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I like that it is difficult to get into the Hall of Fame. To me it’s better to keep a great player out than to be too loose with your entry standards and let a less than excellent player in. Now, the Baseball Writers Association of America took that to an extreme in 2013 by not inducting anyone. But I might be the only person in America who wasn’t overly offended that Craig Biggio didn’t make it in his first year of eligibility.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Biggio is a Hall of Famer. He did everything well. And he’ll get in, most likely this year. But his career numbers, while impressive, don’t jump off the page at me and scream “This guy has to go in on his first shot.” Then again, in my eyes, few do.

1. Greg Maddux

Few get in on the first ballot, but Greg Maddux is one of the exceptions. The Cub, Brave, Padre and Dodger starter was pinpoint, posting at one point seven consecutive sub-3.00 ERAs – that included back-to-back seasons of 1.56 and 1.63 ERAs. He won 355 games in an era where 300-game winners were heading toward extinction. His 3.16 career ERA and 1.14 WHIP and four Cy Young awards … Maddux was an all-timer.

2. Craig Biggio

Biggio fell just a couple handfuls of votes short of making the Hall in his first go-round last year with 68.2 percent of the vote. Some of his hit totals and other accumulated statistics strike me as more due to longevity than being one of the best ever, but when you factor in his defense, there I a strong case for him. He started his career as a catcher and was an All Star. He moved to second base in year five and immediately played 162 games and again was an All Star. Late in his career he moved to the outfield and played between 141 and 156 games and … well, no All Star appearances, but he retained a positive Wins Above Replacement value up to his final season in 2007. No, I didn’t feel as offended by some that he didn’t make it to Cooperstown in year one, but he definitely does belong.

3. Frank Thomas

Count me among the many who aren’t terribly excited about seeing primarily designated hitters inducted into the Hall. Count me also among the many who find Frank Thomas to be the exception. His 521 homeruns are impressive. His power swing was ridiculous. He was feared. He belongs.

4. Tom Glavine

I debated this one for awhile. Glavine definitely be in Cooperstown one day. The 305 wins are top notch. But he never struck me as nearly the dominant pitcher Maddux was or, even at times, John Smoltz. But at the end of the day he was a star pitcher on some great Atlanta teams and so he gets my vote.

5. Tim Raines

Okay, so here’s my nod to a slightly earlier time. Tim Raines was an All-Star seven consecutive seasons. He is fifth all-time in stolen bases with 808 and he led the league from 1981-84, finishing no lower than seventh from 1981-1992, with the exception of 1988. He won a batting title in 1986 and finished with a .296 career average. His on-base percentage was .385 due to his impressive eye. And though he won no Gold Gloves in his career, he was considered an excellent defensive outfielder. He’s slowly moving up the vote list. He’s got mine.

To see Marshall Garvey’s ballot, click here.
To see Brad Beneke’s ballot, click here.

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7 Responses to Hypothetical Hall of Fame Ballot – Andy

  • Brad Beneke says:

    Solid list, but remember sometimes voting is strategic. I want to see some people get in eventually that could help them be on the ballot for the future.

    In some cases the only tribute you have left is a vote for a guy you know won’t make it but deserves the shot.

    I’m not the stickler you are on “first ballot” but I am on the percentages. I guess we all have our quirky way of doing this poring just how good it is to diversify the votes unless Biggio gets hosed.

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  • It would have been ok if one of you would have shown your inner rube and put Black Jack on your list. Be a homer and cater to the local readers! Come on!
    Kidding aside, nice lists!

  • Andy says:

    I’d have no problem if he made it. I’d have no problem if he didn’t. I think he’s right on the borderline and either side can be argued.

    That may sound like fence sitting, but there are many more qualified or less qualified guys I’m more willing to take a stand on.

    That said, Game 7 in 1991 was the best baseball game I’ve ever watched.

  • Brad Beneke says:

    If we go by that one game yes. If we go by the fact he has a higher ERA than anyone currently in the HOF then you are watering it down.

    Even guys like Don Sutton and Gaylord Perry who pitched about a decade past their primes didn’t look as awful as Morris in an Indians jersey.

    Btw, as great as 91 was… Remember how he went to Toronto without even as much as a “can you match the offer” to Minnesota?

    It was that kind of selfish kind of behavior that made teammates hate him and media dislike him as well.

    He was a diva and he lost his stuff too soon to have HOF stats.

  • Brad Beneke says:

    Now had he made it I would probably not have thrown the fit I am over Biggio getting dissed two years in a row, but Morris was always about Morris and Now he talks about team like he was actually a part of one… Ever

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