Baseball Hall of Fame season is in full gear as following the announcements of the Today’s Era Finalists last week, Cooperstown has now unveiled the official Hall of Fame ballot.
Let’s take a look at the 35 former players who the Baseball Writers can vote on:
In alphabetical order:
Rick Ankiel: Ankiel is debuting on the ballot and he was the runner-up for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2000 as a Pitcher. Injuries to his pitching arm forced him to abandon that aspect of the game and he would come back as an Outfielder and collect over 400 Hits. This is a great story but just getting on this ballot is a win.
Jason Bay: Bay was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004 while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and he would be selected for three All Star Games. The Canadian would have 1,200 Hits with 222 Home Runs but he is unlikely to get any votes.
Lance Berkman: Berkman was the third “Killer B” for the Houston Astros and he would later win a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. This is his first time on the ballot and he is a six time All Star with 366 career Home Runs with an OPS at .943. He will struggle to get past the first ballot. Berkman is ranked #89 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Barry Bonds: Bonds returns to the ballot for the seventh time and he had a high vote of 56.4% last year. The All-Time Home Run Leader and 7 time MVP has seen a 20.2% since he debuted and the “PED” guys have gone from “no chance” to “50/50”. Expect another bump this year. Bonds is ranked #2 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Roger Clemens: How fitting that Clemens alphabetically comes after Bonds! Clemens was to pitching what Bonds was hitting and he was a 7 time Cy Young Award winner with 354 career Wins. Like Bonds, he has on his seventh year on the ballot and he had 57.3% of the ballot last year, well up from the 37.6% from his first year. Clemens is ranked #1C on Notinhalloffame.com.
Freddy Garcia: Garcia got off to a good start where he was a two time All Star and he was in the top ten in Cy Young voting twice. The Venezuelan Pitcher won 156 Games and he is on his first ballot but he will likely struggle to get any votes at all.
Jon Garland: Garland was an All Star in 2005, which was the same season he was sixth in Cy Young voting and helped the Chicago White Sox win the World Series. He won 136 Games over his career and he is not expected to receive any votes.
Travis Hafner: Hafner spent most of his career with the Cleveland Indians where he would finish in the top ten in MVP voting twice. Over his career he had 1,039 Hits with 213 Home Runs and he would win the American League Slugging Title in 2006. He will be fortunate to get any votes.
Roy Halladay: Halladay is on his first year of eligibility and he has an excellent chance to enter Cooperstown on his first year of eligibility. Over his career, “Doc” was a two time Cy Young winner one in both leagues and he was a top five finisher five times. Halladay had a great record of 203 and 105 with 2,117 Strikeouts. Should he get in, it will be posthumous as he died when he crashed his plane a couple of years ago. Halladay is ranked #5 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Todd Helton: Helton is a five time All Star who spent his entire career with the Colorado Rockies. Helton had 369 Home Runs over 2,519 Hits I n hic career. He is entering his first year of eligibility and while we don’t think he will enter on the first ballot he should receive enough to stay on the ballot. Helton is ranked #10 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Andruw Jones: Jones is on his second year on the Hall of Fame ballot after receiving 7.3 on his debut year. He had great power with 434 Home Runs and he was a ten time Gold Glove winner. Jones had a low vote tally due to a crowded ballot but we think he will see a decent rise this year. Jones is ranked #46 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Jeff Kent: Jeff Kent is on his sixth year of eligibility where he has never escaped the teens, peaking at 16.7% in 2017. The 2000 National League MVP was a five time All Star and he smacked 2,461 Hits with 377 Home Runs. Kent will likely receive the same amount of Hall of Fame support as the previous years. Kent is ranked #52 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Ted Lilly: Lilly had a 15 year career where he was a two time All Star who would have 130 and 113 record. Lilly never received any Cy Young votes and we suspect that he will not receive any Hall of Fame votes either.
Derek Lowe: Lowe was a two time All Star and in 2002 he finished third in Cy Young voting. He would win 176 Games and he helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2004. Lowe might receive a couple of votes.
