Edgar Martinez is in his last year of eligibility for Hall of Fame voting. Last year, year nine, Edgar finished with 70.4% of the votes on the Baseball writers’ ballots, about twenty votes short of selection. He has received all the public votes tendered so far, including six he didn’t get last year.
As I said, there is a sense of urgency for the Mariners designated hitter with the sweet swing. If he dosesn’t receive at least 75% of the vote, he’s out and would have to be chosen by one of veteran committees. No sure thing there.
Competing with Edgar for votes are a couple of likely new nominees and a lot of hangers on. Closer sans peur Mariano Rivera joins Edgar on the ballot. You can punch his ticket to Cooperstown now. Right handed starter Roy Halladay who dominated the big league for a decade, and was tragically killed in a plane crash a couple years ago begins his first year on the ballot. I don’t know if he’ll make it this year, but it will be interesting to see how close Doc gets to election. Todd Helton, the Rockies first baseman is on this ballot. He has great numbers, but fights the perception that Coors Field simply inflates statistics.
It’s very early in the public vote. Those must be in by December 31st and they are trickling in to Ryan Thibodaux’s website. 24 votes counted, that’s about 5.8% of known ballots. So far Edgar has had a really good series 24 for 24. Rivera also has 100 percent. Remaining nominees over 50% are:
Roy Halladay 87.5%
Mike Mussina 79.2%
Roger Clemens 75%
Barry Bonds 70.8 %
Curt Shilling 70.8 %
Larry Walker 58.3 %
Omar Vizquel 54.2 %
I’ve received my IBWAA ballot, and have pretty well marked up what I’m going to do. I haven’t sent it in yet. I had no trouble choosing my votes. Some may surprise you, but some not. Remember the internet writers have created a bit of an alternative universe in which Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, Barry Bonds and Mike Mussina are already in, and Barry Larkin is still outside pounding on the door. Here are my votes for this year:
Lance Berkman–Berkman was not a good defender, but offensively he was great for a long time. His numbers remind me of-well-Edgar Martinez. I don’t know if Berkman can muster the pr machine to get him over the top, but I don’t want him to drop off the ballot. Hopefully he hangs in there and conversation can continue.
Roy Halladay-Doc was great on the Blue Jays and the Phillies. He doesn’t have Tom Glavine’s counting numbers, but he was still 203-105, won a couple of Cy Youngs and placed in the top five four other times. He led the league in innings pitched four times and complete games nine times. This at a time when those accomplishments were becoming rarer and rarer. He was an iron man. Threw a no-hitter in the playoffs. You had me at hello.
Todd Helton-Helton is one of those guys I dismissed as a Coors Field product when I saw his name headed for the ballot. But after reading Jay Jaffe’s Fan Graphs article, I think Helton deserves my vote if for no other reason than continuing a conversation about his career and how it fits in the context of the Hall of Fame. We’ve got ten years to figure it out.
Fred McGriff–It took me some time to jump on the Crime Dog Bandwagon, and I’m really sorry for that. McGriff should be in the Hall. He’s seven home runs from 500, and a golden ticket to Cooperstown. He was a clean player in the steroids era. He missed time due to the 94-95 strike. He was a consistent hitter and great teammate. It’s his last year, and the chances slim, but my fingers are crossed.
Mariano Rivera-Mo was the gold standard for pitchers. Strike out the tough hitters, Rivera did that. Pitch multiple innings, he did that too. Longevity, Rivera was around a long time, and he leads baseball with career games finished with 952, and career saves with 652. And he’s a terrific, humble person which does it for me every time. Look I know there are voters who won’t cast a yes for closers, but this guy is the real deal. And I’m a lifelong Yankee hater.
Scott Rolen-Rolen was a wonderful combination of brilliant defense and good offense who played for the Phillies, Cardinals and Reds. He won eight gold gloves. He finished with a career slash of .281/.364/.490. It’s very good, but not quite great. He was tough as nails, played hard, played hurt, and he’s right on the edge. Jay Jaffe says this about Rolen’s candidacy.
Curt Schilling-Curt Schilling and I have a lot in common. We both have an affinity for board games, and we kind of live for baseball. Okay, I guess the common part ends there. He’s a loudmouthed conservative buffoon who has taken itchy Twitter-finger lessons from Donald Trump and he has alienated a great deal of the baseball community. But he belongs in the Hall of Fame. My nose is held. My ballot is marked.
Omar Vizquel-Little O’s candidacy is aided by the fact that he had a great defensive reputation (11 Gold Gloves,) got close to 3,000 hits due to a long career, and played on some pretty good teams. He began life as a Seattle Mariner, which always goes a long way with me. But he stuck around a long time because he was a valuable teammate and could make the plays in the field. Is that good enough to get him in the Hall of Fame? Well, we’ll see. He’s got my vote.
Larry Walker-Walker was one of those great players who left the Expos and landed elsewhere-think Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Vladimir Guerrero. Hey those guys are in the Hall of Fame!. Unfortunately Walker ended up in Colorado. One strike. He also had a ton of injuries and had difficulty staying on the field. Two strikes. Walker was a terrific player who simply lacks the longevity to compile the counting numbers. But he won an MVP in 1997, has seven Gold Gloves. The voters have rallied to Walker the last couple of years, but he’s in his ninth year on the ballot. If he can make an Edgarish jump this year, he might have a shot.