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The 2012 Hall of Fame ballot has been released. There are 14 players returning from last year's ballot and 13 new faces. A player needs 75% of the votes to gain admission, and the voters are allowed to vote YES to as many as ten.

Here's the complete list.

Jeff Bagwell, Jeromy Burnitz, Vinny Castilla, Juan Gonzalez, Brian Jordan, Barry Larkin, Javy Lopez, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Dale Murphy, Phil Nevin, Rafael Palmeiro, Brad Radke, Tim Raines, Tim Salmon, Ruben Sierra, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Bernie Williams, Tony Womack, Eric Young.

I think it's safe to say that, rightly or wrongly, none of these guys is universally regarded as an Obvious, No-Doubt-About-It Hall of Famer. Normally, the counting numbers posted by McGwire and Palmeiro would have already landed them safely in Cooperstown. As we all know, it hasn't.

Which makes this year's ballot especially important for players like Morris and McGriff. Not only is it a good opportunity for both - it may also be one of their last really good chances as well. In particular, the clock is ticking on Jack Morris. He's already been on the ballot for twelve years, which means he has just three more cracks at it before he gets passed on to the Veterans Committee. This would not be good news for him - the Veterans Committe has a financial interest in not inducting anyone who's actually still alive, which is asking a lot of anybody. But hey - Ron Santo's chances have improved considerably since this time last year.

The situation is especially urgent for Morris because it's become somewhat unusual for the writers to affirm more than three players in any given year. Next year's class includes several men whose induction should be more or less automatic: Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza, obviously, and Curt Schilling may make it on his first attempt as well. Next year's ballot will also include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa. None of those guys will be voted in, but Biggio, Piazza, and Schilling will be enough to make it extremely difficult for any holdovers from the previous year.

The Veterans Committee ballot includes Santo, Jim Kaat, Ken Boyer, Minnie Minoso, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, and Luis Tiant, as well as executives Buzzie Bavasi and Charley Finley. This is Santo's year! And maybe Gil Hodges as well. Minoso is certainly deserving, but first he needs to shuffle off this mortal coil.

I say "For sure" to Bagwell, Larkin, McGriff, and Raines.
I want to think a little bit more about Trammell and Martinez. My first impulse is indeed to say yes to both of them - I'm just not completely sold quite yet.
I also want to think a little bit more about Mattingly, Morris, Murphy, Smith, Walker, and Williams. My first impulse is no to all of them, but I'm open to persuasion.
I still don't quite know what to make of McGwire and Palmeiro.
And to everyone else - thanks for playing! Especially Brad Radke and Tim Salmon.
2012 Hall of Fame Ballot | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 05:30 PM EST (#247481) #
My ballot: Bagwell, Larkin, Raines, Trammell, Walker and Martinez.  The starting pitchers will start coming next year...

The argument for Walker probably needs the most fleshing out.  Like Larkin and Trammell, Walker contributed in a lot of ways.  He played good defence, was a very good baserunner, as well as wielding a formidable bat.  The knock against him was that he got hurt quite a bit and so only amassed 8000 PAs in his career, but the sum total of his contributions is enough.  The last 5 candidates are actually quite close in overall value. 
ayjackson - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 05:39 PM EST (#247483) #
The Coors factor could impact Walker voting.  I'd like to see a thorough analysis on this.  I believe a player can be better at home than the road and it not be entirely due to park factors - even if it's just chance.
lexomatic - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 06:41 PM EST (#247488) #
AYJ - i thought there were tons of studies that showed that players in general played better at home than on the road.. no matter where they were.
But yeah, Coors hurts walker. I think he's borderline. He had some great years, but he just misses.
I think Mcgriff should make it, but won't.
Raines should be no brainer, but isn't.
Trammel and Edgar should
I don't think any of the steroids guys will get in, but they should (for consistency's sake).
Bagwell & Larkin should, and I think they have better odds than Mcgriff/Trammell, But I don't know that they make it either.
Nobody else should even be in the discussion. ESPECIALLY not Morris.

gabrielthursday - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 08:25 PM EST (#247494) #
My ballot would be Bagwell, Larkin, Martinez, Raines, Trammell and Walker.  I'm divided on the steroid users; in a way, I'd like to see them all the otherwise worthy get in as a special category- since that's not going to happen, I think I'd prefer they just have to wait a decade or so.

