Tag Archives: baseball hall of fame

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will ‘The 500 Home Run Club’ Ever Guarantee Enshrinement Into Cooperstown Again?

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will ‘The 500 Home Run Club’  Ever Guarantee Enshrinement Into Cooperstown Again?

For a good stretch of baseball’s grand history, ‘The 500 Home Runs Club’ was full of elite and immortal players that defined the role of run producer and slugger.  Sure, some of the players were quite a bit more than that, but all of them were responsible for driving in a tremendous amount of runs via the long ball.

Then, the steroid era hit.  And pretty soon, new members of the once-elite club were springing up all over the place.  And quite often.  The one-time uber-elite group was getting cloudy and crowded.  All of a sudden, ‘The 500 HR Club’ began to look a little different.  And being in the club did not hold the same level of esteem as it once did.

Today, with the game ‘cleaned up’, can that perception change?  Will the ‘500 Home Runs Club’ once again define offensive greatness?

There are only three eligible members of the ‘500 HR Club’ that have not been inducted into Cooperstown.  And they have all been linked to steroids – Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro.  We also have two future possible electees that have been linked to steroids and climbed past 500 home runs – Gary Sheffield and Manny Ramirez.  I am purposely keeping Alex Rodriguez’s name out of the conversation as he is still considered to be ‘active’.

But, after that, are we in the clear?

Frank Thomas’ 2014 Hall of Fame election certainly helps.  And the future election of Ken Griffey, Jr. adds some serious weight to the ‘Club’ again.  And while I may not be his biggest supporter, Jim Thome’s 600+ home runs is certainly going to add some gusto to the club as well when he gets electecd into the Hall of Fame.

3-Time MVP, Albert Pujols is on his way.  Adam Dunn is going to get there.  World Series MVP, David Ortiz has a solid chance too.

So, my question tonight is this – Can the ‘500 Home Runs Club’ once again be what it once was???

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Hall Of Fame Debate: Looking Ahead To The Possible Class Of 2015

Hall Of Fame Debate: Looking Ahead To The Possible Class Of 2015

Ok, so now we know what players made the cut with the ‘Class of 2014′ and which ones will have to wait at least one more year to see if they earn election in 2015.

And we also know the players that will be eligible for the first time in 2015.

They are:  Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Paul Byrd, Tony Clark, Carlos Delgado, David Dellucci, Jermaine Dye, Alan Embree, Darin Erstad, Kelvim Escobar, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Randy Johnson, Mark Loretta, Pedro Martinez, Ramon Martinez, Doug Mientkiewicz, Kevin Millar, Troy Percival, B.J. Ryan, Jason Schmidt, Gary Sheffield, John Smoltz, Julian Tavarez, Jarrod Washburn, David Weathers

The list is interesting to say the least.  It is packed with All-stars, memory makers, and World Series champions.

But, is it packed with future Hall of Famers as well??

Well, at first glance, there are a few names that stand out for me – and probably you as well.  The names of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz stand out among the pitchers on the list.  And while there is no ‘top-tier’ offensive player on the ballot for the first time in 2015, the name of Gary Sheffield should make you at least pause for a few minutes.

To be honest, of the four guys mentioned above, not one of them can hold a candle to the single at-bat that Aaron Boone had in the World Series a few years ago.  But, when looking at the full careers, both regular and post season, this ballot is stacked at the top and then there is a major drop-off.

There is no Mike Piazza on this list.  Or Mike Mussina.  Or Jeff Kent.

So, what do you think – Four contenders and a bunch of pretenders or am I missing something??

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Hall Of Fame Debate: Will There Ever Be A Unanimous Election??

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will There Ever Be A Unanimous Election??

Johnny Bench did not do it…

Nolan Ryan did not do it…

Rickey Henderson did not do it…

And most recently, Greg Maddux did not do it.

Will it ever happen?  This is certainly a good topic for debate.  And timely too!