Edgar Martinez: The bad news is that this is the last year that former Edgar Martinez is on the ballot. The good news is that he received 70.4% last year and has very solid momentum to get in this year. Arguably the greatest Designated Hitter of all-time had 2,247 Hits with 309 Home Runs and a career Slash Line of .312/.418/.515. He is ranked #14 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Fred McGriff: Like Martinez, Fred McGriff is on his last year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but last year he only had 23.2% of the vote so the odds of him getting another 51.8% seems very unlikely. The five time All Star had 493 Home Runs with 2,490 Hits and will likely have to look at a Veteran’s Committee Induction. He is ranked #32 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Mike Mussina: Mike Mussina is entering his sixth season on the ballot and after a 63.5% finish last year he could gain the support needed to enter this year. Splitting his career between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees, Mussina may never been a Cy Young winner but he was in the top six in voting nine times. The Pitcher would have a 270 and 153 record with 2,813 Strikeouts. He is ranked #4 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Darren Oliver: Oliver had a 118 and 98 record over 766 Games. A 20 year veteran, Oliver probably won’t earn a vote but we are glad to see that he was respected enough to earn a spot on the ballot.
Roy Oswalt: This is Roy Oswalt’s first time on the ballot and the three time All Star would finish in the top six in Cy Young in voting six times. He was a two time 20 Game winner who totaled 163 over his career. A win for him this year would to be to make the 5% needed to stay on the ballot next year. He is ranked #104 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Andy Pettitte: In our eyes, the most interesting first ballot vote will be that of Andy Pettitte who amassed a 256 and 135 record with 2,448 Strikeouts. Five times he would finish in the top five in Cy Young voting and he is a five time World Series winner with 19 post-season Wins. He likely won’t get in on the first ballot and he could conceivably finish anywhere between 20% and 55%. Honestly, we can’t pinpoint this one at all. He is ranked #15 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Juan Pierre: Pierre was a speedster who would lead his league in Stolen Bases three times and he had 614 in total. He would have 2,217 Hits with a career Batting Average of .295. Pierre might get a couple of votes but will lucky to get even that.
Placido Polanco: Polanco had a good career with over 2,100 Hits and he was a two time All Star who also won three Gold Gloves. Polanco will be in the same boat as Pierre as they were both good players who will be worth a vote or two.
Manny Ramirez: Manny Ramirez will be on his third ballot but unlike other PED guys he went down last year in his votes. He had 22.0% last year and 23.8% the year before. It has to be remembered that unlike Bonds and Clemens, Ramirez DID test positive. Ramirez is a two time World Series Champion with the Boston Red Sox with four top four MVP votes. He also blasted 555 Home Runs with a career Slash Line of .312/.411/.585. Statistically speaking we know that he meets the criteria but the label of forgiveness hasn’t spread to him…at least not yet. He is ranked #8 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Mariano Rivera: Usually Relief Pitchers are not Hall of Fame locks but there has never been a closer like Mariano Rivera. The Panamanian is the all-time leader in Saves (652) and the career New York Yankee won five World Series titles and his post season record saw him win 8 Games, record 42 Saves and he had a 0.70 ERA and a 0.759 WHIP. It will be a shock if he does not get inducted this year and is the leading vote getter. He is ranked #3 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Scott Rolen: Rolen received 10.2% of the ballot last year and is entering his second year of eligibility. He brings a very balanced resume of eight Gold Gloves, 316 Home Runs, is a World Series Champion (with St. Louis) and in terms of bWAR he is at 70.6. He might see his number increase but not by much. He is ranked #17 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Curt Schilling: Schilling won 216 Games with 3,116 Strikeouts and three times he was the National League Cy Young runner-up but he was even more lights out in the post-season where he was a three time World Series Champion (one with Arizona and two with Boston) with an 11 and 2 record and a 2.23 ERA. Schilling is on his seventh year on the ballot with a 51.2% finish last year, but it is down from where it was two years ago (52.3%). Schilling’s past comments