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December 1, 2011

Who gets your vote for the Hall of Fame class of 2012?

The 2012 Hall of Fame ballot was sent out Monday, and, frankly, there aren’t any really impressive additions for this year.

Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams leads the group of 13 new candidates, which also includes former Orioles catcher Javy Lopez and Baltimore native Brian Jordan.

Williams was a good player on a great team, an exceptionally nice guy and a heckuva guitar player. But he isn’t a Hall of Fame baseball player. Neither is any of the new crew, in my opinion.

There are 14 holdovers from last year, including top returning vote-getter Barry Larkin and big-game pitcher Jack Morris, who is always the subject of a healthy debate when this time of year rolls around.

Mark McGwire is on for the third year, and Rafael Palmeiro is on for the second time – he got just 11 percent last year (75 percent is needed for induction; 5 percent to stay on the ballot).

The ballots are secret – you won’t know who voted for whom.

But this is your chance to have a BBWAA member hear your thoughts about this year’s Hall class. Which of the eligible former players listed below do you feel belong in the National Baseball Hall of Fame? You can vote for as many as 10 or as few as none.

Here is the list in alphabetical order: Jeff Bagwell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Juan Gonzalez, Brian Jordan, Barry Larkin, Javy Lopez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Dale Murphy, Phil Nevin, Rafael Palmeiro, Brad Radke, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young.

Daily Think Special: Of the eligible players, who gets your vote for the Hall of Fame?

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:00 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Connolly's Corner Sports Bar


In my opinion if you're not a first ballot HOF'er then you're just not a HOF'er at all. I never understood how someone who didn't make it on the first ballot makes it at all. The numbers never change so what makes him worthy the third, fourth or tenth time around if he wasn't worthy the first time around? Nobody on this list (except possibly Jack Morris) should make the Hall of Fame. I also don't agree that someone MUST go in every year. if the list of candidates isn't strong enough and the holdovers arent' strong enough then i guess nobody goes in. Of course this is just my humble opinion.

My 6/10 votes would be:

Larkin - The best SS of his era.
Bagwell - The best 1B of his era.
Raines - Overshadowed by Ricky Henderson, otherwise, the best leadoff man of his era in the NL.
Martinez - The best DH of all-time.
Palmiero - if "85% of players took steriods" -, Palmiero is still a Hall of Famer and cheater like the rest of them.
McGwire - " " " ", and he hit 70 HR's to top it off.

Apoligies to:

Murphy - Had an awesome 6 year peak.
McGriff - The consistancy was there but was never "elite"
Trammel - Like Murphy, had an awesome 6 year peak.
Morris - The wins benefited from playing for some very good Detroit/Toronto teams. Otherwise close, no cigar.
Smith - Very consistent and durable throughout his career, but his overall stats don't strike me as "most dominate". It's hard to say no, but this is the Hall Of Fame,
Walker - I throw him in here because he hit .350 or better 4 times in his career. His career BA at home was .348.... I wonder why?

To those who ask, "why isn't Don Mattingly on your list?" - because Mattingly went from being great for 4 years to replacement level player. Doesn't merit consideration.

Kevin Buck!

I'm about stratification. I look to who was at the top of their game. When I think about contribution to the game, and being at the top of the game, my ballot looks like this I say no to McGwire and Palmiero because they took from the game more than they contributed to it. Martinez was good, and I hate to show bias against DHs, but Martinez was a good hitter, in an era with alot of great ones, and without anything else, I can't consider him an all-time great. I'm torn on Bagwell. On the one hand, I hate to see players get penalized like Jim Rice, because they retired and chose not to embarrass themselves, and not hobble to some milestone (3000H or 500HR), so I'd like to see Bagwell in. But I also don't see the sustained eliteness like you had w/Rice, who was among the best players in the game for 10 years.

Here's my ballot:
Jack Morris: took 3 teams to the WS (you forgot about the worst to 1st 1991 Twins)
Fred McGriff: 8 times in the HR top 5, 2-time HR King. If Bagwell is in, Fred McGriff must be in too.
Barry Larkin: for the same reasons as you
Dale Murphy: Back to back MVPs (only Roger Maris achieved this feat and was denied the HOF), hit more home runs in the 1980s than any other player
Lee Smith: he was dominant, 4 Rolaids Awards (from both leagues), 4 time saves leader, 7 time all-star, 3 CY top 5s. The guy was a beast and the best closer in baseball

Raines, Larkin and Bagwell for sure. If you want asterisk choices, then add McGwire and Palmeiro

And to respond to wgover's comments about first-time HOFs, well obviously the voting process is far from perfect, because you've got human beings voting, specifically sportwriters, who seem likely to let their biases color their choices. Oftentimes you get players who are HOF caliber who get pushed back because they are considered to be not as good as someone else from the same position and era, e.g. Tim Raines vs. Rickey Henderson. Just because Rickey's career is considered to be better doesn't mean that Raines shouldn't have already been elected to the HOF, but that's just how it happens. Then you have someone like Robbie Alomar who was a no doubt about it 1st ballot HOF, except that some voters decided they were going to "teach him a lesson" for the spitting incident. Then I'd guess you have voters that will just not vote for more than a certain number of players in any given year, regardless of who is deserving or not, based on whatever their arbitrary "principles" may be on the matter...

Bottom line, the process is imperfect, decisions made by imperfect people, so guys are going to get screwed with sometimes...

I think as good an illustration of the jerkiness of voting sportswriters is that not one HOFer has ever received 100% of the vote. Think about it: Ruth, Aaron, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Mathewson, Johnson, Spahn, Cobb, Hornsby, Seaver - you mean to tell me NONE of these guys shouldn't have received 100% of the vote? Somebody has to explain that one to me...

