Who Is On Your 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
Who would you elect to Cooperstown this year?
If you like a little intrigue with your baseball history, then the 2014 Halll of Fame ballot should be a real treat.   The much ballyhooed logjam this year is very real, and the ballot contains candidates from the sublime (Greg Maddux) to the ridiculous (Jacque Jones) to the underrated (Tim Raines) to the value-disputed (Jack Morris) to the tainted heavyweights: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire.  In the end, though, each voter can tick only 10 names, so we’ll be lucky to get even a few of these guys through the Cooperstown gates next summer.   Who you got?

 

2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
Who would you elect to Cooperstown this year?

How Will Roy Halladay Fare on the Hall of Fame Ballot?

At the risk of severely jumping the gun, it may be time to start thinking about Roy Halladay’s ultimate place in baseball history and how the Hall of Fame ballot may treat him in the future.   Just last spring, Halladay appeared to be rocketing toward Cooperstown on the strength of an age-34 season that saw him go 19-6 and finish just short of a third Cy Young Award.    That effort left him with a career record of 188-92, and his strong peripherals suggested that he’d continue to rack up stellar numbers for several years.  And then, well, Philadelphia Phillies camp broke and Doc’s performance fell off the table like his primetime curveball used to do.  With more of the same so far this year, it appears that Halladay may be just about done at 36.

If Halladay has really become a 5.00-ERA hurler, he probably has little chance of adding many more victories to his career total.  Having just surpassed 200 wins this season, let’s be generous and put him at 230 for his career.  At that level, he’d come in just above “Sad Sam” Jones, Will White, and Luis Tiant, and three below Charlie Bluffinton.  With continued degradation in performance, he’s probably be approaching Bluffinton’s .605 winning percentage, too.  On the other hand, 230 wins would place Doc 11 ahead of Pedro Martinez, and nearly everyone expects Pedro to make the Hall.  Of course, while fragile during his career, Martinez was even more dominating that Halladay during their respective primes, and Pedro will look just as durable from a career perspective.

As it stands, the most comparable pitchers to Hallady, from a career perspective, include Tim Hudson, CC Sabathia, Dwight Gooden, Ron Guidry, and Roy Oswalt.   Hudson and Halladay are different type of pitchers, but they will provide an interesting comparison as their careers unwind.  Gooden and Guidry didn’t sniff the Hall of Fame, and Oswalt has been in decline for several seasons.  Of all these guys, Sabathia is probably the one with the best chance to continue putting up big numbers, and Halladay will probably find it hard to keep up with the big New York Yankee, particularly given the general palor of the Phillies these days.

As great as he’s been, Halladay seems bound for a truncated legacy.   Unless he can conjure up some late-career magic, Doc probably doesn’t have much hope of clearing the Hall of Fame ballot.

Rusty Staub Tops Hall of Fame Ballot!

When Gary Carter first appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot back in 1998, the great debate was on:  if elected, would Carter go into Cooperstown wearing the cap of the Montreal Expos or the New York Mets?   Baseball eventually stepped in,  and the later Carter is immortalized as an Expo, but fans of the two clubs have another opportunity to duke it out for enshrinement honors, thanks to the inimitable Rusty Staub.  No, the Veterans Committee has not stepped into the picture on behalf of Le Grand Orange, but the big slugger was named to the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Staub played for four franchises during a 23-year career that saw him pound 292 home runs among his 2716 hits.    After beginning his career in Houston with the old Colt .45s,  Staub was a All-Star regular until later in his career when he became a pinch-hitting specialist.     He helped the Mets win a World Series title in 1973 and finished up with New York in 1985.

Joining Staub in the HOF will be writer Dan Shaunessy; another former Met, Joe McEwing; long-time Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley; and HOF writer Bill Madden.

NFL Hall of Fame Voice Pat Summerall Dies

Just looking at his career stats, you might expect that Pat Summerall never had much luck when it came to the Hall of Fame ballot.  If you were a fan of the NFL game from the 1960s through the early 2000s, though, you know that Summerall was in many ways the voice of the league, especially on Sunday afternoons when he paired with John Madden the CBS booth.   That on-air partnership came to an end in 2002, but not before Summerall landed in Canton with the other greats of the game.    Sumerall passed away today at the age of 82 and has been eulogized far and wide for his broadcasting accomplishments.   Even though we haven’t heard from Summerall for quite a while, he will clearly be missed by the football community.

Baseball Movie Hall of Fame Ballot: Which is Your Favorite?

There have been some mighty fine baseball movies over the years, and 42 is continuing in that tradition as I write.  Critical feedback for the Jackie Robinson biopic has been somewhat mixed and mostly less than glowing, but the flick is tearing up the box office as the boys of summer get into full swing.   But how does 42 stack up to some of the other big films that have been devoted, in one way or another, to America’s Pastime?    Maybe  you prefer your baseball funny side up, as Major League delivers it to you.  Or, perhaps you prefer the darker side of our fair game, in which case The Natural or Eight Men Out might stoke your summer fires.

