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My 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot

By Mike Silva ~ December 27th, 2010. Filed under: Hall of Fame.

December 27th Updated Version

Each year I discussed who I believe should be elected into the Hall of Fame. Although I don’t have a vote, it’s fun to submit a ballot just like the writers of the BBWAA for discussion purposes. Last year I voted for Robert Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, and Edgar Martinez. Of course, only Andre Dawson was elected, with Blyleven and Alomar falling just short with 74.2 and 73.7 percent of the vote respectively. As you know 75% is the magic number for election.

This year I will continue to support Alomar, Blyleven, Morris, and Martinez as well as Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, and Tim Raines

Alomar is a no brainer. Although he was short of the magic 3,000 hits he was the best second baseman in baseball from 1992 to 2001. The gold gloves make up for some years during that period (95, 98) that were less than Hall worthy offensively. If Bill Mazeroski is in than Alomar should be mandatory. What the writers did last year to deny Alomar is just plain silly.

Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris will always be debates until one, or both, are elected. Blyleven won 287 games, and the fact that he is 13 wins short of the magic 300 wins shouldn’t be reason to keep him out. This is a pitcher that would go deep into ballgames throughout his career. One of his best seasons came at the age of 38 pitching for the Angels. Don’t forget the impressive 3,700 strikeouts and sixty shutouts. Thirteen more wins and this wouldn’t be a debate.

Morris doesn’t have the peripheral numbers of Blyleven, but that shouldn’t take away the fact that he won 254 ballgames. He also was a big time postseason pitcher for Detroit and Minnesota, of course winning that classic Game 7 in the ’91 World Series against Atlanta. With the advent of bullpens 250 should be the new 300 and Morris clearly knew how to pitch well enough to win. Let’s not make wins the end all, but let’s not diminish the fact that is ultimately what pitching is all about.

Edgar Martinez might be the most controversial of my foursome selected because he was one dimensional. It might take the BBWAA some time to appreciate the designated hitter, just like they needed some time to warm up to relievers. His production from 1995 to 2003 is right up there with all the all time greats. Even the move to spacious Safeco Field didn’t slow him down. There is one site that evaluates him based on an award called POP (Premium Offensive Player). A POP season is one in which the player has a BA over .300, OBP over .400, SLG over .500. Martinez has eight POP seasons for his career- more than Mickey Mantle. Every player with eight or more POP seasons is in the Hall of Fame, with the exception of Barry Bonds, who is not eligible as of this writing. Martinez is also one of five players who have had more walks than strikeouts (with at least 1200 or more of each) while hitting .300. The others are Babe Ruth, Frank Thomas, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Aaron, and Chipper Jones.

I am not one to get crazy about the use of performance enhancement drugs. There is no way to quantify who was doing it and the impact. That is why I see no reason the most feared slugger of the nineties should be left out. Anyone who watched Mark McGwire from 1995-2000 knows his at bats were an event. His performance was legendary which should make it Hall of Fame worthy.

Bagwell is one of the few players that spent his entire career in one city, and produced Hall of Fame quality numbers his entire career. He spent a large portion of his career playing in the pitcher friendly Astrodome where he produced an OPS of .996. How can you argue with a career that yielded 449 homers, 202 stolen bases, and a .948 OPS? Bill James called Bagwell in 2001 the fourth best first basemen of all time. High praise for someone that plays a position known for offense.

Rafael Palmeiro wouldn’t be much of a debate if he didn’t have that infamous dialogue with Congress. Palmeiro had 3,020 hits, 569 homers, over 1,800 RBI, and an .885 OPS for his career. Although he never won an MVP, he did win three gold gloves (one very dubious one in 1999) during is career. Again, I don’t know the true impact of steroids on these results. I also don’t know how many pitchers were using that Palmeiro faced. The numbers are no doubt Hall worthy.

Tim Raines is someone that I recently warmed up to as a Hall of Famer. The presence of Rickey Henderson in the eighties sometimes overshadows Raines who was his National League counterpart. He had speed and hit for power and average. His 13 years in Montreal were impressive, and he tacked on in Chicago and New York. If he didn’t chase a ring as a part time player with the Yankees I suspect he might have collected 3,000 hits. For his career he had over 2,600 hits, 808 stolen bases, and a career OPS of .810. Time to recognize “Henderson lite” and put him in the Hall.

Perhaps the three noticeable omissions are Alan Trammell, Barry Larkin, and Larry Walker.

Trammell and Larkin are interesting cases because they play a position that historically isn’t known for offense. The problem with Larkin, unlike Alomar, is that he never sustained a period of dominance. He always seemed to have a season that interrupted that string. He also played in an offensive era where other SS (Garciaparra, Jeter, Tejada) were top notch hitters. The ’95 MVP and two Gold Gloves aren’t enough.

I could make more of an argument for Trammell who might have been the best shortstop on both sides of the ball from 1983-1988. His best season was ’87 (28/105/.343), but that was the year of the “juiced ball” and Trammell would decline offensively after age 30. During a 20 year career he did compile some great total numbers, but lacks the sustained period of success that I believe warrant Hall of Fame consideration.

Perhaps Larry Walker will be the next polarizing debate for the Hall ala Blyleven. His career numbers are definitely Hall worthy (.313 average, 383 homers, 1231 RBI, .965 OPS), but a majority of it was produced in the rarefied air of Coors Field (career OPS of 1.172). Is penalizing Walker for Coors Field unfair? Perhaps, especially since I didn’t do the same for McGwire regarding PED’s, but I know the impact of Colorado statistically, while PED’s are hard to quantify.

So the 2011 Mike Silva Hall of Fame ballot is Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro, and Tim Raines.

Mike Silva is a freelance writer and radio host since March of 2007. This website is his own personal "digest" of New York Baseball He's also hosts NYBD Radio on Blog Talk Radio and 1240 AM WGBB. Check out his sports media commentary at www.sportsmediawatchdog.com. Check out his official website, www.mikesilvamedia.com
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3 Responses to My 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot

  1. David Allan

    Did someone mention Larry Robert Kenneth Walker?


    Just some thoughts I had when Jim Rice got the call to the hall almost two years ago…

  2. Russ

    Mattingly .307/.471/.830 222 HR 1099 RBI 1007 R
    Puckett .318/.477/.837 207 HR 1085 RBI 1071 R

    Puckett played in 1783 games and had 7244 ABs
    Mattingly played in 1785 games and had 7003 ABs

    So, their numbers are virtually identical.

    Which begs the question…If Kirby Puckett is in the HOF, how can Don Mattingly not be?

  3. Mike Silva


    It’s a great question, and perhaps Puckett gets a bump because of his postseason heroics, while Mattingly never played on the postseason stage till his final season.

    Two things to consider:

    1) Puckett played a more valuable position at a high level

    2) He had a 10 year run (86-95) of Hall of Fame level play, while Mattingly effectively was six years and ended in 1989.

    Keep in mind Mattingly’s competition at first was stiffer than perhaps Puckett in center.

    It’s a fair question, but I have no problems with Puckett in the HOF. Now Bill Mazeroski is another story.

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