With the flurry of the Winter Meetings feeling like a distant memory, many baseball writers have shifted their attention away from the hot stove league (albeit temporarily) to writing articles about the upcoming Hall of Fame vote. As with nearly every election, there always seems to be a bit of controversy surrounding certain candidates. Several BBWAA members will steadfastly throw their support behind a specific candidate, while the sabermetric community will write numerous articles providing myriad reasons why said candidate should not be elected and vice-versa.
While this back and forth exchange of rhetoric can sometimes be a little overwhelming, the overall net gain is positive. Even though their performance doesn’t change during their period of eligibility, the candidates are re-examined and re-evaluated; minds are changed; and cases become more clear. In a way, it’s somewhat of a learning process. Mistakes are certainly made along the way with certain players getting elected that probably shouldn’t have (Jim Rice, Bruce Sutter, Tony Perez), and others have been criminally left out in the cold despite carrying credentials that are more than adequate (Bobby Grich, Lou Whitaker, Dick Allen). For the most part tough, the electorate has done a good job in selecting their inductees; albeit occasionally tardy with some.
To kick off the Hall of Fame season, I thought I’d share my theoretical Hall of Fame ballot. I will follow the BBWAA’s criteria to the letter with the exception of the character clause. I’ll be ignoring that one entirely. With the number of unsavory characters already in the Hall of Fame, it seems incredibly silly to invoke it now for the purposes of passing moral judgment on known and especially suspected (but not proven) steroid users. Since I can’t state with any certainty the degree to which steroids enhanced a player’s production, it’s difficult to penalize them accordingly. Furthermore, there isn’t a great way to determine who did and did not do steroids without test results. As a result, I won’t be making any assumptions.
After much consideration, I’ve decided on “voting” for six candidates from the current pool of 27 eligible players. No one of the incoming class was selected from my ballot.
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