The Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, will find out Tuesday who its newest inductees will be. There’s no time now for a full and thorough discussion of who should and shouldn’t get in, but here is my ballot, slightly annotated with a few brief explanations. (Voters are allowed up to ten votes, although many don’t use all of them.)
Pretty much everybody agrees that first-time-eligible candidates Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz all deserve induction. I agree — no explanation needed. (Alas, Nomar Garciaparra didn’t stay good enough long enough to make it.)
Of those returnees to the ballot, it is nearly a crime that Alan Trammell hasn’t even gotten close to induction. Curt Schilling should be a slam dunk, and would be if writers didn’t dislike his personality. Most people think Craig Biggio will get in after coming within two tenths of a percent of getting in last year, and I can’t argue. I’ve also repeatedly asserted that reliever Lee Smith should make it, and maybe Tim Raines. The guy who really gets overlooked, though, is Fred McGriff. A clean player in the steroid era, his numbers would look like a sure Hall inductee if they weren’t wrongly compared with the roid-heads against whom he played. (Speaking of which, I refuse to support the roid crew of Clemens, Bonds, McGwire and Sosa.)
Okay, so I’ve named nine. I don’t think that many should make it in a single year. So I’ll keep Smith and Raines out for one more year — they are at least slightly marginal choices. But that still leaves me with seven inductees. I’ll go with Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, Trammell, Schilling, Biggio, and McGriff. All of them really should be in. Check the stats, the post-season performances included, and try to find some of highlights. All of them deserve the Hall.