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2016 HOF Debate: Jeff Bagwell

Last year, we did our first ever debate on Notinhalloffame.com where we tackled the Hall of Fame merit of twenty-four men who are on the Hall of Fame ballot, in what was in our opinion the most loaded ballot in our lifetime.

Since it was so much fun last time, we thought we would do it again!

One thing that has not changed is the number.  We will again debate twenty-four men who are on the ballot.

What has changed are the ones debating.  Last year I had the pleasure of having DDT, the curator of DDT’s Pop Flies blog and D.K. of the Phillies Archivist blog.  This year, Spheniscus, who has participated in past Rock and Roll discussions, will be joining me.





Chairman: Spheniscus, last year we started with Jeff Bagwell, who is on the ballot for the 6th time.  I am going to start off with giving myself a pat on the back for my prognostication prowess as I predicted he would remain around the same percentage of votes as the year before, which wasn’t too far off as he marginally grew his percentage from 54.3 to 55.7%. 

I view that 1.4% growth as huge in a year where the ballot was so colossally loaded as a major win.  I am serious on that, as had he dropped by the same percent, it would show the “order” in which the voters see him.  When this site started he held the “1C” slot (the ineligible Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson hold 1A and 1B respectively) and the only reason he dropped in ranking (he is #5 right now) was because of the heavyweights entering the ballot. 

My first thought is that Bagwell is poised for a major jump and while he may not enter this year, he will be a lot closer to knocking on that door.

Spheniscus: Chairman, I agree with your analysis on this one. Looking at the nominees, this looks like a list that has somewhere between 13 and 15 Hall of Famers of whom they will elect two. Why that number? Because the same people who did no investigation when the steroids era took off now sit in judgment of the players who played in that era.

The dumbest part of their evaluation unfortunately strikes right at Bagwell and his candidacy. He just looks to the voters like he took steroids. He was very muscular as a player and he hit lots of homers. He must have been cheating, right?

Well… maybe. But there is exactly zero evidence against him. That hasn’t stopped voters from withholding their votes from him of course, but with the “other unproven steroid guy”
Mike Piazza likely to get in this year, I think it will help clear the way for Bagwell to get in. So I also expect a jump, probably up to the 65-67% range. Particularly since there are only two real first ballot threats added this year. One of whom, Ken Griffey Jr., will be joining Piazza in this class.

Chairman: It’s true.  Bagwell has an unfair stain on him, as I personally think he should already be inducted.  He is only three points away from that career 3/4/5 (with a .297/.408/.540), is 21st all-time in OPS and is 38th all-time in WAR for position players.  Honestly, I think he was more valuable than his teammate, Craig Biggio, who already got in, and it should have been Bagwell opening the door for Biggio, not the other way around. 

There is no statistical argument against him.  We know what has been holding him back, and it is suspicion, nothing more.  He has done than enough to counter playing for low-profile Houston and playing a position that saw a lot of other power hitters with sexier names.  What worries me is that if he doesn’t make a significant jump this year, he will be in serious trouble, because this really seems to be the year for it to happen.

Spheniscus: I didn’t realize a career 3/4/5 was a thing, but it is damn impressive.

I am not worried about Bagwell getting in. He will get damn close this year. Somewhere into the 60s. And once he is there he will be easy for the people on the fence to vote for him. With next year’s class adding three serious candidates in
Vlad Guerrero, Ivan Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez, the last two of whom have serious PED issues attached, Bagwell will be inducted in 2017.

Chairman:  I think he has a serious shot this year, but failing that, he won’t have to wait any longer than a year.

As for my fictional vote, this is a solid yes for me, as it has been from the very beginning. 

Spheniscus: Clearly a solid yes for me as well. I think he ends up just short. But I hope to be pleasantly surprised. He will get in next year.

1. Jeff Bagwell

While we have been open (often) about how Jeff Bagwell should have gotten into the Baseball Hall of Fame at the very least by his second year of eligibility, He at least earns this honor by being selected as the greatest Houston Astro of all-time.

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2016 is announced! Griffey and Piazza are in!

This is one of our favorite days of the year.

Today the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2016 and two former baseball greats will be immortalized in Cooperstown.

As expected, Ken Griffey Jr. breezed through on his first attempt.  Griffey Jr. set a new record for voting percentage, receiving 99.3% of the vote.

Griffey’s Hall of Fame co-entrant will be former Catcher, Mike Piazza who enters on his fourth try with 83.0%.

While Griffey and Piazza are excited today, there are certainly a lot of disappointed former baseball stars that were hoping for a certain Hall of Fame call.