Whatever your tastes, baseball and the movies can suit your needs, and now seems like a perfect time to reflect on the best of the best.   So, if you were casting your own baseball movie Hall of Fame ballot, which of  these stalwarts would you choose?    If you don’t like this list, feel free to write in something “better” and see how your pick stacks up with the rest.

 

Baseball Movie Hall of Fame Ballot
What is your favorite baseball movie of all time?

 

Sudden Death Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot #3

Statistics are the lifeblood of baseball, tying together the generations and providing fodder for the hot bleachers and hot stove alike.  We love our numbers and use them to tell us everything from how many pitches Stephen Strasburg has left in his arm this season to who belongs in the Hall of Fame.  And that’s your premise here:   if you had to cast a Hall of Fame ballot for one, and only one, of the two relievers below, which would you send to Cooperstown?    Their identities are revealed after the jump.

Player A:   1466 H, 164 HR, 833 RBI, .261 BA, .324 OBP, .447 SLG, 133 OPS+

Player B:   1550 H, 242 HR, 898 RBI, .300 BA, .359 OBP, .522 SLG, 138 OPS+

Read more »

Mike Schmidt Has Pete Rose on His Hall of Fame Ballot

Since Pete Rose, ahem, retired in 1989, former teammates have weighed in on Charlie Hustle’s place in baseball, his various transgressions, and his fitness for appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot.  Opinions have run the gamut from, “he’s an eternal disgrace” to “he’s a living legend,” with just about all the gray area in between well represented.   One Rose compadre who has never wavered in staunch support of his friend is Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt.   In his latest attempt to plead Rose’s case to the masses, Schmidt took to the wire and penned an almost eulogistic article for Fox News.  In this latest work, Schmidt recounts how he emulated Rose as a boy and how thrilled he was when Pete joined the Phils in 1979.   Schmidt’s accounting of Rose and his career approaches cloying at times, but Michael Jack had a birds-eye view that few in the world ever did.

Tino Martinez Tops 2013 College Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Tino Martinez forged a wonderful Major League Baseball career that spanned 16 years, big statistics, and four World Series rings.    Before any of his heroics with the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees unfolded, though, Martinez was a standout at the University of Tampa.  And, while his MLB efforts will likely leave him outside of the hallowed grounds of Cooperstown, Tino has ridden his collegiate success all the way to the College Baseball Hall of Fame, according to MLB.com.

Joining Martinez in the Hall of Fame class of 2013 will be:

  • Sal Bando, member of the fabled 1970s Oakland A’s and longtime baseball executive
  • Ralph Garr, who starred for the Atlanta Braves in the 1970s
  • Roy Smalley, who followed his father to the Big Leagues after a stellar stint at USC
  • Tom Borland, a standout pitcher for Okahoma State’s first two College World Series clubs; he also pitched briefly for the Boston Red Sox in the early 1960s
  • Coaches Don Schaly (Marietta College) and John Winkin (Maine, Colby, Husson)

 

The new inductees will be welcomed into the Lubbock, TX, shrine on June 28-29.

 

 

Sudden Death Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot #2

Statistics are the lifeblood of baseball, tying together the generations and providing fodder for the hot bleachers and hot stove alike.  We love our numbers and use them to tell us everything from how many pitches Stephen Strasburg has left in his arm this season to who belongs in the Hall of Fame.  And that’s your premise here:   if you had to cast a Hall of Fame ballot for one, and only one, of the two relievers below, which would you send to Cooperstown?    Their identities are revealed after the jump.

Player A:  114 W, 118 L, 2.90 ERA, 341 S, 120 ERA+

Player B:  94 W, 90 L, 2.85 ERA, 184 S, 132 ERA+

Read more »

Sudden Death Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot #1

So I’m reading ESPN and come across this SweetSpot blog post by David Schoenfield.   The hook is one of those context-free statistical comparisons that asks you to choose one player over another based on a bunch of numbers.   These things are silly and probably meaningless, but they do make you think a bit and often hint at false assumptions.

In the spirit of that SweetSpot piece and all the others like it that I’ve read over the years,  I thought it would be fun to kick off a series of Hall-of-Fame related blind comparisons and see what we can learn.   To get the party started, here are a couple of career lines from the Major League baseball.  One of these belongs to a HOFer, and the other to a less heralded player of similar ilk.   And that’s your premise:   if you had to cast a Hall of Fame ballot for one, and only one, of these two players, which would you send to Cooperstown?    Their identities are revealed after the jump.

Player A:   2273 H, 358 HR, 1363 RBI, .285 BA, .339 OBP, .483 SLG

Player B:   2452 H, 382 HR, 1451 RBI, .298 BA, .352 OBP, .502 SLG

Read more »