Before we get into my hypothetical 2019 Hall of Fame ballot, we need to review last year’s. Because only 10 votes are allowed, who was inducted last year and who becomes eligible this year may affect one’s votes, as it has with mine this year. Which, we must acknowledge, is an absurd voting policy – if a player is HOF worthy, another player becoming eligible should have nothing to do with that.
And yes, for those of you wondering: Jack Morris’ induction last year did move me one step closer to being done with the Hall of Fame. Harold Baines’ induction has me teetering on the brink…
All right, enough digressions.
My ballot last season:
Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, Scott Rolen, Manny Ramirez, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, and Chipper Jones.
Jones and Thome were elected, and I haven’t changed my mind on any of the other eight, so I have two spots I can add.
Problem: Mariano Rivera (duh), Roy Halladay and Lance Berkman are clear “yes” votes for me.
Halladay was the best pitcher of his era, with Johann Santana* being his only competition for that title. From 2002 through 2012, he was clearly better than Justin Verlander, C.C. Sabathia, Felix Hernandez, and Zack Greinke.
Berkman is the 2nd best switch hitter of all time (yes he is, you don’t want to test me on that), and was a better player than Sheffield**.
So there’s the solution to my problem: Gary Sheffield is off my ballot, Lance Berkman is on.
My HOF ballot, final result: Bonds, Clemens, Mussina, Edgar, Rolen, Manny, Schilling, Halladay, Berkman, Rivera.
Now to players with Yankee connections…
In addition to Berkman, players who passed through the Bronx who are on this year’s ballot are Kevin Youkilis, Freddy Garcia, Vernon Wells, Ted Lilly, and Travis Hafner. Good careers all, but needless to say, this will be the last season we see any of them on the ballot.
And since we’ve discussed Mussina, Clemens, Rivera, Sheffield, and the other brief stint Yankees, that leaves one more Yankee on this year’s ballot.
We’ll probably discuss him later at more length – maybe when Michael Kay starts talking about his “5 World Championships” and having pitched “in the AL East”. But be forewarned Yankee fans, you aren’t going to like what I have to say…
Don’t embarrass yourself publicly by saying that Andy Pettitte is a Hall of Famer. He is not close.
Did I miss somebody? Let me know.
*I may have to re-think my initial stance on Santana. Not only is he comparable to Halladay, but for some perspective, he has a better ERA+, K%-BB% and FIP than Lee Smith who was just inducted. Santana did that while pitching more than twice as many innings as Smith and doing it while facing the other teams’ best hitters three or sometimes four times through the lineup.
**This is why timing is a factor in HOF voting. Also, Sheffield was an exponentially better player than Baines.
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