Let’s address this first I do not have a vote for the MLB Hall of Fame this is just my personal opinion and I expect there to be a lot of debate about this topic and no two list will be the same. I compiled my list based on my own personal opinions of the players available. Again, some of the choices may be controversial but everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I challenge you to sit and make your own list and see just how difficult of an exercise it truly becomes.
Now some of the players will be clear Hall of Famers and need no real explanation. Others will need some clarification and for those I will give my reasoning as to why I choose them.
Let’s start with the easy and obvious choices:
I don’t think that these guys will have any trouble getting the 75% necessary to achieve Hall of Fame status.
However, for my next seven choices you may need more convincing. So let’s start with a guy who in my opinion has been over looked for far too long.
Edgar Martinez gets knocked a lot because he was a “DH”. Now the Designated Hitter is a position as much as a any other, we have seen many a great player struggle with the mental demands that come with this position. Edgar hit over 300 homeruns drove in over 1200 RBI’s but beyond just the basic numbers Edgar had a Career On Base Percentage of .418 and a Slugging Percentage of .515. Edgar revolutionized the position and the award for the best Designated Hitter is named after him. If you are great enough to have an official award for being the best hitter named after you then you belong in the Hall of Fame. Let’s get Edgar voted in.
Another man who gets overlooked in my opinion is The Crime Dog
The Crime Dog besides having an awesome nickname is often overlooked because of other players who had “extra assistance” during the era in which McGriff played. McGriff had 493 homeruns and gets overshadowed because during his era steroids ran wild like “Hulkamania” and he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. When you look into his numbers McGriff had a career Slugging Percentage of .509. .509 over 19 seasons is no slouch and to have a career OPS+ of 134 means he was a extremely high caliber player and belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Next up is a man that often gets overlooked as well simply because he played at the same time as other Hall of Famers.
Mussina is a pitcher who gets seriously punished by pitching in the same era as some of the greatest pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball. Moose while never won the award, he did finish in the Top 5 of the Cy Young voting 6 different times. Mussina pitched over 3500 innings and had a career ERA+ of 123, which is well above average to warrant entrance into baseball’s most hallowed club. For those take want the back of the baseball card numbers Mussina won 270 games and had a winning percentage of .638. Moose belongs in the Hall for having been a dominate pitcher, and that’s why I would vote for Michael Cole Mussina.
Next up relief specialist…
Trevor Hoffman is another man that gets knocked down because he pitched at the same time as the greatest to ever do it Mariano Rivera. Hoffman would have been looked at as the standard bearer had Mo not existed. When you look at his career numbers he was a dominate force for a very long time. Hoffman pitched 18 years in the “Bigs” and amassed 601 career saves, and was the first man to achieve the 500 & 600 save plateau before Mariano surpassed the marks Hoffman set. However, again this should not penalize Hoffman. A career era of 2.87 in over 1000 career innings pitched. And having accrued a career WPA (Win Probability Added) that is used at times to describe “Clutch-ness” Hoffman had nearly 33 WPA according to FanGraphs for his career.
Next man on the list is
Scott Rolen has an interesting case because part of his value is dependent on how you personally value defense. Rolen is a man that if you ever saw him play you knew that this man was absolutely a game changer on both sides of the ball. His defense at third base was something of beauty. When we look at guys like Nolan Arenado and Manny Machado and their grace and the almost artistic way they play third, Rolen did the same. 8 Gold Gloves and 7 All Star selections, over 300 homeruns and 2000 hits. Rolen has numbers similar to Hall of Fame third basemen Ron Santo. Santo played in more games and therefore has accrued some more numbers. However, when you really look at the numbers Rolen (70 WAR according to baseball reference) and Santo (70.4) are similar and therefore Rolen belongs in the Hall.
Ok now my last two selections may be controversial however I do believe that the two gentlemen belong in the Hall of Fame. First up…
Now I don’t think that anyone will agree that Schilling statistics would keep him out of the Hall of Fame. The problem most writers have with Schilling is that he talks a lot. Now let’s be clear everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether right, wrong or indifferent. Schilling was one of the greatest Post Season pitchers and that is what gets him into the Hall.
Now the next man just like Schilling is a controversial pick.
Bonds was in my mind a no doubt first ballot Hall of Famer before 1998. Now the events that transpired after such times left the man feeling out in the cold from the “best” player discussion that the mainstream media was having. Bonds is still the only man as of this writing that has over 500 homeriuns and 500 steals for his career. Bonds obviously has the suspicion of “PEDS” but having been an All Star 14 times, won 8 Gold Gloves, 12 Silver Slugger and of course 7 MVP awards this man is amongst the greatest of all time and therefore a Hall of Famer.
Now I created this list with the same rules as the BBWAA writers and only chose 10. However, the ballot is deeper than that and if I had an unlimited vote option I would have voted also for the following gentlemen….
I believe all of these men are Hall of Famers and again if I could have a larger ballot would vote for them as well. They all have different reasons for why I would vote for them but they would all receive my vote. So I’m sure that there are some you agree with and other you do not. I urge you go through the activity of sitting down to figure out your ballot and see just how difficult of a task it truly is to complete. As always leave me your feedback. I would love to know who you would have voted for. Who you disagree with and why. And the reasons someone made your ballot. It is a difficult but fun exercise and stay tuned for the actual announcement of the BBWAA Hall of Fame selection on MLB Network January 24th. Also tonight on MLB Network the Hall of Fame Debate at 9pm et.