Every year, I tell myself that I’m not going to get worked up over the Hall of Fame Ballot. I’m not going to get into it. I’m not going to get riled up. Nope, I’m not going to do it. And every year, what do I do? I break that promise to myself. During the doldrums of the Hot Stove Season, it is something fun to discuss to pass the time before the coals get raked properly. You can see the ballot here. The most players you can have on a single ballot is ten. Here’s whom I’d vote for if I had a vote:
1. Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell had a .406 career wOBA (149 wRC+) and racked up 83.9 fWAR (79.9 bWAR) and he belted 449 homers. On merit alone, Bagwell should’ve been elected last year, but the writers were able to scare up just enough steroid suspicion to keep him out. Sad, really.
2. Barry Larkin. The Cincinnati shortstop hit to a .366 wOBA (122 wRC+) for his career. In terms of WAR, he finished at 68.9 bWAR and 70.6 fWAR. Larkin was a fine hitting shortstop and was one of the best in the business.
3. Edgar Martinez. .318/.415/.515. .405 wOBA. 148 wRC+. And despite crappy positional adjustments, he still racked up 69.9 fWAR and 67.2 bWAR. Put simply, Edgar Martinez was one of the finest hitters for the 1990s and into the first part of this century. I don’t care that he was a DH; his hitting was that damn good.
4. Mark McGwire. Blah blah steroids. Don’t care. Put him in based on his numbers.
5. Rafael Palmiero. Same thing.
And that’s it. I don’t like Jack Morris as a HOF pitcher. I love you, Bernie Williams, but you’re just short. Someone could convince me on Alan Trammell and I assume one of you will in the comments. As much as I love them, too, I think Don Mattingly and Fred McGriff fall just short. Tim Salmon was a lot better than I remember him being, but definitely short of the Hall. Dale Murphy falls short, too. So, give it a go, ladies and gents. What’s your hypothetical ballot look like?
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