It’s that time of the year again so here’s my Official Unofficial Hall of Fame Ballot for the Class of 2017. This year’s ballot wasn’t as cut and dry as you might think. There were a few players I left off simply because of the 10 man limitation, and while I’m not one of those guys who takes issue with PEDs, I do have issues with those who lie repeatedly about not using and act like douches. Still baseball is a numbers game. Anyway, without further ado, here’s my ballot:
1. Vladimir Guerrero: The first player that jumps out at me is Vladimir Guerrero, one of the most lethal sluggers of his era. From 1998 through 2010, Vlad won just one single MVP award, but he was in the conversation in everyone of those years. He walloped 449 homers in his career with a 140 OPS+ and never struck out 100 times in a season. Nine All Star selections and eight Silver Sluggers make him a no-brainer.
2. Jeff Bagwell: He has 1,500+ runs, 1,500+ RBI, 1,400 walks, a career .408 OBP and a 149 OPS+ so what’s the problem? Should have already been voted in, but got screwed by the immoral moral majority contingent in the BBWAA.
3. Ivan Rodriguez: The best defensive catcher I ever saw and it wasn’t just the 13 Gold Gloves that make Pudge so deserving. When you consider the 2,844 hits, 572 doubles, 311 homers, and seven Silver Sluggers, Pudge was the complete package behind the plate.
4. Edgar Martinez: Yes I get the whole DH thing, but I’m sorry, I can’t ignore a career .312/.418/.515 slash line and a 147 OPS+. He should have won an MVP in 1995 when he led the league with a .356 batting average, .479 OBP and 185 OPS+ while collecting 52 doubles, 29 homers and a league leading 121 runs scored.
5. Barry Bonds: I’m burying the hatchet with this guy. He’s a big time douche bag but he’s also the best all-around talent I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. 232 walks including 120 intentional passes in one season, are you freaking shitting me? Bonds had his HOF resume carved out before he even started doping… You know all the gaudy numbers.
6. Jeff Kent: I know that many will disagree, but here we have a player who has eclipsed over a half dozen all-time marks for second basemen while playing in the vast expanses of Shea Stadium, AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium. You have everybody wanting Larry Walker ushered into the head of the class and yet Kent has over 200 more RBI and 300 more hits while playing a middle infield position. Would love to have seen what numbers Kent could have produced playing 10 years in Coors Field.
7. Billy Wagner: Sorry, but Lee Smith and Trevor Hoffman were not better closers than Billy Wagner, I don’t care how many more saves they have. You could put those two in eventually, but Wagner has to go in first based on pure dominance and sheer shutdown stuff. With a career 2.31 ERA, 0.998 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, and 187 ERA+ few pitchers not named Mariano can touch Wagner.
8. Roger Clemens: Sorry Mets fans, but just like Barry Bonds, Clemens had his HOF ticket punched long before he started doping. Among his many incredible accomplishments, The Rocket struck out 20 batters in a game twice, led the league in ERA seven times, won 354 games, and of course seven Cy Young Awards.
9. Mike Mussina: This one is my sentimental pick. That .638 winning percentage says more about Mussina than anything else. Forget the high-ish 3.68 ERA, you try pitching 18 years in the AL East.
10. Manny Ramirez: Come on, he batted .300 11 times, amassed a whopping 1,831 RBI in his career including 165 in 1999, and he owns a .996 OPS, 154 OPS+ and oh those 555 home runs. And lets admit it… Manny Being Manny was kind of fun wasn’t it? He was also a force in the postseason.
I wish I had room for Tim Raines, but I couldn’t convince myself that he was more deserving than the players I went with. Larry Walker is a Hall of Famer but he can wait another year. And Curt Schilling was such an appalling ass this year, he can wait until 2018 too.
Let me know what you guys think.