Ultimately, I think that there are just way too many voters in the Hall of Fame election process for all of them to agree to a 100% vote for any single player.  Will players get close?  Sure.  But, 100% of the vote is going to be very, very tough – especially when the voters seem to have such differing views as to what amounts to a Hall of Fame player.

At times over their careers, it seemed like guys like Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr, and Albert Pujols were all lined up to amass incredible numbers when their time for election was due.  But, things change.  And they change rapidly.  Injuries, change of scenery, rapid drop-off in production, etc. all lead to someone taking a vote or votes away.

Personally, I don’t believe that it will ever happen.

But, of all of the future eligible players, I think that the player with the best opportunity to get close to 100% is Mariano Rivera.  Numbers-wise, he is heads and shoulders above all relief pitchers.  Plus, he did it in the biggest media city in the US.  And he did a majority of it in pressure situations.  The biggest knock against him is that he ‘is just a closer’.  And that horrible phrase may be enough to keep a few votes out of his pocket too…

What do you think?  Will we ever see a player earn 100% of the votes cast for Hall of Fame induction?  Does that player exist today?

Let me hear it!!!

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Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

From MLB.com

NEW YORK — One of the most majestic induction classes in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was set on Wednesday with the announcement that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected by eligible writers of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America the first time they were on the ballot, all of them by big margins.

On the ballot for the second time, Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros, did not get the necessary 75 percent, falling 0.2 percent shy of induction and missing by a scant two votes.

The newly elected trio will attend an 11 a.m. ET news conference on Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria New York that will be simulcast on MLB.com and MLB Network.

Also to be inducted in July are three of the greatest managers of all time — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — all selected by the Expansion Era Committee last month. They rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games.

The Braves trio of Maddux, Glavine and Cox will be front and center in this, the 75th anniversary of the museum, during the ceremony behind the Clark Sports Center on July 27.

“It’s very humbling to go in with these guys,” said Maddux, who combined with Glavine to win 660 games. “It’s just icing on the cake. It’s going to be a special day and I’m going to be able to share it with special people.”

Thomas — who batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox — is the first Hall of Famer to have played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. He appeared in 2,322 career games, with 1,351 coming as a DH and 971 at first base. Paul Molitor, who was elected in 2004, played more of his games as a DH than at any other position, but still just 44 percent of his total games played.

“This has been a stressful 48 hours. I am so excited that I’m in the Hall of Fame,” Thomas said. “This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out, because you can only dream so big, and this is as big as it gets for me. I’m a Georgia kid. Going in with Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox means a lot to me. The whole state of Georgia is going to be there, and I am just so blessed that I’ll be able to be there with these guys.”

 

That means six living members are heading toward one of the grandest Induction Weekends, from July 26-27, in Cooperstown, N.Y. The results of this year’s BBWAA vote were in stark contrast to that of last year, when the writers didn’t elect anyone.

Maddux and Glavine, a pair of 300-game winners who pitched the bulk of their careers for the Braves, were the favorites, but the 571 voters outdid themselves by also adding Thomas and coming so close on Biggio. It was the first time since 1999 — when Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan and George Brett were elected — that the writers put three first-time eligibles into the Hall.

Maddux, who won 355 games, the eighth-highest figure in Major League history, had 97.2 percent of the vote, failing to appear on 16 of the 571 ballots cast.

Glavine, who won 305 games, fourth-most among left-handers, was at 91.9 percent, and Thomas finished at 83.7.

Jack Morris, who won 254 games during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, didn’t make it in his 15th and final time on the writers’ ballot. He actually lost ground, falling to 61.5 percent from last year’s 67.7. Morris, who will be eligible for the Expansion Era Committee consideration in the fall of 2016, is only the second player in history to amass in excess of 60 percent of the vote at some point over his 15 years of eligibility and not make the Hall via the writers’ ballot. Gil Hodges is the other.