Longtime Houston Astro, Jeff Bagwell, continues to be snubbed.  Like Piazza, Bagwell is on his fourth year of eligibility however like many on this ballot, he received his highest vote total, with 71.6%.

Our Baseball List has been revised!

Over the last forty-five days, both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame announced their latest classes.  Recently, we here at Notinhalloffame.com put together our latest list of the 500 plus Rock and Roll acts worthy of consideration for the vote that will take place in December of 2016.  Our Notinhalloffame.com baseball list is naturally next.

The 2016 vote saw Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza selected for Cooperstown, both of who were in our top five.  Obviously, they will be taken out of our Baseball 100, but there will be three new eligible former baseball players who will join them.

Let’s take a look at our new Notinhalloffame.com Baseball Top Ten.

The Top 50 Houston Astros of All-Time are now up

We here at Notinhalloffame.com are slowly getting there in our pursuit of naming the Top 50 players from every major sports franchise in North America.

We return to the world of Baseball with the Houston Astros and that we believe are Top 50 players ever from that organization.

We encourage you to see the complete list here, but for those who can’t wait, here are the top five Houston Astros of all-time:



1.Jeff Bagwell

2. Craig Biggio

3. Lance Berkman

4. Cesar Cedeno

5. Jose Cruz



This won’t be the last of this, as we have the Detroit Lions up next. 

As always, we thank you for your support and look for your input!





The Baseball HOF will induct Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez

Our favorite day here at Notinhalloffame.com is always when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces their annual Classes.  Our second day is when they announce their Baseball Hall of Fame Class.

That second day is here.

The Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 has been announced and let’s get right to it as we have three new Baseball Hall of Famers

The highest vote getter this year is Jeff Bagwell who is selected on his 7th year of eligibility.  Bagwell received 86.2% of the vote, well up from his 71.6% last year.  It has been believed that his delay into getting into the Baseball Hall has been due to PED suspicion, but that is all there was in his case. 

Finishing second on the ballot is Tim Raines, who was on his last year of eligibility.  “Rock” had 86.0% and like Bagwell received a more than 15% jump.  For many Baseball fans, this is long overdue and many are thrilled to see him get his due.

Perhaps a bit of a surprise is that Ivan Rodriguez entered on his first ballot with 76.0%.  Statistically, I-Rod is Cooperstown worthy but he has a direct PED accusation from Jose Canseco though was never named in the Mitchell Report.

Overall, the PED users/suspected players have seen a rise in the totals, a lot of which can be attributed with the elimination of older and inactive baseball writers from the process and the induction of Bud Selig, who presided over the time that PED use arose in the game.

Let’s look at those who didn’t make the cut:


Trevor Hoffman: 2nd Year on the ballot, 74.0%

The prolific reliever did not make this year, but he was only a handful of votes away.  He finished with 67.3% last year and should get in next year. 

Vladimir Guerrero: 1st Year on the ballot, 71.7%

“Vlad the Impaler” was pegged by some as a first ballot inductee but it won’t take him long to get in.  He should be a lock next year.

Edgar Martinez: 8th Year on the ballot, 58.6%

Edgar has only two years left but this was a huge jump from the 43.4% he had last year.  Martinez was a Designated Hitter, a position that has hurt him in the past and the fact that three people got in to help thin the ballot somewhat does not hurt his cause.

Roger Clemens: 5th Year on the ballot, 54.1%

This was a huge jump for Clemens and the first time he eclipsed 50 percent.  This is up 8.9% from last year and perhaps for the first time we have a strong reason to think that the Rocket could get in. 

Barry Bonds: 5th Year on the ballot, 53.8%

See above.  Could we see in the future a year where both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens enters Cooperstown together?  A few years ago we wouldn’t have thought so, but now that seems like a possibility.

Mike Mussina: 4th Year on the ballot, 51.8%

Mussina doesn’t get a lot of attention as he is not a controversial choice, nor is he one that plays to the media.  He did however jump up past the 50% mark for the first time and is going in the right direction.

Curt Schilling: 5th Year on the ballot, 45.0%

Schilling dropped 7 percent, and we all know why don’t we?  He angered the media with his comments toward them and is this backlash was long expected.

Lee Smith: 15th Year on the ballot, 34.2 %

This is the end for Smith, who at one point was the all-time Saves leader.  Based on how he was trending, he was lucky to make it this far.

Manny Ramirez: 1st Year on the ballot, 23.8 %

This could be the biggest surprise.  The suspected PED users went up, but Ramirez was caught and suspended twice.  Maybe the writers thought “Manny being Manny” was not enough explanation.

Larry Walker:  7th Year on the ballot, 21.9%

While it doesn’t look like Walker will get in, he did jump up from his 15.5% from last year.

