Hall of Fame debate: Who I’d send to the HOF

Mike Mussina 2

Tomorrow afternoon, Major League Baseball will announce who will go into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Although no one entered the Hall of Fame last year, this year will surely be a different scenario since there are so many deserving names on the ballot.

To clarify, I do not have an official vote on the ballot, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to share who I would have voted for. I’m going to follow the rules and procedures of the official Hall of Fame ballot and only vote for up to 10 players. If a player receives at least 75% of the vote from the BBWAA, then they would be elected into the Hall of Fame. Here is my ballot:

Greg Maddux: In his 23-year career, he won 355 games and won the Cy Young Award four times. In 1995 (the year the Atlanta Braves won the World Series), Maddux went 19-2 with a 1.63 ERA as he showed dominance on the baseball diamond. I would expect Maddux to be on everyone’s Hall of Fame ballot but there has never been a unanimous vote from the BBWAA.

Tom Glavine: Well to start things off, he won over 300 games, had five 20-win seasons and won two Cy Young Awards. I’m sure he’d like to forget how his stint with the Mets ended but the first time he ended up on the disabled list was in 2008–at the age of 42! Wouldn’t the Yankees love to have someone like that on their team.

Mike Mussina: This is the first year that Mussina has been on the Hall of Fame ballot and although he has never won a World Series, he’s a player I would keep on my ballot until he ends up in Cooperstown. The only time Mussina won 20 games in a season was in the final year of his career in 2008, which could have been a sign that Mussina had more in the tank had he kept going. To add to his success, Mussina was also a five-time All-Star and a seven-time Gold Glover.

Craig Biggio: If you have over 3,000 hits in your Major League career, you should be almost a lock to enter the Hall of Fame. Last year, Biggio was 39 votes shy of entering the Hall of Fame, but this could finally be his year. He spent his entire career with the Houston Astros and absolutely shined: He was in seven All-Star games, won five Silver Slugger Awards and won four Gold Glove Awards. He also was one of the few Astros responsible for bringing the Astros back into postseason contention.

Don Mattingly: It’s unfortunate that Mattingly had never played in a World Series, but if there’s one honor Mattingly deserves, it’s a place in the Hall of Fame. Mattingly was in six All-Star games, won nine Gold Glove Awards and three Silver Slugger Awards. Hey, if Kirby Puckett (who had similar career numbers than Mattingly) can make it into the Hall of Fame, then so can “Donnie Baseball”.

Jack Morris: Morris is on the ballot for the 15th and final time, and it’s a shame that he’s not in the Hall of Fame as of yet. Sure, he had a high ERA but he has three World Series rings and tossed 10-shutout innings in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series versus the Atlanta Braves. A player that should be in the Hall of Fame, but isn’t–and probably never will be due to the class he’s in this year.

Lee Smith: Although he played for eight teams in his career, when he retired in 1997, he had the record for the most saves by any closer with 478 (a record that has since been passed by Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera). He was also one of the last few multi-inning closers in the game, which would lead you to wonder how he would fair if he was pitching with all the one-inning closers in 2014. Along with having the most saves in his time, Lee also made it to seven All-Star games.

Frank Thomas: Thomas spent 16 seasons with the Chicago White Sox and was one of the most feared players in his era. He hit over 500 HR’s in his career and was able to do so cleanly in a time where cheating was the norm. To add to his success, he was in five All-Star games and won back to back MVP awards.

Tim Raines: Raines was one of the greatest lead-off men in baseball but at the time fell second to the great Ricky Henderson. However, Raines was a seven-time All-Star, helped the White Sox win a pair of divisional titles and was a member of two World Series titles with the Yankees. After 20 seasons in the big leagues, Raines retired with 808 stolen bases under his belt and a .294 average. For me, the stolen bases alone should have him considered for the Hall of Fame. There aren’t many speedy guys like that in the game anymore.

Jeff Kent: My final vote will go to Jeff Kent, who was arguably one of the best hitting second basemen of his time. Kent’s career didn’t take off until 1997 when he was with the San Francisco Giants and continued when he played for the Houston Astros. In his career, Kent went to five All Star Games, won four Silver Slugger Awards and won an MVP award. There could be a slight chance the writers don’t vote him in the Hall of Fame because he played for so many teams (like Lee Smith) but if I had a ballot, Kent would be on my ballot every year until he wasn’t on the ballot anymore.

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17 Responses to Hall of Fame debate: Who I’d send to the HOF

  1. SkinnyMikeAxisa says:

    Delia,

    I'm sorry, you're wrong. Moose has PLAYED in TWO World Series…He's never WON a World Series.

    Carry on !

  2. Arina says:

    In my opinion Greg Maddux could have a nice chance of getting into the Hall of Fame. I'm quite curious who it will be in the end.