Maddux and Glavine are the only first-ballot pitchers to be elected together since Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson were part of the inaugural class of 1936 along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. They are the first living pair of 300-win pitchers to be elected in the same year and only the third pair in Hall of Fame history. The last starter to be elected by the BBWAA was Bert Blyleven in 2011, his 14th year of eligibility.

“It’s something I’m still trying to figure out how I feel,” Glavine said. “I’m just really humbled by the whole experience so far. I’m really excited about this whole process and this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it all. The opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame is one thing, but the opportunity to go in with two guys who were a very big part of my career means a lot to me.”

The Hall hasn’t inducted as many as six living baseball greats at the same time since 1971. Eleven were inducted in 1939, the year the red-brick museum opened its doors on Main Street, but they were from the first four classes, elected beginning in 1936. Last year, the three inductees elected by the Pre-Integration Committee — Yankees seminal owner Jacob Ruppert, catcher Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day — were all deceased.

Maddux also pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs and had brief stays with the Padres and Dodgers at the end of his career. Glavine spent 17 seasons with the Braves and five with the Mets, for whom he won his 300th game. Cox managed Atlanta for 25 seasons and the Blue Jays for four, finishing with the Braves in 2010. John Smoltz, the third prong for a decade in that Atlanta rotation and who played 20 of his 21 seasons with the Braves, is slated to be on the ballot for the first time next year and has a very good chance of joining the trio.

“It was obvious with me and Glav, because we both retired at the same time and the managers go in in a different way,” said Maddux about the chances of being inducted at the same time as Glavine and Cox. “As soon as Bobby got in, I knew it had a chance of it being very special. He was there for half of my career and taught me so much about the game. It was a special honor for me to work under Bobby and play half of my career with Glav as well. The only thing that split it up is that Smoltzy played one more year.”

The July 26 awards ceremony at Doubleday Field stands to be formidable as well, with former catcher and longtime TV announcer Joe Garagiola Sr. receiving the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, longtime magazine writer Roger Angell selected by the BBWAA as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for a career of meritorious baseball writing, and Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel earning the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — players whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second time since ’71.

Writers again rejected those players, with Piazza leading the pack at 62.2 percent, up from 58.7 percent last year. Clemens and Bonds had their percentages go down marginally to 35.4 and 34.7, respectively, but Sosa, who blasted 609 home runs and is the only player to have hit at least 60 homers in each of three seasons, slipped to 7.2 percent, barely remaining on the ballot.

Rafael Palmeiro, who failed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test in 2005, fell to 4.4 percent and was among 15 players to drop off the ballot. Palmeiro, with 569 homers and 3,020 hits, is one of only four players in history to amass both 500 homers and 3,000 hits. The other three are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.

A player must draw at least five percent of the vote each year to remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years.

Bonds is the all-time leader with 762 homers in his career and 73 in a single season. Clemens had 354 wins, one fewer than Maddux, and Piazza hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Maddux said Bonds was the toughest hitter he ever faced in his career, but hesitated to opine on his status. Thomas, always regarded as one of the clean players of the era, said he harbors no animosity.

“I don’t fault anyone, I don’t fault anyone for what they did,” Thomas said. “But I went about it the right way. It was more about my family teaching me the right things. When I look at their numbers, I go, “Wow!” but I think if I hadn’t been hurt for 3 1/2 years, my numbers would have been right up there with them.”

Biggio seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both suffer from extenuating circumstances, Palmeiro having failed a drug test and Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

In a statement, Biggio said he was disappointed to not get in, tying Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of missing election in balloting history. But history is on his side. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot when he fell two votes shy and was subsequently elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

“Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas,” Biggio said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”

Biggio went from 68.2 percent in 2013 to 74.8 percent this year, right on the cusp.

“As surprised as I was last year that he didn’t get in, you almost feel heartbroken this year to be as close as he was,” Glavine said. “Craig was a tremendous competitor and had the respect of all of us who played against him. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s in the Hall of Fame. I’m sure he’s disappointed today, having come so close, but I’m extremely confident that someday we’re going to watch him go through the same process.”