against the media have not helped him, which might explain partially why he is still waiting. He is ranked #7 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Gary Sheffield: Gary Sheffield is another name on the ballot with PED suspicion and has been ballot purgatory for the four years he has been on the ballot finishing anywhere from 11.1% to 13.3%. Sheffield hit 509 Home Runs over his career and perhaps with the less crowded ballot he might increase vote total but it will be difficult to see him rise above the mid-teens. He is ranked #20 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Sammy Sosa: Sammy Sosa has been on the ballot for six years and in his first year on the ballot he received 12.5%. Since that time he never got past 10% and while some PED guys are being forgiven, the former MVP does not seem to be. He had 609 Home Runs with 2,408 Hits over his career, which are incredible numbers yet he will probably struggle to get a double digit vote. He is ranked #30 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Miguel Tejada: Miguel Tejada won the American League MVP in 2002 and over his career he belted 307 Home Runs with 2,407 Hits. For Tejada, a win here would be to get the 5% needed to remain on the ballot but it will be difficult. He is ranked #95 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Omar Vizquel: Omar Vizquel is one of the greatest defensive players ever accumulating 11 Gold Gloves over a 24 year career that also saw him collect 2,877 Hits. This is the second year of eligibility for Vizquel who got 37.0% last year. While many expected Vizquel to get a higher percentage in his ballot debut this is still a good start on the Hall of Fame path. He might increase by ten percent this year. He is ranked #68 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Billy Wagner: Billy Wagner recorded 422 Saves over his career and he is entering his fourth year of eligibility. He received a high of 11.1% last year but it might be hard for him to reach the teens.
Larry Walker: Larry Walker is a former National League MVP who has a career bWAR over 70, a .313 career Batting Average and 383 Home Runs, which overall seems like a Hall of Fame resume on the surface but the former Colorado Rockies star appears to be the victim of what was then the “Coors Field effect” where he had really good home stats. He only has two more chances and he is coming off a high of 34.1%. He will likely see a vote increase but not much. He is ranked #13 on Notinhalloffame.com.
Kevin Youkilis: Youkilis would win two World Series Rings with the Boston Red Sox and was a three time All Star who finished third in MVP voting in 2008. He might get a vote or two but he probably shouldn’t.
Michael Young: Young had a pretty good career where he accumulated 2,375 Hits with an even .300 Batting Average. Young was a seven time All Star and should receive a few votes but it is also possible that we won’t have any.
Jose Contreras, Ryan Dempster, Octavio Dotel, Ramon Hernandez, Brad Penny, Yorvit Torrealba and Jake Westbrook played the minimum amount of seasons (10) to qualify for the ballot but they were not included.
The election results will be announced on January 22.
We can guarantee that between now and that time we will have a lot more to write about when it comes to this vote!
We love this day!
Regular visitors to Notinhalloffame.com know how much we consider the announcement of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class to be our Christmas. If that is the case, then the announcement of the Baseball Hall of Fame Class is like our Birthday.
Let’s get right into the votes!
As expected, Mariano Rivera enters the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. Rivera is without question the greatest Relief Pitcher in the history of Baseball and he retired with 652 Saves, the all-time record. A thirteen time All Star who spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, Rivera had a career ERA of 2.21 and WHIP of 1.000, which is outstanding but his post season numbers were even better with an ERA of 0.70 and WHIP of 0.759 over 96 Games including five World Series Rings and a World Series MVP. Even more impressive is that Rivera made history as the first man to receive a unanimous vote, a great sign that the voters are no longer sending in blank votes in protests.
Roy Halladay also enters the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility with 85.4%. Halladay is one of the few Pitchers to win a Cy Young in both leagues (2003 with Toronto and 2010 with Philadelphia) and he was the runner-up for the award twice. He retired with a record of 203 and 105 with 2,117 Strikeouts. Sadly, this induction will be posthumous as he died when he crashed his plane in the Gulf of Mexico in 2017.
