I often wonder what it must be like to be a player waiting for induction in the Hall of Fame. There’s three kinds of players to be in this imaginary exercise. There’s the kind of player who knows they’re not getting elected, who are just hanging around for the fun of it, who are thrilled to simply be on the ballot. Then there’s the kind of player who knows they’re getting in, who is waiting on pins and needles for the call, who has probably been expecting the call for five years. What is it like to wait for a night that you know is coming soon?
My analysis of the Hall of Fame voting continues here, with the Newcomers. (You can read Part One of my breakdown here.) These are players who have been selected to join the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. The rules are as follows:
- You must have played in Major League Baseball for at least 10 years.
- You must have been retired for five years.
- You cannot be on baseball’s ineligible rolls (See: Rose, Peter)
Those relatively loose rules mean that multiple players of varying quality can join the ballot. For every newcomer such as Randy Johnson, there’s a Jacque Jones. For every Pedro, a Tom Gordon. For every Smoltz, a Delgado. It’s an eclectic mix, and one that’s always a crapshoot as to who will actually receive votes. Who sticks around is a separate matter, but we’ll get into that.
It’s time once again for that holiday tradition that absolutely nobody is calling for – my analysis of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 ballot. I’ve been told by a grand total of zero (0) peeps that this is their go-to for the Hall of Fame election process, and I aim to please our readership. This year, we’ve got 32 players to examine (once again, a decline of 2 players from last year), and I aim to cast guidance as to whether or not the player is getting in, along with some idea of whether or not they’re going to be making any gains in the voting this year.
Yesterday afternoon, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the first quartet to be voted in by the writers since 1955. I’ve written a lot about what I thought would happen (and would like to think that I called this one), and I now have thoughts on what actually happened, and what it means for the future going forward.
All righty. So – I’ve broken down the Holdovers on the Hall of Fame Ballot. I’ve broken down the Newcomers. I’ve debated which ones I think are Hall of Famers, which are getting in, and which are deserving. By my count, of the 34 names on the ballot, there’s about seventeen or so names of players who deserve to hear their name called on Election Day. I’ve gone into detail about the worthiness of the cases of each player, and now it’s time to reveal whom I believe is getting in, as well as which of the players I voted for the IBWAA “symbolic” Hall of Fame vote.
But first, let’s talk about some of the early results we’re seeing, as they are quite interesting…
The time of election is drawing nearer, and baseball junkies are growing nuts with anticipation. What presents will Santa Selig leave under the tree for us on his way out the –
You know what? I can’t continue that metaphor. The visual image is just too…I can’t guys. I’m sorry I brought it up.
It’s time for that annual holiday tradition wherein I take 34 famous baseball players and analyze their careers and chances at enshrinement them for your observing pleasure. (Down from 36 last year – that’s what happens when players actually get voted in, you see…) Once again, there’s a multitude of interesting discussions, a few near certainties (more on them in Part II), and several candidates who will most likely get their ray of sunshine through simply being on the ballot before falling off and into obscurity/trivia answers. (Did you know that somebody actually voted for Jacque Jones last year?)
This is Part One of a five part series covering this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame Election. This first part deals with the Golden Era Committee’s ballot, a collection of “candidates whose main contribution to the National Pastime came between 1947 and 1972 – the Golden Era”. (That’s the Hall of Fame’s wording, not mine.) Because I wasn’t around for this particular era of baseball, all I have to go off of are cold hard statistics, which is frightfully dull. Therefore, I turned to the scientific minds of the Recorder to create a time machine, a time machine which has brought back from the past a columnist/man/totally-not-a-gimmick who claims to have witnessed the primes of these respective careers. I give you, for your reading pleasure, Roger A. WASPman.
Roger A. WASPman is a suburban father of four from Springfield. He is an insurance broker with an office on Main Street. (Office hours are 8 am to 4 pm) He enjoys golf, listening to the radio, and watching “Hogan’s Heroes”, and has been a registered Republican since the Eisenhower years. His proudest claim to fame is working his way through college “the right way”, and states that Walter O’Malley is the most demonic man in America next to those damn Kennedys. Enjoy.
Well, hey there, sports! Fancy seeing you all here! This time machine thing sure is swell. Say, how’s Vietnam turn out?
I originally started this last night. I still have memories of last year’s announcement, when nobody got in on a ballot that was absolutely STACKED with candidates. I knew that this year would be different, but that did nothing to quiet the suspicions I had gnawing away in my gut, the suspicions that the BBWAA just didn’t get it. That they wouldn’t agree on one person, let alone three or four. That someone like poor Frank Thomas would be sitting on the outside looking in because 25% + of writers disagreed on the DH as a position of merit. (For the record, I loathe the rule, but it exists, and there are undoubtedly players who excel in that role. See: Ortiz, David.)
Consequently, when I began this draft, I was only able to write the bare bones outlines of four optional drafts. For posterity’s sake, I’ve included them below:
Holy balls, four people got in.
Cool, three people are in.
Meh, only two? At least it’s Maddux and…dear god, I hope the writers aren’t morons.