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Hall Of Fame Debate: Give Me Your Final 2014 Hall Of Fame Ballot

Hall Of Fame Debate: Give Me Your Final 2014 Hall Of Fame Ballot

This conversation may be as easy it gets – Simply tell me who would be on your final ballot if you had an opportunity to submit one.

The final voting will be announced next week and I am eager to see how mine compares to the final BWAA ballot and how yours stacks up as well, too.

As for mine, it goes something like this:

  1. Greg Maddux
  2. Tom Glavine
  3. Frank Thomas
  4. Craig Biggio

And that is it.  Just 4 players.

And while there are certainly more players on the list that I feel belong, I believe that these are the ones that get enshrined, and deservedly so, this year – my class of 2014.

And now it is your turn - Give Me Your Final 2014 Hall Of Fame Ballot.

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Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, And Bobby Cox Going Into Hall of Fame

Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, And Bobby Cox Going Into Hall of Fame

From MLB.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For the first time in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, three of the greatest managers of a generation — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — will be inducted on the same day this coming summer.

The three, who accumulated 7,558 regular-season wins, 17 pennants and eight World Series titles, were elected unanimously by the 16-member Expansion Era Committee during a lengthy meeting on Sunday. The announcement by Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark was made on Monday morning as the annual Winter Meetings began.

Cox spent 25 of his 29 seasons as a big league manager with the Braves, winning the 1995 World Series and 14 consecutive division titles. Torre, who managed for 29 seasons, won six pennants and four World Series with the Yankees in an eight-year period from 1996-2003. La Russa managed for 33 years, winning it all once with the A’s and twice with the Cardinals. They all were notified of their elections at about 8:30 a.m. ET.

“I am thrilled that these great managers during my tenure as Commissioner will join the legends of our game in the halls of Cooperstown,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “In careers of consistent excellence and incredible longevity, Bobby, Tony and Joe all left indelible impacts on our national pastime. For decades, these three individuals not only led great ballclubs, but instilled in their teams a brand of class and professionalism that baseball fans admired. It is fitting that Bobby, Tony and Joe will share our game’s highest honor together.

“Joe and Tony have been outstanding members of our staff at Major League Baseball in recent years. On behalf of all of their colleagues with MLB, it is an honor to congratulate them and their families on this milestone. I look forward to a remarkable day for all of baseball next July 27 in Cooperstown.”

La Russa, Torre and Cox rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games. Only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) won more games than La Russa (2,728), Cox (2,504) and Torre (2,326).

They will enter the Hall of Fame on the second day of Induction Weekend, to be held July 26-27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“When I think of these guys, I think of the respect they’ve had from their players, their fans and their organizations,” said Phil Niekro, a Hall of Famer who pitched for both Cox and Torre, was briefly a teammate of La Russa’s, and was a member of the election committee. “They are men of integrity and character. I was honored and privileged to play for a couple of these guys.

“We’re in Disney World right now. This is a Magical Kingdom. I think we just honored the three kings among the managers. It’s a magical day for each and every one of them, and we’re so excited about having them in the Hall of Fame.”

Cox’s election is matched up with the candidacies on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot of two Braves pitchers, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who pitched together for Cox for a decade and between them spent 28 seasons with Atlanta. Maddux totaled 355 wins and Glavine won 305.

“I’m still getting goose bumps,” Cox said. “I’m excited to be in Cooperstown in July and get inducted. It’s the greatest honor you can have in baseball. I’m going in with great company. I’m just hoping that Glav and Mad Dog can be up there on the stage with me. They were two of the guys who got me there, or helped get me there. That would be the final, finishing touch, going in with those two.”

Cox, Torre and La Russa were among 12 people on the Expansion Era ballot, which included another landmark skipper, Billy Martin; players Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry and Ted Simmons; Marvin Miller, the influential executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association; and iconic Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner.