Edgar Martinez gets in on his 10thand final try after receiving 85.4% up from 70.4%. The career Seattle Mariner is considered to be the first Designated Hitter voted in (unless you count Frank Thomas and remember Harold Baines was not voted in by the writers). Martinez retired with a .312 Batting Average with 309 Home Runs.
Mike Mussina. Mike Mussina makes in on his 6thtry finishing with 76.7% up from 63.5% from last year. Mussina had a record of 270 and 153 with five All Star Game appearances. We have been open in our belief that Mussina’s induction is long overdue.
Curt Schilling is also on his seventh year of eligibility. Unlike Bonds and Clemens, his obstacle to the Hall has been his himself as he has been openly critical of writers and media alike. On the field, Schilling does have a Hall of Fame resume, which showcases 216 Wins and three World Series Rings where he put on incredible performances which included the infamous bloody sock (Boston 2004) and being named the Co-MVP of the 2001 Fall Classic as an Arizona Diamondback. Schilling has been relatively quiet leading up to this vote, which may have helped his rise in the vote from 51.2% to 60.9%, a significant increase indeed.
Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who were both on their 7thyear of eligibility are easily the most successful Pitcher and Position Player on this ballot and both have not yet gotten in due to their alleged link to PEDs. With the addition of former commissioner Bud Selig who presided over the rise of Performance Enhancing Drugs to the Hall of Fame many voters openly altered their stance on the PED users from that era and the two baseball juggernauts whose chances once seemed hopeless have seen their vote tally rise again. Seven time Cy Young Award winner Clemens goes up from 57.3% to 59.%%. Seven time MVP Bonds climbs from 56.4% to 59.1%
Former National League MVP, Larry Walker saw his totals ride from 34.1% to 54.6%. Walker, who still might be receiving a Coors Field bias is on his ninth year of eligibility and with only one year left it looks like it will be hard for him to get in, but the sizable jump does show hope.
Defensive superstar Omar Vizquel remains in a good position on the second year of his eligibility. The 11 time Gold Glove recipient also collected 2,877 Hits over his career. The Venezuelan’s vote total increased from 37% to 42.8%.
This is Fred McGriff’s final year on the ballot and he finishes with a vote of 39.8%, which is significantly higher than last year’s 23.2%. With 493 Home Runs and 2,490 Hits he would not be out of place in the Hall but he was never a huge name and is not closely associated with any team. Many have written that the induction of Harold Baines should pave the way for the “Crime Dog” in a future Veteran’s Committee ballot.
Manny Ramirezwent from 22.0% to 22.8% on his third year on the ballot. Unlike Bonds, Clemens and Sosa, Ramirez was caught taking PEDs and was suspended for it. Since he was caught after Major League Baseball and the Player’s Union came up with their stance on steroids, “ManRam” is in a distinct category all his own.
On his fourth year on the ballot Billy Wagner went from 11.1% to 16.7%, which is by far his best jump.
Jeff Kentstayed in limbo in his 6thyear of eligibility. The former National League MVP went from 14.5%. to 18.1%.
Scott Rolen went up on his 2ndYear from 10.2% to 17.2% and like others, the fact that four people are removed from this group will be a big help to his cause.
Todd Helton debuts with 16.5% which may seem low but in this group is not that bad and does show that there is a chance for his total to rise. To put this into perceptive, Mike Mussina’s first year on the ballot would see him only receive 20.3%.
Gary Sheffield remains in the same grouping that Kent is. Sheffield, who had over 500 Home Runs also has a PED taint around him is on his fifth year of eligibility and his tally went from 11.1% to 13.6%. It does not look good for Sheffield.
Andruw Jones had 7.3% on his first year and received 7.5% on his second, which is not the gain he would have hoped for.
Andy Pettitte just barely made it through with 9.9%. The crowded ballot probably hurt Pettitte more than anyone else as he is an admitted PED user who while he had very good career numbers was only a three time All Star.
