The Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 2

Moving on to the part of the Hall of Fame ballot most people care about, it is time to look at the 26 players on this year’s ballot. Voters can choose 10 different players, and they are not ranked. Following that convention, I will break down players into 3 categories, listed alphabetically: No, Kind of Interesting, and Top 10. The post on the Top 10 will appear tomorrow. Tell me what you think in the comments.


Pat Hentgen – A good pitcher, winner of one Cy Young (1996). Never really recovered from Tommy John surgery.
Mike Jackson – Long-time relief pitcher. Tied for the most games pitched in the 1990’s.
Eric Karros – Won the Rookie of the Year. Downhill from there.
Shane Reynolds – He played 10 years? Who knew?
David Segui – Played 14 mediocre years. The key to any arguments that using steroids did not really help players.
Todd Zeile – Played 16 seasons for 11 teams. His numbers would look better if he had remained a catcher. Was an awful third baseman.

Kind of Interesting (The Second Ten):

Kevin Appier – A bit better than Hentgen. A good ERA for his era (3.74). Could have won the Cy Young in 1993. He gets lost behind the great pitchers of his era (Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, etc.)
Harold Baines – The king of longevity. Played 22 seasons, stuck up 384 home runs, and 2866 hits. Never seemed to peak. He was the same solid but unspectacular hitter his entire career.
Ellis Burks – Numbers got a boost from Coors Field, but they remained very good upon going to San Francisco. Reaches no significant career milestones.
Andres Galarraga – Numbers got a boost from Coors, including his batting title in 1993. Had constant injury problems with his knees, back, and finally cancer. Those probably kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
Ray Lankford –  Probably no better than Hentgen or Zeile, but I liked him better.  Thus, he makes the second 10.
Don Mattingly – Injury problems like Galarraga.  An excellent peak, but career numbers are nothing great.  Played in a tougher era on hitters than most of the rest of the players on this list.
Jack Morris – He has a special place in the heart of all Twins fans. He has an exceptionally high ERA for his era (3.90), higher than Appier’s, even though he pitched during a better era for pitchers. Winner of 254 games. Would he be the worst pitcher in the Hall of Fame? Probably not. He is probably better than Jesse Haines and Rube Marquard. Would I vote for him? Probably not.
Dave Parker – Great peak, killed by cocaine and injuries. Better career than Mattingly, but still not quite Hall-worthy.
Lee Smith – One time career save leader. The Harold Baines of relievers. Never seemed to peak, and never really fell off.
Robin Ventura – The best third basemen in baseball from roughly 1990 to 1996. Suffered a gruesome leg injury in 1997. Still good from then on. Career hitting numbers are nothing spectacular, though he was an exceptional fielder. Depending on the year, he would make my Hall of Fame top 10. Would not be the worst third basemen in the Hall if elected. (Thank you, Fred Lindstrom!)

Tomorrow, we will see the Top 10.

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2 Comments on “The Hall of Fame Ballot, Part 2”

  1. Millsy Says:

    I’ve always liked Baines for the Hall, but that probably has something to do with him being a sort of hometown guy for me growing up in Maryland.

    Gallaraga and Burks are both very interesting. They’re definitely not HOFers, but a little step up from them and you start wondering: what do people think of Albert Belle?

  2. sportsphd Says:

    I would consider Albert Belle pretty seriously. In his prime, I don’t think any hitter in baseball was scarier. Partially, that was because Belle was a psychopath, but he was also an astonishingly good hitter. But he only played 12 seasons, including his first 2 when he played 70 games total. He is probably as far from Baines as you can get.

    Baines would not be a bad pick. I wouldn’t pick, much like I wouldn’t have picked Rice last year, but having Baines in the Hall of Fame would not disgrace the institution.

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