None of the other nine received more than six of the 16 possible votes. Like all Hall of Fame elections, a candidate’s name needs to appear on at least 75 percent of the ballots to be elected. On this committee, that was 12 votes. Each member could vote for a maximum of five candidates.

Miller’s name had previously been on ballots studied by several permutations of the Veterans Committee, and he missed election by a single vote on the first Expansion Era ballot three years ago. He died last year. Steinbrenner, Martin, Concepcion, Garvey, John and Simmons were also on the previous Expansion Era ballot.

But the selection of the three managers provided an epic highlight. Monday’s announcement assured that the 2014 induction weekend will be one of the most widely attended and covered ever.

Torre and Cox had each attended one recent induction each, while La Russa has never been to one.

“You realize you want to offer thanks to the people who made it possible,” said La Russa, whose managing career began with the White Sox under owner Jerry Reinsdorf and is now a consultant to Major League Baseball on on-field issues. “You want to thank the family. There have been a lot sacrifices by my wife and daughter. You go to the park early and you stay late. And finally, you realize who is sitting behind you. I can categorically state I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable as a member of that club.”

“I can’t tell you how I’m going to feel,” said Torre, who also managed the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers and is currently MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “All I know, and Tony just said it, when you see who else is there, players who have obviously been inducted before you and come up every year. It’s obviously special to them. I’ve admired these players even though I might have played or managed against some of them. So I don’t know how I’m going to feel, but I can tell you it will be a feeling I’ve never had before.”

Cox compiled a 2,504-2,001 (.556) record in his 29 seasons, which included four managing the Blue Jays. His Braves won the 1995 World Series while capturing five National League pennants during his 25 years with Atlanta. Cox led Atlanta to a record 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005.

La Russa had a 2,728-2,365 (.536) record in 33 seasons, winning the World Series with the A’s in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and ’11. He also guided Oakland to three American League pennants (1988-90) in 10 seasons and the Cards to three NL pennants (2004, ’06 and ’11) in 16 years. La Russa also spent eight seasons managing the White Sox, taking them to the AL Championship Series in 1983.

Following an 18-year playing career in which he had a .297 batting average and one batting title, Torre posted a 2,326-1,997 record, good for a .538 winning percentage. Torre led the Yankees to Series titles in 1996, ’98, ’99 and 2000 (in addition to 100-win seasons in 1998 and from 2002-04), and six AL pennants. He spent his first 14 seasons a manager with the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, and finished his career managing the Dodgers in 2010. Torre took his teams in New York and Los Angeles into the playoffs every year from 1996-2009.

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot consisted of Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Niekro, and Frank Robinson; Major League executives Paul Beeston of the Blue Jays, Dave Montgomery of the Phillies, Reinsdorf and Andy MacPhail, formerly of the Twins, Cubs and Orioles. They were joined by historians Steve Hirdt of Elias Sports Bureau, Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA, and Jim Reeves, recently retired from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“It’s a great day for baseball,” said Robinson, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball development. “They are three outstanding, quality guys.”

“It was amazing in our discussion,” Reinsdorf said. “Everyone said you could throw a blanket over them. It was almost like one. They’re so similar.”

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful class,” said John Schuerholz, the Braves’ club president who was general manager beginning in 1990, when Cox returned to the Atlanta bench for the remainder of his career. “I have a wonderful partner and dear friend elected to the Hall of Fame in Bobby Cox and two friends in Tony and Joe, who are on the instant-replay committee with me, so I’ve gotten to know them a lot better through that. I’m delighted for all of them.”

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

From MLB.com

The induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., next July 28 could have a real Atlanta Braves flavor to it.

Former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, each a 300-game winner, head a ballot stacked with superstar newcomers that will be studied by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the next month. The results of the election for 2014 induction will be announced at 2 pm ET on Jan. 8 on MLB.com and MLB Network, with a news conference at the Waldorf Astoria New York the next day to introduce any elected players.

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox is already among 12 men — including four all-time great managers — on the recently released ballot handed to the Expansion Era Committee, which will announce its determination on Dec. 9 during the first day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Billy Martin are also on that ballot.

Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina join Maddux and Glavine as other noteworthy first timers, making this one of the deepest BBWAA ballots in Hall of Fame history. Jack Morris, with 254 victories during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, is on the writers ballot for the 15th and final time. Former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, who led last year’s voting by being named on 68.2 percent of the ballots cast, returns for a second try.

Maddux and Glavine, who combined to win 660 games, seem to have the edge.

“It should be without a doubt for either one of them [to be elected], especially with Greg,” said John Smoltz, who joined Maddux and Glavine to form the “Big Three” of the Braves’ rotation for a decade and will be on the ballot himself next year.

“I know there’s been no unanimous [electee] in the history to the Hall of Fame, but I think [Maddux] would be it if there is. I’m biased. I watched Greg and Tom pitch my whole career, basically. They exemplified the fact that over 162 games, they were better than anybody else in the league.”

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — hitters whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second since 1971.

Chances are good a shutout won’t happen again this time. Maddux retired with 355 wins, 194 of them in l1 years with the Braves. Glavine had 305 victories, 244 in 17 years for Atlanta. Three hundred wins, like 3,000 hits, has long been a clear benchmark for eventually gaining entrance to the hallowed Hall. Biggio amassed 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros.

As in all Hall ballots, candidates need at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected.

Other first-timers also have fine credentials. Thomas, a first baseman and designated hitter, batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox. Kent hit 377 homers in 17 seasons for six teams, 351 of them as a second baseman — the most in history by anyone at that position. Mussina won 270 games and had a 3.68 ERA in 18 seasons with the Orioles and Yankees.

Add to all this the fact that Cox, during his 25 years managing the Braves, had 1,709 of his 2,001 career victories, plus 15 playoff appearances — including 14 division titles, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series championship.

“I’m confident at some point in time it’s going to happen,” Glavine said about his Hall of Fame chances. “Whether it’s on the first ballot, I don’t know. We’ll see. There are a lot of good players eligible. Would I love to have it happen on the first ballot? Sure. If it doesn’t, I’d be disappointed. But we’ll gear up for the following year and hopefully it will happen the following year.”

Biggio fell 39 votes shy of election on the 2013 ballot, as he received 388 votes among the 569 ballots cast. Five of those ballots were left blank. He was followed by Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6) and Piazza (57.8). Piazza, it should be noted, hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Bonds, the all-time home run leader with 762, garnered 36.2 percent of the vote. Clemens, a storied right-hander with 354 wins, did slightly better at 37.6 percent. Sosa, the only slugger to bash more than 60 homers in three different seasons, totaling 609 in his career, had 12.5 percent.

None of the three ever failed a publicly disclosed Major League Baseball-administered drug test, but all of them were once involved in either court cases or congressional hearings about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds is fighting a felony conviction for obstruction of justice in an appellate court regarding grand jury testimony. Clemens was acquitted of perjury for statements he made at a congressional hearing, and Sosa was called before another congressional hearing to testify.

“For a couple of years now, I think the whole steroids thing has put a twist in it,” said Morris, who needs 42 more votes to make it this time or he can be considered again in three years for the Expansion Era ballot. “A bunch of us guys have been thrown under the bus because they didn’t know what to do with the other pile. That’s unfortunate. It is what it is and I’m not going to fix it.”

Morris, who had an American League-best 162 of wins in the 1980s, tops a list of deserving long-time returnees that includes, among others, Bagwell, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Edgar Martinez.

Among the second-timers, Biggio still seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both have extenuating circumstances. Rafael Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 569 homers but was suspended for a positive PED test in 2005, his last season in the Major Leagues. Most recently, Palmeiro was on 8.8 percent of the ballots. Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

Clearly, though, Glavine and Maddux have the inside track. Both were crafty pitchers who were not overpowering but knew how to work both sides of the plate. In their decade together on the Braves from 1993 to 2002, before Glavine left to spend five seasons with the Mets, Atlanta went to the playoffs every season except for 1994, when the postseason was cancelled because of a players strike.