Fred McGriff:  7th Year on the ballot, 21.7%.

McGriff barely budged from his 20.9% from last year.  It isn’t looking good for the “Crime Dog.”

Jeff Kent: 3rd Year on the ballot, 16.7%

The former National League MVP moved up…0.1%.  Is there a Survivor Hall of Fame?

Gary Sheffield:  3rd Year on the ballot, 13.3%

Sheffield mildly improved but he on such a crowded ballot, he still has time to jump up considering his career stats.

Billy Wagner: 2nd Year on the ballot, 10.2%

Wagner actually went down from his 10.5% from the year before.  Realistically, just staying on the ballot is a win for him.

Sammy Sosa:  5th Year on the ballot, 8.6%

Sosa is still alive, so we are stuck debating him another year.

The notable player who did not make the 5% to stay on the ballot was former New York Yankee Catcher, Jorge Posada, received 3.8%.

Others who received votes were Magglio Ordonez (0.7%), Edgar Renteria (0.5%), Jason Varitek (0.5%) and Tim Wakefield (0.2%).

The others on the ballot who did not receive any votes were Corey Blake, Pat Burrell, Orlando Cabrera, Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Carlos Guillen, Derrek Lee, Melvin Mora, Arthur Rhodes, Freddy Sanchez and Matt Stairs.

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate the latest Baseball Hall of Fame Class and we will be unveiling our next list in a month’s time.





Frank Thomas softening his HOF stance towards the PED users

Frank Thomas has always been critical of PED users getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  At the recent “Sox Fest”, The Big Hurt has softened his stance on that…sort of.

Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were selected for Cooperstown this year, and Thomas is not overly thrilled with two of them anyway:


“We have two great players going in (this year) and they know. It's no secret.  If they didn't do it they would be stomping and kicking on interviews, 'I didn't do it.'

If you didn't, you come to the forefront, 'Let's take a lie detector test," and these guys won't do it. Some of these guys were great players, but they wouldn't have been great players without drugs."


Thomas did not use Rodriguez and Bagwell by name, but it was clear that these were the two players he was speaking of.

Rodriguez, who enter the Hall on his first year of eligibility was named in Jose Canseco’s book, “Juiced” as someone who he personally injected with PEDs has been someone who many have speculated (though never proven) to be a PED user.  Bagwell has also been accused by some, but again, never proven. 

While Frank Thomas is “not happy” that Bagwell and Rodriguez are inducted, he now has developed an “all or nothing” attitude in regards to higher profile PED suspected users:


“Now some guys are getting passes and some guys are not. It's wrong.  If you're going to punish Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, how can you let the rest of these guys get in?

Either you let all those guys in and put them in a special wing or you clean it up and keep everybody out."


Based on hard line stance that Frank Thomas has taken in the past towards PED users in the Baseball Hall, this is practically a 180, or at least an acknowledgement of the era itself.

This coincides with many writers relaxing their stance on the PED users, especially with Bud Selig selected as a Today’s Game inductee.  Those writers claim that the PED rise and subsequent ignoring of it for years happened under Bud Selig’s watch. 

For what it is worth, Thomas doe support the induction of Pete Rose to the Hall and was excited with the selection of Tim Raines to Cooperstown.

Who will be the next Baseball Hall of Famer to come out in support, or against these former players?  We know it won’t take long to find out!

Baseball HOF Weekend!

I don’t know about you but there was something satisfying about this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ceremony.

Perhaps it is because the induction of Jeff Bagwell after seven years was finally was chosen, likely forced to wait for the Hall due to PED suspicion. 

Maybe it is more due to Ivan Rodriguez getting in on his first ballot.  While I-Rod never tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs, Jose Canseco named him as someone who he injected personally.  Regardless of whether that is true or not, Pudge is regarded by many as the greatest Catcher of all time by many pundits and the admission of both Bagwell and Rodriguez to the Baseball Hall of Fame suggests a sway in popular opinion as to how the PED era is looked upon, which should open the door for names such as...well…you know the names.

Maybe the satisfaction is that on his final year of eligibility Tim Raines got in after it looked like he may have to wait for a Veterans Committee Selection that are rarely doled out. 

This year just feels right. 

As expected, the speeches from this trio were emotional and focused on family and teammates.

Rodriguez was particularly teary eyed when he looked at his father and exclaimed “If I’m a Hall of Famer, you’re a Hall of Famer – double.”  Pudge’s speech went back forth in Spanish and English much to the delight of the many Puerto Rican fans who made the trip.  Only Johnny Bench made the Hall in his first try as a Catcher and fittingly he was on the dais as Rodriguez was enshrined. 

