With the 2017 baseball Hall of Fame election results being announced at 6p est tonight, I decided to share who I’d vote for if I had a ballot.
Player’s need 75% of the vote to be elected and those voting can only choose to vote for up to ten players (although not required) out of this year’s list of 34. Write-in votes are not allowed (sorry Shoeless Joe and Charlie Hustle).
Also, let’s get my steroid stance out of the way first…I believe first that there were far more players abusing steroids than we know and since we don’t know who was clean and who wasn’t, I won’t let it affect my vote. Second, I think the commissioner and team management are also partially to blame for this issue as they just looked the other way. Lastly, this isn’t the first time that performance enhancing drugs were an issue in baseball. Amphetamines were huge in the 70’s & ‘80’s and I’d guess more heavily abused than steroids. Oh, and don’t give me character clause BS, there are gamblers, racists, and alcoholics in the Hall.
Here’s my list…
Barry Bonds (44.3% of last year’s vote): Bonds, a Hall of Famer before the use of steroids has stats that make him a top-3 hitter of all-time. Forget about holding the season high home run total with 73, the all-time leader in homers (762), had a career OPS of 1.051, which was partially due to 2,558 walks. Add in 2,227 runs scored and 1,996 runs batted in, and the only knock would be that Bonds didn’t make it to 3,000 hits. We can add in his 7 MVP’s, 14 All-Star games, 8 Gold Gloves, 12 Silver Sluggers, and 162.4 WAR if interested.
Roger Clemens (45.2%): One of the two best pitchers I watched growing up (Greg Maddux being the other), Clemens won 354 games, had a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strike outs (3rd all-time) to go with an MVP and 7 Cy Young Awards
Ivan Rodriguez (1st): A true force both offensively and defensively, Pudge is a sure fire Hall of Famer to me, and possibly the best catcher ever (I never got to see Johnny Bench). A career .296 hitter with 311 homers, a .798 OPS and 68.4 WAR are undoubtedly Hall of Fame numbers for a catcher. Rodriguez also played in 14 All-Star games, won 13 Gold Gloves, 7 Silver Sluggers, and an MVP Award.
Manny Ramirez (1st): ManRam is one of the greatest right handed hitters to play the game regardless of the flake that he was. Manny tallied a .312 average, 555 homers, 1,831 RBI, an OPS of .996, and a WAR of 69.2. He was also an All-Star 13 times and won 9 Silver Sluggers. There was also this six year stretch between 1999 and 2004, where Manny hit .327 with an OPS of 1.061 and looked purely dominant
Vladimir Guerrero (1st): I was a little more on the fence about Vlady as he only played 16 seasons in the Majors, but his numbers are quite impressive given that. Probably the best bad ball hitter known to man, Guerrero hit .318, with 449 homers, and an OPS of .931, and a WAR of 59.3. He just missed a 40-40 season in 2002, when he finished with 39 homers and 40 steals. Vlad won an MVP, was an All-Star 9 times, and won 8 Silver Sluggers.
Jeff Bagwell (71.6%): Bagwell was so fun to watch growing up as an aspiring first baseman, as he hit for average and power. Another guy plagued by injury, Bagwell still put up impressive numbers for the 15 seasons that he played. A career .297 hitter, he collected 449 homers, 1,529 RBI, and an OPS of .948 to go with a 79.6 WAR. Bagpipes, was the Rookie of the Year, won an MVP, was an All-Star 4 times, won a Gold Glove, and 3 Silver Sluggers
Tim Raines (69.8%): Raines is not a guy I would have voted for in the past, mostly due to players I felt were more deserving. That said, I could stop at 808 stolen bases and that should be enough, but factor in that he has the best stolen base percentage of all-time for a major threat (84.6%) to go with a .294 career average, 1,571 runs scored, 713 extra base hits, and I am sold. Rock has 69.1 WAR, was on 7 All-Star teams, and won a Silver Slugger
Trevor Hoffman (67.3%): 601 saves, ‘nough said.
Lee Smith (34.1%): Smith is a bit of a different case I think than Hoffman, as he started his career a bit earlier, where closers weren’t as tallying the huge save totals that they were in the 90’s. That said, Smith still has 478 saves over an 18 season career
There you have it, no Schilling, Moose, or Edgar.
By the way, my prediction for tonight is: Raines and Bagwell