Maddux stayed until 2003, when he returned to the Cubs just the way he left Chicago for Atlanta — as a free agent. Maddux played 10 seasons in Chicago, including his first seven, finishing his career in 2008 after one short tour in San Diego and two stops in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

Both were picked in the second round of the 1984 First-Year Player Draft and became mainstays of their improving teams. Maddux won 133 games for the Cubs. Glavine was a home-grown member of the Braves, and he returned to finish his career with Atlanta, getting his last two wins during 13 starts with the Braves in 2008.

Now, both of them are on the brink of immortality.

“When I retired, there was that talk of being a future Hall of Famer or whatever,” Glavine said. “Then I think as time went on, it became more a part of the conversation, whether it be every January, or as the calendar clicked closer and closer. Last year, there was a little more talk.

“Now that I’m officially on the ballot, there has been an increase in the conversation. So I think it comes in stages. When I first retired, I knew it was out there. But five years seemed like it was so far away. So in that respect, it’s hard to believe five years have gone by already.”

The remainder of the ballot consists of Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Hideo Nomo, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Kenny Rogers, Curt Schilling, Richie Sexson, Lee Smith, Mike Timlin, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.

Hall Of Fame Debate: Gimme Five!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Gimme Five!!!

I thought that this would be a fun way to start off the ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ at 30-Year Old Cardboard.

What I am seeking is your list of five eligible players that you would give your vote to for Hall of Fame election.  Your list can be made up of players that have been on the ballot for several years or guys that are fairly new to the list of eligible players.

**My one requisite is that you omit any/all of the players that are eligible for the first time in 2013.  So, no Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Biggio, Piazza, etc…  We will discuss those guys, I promise, in great detail.

But for now, I want to see what kind of dialogue we can get going about the players on the prior ballots that have yet to make the cut.

I am going to participate in this as well.  You can say that am giving myself five, if you wish.

And here they are, in random order:

Tim Raines

photo raines

Lee Smith

photo lee smith

Alan Trammell

photo trammell

Rafael Palmeiro

photo palmeiro

Dale Murphy

photo murphy

Agree or Disagree with my picks?  Great, let’s chat about it.

Ultimately, I will compile a list of all of the players that make the cut in your eyes and try to examine their careers further.

Thank you for your participation.  Have a great night!!

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – The Archives

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – The Archives

Some of the most spirited dialogue on this blog has come as a result of the Hall of Fame topics that I have brought up in the past.

So, as I continue to work towards debuting this new weekly series at ’30-YOC’, I thought I would try to get you in the mood for a little ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’.

Here are some of the things that you can expect to see in the coming Thursdays:

1 vote for the Hall of Fame – Bagwell or Biggio???

Chipper Jones May Be The Best 3rd Baseman EVER!!!

Voting For 1: Trevor Hoffman OR Andy Pettitte

Cast Your Vote: What Hat Should Gary Sheffield Wear Into Cooperstown??

Let The Numbers Do The Talking: Maddux VS Johnson VS Clemens

Is Edgar Martinez Hall of Fame Worthy???

I think that is enough to whet your whistle…

The new topics will begin next Thursday so stay tuned.

Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Schilling, Sosa, Piazza Headline Hall Of Fame Ballot For Class Of 2013

Bonds, Clemens, Biggio, Schilling, Sosa, Piazza Headline Hall Of Fame Ballot For Class Of 2013

From Yahoo Sports:

NEW YORK (AP) — The most polarizing Hall of Fame debate since Pete Rose will now be decided by the baseball shrine’s voters: Do Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa belong in Cooperstown despite drug allegations that tainted their huge numbers?

In a monthlong election sure to become a referendum on the Steroids Era, the Hall ballot was released Wednesday, and Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are on it for the first time.

Bonds is the all-time home run champion with 762 and won a record seven MVP awards. Clemens took home a record seven Cy Young trophies and is ninth with 354 victories. Sosa ranks eighth on the homer chart with 609.

