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Voting for the Hall of Fame Based on “Feel”

By Mike Silva ~ January 4th, 2012. Filed under: Hall of Fame.

Forget any stats - advanced or otherwise- let’s do a fun exercise and vote for the Hall of Fame based on “feel.” This isn’t easy since you would have to see someone play for a majority of their career.

As mentioned before, if I had a Hall of Fame Ballot it would include  Jeff BagwellEdgar MartinezMark McGwireRafael PalmeiroJack Morris, and Tim Raines. These selections were based on a combination of data and watching the participants during most or all of their career. In the case of Morris and Raines, I watched them play in the latter-half of their career so it was more data based. For that reason I will abstain from judging them on the “feel” test.

So who is a Hall of Famer based on feel? Say a player’s name and immediately give him a yes or no vote. Don’t look at a single number or comparison to someone already enshrined. Using that method my ballot shrinks to Bagwell, Martinez, and McGwire.

Bagwell was one of the most feared hitters in baseball during his career. He was the head of the Astros “Killer B” trio. No Yankees fans, the term “Killer B’s” didn’t start with top prospects Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.

McGwire’s at-bats were an event. Even pre-1996, McGwire was considered one of the best pure power hitters in the game. Although both are now outcasts, he and Canseco were rock stars during their Bash Brother days in Oakland.

In the case of Edgar Martinez there might not be a more clutch hitter the last 15 years. Perhaps this is my New York bias showing, but you didn’t want him up in a big spot as he always seemed to come through- Buck Showalter and the 1995 Yankees can attest to that.

The one player that I was staunchly against on my ballot but looks better on the feel test is Don Mattingly. I first started watching baseball in the mid-eighties and he was considered the best player of that time. Again, you can see I am from New York, but throwing stats out the window Mattingly has more of a Hall of Fame candidacy. Who was a better offensive player in the mid to late eighties?

The rest were all very good players. Larkin, Palmeiro, Trammell, Walker, Murphy, Lee Smith, and Bernie Williams. I never remember thinking I was watching a future Hall of Famer when their teams came to town.

Of course, I am not advocating this practice as being the sole method of voting for the Hall of Fame. A combination of stats and “feel” is the best way to come to the final conclusion.

Whatever method you use, why don’t you vote in the NYBD Hall of Fame ballot? I will be discussing the results on this Sunday’s show on 1240 AM WGBB.


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 Voting for the Hall of Fame Based on “Feel”

  1. Joe Wenzel

    Jeff Bagwell has been linked to the gym that sold PEDs to Clemens and Pettitte. Plus he was comparatively speaking (especially with his low stance) a midget. Without PEDs he wouldn’t have put up nearly the power numbers he did.

    I’m always leary of short guys who put up huge homerun numbers especially at the Astrodome. Kingman had a hard time hitting one out of that place for God’s sake. Please don’t counter with Hank Aaron’s 5’11″ height as an excuse because he played a lot of his time in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium - known as the “Launching Pad” for a reason. He also had outstanding power numbers in Milwaukee but I’m not really sure how hard it was to hit one out of there.

    When I was growing up big guys hit the homeruns Kingman, Schmidt, Luzinski et al. not short statured players like Bagwell. Considering the lack of homeruns the past two years I think we now know how these short players did it.

    Though Bagwell never failed a test (neither did Bonds though we all know he cheated) or has been definitively linked to steroids there is the aura of suspicion around him. I would not vote for him because of his suspected use.

  2. Largebill

    Your “feel’s like a Hall of Famer” is basically the mentality of majority of voters who rely on their faulty memory rather than review the actual record of what heppened. That is all that stats are - a record of really happened as opposed to what we think happened.

  3. Chuck

    The difference between Bagwell and Luzinski is while Greg was a natural 220 pound man, Bagwell gained 35 pounds through steriod use to weigh 220.

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