Raines absolutely deserves to be in. I'm pretty surprised that his support level has been so low.

Bagwell was dominant for a pretty long period of time, he deserves to go.

Larkin and Trammell are both hurt by the fact that SS has become an offensive position over the past 15 years. Before 1995, these were two of the best hitting SS in generations and they both deserve to be in. I think Trammell is vastly underrated (as was his DP partner, Lou Whitaker).

I would vote for McGwire and Palmeiro as well, but I understand that most will not put in either due to their connections to steroids.

This years first-time "class" is pathetic. There's not even one guy who's even close to being worthy.

Larkin & Palmeiro, maybe McGwire and Martinez

If anybody goes in this year, it should be through the Veteran's Committee which is voting on a list from the 1949-72 "Golden Era". On their ballot I would go for Buzzie Bavasi, and maybe Ron Santo and Jim Kaat. But not any of the guys on the BBWA ballot.

Jeff Bagwell and Lee Smith.

Larkin is a no-brainer. Raines should definitely be in. And I'd vote for McGriff. The guy finished with 493 homers. If he had come back for one more year and hit the last 7 he'd be virtually certain to be in as a part of the 500 home run club. So I say don't punish a guy for not coming back just to reach an otherwise meaningless number.

I'd also consider voting for McGuire. He admitted his steroid use and I believe is an all around good guy otherwise. The steroids don't bother me as much as they bother others, because I think just about everybody was doing it and the league office was complicit.

My votes would go to:

1.) Larkin- even though I don't remember him being all that great, all of the writers seem to think otherwise. I have a feeling he'll be the only one elected this year.

2.) Raines- he was the NL's Rickey Henderson and shouldn't get punished for playing in Montreal.

3.) Bagwell- he was pretty dominant and was a big reason for the Astros' success in the 90s through mid aughts.

4.) Palmeiro- he was an all around great hitter and I still think there's some truth to his story about Tejada giving him tainted B12 since Tejada was later busted for steroids himself.

5.) McGriff- consistent power hitter throughout his career that slid under the radar b/c of the steroids era.

My vote is Edgar Martinez. Best career DH to date. But the writers still haven't taken to allowing full time DHs into the Hall.

I second place vote to Lee Smith, who was an unbelievable closer.

Others to consider would be Barry Larkin (great SS for a long time), Bagwell (numbers may not support induction for a 1B), Alan Trammel.

Doesn't it require 25% of votes to remain on the ballot?

Has it really been 5 years since Javy Lopez was on Oriole?

If I had a ballot, I'd vote for:

-Barry Larkin
-Tim Raines
-Fred McGriff
-Mark McGwire
-Jeff Bagwell
-Lee Smith
-Alan Trammell
-Rafael Palmeiro

And no, I don't care about steroid use when it comes to HoF membership.

Not one of these guys belong in the Hall of Fame.

If you just look at numbers and big/dominant seasons than Jeff Bagwell should be in .I never thought Jim Rice should have gotten in and Bags numbers are better in a shorter time and he was a better all around player.
Larry Walker is interesting.Numerous monster seasons even though injured a lot.Fantastic five tool player who was as valuable with his bat as his glove.Was the best rightfielder of his time hands down.The playing in Colorado thing is there but he was spectacular in Montreal.If players like Rice,Gary Carter, are in than Walker should probably be included
Heck based on numbers Albert Belle would be in as he compares favorably with Rice hitting wise in a shorter career and was as mediocre in the field as him
Rafael deserves to be in if you overlook the steroid cloud.At some point someone is going to have to find a solution to that issue.
Raines as the poor man's Rickey is a tough call.I think the fact that he talked about sliding into second base with a vial of cocaine in his pocket during an interview among other things has always followed him .
No one else really .Morris,way too high E.R.A., regardless of the World Series heroics.As someone said previously,he benifited from the teams he was on hitting wise.Larkin,no way,never understand his support.Solid,a leader,Silver Slugger shortstop but in a time of weak N.L. shortstops.Glove awards more a result of popularity than reality as he was a turf player.
Poor Dale Murphy,was the best in the game at a point,just could not stay healthy.Joy to watch
Anyway,Bagwell,Walker and Palmeiro get my vote.

Vinny Castilla, Brian Jordan, Javy Lopez, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Phil Nevin, Tim Salmon, Tony Womack, Eric Young

This is why the HOF is silly in baseball. Anyone that votes for the above people should be kicked out. That Bill Mueller wass a hell of a player!

The fact that writers can't put aside their ego to vote unanimously for a shoo-in or making players wait is also a sin.

That said, I would vote for Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, & Rafael Palmeiro. Morris was money and Murphy was dominant for some awful teams.

Walker is so close. And Larkin is a tough one.

I never though McGwire and his 1,600 hits merited consideration. He's a bloated Rob Deer od Dave Kingman in my book.

If I had a ballot I would include:

Edgar Martinez - best DH of all time
Jack Morris - if you had a big game, he had the stones to deliver
Don Mattingly - prior to his injury, he was amazing, the nickname says it all Donnie Baseball

The rest were all good players but when you talk about baseball history, the above 3 names are the only ones that would stick out to me.

Fred McGriff, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Tim Raines, Lee Smith,

I like Chip and Tommy's comments, but have to disagree about Rice and Mattingly. Rice was dominant in his era and it's unfair to compare his offense with Belle's. He should have got in first time, another almost casualty of some writers. Mattingly, simply didn't do enough...

Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith, and Bernie Williams

Edgar Martinez, Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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