Yet for all their HRs, RBIs and Ws, the shadow of PEDs looms large.

”You could see for years that this particular ballot was going to be controversial and divisive to an unprecedented extent,” Larry Stone of The Seattle Times wrote in an email. ”My hope is that some clarity begins to emerge over the Hall of Fame status of those linked to performance-enhancing drugs. But I doubt it.”

More than 600 longtime members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will vote on the 37-player ballot. Candidates require 75 percent for induction, and the results will be announced Jan. 9.

Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling also are among the 24 first-time eligibles. Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines are the top holdover candidates.

If recent history is any indication, the odds are solidly stacked against Bonds, Clemens and Sosa. Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro both posted Cooperstown-caliber stats, too, but drug clouds doomed them in Hall voting.

Some who favor Bonds and Clemens claim the bulk of their accomplishments came before baseball got wrapped up in drug scandals. They add that PED use was so prevalent in the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s that it’s unfair to exclude anyone because so many who-did-and-who-didn’t questions remain.

Many fans on the other side say drug cheats – suspected or otherwise – should never be afforded the game’s highest individual honor.

Either way, this election is baseball’s newest hot button, generating the most fervent Hall arguments since Rose. The discussion about Rose was moot, however – the game’s career hits leader agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation concluded he bet on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds, and that barred him from the BBWAA ballot.

The BBWAA election rules allow voters to pick up to 10 candidates. As for criteria, this is the only instruction: ”Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

That leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

Bonds, Clemens and Sosa won’t get a vote from Mike Klis of The Denver Post.

”Nay on all three. I think in all three cases, their performances were artificially enhanced. Especially in the cases of Bonds and Clemens, their production went up abnormally late in their careers,” he wrote in an email.

They’ll do better with Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star.

”I plan to vote for all three. I understand the steroid/PED questions surrounding each one, and I’ve wrestled with the implications,” he wrote in an email.

”My view is these guys played and posted Hall of Fame-type numbers against the competition of their time. That will be my sole yardstick. If Major League Baseball took no action against a player during his career for alleged or suspected steroid/PED use, I’m not going to do so in assessing their career for the Hall of Fame,” he said.

San Jose Mercury News columnist Mark Purdy will reserve judgment.

”At the beginning of all this, I made up my mind I had to adopt a consistent policy on the steroid social club. So, my policy has been, with the brilliance in the way they set up the Hall of Fame vote where these guys have a 15-year window, I’m not going to vote for any of those guys until I get the best picture possible of what was happening then,” he wrote in an email.

”We learn a little bit more each year. We learned a lot during the Bonds trial. We learned a lot during the Clemens trial. I don’t want to say I’m never going to vote for any of them. I want to wait until the end of their eligibility window and have my best idea of what was really going on,” he said.

Clemens was acquitted this summer in federal court on six counts that he lied and obstructed Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

Bonds was found guilty in 2011 by a federal court jury on one count of obstruction of justice, ruling he gave an evasive answer in 2003 to a grand jury looking into the distribution of illegal steroids. Bonds is appealing the verdict.

McGwire is 10th on the career home run list with 583, but has never received even 24 percent in his six Hall tries. Big Mac has admitted to using steroids and human growth hormone.

Palmeiro is among only four players with 500 homers and 3,000 hits, yet has gotten a high of just 12.6 percent in his two years on the ballot. He drew a 10-day suspension in 2005 after a positive test for PEDs, and said the result was due to a vitamin vial given to him by teammate Miguel Tejada.

Biggio topped the 3,000-hit mark – which always has been considered an automatic credential for Cooperstown – and spent his entire career with the Houston Astros.

”Hopefully, the writers feel strongly that they liked what they saw, and we’ll see what happens,” Biggio said last week.

Schilling was 216-146 and won three World Series championships, including his ”bloody sock” performance for the Boston Red Sox in 2004.