It’s your favorite person of questionable character and it is that time of year again. It is Hall of Fame (HOF) time. I do not have a vote for the HOF, but I like to look at the ballots and project who I would vote for because some day I may need to, and I want to be ready.
With that said here is who I would vote for, first in the “Modern Baseball Era” (Veterans) ballot. The ballot consists of the following candidates:
The rules require up to four (4) can be selected so I will be using that as my rule too. The first person I would eliminate is Marvin Miller. He was obviously critical in the baseball labor movement but was not a player and I feel that he should be a candidate in a different category (builders?). After that we get into the players. In looking at this list I can see up to five (5) players that I would not object to being selected. The four players I would cast a solid no vote for are:
These were all great players, but I feel they belong in the Hall of Very Good, not the Hall of Fame. The remaining five (5) players are:
With the list being pared down I will look at a couple of categories that I personally use to judge whether or not a player should be a Hall of Fame.
Was the player considered one of the best players at a point during their playing days, which I believe all remaining players meet.
Does the player have some hardware (MVP, CY, Gold Glove, etc.) as a result of their individual efforts? All the remaining players have at least one MVP award to their name.
Parker (1978 NL MVP, 1979 ASG MVP, a couple of batting titles)
Has the player made at least one October appearance? All players have made at least one playoff appearance.
Garvey (1974, 77, 78, 81, and 84 World Series with a win in 1981)
Mattingly (1995 ALDS – Lost to the Mariners with the mad dash by Griffey Jr.)
Munson (1976, 77, 78 World Series with wins in 77 & 78)
Murphy (1982 NLCS, lost to Cardinals)
Parker (1979, 88 & 89 World Series appearances with wins in 1979 & 89)
Was the player a known commodity and “name” because of their performance? I believe that all players meet that criteria.
So, it comes down to this. My personal preference and eye test. Using this I would select the following four:
Leaving Thurman Munson off of this list was very hard. I could also see swapping Munson for Mattingly or Murphy.
Now for the regular ballot. Derek Jeter is a lock, possibly unanimous, so I am not going to write anything about that. The next couple of players I would select will lead to controversy; Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. I think both were on a HOF trajectory before their obvious usage of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED). Clemens had three (3) Cy Young awards to his name and Barry Bonds had three (3) MVP’s before each player started using PED’s. Now people will ask what about McGwire or Sosa. The distinction I make is this. They were not on a HOF trajectory when they started using PED’s and therefore do not get my vote. People may also argue that no PED user should be in the HOF. I would counter that Bud Selig is in, and he was one of the biggest enablers and was rewarded for his dubious record of the steroid era as well as the cancelling of the World Series in 1994. Anyone who talks about integrity with the HOF does not have a leg to stand on once he walked in there.
The next question people will ask is what about Paul Konerko. I am a huge fan, but he belongs in the Hall of Very Good. Look at my criteria above and ask yourself does Konerko really meet any of those. It is a stretch at best. My final ballot is as follows:
Feel free to come up at me if you want but that is the beauty of this game. It is enjoyed on a personal level and a HOF player in one person’s eyes may not be in another, and neither person in most cases is wrong.
-Aloha Mr. Hand
About The Author
Low information White Sox Fan.
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