The very humble Jeff Bagwell also thanked his family and in typical fashion talked about how he “wanted to score for my team and for (his) other players”. There were a slew of Astros fans present to welcome Bagwell to the Hall to join his teammate, Craig Biggio.  Bagwell is sixth overall in JAWS amongst all First Basemen.

The long awaited induction of Tim Raines saw busloads of fans from Canada who are likely witnessing the last player to go in as a Montreal Expo.  Raines thanked three Hall of Famers for being a positive influence on his career, Andre Dawson, George Brett and Rickey Henderson.

Not to be forgotten is that former Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig also took his place amongst the immortals.  Ironically Selig presided over the PED era thus convincing some Hall of Fame voters to overlook the Suspected and confirmed PED users. 

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate this year’s class.  Our Baseball list for the next class is already up.

The Houston Astros announce their franchise Hall of Fame plans

As most of the regular visitors to Notinhalloffame.com are aware we are (very) slowly putting together our top 50 players of every franchise in the “Big 4” of North American sports.  After that is completed we will take a look at how each organization honors their past players and executives.  

As such, it is very newsworthy to us that the Houston Astros have announced during their FanFest that their physical Hall of Fame will open in Home Run Alley at the start of the 2019 season.  The Astros, who have been around for 57 seasons and won their first World Series in 2017.  The first Hall of Fame Class will comprise of 16 members and they will be officially inducted on the weekend of Aug 2-4.  All of the members of the new class will be introduced in a pregame ceremony on August 3, prior to their home game against the Seattle Mariners.

The inaugural Houston Astros Hall of Fame Class consists of:

Bob Aspromonte (1962-67):  Known affectionately in Houston as “Aspro”, Aspromante was taken third overall in the Expansion Draft and was an original Colt 45. With the distinction of being the first ever batter in franchise history, he would also record the first Hit and Stolen Base for the team.  A member of the Colt .45’s/Astros for seven seasons, Aspromante was the team’s starting Third Baseman and recorded 925 Hits and would twice lead all National League Third Basemen in Fielding Percentage.  

Jeff Bagwell (1991-2005):  The Rookie of the Year in 1991, Jeff Bagwell played his entire career with Houston where he would be named to four All Star Games and was named the National League MVP in 1994.  A three time Silver Slugger, the First Baseman crushed 449 Home Runs with 1,401 RBIs and a Slash Line of .297/.408/.540. Bagwell entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 and became the second person to enter as an Astro.

Craig Biggio (1988-2007):  Craig Biggio made history in many ways for the Houston Astros as he was the first (and only) player to collect 3,000 Hits for the team and in 2015 was the first man to wear a Astros cap in the Hall of Fame. An All Star seven times, Biggio had power (291 Home Runs), speed (414 Stolen Bases) and excellent defensive versatility as he played Catcher, Second Base and Outfield for the team.  He was also a four time Gold Glove recipient.  

Jose Cruz (1975-87):  Cruz played 13 seasons for Houston where in 1983 he would lead the National League in Hits.  He had 1,937 overall for Houston where he also had 138 Home Runs with 288 Stolen Bases and a .292 Batting Average.  Cruz was also an All Star twice, the first of which in 1980 would see him finish third in MVP voting.

Larry Dierker (1964-87):  Dierker pitched for the Astros for 13 years where he went 137 and 117 with 1,487 Strikeouts and two All Star Game appearances.  From 1997 to 2001 Dierker was the Astros’ Manager where he had a record of 435 and 348 and was named the Manager of the Year in 1998.  He also served as a Broadcaster for the team for 18 years.

Gene Elston (1962-86):  Elston was the voice of the team for the first 25 years of the franchise’s existence.  In 2006 he was honored with the Ford C. Frick Award by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his contributions to Baseball broadcasting.

Milo Hamilton (1985-2012):  Like Elston, Hamilton was also recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in Baseball Broadcasting.  

Joe Morgan (1963-71 & 1980):  Morgan was a two time All Star with Houston where he first played from 1963 to 1971.  He would afterward more famously join Cincinnati where he would help them win two World Series and was named the MVP twice before returning in 1980 for one season. Overall with Houston he would be a two time leader in Walks with 972 Hits, 219 Stolen Bases and 72 Home Runs.

Joe Niekro (1975-85):  Niekro is at present the winningest Pitcher in Astros history with 144 Wins.  An Astro for 11 seasons, Niekro would have back to back 20 Win seasons in 1979 and 1980 where his 21 Wins in ’79 would give him the league lead.  He finished 2ndand 4thin Cy Young respectively those two seasons and he would also strikeout 1,178 batters with Houston.