If Kent and Sheffield are in Hall of Fame limbo than Sammy Sosa is in purgatory. Like Clemens and Bonds, Sosa is in his 7thyear of eligibility but unlike the other two Sosa has not seen his number drop as with the exception of his first year on the ballot where he accrued 12.5%, he has not gained double digits since. The longtime Chicago Cub has seen his once stellar reputation crumble ever since he feigned the inability to speak English in front of Congress. Sosa received only 8.5%.
Significant names who received votes but did not make the mandatory 5% to remain on the ballot are Michael Young (2.1%), Lance Berkman (1.2%), Miguel Tejada (1.2%), Roy Oswalt (0.9%) and Placido Polanco (0.5%)
Kevin Youkilis, Derek Lowe, Freddy Garcia, Vernon Wells, Ted Lilly, Travis Hafner, Jason Bay, Michael Young, Jon Garland. Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre and Rick Ankiel did not receive any votes.
This group will join Harold Baines and Lee Smith who were chosen by the Veteran’s Committee.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and we will begin work on revising our Baseball list. Look for that in late February.
Regular visitors of Notinhalloffame.com know that we are slowly working on the top 50 of every major team in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB. Once that is done, we intend to look at how each team honor their past players, coaches and executives. As such it is huge news that the Colorado Rockies will be retiring the number 33 of former Outfielder, Larry Walker.
After playing for the Montreal Expos for six seasons, he would sign with Colorado as a Free Agent for the 1995 season. Walker, who was already an All-Star in Montreal, would ascend to greater heights in Colorado. With the Rockies, the Canadian slugger would go to four All-Star Games, and would win three Batting Titles. Walker won the 1997 National League MVP, while also capturing five Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers with the Rockies.
This is the final year that Walker is eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and it is considered that he has approximately a 50/50 shot for Cooperstown.
Walker joins Todd Helton (#17), and the league wide retirement of #42 of Jackie Robinson.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Larry Walker for earning this prestigious honor.
Baseball fans talk about this every day, and we now know who will comprise the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Let’s take a deep dive look into those chosen, those left off, and those who are off the ballot completely.
To the surprise of nobody, former New York Yankee infielder, Derek Jeter enters Cooperstown on his first year of eligibility. Jeter entered on ___ of the ballot, and he joins his fellow career-Yankee, Mariano Rivera, as back-to-back first ballot Hall of famers. Jeter would win five World Series Rings, was a 14-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger, and he would accumulate 3,465 Hits, 260 Home Runs and a .310 Batting Average. Jeter was denied a unanimous vote as one voter elected not to put the x by his name.
Jeter is joined by Larry Walker, who was in his last year of eligibility. It is an incredible story, as Walker debuted on the ballot in 2011 with only 20.3% of the ballot. He dropped as low as 10.2% in 2014, and only crept back to 21.9% in 2017. He shot up to 34.1% in 2018, and rocketed to 54.6% last year. The momentum was rocketing for Walker, and he becomes the second Canadian to enter the Hall.
So, what changed? Part of it is a re-evaluation of the Coors Field effect. Another part is that the backlog of players has cleared. Perhaps, the biggest part is the recognition that regardless of what diamond he played on, that this is a former MVP who was a bona fide five-tool player. That is rarified air. He received 76.6% of the vote.
The former player who came closest is Curt Schilling who garnered 70% of the vote, who bluntly should have been in years ago based on his statistical accomplishments. With a bWAR of 79.5, 3,116 Strikeouts and three World Series Rings, Schilling was a clutch performer who was at his best when the lights were at his brightest. In Schilling’s fourth year of eligibility, he received 52.3% of the ballot, but comments against the media and other right-wing charged diatribes rubbed voters the wrong way, and he dropped o 45.0% in 2017. Last year, he climbed to 60.9%.
