Today’s the day. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will be announced at 3pm PST today. Who will get in? Who will be snubbed?
I’m not a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). I know, big shocker there. But I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance (BBBA). And, like the BBWAA, the BBBA votes for the Hall of Fame every year, using the same rules and the same ballot. Does it mean anything? Not in the least. But it’s fun.
Like a lot of BBWAA members, I believe in making your Hall of Fame vote — official or not — public for all the world to see and yell at you for.
Here’s how I voted.
Rookie of the Year in 1991, won a Gold Glove & was the NL MVP in 1994, and a 4-time All-Star over his 15 years, all with the Houston Astros. Baseball Reference’s Similarity Score compares his career with Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Willie Stargell.
BBWAA: Looks like he’s getting in, based on Ryan Thibodeaux’s tally of public votes, with 88.7%.
Guerrero was one of those players I made special trips to the ballpark for. He was that good. Made 9 All-Star teams in his 16 seasons and won the AL MVP in 2004. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Jim Rice, Stargell, Billy Williams, and Duke Snider.
BBWAA: Guerrero is so close to getting in this year. He’s at 71.4% as of last night.
Do I have to explain it to you guys? Really? C’mon! #buyest
BBWAA: It’s looking like it might happen this year with 72.7% writers voting for him as of last night. He’s closer than Guerrero, at least.
The designated hitter, no matter how much you or I hate it, is a position in baseball. When a manager fills out a lineup card (in American League parks) he fills in a space for the DH. Martinez was the best player at his position for so many years. And isn’t that the definition of a Hall of Famer? No-brainer. Made 7 All-Star teams in 18 seasons with the Seattle Mariners.
The Crime Dog likely isn’t getting in and I can understand why. He’s actually my tenth choice this year. He wasn’t the best first baseman defensively, but he could hit. Hit 493 home runs over 19 seasons, which actually hurts him. He never hit more than 37 home runs in a season. If he had managed just 7 more, it probably wouldn’t be as hard, as Hall of Fame voters love them some 500 Home Run Club members. Made 5 All-Star teams. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Willie McCovey, Stargell, Thomas, and Williams.
Mussina is one of those pitchers you forgot were really good when they played. At least, that’s how I see it. A 5-time All-Star (all with Baltimore) and 6 Gold Gloves in 18 seasons. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer, and Carl Hubbell.
How it’s taken this long for Raines to get in, his 10th and final year on the ballot, is criminal. Was an All-Star seven straight years between 1981 and 1987. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Lou Brock, Max Carey, Fred Clarke, and Enos Slaughter.
BBWAA: Looks like he’s getting in too. He’s at 89.5% as of last night.
14 All-Star appearances and 13 Gold Gloves (including 10 straight between 1992 & 2001) in 21 years of playing. AL MVP in 1999. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk, Gary Carter, Yogi Berra, Roberto Alomar, and Ryne Sandberg.
BBWAA: And he appears to be in as well, based on his 78.6% so far.
If I vote for Hoffman, I have to vote for Smith. Hoffman broke his career saves record, 478. Some question the legitimacy of the save as a stat, but a record is a record. Made 8 All-Star teams over 18 seasons. Baseball Reference compares him with Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers and Bruce Sutter. And, of course, Hoffman.
BBWAA: Sadly, this is Smith’s final year on the ballot and he’s already been eliminated from induction. Maybe the Veterans Committee will induct him in a few years, but I doubt it.
If I vote for Hoffman, I have to vote for Smith, and I may as well vote for Wagner. And I can assure that I would have voted for Wagner even if he didn’t follow me on Twitter. Made 7 All-Star teams in 16 seasons.
Now, you may notice some glaring omissions, notably Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Many writers say that because Bud Selig is being inducted this year (via Veterans Committee selection), that clears a path for Bonds & Clemens. Whatever. I still won’t vote for them. Am I being petty? Possibly. I don’t care.
And let’s just say Curt Schilling can shove it and buy a ticket like the rest of us if he wants in.