  3. I know that I'm going to be disappointed again this year because voters are restricted to only 10 players they can choose and to me there are more than 10 players that should be in. That said, I have to disagree with you Delia, Mattingly, Lee Smith and Jack Morris don't belong and aren't even among the 10 that I feel should be in there. Especiallly Lee Smith, the guy was nothing special and if you take away the save statistic (one of my least favorite statistics) he's an incredibly ordinary player.

    Edgar Martinez is a player that I feel is the perfect example of how stupid baseball writers can be. If he was a horrible 3rd baseman, he'd have been in already. But he wasn't, he was a DH, and one of the best hitters I've ever seen. In his career he hit .312/.418/.515. Those are MVP numbers and he put them up over the course of his entire career. It's pathetic that he's not in already. Pathetic.

  4. Ricky Keeler says:

    I have Jack Morris on my ballot as well, but not Mussina and Kent. I do have the PED users that you won't put in with Bonds and Clemens as well as suspected guys like Piazza and Bagwell. I understand the stance of leaving these players out and it's a good point, but these guys represent an entire era of baseball. You can't ignore an entire era such as what the writer from LA tried to do by leaving Maddux off his ballot and he will probably be the only one. Good read though Delia!!!

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      Thanks Ricky! I heard about the writer leaving Maddux off his ballot. Honestly, what is his problem.

      As for the PED users, I know that it was a time where everyone was using but if you're going to be in the Hall of Fame, you had to have played the game cleanly. Not have any suspicions of PED's or have a positive PED test.

      I did read your HOF ballot on your site and I understood your point of view as to why you added Clemens and Bonds. Yours was a great read as well!

      • David McCann says:

        How about whitey Ford and Gaylord Perry? I could make a much larger list. I will leave the last word to Greg Maddux who called Bonds the best player he ever played against.

        Enough with the hyper piety

  5. crow says:

    Jack Morris definitely belongs. One of those guys where you can throw out all the numbers. Yeah, he'd give up nine hits and five runs some games, but he'd also give you 9 innings and win 6-5. Morris generally pitched as well as he had to — that's all. But as Delia noted, when a 10 inning shutout was needed in the World Series, he was up to the task. I believe he also won another very vital game 1-0 — was it when the Tigers beat the Jays on the last weekend in 87? Morris is just one of those guys who is bigger than the stats– for that reason alone he should get in.

  6. hotdog says:

    Mattingly won't get in but what a talent he was…it's too bad his back problems severely limited him, the guy could have been one of the best…

  7. danny says:

    I became very sad tonight watching the debate on MLB Network and the sympathy for steroid users has become very disturbing.
    I see the people entrusted to protecting the character of the game almost wholesale degrading the game in favor being a nice guy to guys with false " big number" guys whether or not they cheated and disillusions countless guys like me who were good players at many positions but was consistently beat out by a stronger bat. I chalked it up to this is not for me. Had I just known I could take dangerous drugs to achieve my goal and poorly influence many many adoring fans with a propped up fake career how did I miss it? Thanks baseball writers for continuing to degrade tbe game. Are you on steroids?

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      I completely understand your stance, Danny which was why in my mock ballot I didn't include any PED users or players that were connected to PED's. If I'm going to take my children to the Hall of Fame museum, I don't want to show them the cheaters of the game. That would be sending the wrong message.

  8. jonhn says:

    In my opinion Greg Maddux could have a nice chance of getting into the Hall of Fame. I'm quite curious who it will be in the end.

  9. Yankees fan says:

    Greg Madox deverves to be chosen for the hof he was a grate pitcher in my opinion.

  10. Yankees fan says:

    Dang spelling corrections I ment to say Maddux not madux.

  11. Frank Jones says:

    Almost Mussina is not a hall of famer. I'm sorry but when you're on 101 win teams and have no rings on your fingers there's a reason for that. He was always mediocre in the playoffs aside from his relief appearance against Boston in the 2003 ALCS. He gave up that moonshot to Adam Kennedy in the playoffs against the Angels. Adam Kennedy hit like 13 homeruns in his career. Mussina was always a day late and a dollar short and the Hall of Fame should not be an exception.

    • Darren says:

      Frank, because he gave up a homerun to Adam Kennedy he was mediocre in the playoffs? Did you know he played 10 years in Baltimore where he was spectacular despite being on a small market team in the AL East? In the 90s when the Os were competitive he pitched GREAT vs the Indians (1997) but got no run support. And don’t forget the Jeffrey Maier interference in game 1 of the 1996 ALDS which the Orioles were on track to winning. Not having any rings is a common knock against him, but many times it wasn’t his fault that they lost in the playoffs.

      I’ve watched him his entire career and to me, hes a slight notch below Maddux. He wasn’t about the numbers and unfortunately, numbers are what the voters care about. He could have played 3 more seasons to get the 300 wins that would have made him a shoe-in like Glavine but that isn’t what he cared about.

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  13. Tom glavine deserve the first place