Forgive us, as we are going to lump Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds together. How can we not? Clemens was the best Pitcher and Bonds was the best hitter without debate, but both are associated with PEDs (though neither was ever caught during their playing days), and both have finished their eighth year on the ballot. They both had minimal gains this year, Clemens from 59.5% to 61.0% and Bonds from 59.1% to 60.7% but there is still a long way to go.
Can they get there?
We think so, as three things work in their favor. The first is that Bonds and Clemens were at a different level than everyone else and you can argue (easily) that they would have been Hall of Famers without it. The second is that Mike Piazza got in (as well as Jeff Bagwell), and there were more than one PED whisper about those two. The third, and the most damming in our eyes is that Bud Selig is in, and the PED era happened under his watch, and he did not react until pressure forced him to. Selig was not an ostrich, his head was not in the sand, and he knew what players were doing. He had too, and there have been voters who have said as much.
Former Shortstop, Omar Vizquel, is trending in the right direction. This is his third year, and he moved from 42.8% to 52.6%. Vizquel is considered to be one of the best defensive Shortstops of all-time, and he has 11 Gold Gloves to prove it. While he was not considered to be a great hitter, he had 2,877 Hits to silence those critics. That is a great number even if he played until he was 45!
Another infielder, Scott Rolen, is also climbing upwards. With a healthy bWAR of 70.2, the Third Baseman has eight Gold Gloves, seven All-Star appearances and a World Series Ring (St. Louis, 2006) on his resume. He moved from 17.2% to 35.3%
The best closer on the ballot, Billy Wagner, moved from 16.7% to 31.7% He had 422 Saves over his career, with an ERA of 2.31 and WHIP of 0.998.
Gary Sheffield also received a jump on his sixth year of eligibility. The former slugger who blasted 509 Home Runs, went from 13.6% to 30.5% This is a good sign for Sheffield as he was one of the guys was treading water for a long time, and while the odds still remain long, they are much better than they were yesterday.
Todd Helton is on his second year of eligibility, and he holds a very good career Slash Line of .316/.414/.539. Helton moved from 16.5% to 29.2%
Manny Ramirez left baseball with 555 Home Runs and a Slash Line of .312/.411/.585. That is a Hall of Fame number, but unlike Bonds and Clemens, Ramirez WAS suspended for PED use as an active player. This is a huge distinction, as Ramirez did break an agreed upon rule agreed upon by the Players Union. He moved from 22.8% to 28.2%.
Former MVP, Jeff Kent, finally climbs over 20% for the first time with 27.5%. This is his seventh year on the ballot.
Andruw Jones remains on the ballot. The former Braves’ Outfielder is on his third ballot and he went from 7.5% to 19.4%, a huge jump.
Sammy Sosa is entrenched in Hall of Fame purgatory. Sosa is like Clemens and Bonds, in that he was not caught as a player, but he is as associated with PEDs as much as they are. Detractors are pointing to his fake media persona and lack of clutch hitting, and he is dead in the Hall of Fame water. He had 8.5% last year, and hits 13.9% this year, his highest ever.
Andy Pettitte had 9.9% in his first year of eligibility. In his second year, he moved to 11.3%.
Bobby Abreu barely made the 5.0% threshold to remain on the ballot for a second year. He received 5.5%.
Paul Konerko, Jason Giambi, Eric Chavez, Cliff Lee, Brad Penny and J.J. Putz all received at least one vote.
Raul Ibanez, Rafael Furcal, Josh Beckett, Jose Valverde, Heath Bell, Chone Figgins, Carlos Pena, Brian Roberts, Alfonso Soriano and Adam Dunn did not receive any votes.
Jeter and Walker join Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who were chosen by the Veteran’s Committee. Boston sportswriter, Nick Carfado, will also enter via the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. It is a posthumous induction as he passed away last year. The ceremony will take place on July 26.
We will be redoing our Notinhalloffame.com Baseball List in late February, which will see us remove those who were chosen, and we will add those now eligible. Rankings will also be altered based on your votes and comments.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Derek Jeter for being chosen for the Baseball Hall of Fame.