Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Hall of Fame voting for 2011

My Hall of Fame ballot arrived yesterday and, as usual, I filled it out in about two minutes. Do not consider that to be callous. My theory on player selection is that if you have to think twice, the candidate does not qualify, at least on this ballot for this time around.  

I don’t vote for good guys who were marginal players or not vote for great players who were bad guys to the media or didn’t sign autographs for the fans.  I don’t give novelty or pity votes, as a friend of mine once did for Lee Mazzilli. 

I don’t give mock votes, as a mentor of mine did with Jim Bouton. I don’t vote for friends, as someone I know did for a certain first baseman. You can also learn what not to do from a mentor.

I don’t vote along generational lines, meaning what would today’s player have hit or produced in the 1940s or 1950s. A great player stands out in any time period. Stats and longevity mean a great deal, but should not necessarily doom a player as it has in the case of Thurman Munson (no longer eligible on the BBWAA ballot) and Don Mattingly. Not enough good years is the knock on those two Yankees. But guess what,  I agreed and never voted for either.  Better  to be selective than too inclusive. 
No votes are OK.  In many years, I voted  for no one at all.  The fewer, the better. We are taking about the most hallowed shrine in sports. 

Here are my YES votes for  2011:
Roberto Alomar: My brethren have to factor out his fade out with the Mets and some nasty accusations in his personal life.  He hit .300 for his career, was an exceptional base stealer and a dazzling fielder.

Jeff  Bagwell: The Astros’ version of Derek Jeter in the way he played the game, just with a lot more power (449 homers).  A .408 on-base percentage. Rumors about steroids during his era may hold him back.

Jack Morris: His time may have finally arrived in his 12th year on the ballot. He won 254 games, which is 46 short of the magic number for pitchers. But that has to be revisited because the era of the 300-win pitcher is just about over. Morris’ work compares with many greats in any generation. Played on three World Series champions.  

Here are my NO votes:

Everyone else on the ballot.  Of note, Barry Larkin has a good deal of support, but for me he is a near miss.

Edgar Martinez merits consideration, but purists (like me) deduct points because he was a DH.  I like two-way players. 

Mark McGwire. Take away his artificial home runs and McGwire was a .263 hitter. I’d put in Dave Kingman over him and I'd never put in Kingman. The door to Cooperstown needs to be locked tight to proven or admitted users of performance enhancers. 


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