250 record on an ERA of 3.31 with 3,701 strike outs. He's a 2x All Star, a 2x World Series Champion, and the 1989 AL Comeback Player of the Year. Most noteably in his career was his no hitter from September 22, 1977. If Bert is not elected into the Hall by 2012, he won't be voted on by the BBWAA, but instead could still be inducted by the Veteran's Committee. Blyleven is known for having one of the best curveballs ever seen in the Majors. Visit Bert Belongs to get more info.
"S" Vote: YES (2 of 10)
I golfed with Lee a few weeks ago at the Fergie Jenkins Golf Outing and I was just blown away! This guy is so laid back and has such a great attitude, I can't believe he's not in the Hall for his character alone! He even signed some "HOF 2010" baseballs for people as a joke! But, his 18 year career is anything but a joke. He's currently holds the record for the 3rd most saves all time with 478. The next active player that could pass him is Billy Wagner who has 130+ less. It's seriously a shame this man is NOT in the Hall already. On top of that record, he's a 7x All Star and 3x Relief Man of the Year (twice in the NL and once in the AL). Lee has been described as "the best one inning pitcher the game ever saw." He's eligible to be voted on by the BBWAA until 2017 as long as he maintains a +5% of votes. Dennis Eckersley, who has 88 less saves that Lee, is in the Hall of Fame. Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, and Bruce Sutter, all members of the Hall, have 137, 168, and 178 less saves than Lee, respectively.
"S" Vote: YES (3 of 10)
Morris is another qualified ballplayer for the Hall of Fame. Over his 18 year career he posted a 254-186 record, and was known for his fastball, slider, and a humiliating splitter. Morris was a 5x All Star, 4x World Series Champion, 1991 World Series MVP, and the recipient of 2 Babe Ruth Awards. He never surpassed 2,500 strikeouts and had a higher ERA of his fellow candidates at 3.90. He was the first ever 20 game winner for the Blue Jays. He currently ranks 1st all time for the Tigers for wild pitches, and 8th overall in the Major Leagues, but he also holds the record for leading his team in wins 11 times. Lastly, he holds the Major League record for most consecutive opening day starts with 14, from 1980-1993.
"S" Vote: YES (4 of 10)
I was going to vote for Tim Raines, until I heard his interview on Homeplate MLB on XM radio yesterday (11/29/09). I've never been on the bandwagon to get McGwire into the Hall until after hearing Raines's reason NOT to put him in and the conversation that ensued. Yes he admitted to using Andro, not steroids, although it's easy to assume him guilty of it. But, the fact remains that Andro was NOT a band substance at the time he used it, and without getting off track with steroid usage, i'll say this and only this: if it wasn't band, then why punish him for using it? That was the owners and commissioners fault for allowing it, not McGwuire's for using it.
That being said, I'll return to the reason why he should be in the Hall: his stats and character. Mark McGwire is one of the most upstanding humans in this world and believes in the "baseball as life" mentallity that I (and most of you) share. And on top of that, his stats compiled from 18 seasons in the Majors reflect that of a true Hall of Famer. He's a 12x All Star, 3x Silver Slugger, 1989 World Series Champion (OAK), 1990 Gold Glover, 1987 Rookie of the Year, 1992 Home Run Derby Champion, and the recipient of the 1999 Lou Gehrig Award. He holds 2 Major League records that still stand today, the first being his home run to at bat ratio of 1-to-10.62 (Ryan Howard is second with 1-to-11.32, and Babe Ruth is third with 1-to-11.80). The other record he holds is for most homeruns hit by a rookie, at 49 in 1987. Mark McGwire is partially responsible for reviving baseball after the strike shortened season in 1994. His home run race with Sammy Sosa in 1998 put a much needed spark back into the game. Mark McGwire should be honored with an induction into the Hall. For crying out loud, the Cardinals didn't even hold a public press conference when he signed on as the new hitting coach this year due to the media and it's predicted backlash. It's time to move on from steroid talk and acknowledge that he is a Hall of Famer.
"S" Vote: YES (5 of 10)
Dave Parker aka "The Cobra"
In the last vote for consideration for the Hall of Fame, Parker only received 15% of the vote, but while he may not be a Hall of Famer to most I believe his percentage should be a lot higher, but he has had a lot of tough classes to compete with. He's a 7x All Star, 2x World Series Champion, 3x Gold Glover, 3x Silver Slugger, while also being named the 1978 NL MVP, 1979 MLB All Star Game MVP, and the 1985 Home Run Derby Champion. In 19 seasons he compiled a .290 career average with 2,712 hits and 339 home runs. He spent most of his career with the Pirates (11 seasons) and was known as a solid defensive outfielder with a powerful arm. In the 1979 All Star game, he threw out Jim Rice at third base and Brian Downing at home which adding a sac-fly to help the NL win and earn him the MVP.
"S" Vote: YES (6 of 10)
Don Mattingly aka "Donnie Baseball" and "The Hit Man"
As a firstbaseman, Mattingly played his entire 14 year career with the New York Yankees, from 1982-1995. From 1991-1995 he was the team Captain, and in 1997 his #23 was retired by his team. Over his career he posted a .307 average and a .829 OPS. Mattingly is also a 6x All Star, 9x Gold Glover, 3x Silver Slugger while being named the 1985 AL MVP and receiving the Loug Gehrig Award in 1993. He hold the Major League Baseball record for 6 grand slams in a single season. Considering the other options for the Hall, Mattingly's stats qualify him at least 5% of the votes.
"S" Vote: YES (7 of 10)
Considered the best secondbaseman in the history of the game, Alomar should be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Over his career he posted a .300 batting average with 2,724 hits and 474 stolen bases. He's a 12x All Star, 2x World Series Champion, 10x Gold Glover at second base (MLB Record), 4x Silver Slugger, and was named the 1992 ALCS MVP as well as the 1998 All Star Game MVP. Alomar was awarded the Toronto Blue Jays Level of Excellence at the Roger's Centre, joining legends George Bell, Tony Fernandez, and Joe Carter. He has voiced that he wants to wear a Blue Jays hat if he gets inducted into the Hall, which will make him the first player ever to do so.
"S" Vote: YES (8 of 10)
One of the greatest short stops of all time, Barry Larkin played 19 years in the Major Leagues. He is a 12x All Star, 9x Silver Slugger, 3x Gold Glover, and won a World Series with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990. He was the 1995 NL MVP, and was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 1993 and the Lou Gehrig Award in 1994. During the 1990 World Series, Larkin batted .353 and helped sweep the A's. Over his career he posted a .295 batting average with 379 stolen bases, 2,340 hits, and 198 home runs. In only his 3rd Major League season, he led the Majors in least amount of strikeouts (24 in 588 at bats). In 1996 he became the 1st short stop ever to join the 30-30 club. The next year he was named Reds Captain, and was the first player ever since Concepcion's retirement to be named that honor. As of 2009 the Reds have not issued the #11 to anyone and plan to retire it soon.
"S" Vote: YES (9 of 10)
"S" Vote: YES (9 of 10)
Fred McGriff and Robin Ventura
I couldn't decide who to chose for my last vote so I put them as a tie. Neither should be a first ballot Hall of Famer, but both have stats to make a push for it. Over his 19 year career, McGriff was a 5x All Star, won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995, was a 3x Silver Slugger, and was the 1994 MLB All Star Game MVP. Ventura was a player I grew up watching on the White Sox, and I loved his style of competition. Over his 16 year career he was a 2x All Star, 6x Gold Glover, and the 1988 Golden Spikes Award recipient.
"S" Vote: Tied- YES (10 of 10)
"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 National Baseball Hall of Fame criteria rules