Shane Reynolds (1992-2001): Reynolds was named to the All Star Team in 2000 and in the season before he was the NL leader in BB/9 and SO/BB. Reynolds overall record in Houston was 103 and 86 with 1,309 Strikeouts.

J.R. Richard (1971-1980):  Known for his blazing fastball, J.R. Richard led the NL in Strikeouts in both 1978 and 1979 with 1,493 K’s overall in his 10 year career, which was all with Houston.  In those two aforementioned seasons he finished 4thand 3rdin Cy Young Award voting and he retired with a 107 and 71 record.

Nolan Ryan (1980-88):  The all-time Strikeout King of Major League Baseball accrued 1,866 of his career 5,714 as a member of the Houston Astros.  While playing there, he would win the ERA title twice and had a record of 106 and 94 with a pair of All Star Games.  Ryan was chosen for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 and he serves as an Executive Advisor for the team.

Mike Scott (1983-91):  Scott would win the Cy Young Award in 1986 and he made history by throwing a no-hitter in the team’s division clinching win. While he could not pitch his team into the World Series, he went 2 and 0 over 18 Innings with a 0.50 ERA earning him the NLCS MVP despite Houston failing to beat the New York Mets.  Scott went 110 and 81 with 1,318 Strikeouts over his nine seasons in Houston.

Jim Umbricht (1962-63):  Umbricht was an original Houston Colt .45 after being chosen from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Expansion Draft.  He would finish 21 Games in 1962 but received a cancer diagnosis in the offseason and underwent surgery in March of 1963.  Miraculously, he made the opening day roster and pitched the season but the cancer was never cured and by November of that year it had spread to his chest and was diagnosed as uncurable but showed amazing courage until the end.  He would die on April, 8. 1964.

Don Wilson (1966-74):  Wilson played all nine of his seasons with the Houston Astros where he was an All Star in 1971 and had a record of 104 and 92 with 1,283 Strikeouts.  Wilson passed away in 1975 due to carbon monoxide poisoning in his garage and it is believed that he died while intoxicated and it was not a suicide. 

Jimmy Wynn (1963-73):Arguably the most underrated player in Baseball, Jimmy Winn played the first 11 of his 15 seasons of his career with the Astros.  “The Toy Cannon” was an All Star in 1975 and had 1,291 Hits with 223 Home Runs as an Astro.

In the future, the Astros Hall of Fame Committee will meet annually to determine each new member.  Their plan is to induct one or two members each year.  At present the Committee consists of Reid Ryan (President of Business Operations), Mike Acosta (Team Historian), Craig Biggio (Former player and current Special Assistant to the GM), Bill Brown (Former Broadcaster and current Astros Community Outreach Executive), Gene Dias (VP of Communications), Larry Dierker (Former Player and Broadcaster), Bob Dorrill (President of the Houston Chapter of SABR), Marian Harper (VP of Foundation Development), Alyson Footer (MLB.com National Correspondent), Brian McTaggart (Astros Beat Writer) and Mike Vance (Baseball and Houston Historian).

We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate all of the members of the inaugural class of the Houston Astros Hall of Fame for earning this prestigious honor.

IF I HAD A VOTE IN THE 2013 BASEBALL HALL OF FAME ELECTION, PART 1: A HISTORIC REFERENDUM

The vote for the candidates on the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot is without a doubt historical because of two salient and unavoidable facts: One is that this year's ballot is overstuffed with potential Hall of Fame candidates—presenting an even bigger logjam to entrance to the Hall—and the other is that this year's vote is an inescapable referendum on the stance toward the "Steroids Era" as even more players active during the period of the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s implicated with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are newly eligible.

Note: Part 1 of this two-part series goes into detail—considerable detail—to examine both the overstuffed ballot and, more comprehensively, the atmosphere of moral dudgeon surrounding the suspected and admitted usage of PEDs by players on previous ballots and especially by players eligible for the Hall for the first time this year. If you want only to read the players' evaluations, skip to Part 2.

Awards = HOF? Part Six: The Silver Slugger (First Base) (MLB)

We here at Notinhalloffame.com thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

Awards = HOF? Part Twenty-Four: Gold Glove First Base

We here at Notinhalloffame.com thought it would be fun to take a look at the major awards in North American team sports and see how it translates into Hall of Fame potential.

Needless to say, different awards in different sports yield hall of fame potential.  In basketball, the team sport with the least amount of players on a roster, the dividend for greatness much higher.  In baseball, it is not as much as a great individual season does not have the same impact.

We are now taking a look at the Gold Glove Award, given annually to the best defensive player in MLB in each respective position.
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