With respect to Larry Walker, I think he makes it in just on career value.  As a general rule, more that 70 WAR and I think you belong; between 60-70 is where the arguments are.  Walker amassed 73 fWAR, 67 bWAR.  I also like him as an all-around ballplayer- great baserunner, defensive outfielder, and he hit both for power and average.  Coors definitely helped him, but not to the extent some think.  I have no doubt that if he'd played elsewhere for the majority of his career he'd have more support on the real ballot.

One of the worst oversights of the BBWAA was not giving Lou Whitaker enough support to even remain on the ballot.  I'd love to see Alan Trammell drag Lou up on stage at Cooperstown, since both are definitely worthy of the Hall.

TimberLee - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:17 PM EST (#247498) #
This is not on topic, but John Sickels at Minor League Ball has his Top 25 BlueJays prospects and he's almost drooling.
AWeb - Wednesday, November 30 2011 @ 09:56 PM EST (#247500) #
I'm imaginary voting for the max 10 people:
Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin,  Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines,  Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker.

Obviously I don't care about steroids, alleged or otherwise, whatsoever. All of these guys seem comfortably in the middle classes for hall of famers, at least to me. To take a shot at redcent results - all of these players are better than Jim Rice.

In 30 years, a veterans committee for the HoF is going to have a very busy time choosing between many, many great candidates who apparently don't have a shot at the BWAA vote.
Mick Doherty - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 12:57 AM EST (#247507) #

I'm a "Big Hall" guy so always vote for the max 10. The steroid thing gives me pause, but I elect to ignore it. So this year:

Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines,   Alan Trammell

Juuust missing: Juan Gonzalez, Lee Smith, Larry Walker

Ask me again tomorrow, I might have an etirely different answer!

jgadfly - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 03:32 AM EST (#247509) #
   I find it unbelievable that Orestes Minnie Minoso is not a member of the HOF.  He is one of the most exciting players that I've ever seen. The only guy that was his equal for excitement was Willie Mays. There are guys in the HOF who were nowhere near the player that he was .  Hopefully, if there is any justice, he will be selected this year .
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 07:14 AM EST (#247511) #

My ballot would Trammell, and Larkin for sure.  I would also lean towards putting Lee Smith in.

I would like to see Jack Morris get in.  He played a pretty vital role in three world championships, but he won't get in because the writers absolutely hated him.

rpriske - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 08:45 AM EST (#247513) #

I want to vote for 11...


Jeff Bagwell

Barry Larkin

Edgar Martinez

Fred McGriff

Mark McGwire

Dale Murphy

Rafael Palmeiro

Tim Raines

Alan Trammell

Larry Walker

Bernie Williams


If I actually had a vote and had to limit myself to 10, I think it is Williams who is squeezed out.

Craig B - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 09:33 AM EST (#247515) #
My "reaction" list, without actually thinking about it in depth:


I could be persuaded on Gonzalez, Martinez, Morris, and Palmeiro. Maybe even Smith.

It's rare for me not to name ten.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 09:56 AM EST (#247517) #
Craig, here's another way of looking at Edgar Martinez' candidacy.  From 1995 to 2001, who was the best hitter in the American League?  Looking back, we think of Alex Rodriguez or Ken Griffey Jr. or Manny Ramirez, but the answer is pretty clearly Martinez if you check the numbers. Did Ramirez add that much in the field to make up for the difference?  Probably not.  And then there's the PED issue with Manny. 

Prior to 1995, Martinez was merely a very good hitter who also played third base passably well.  It's not a typical career path for a great player (being quite a bit better after 30 than before), but there have always been the exceptions. Zack Wheat was something like this, albeit at a lower level offensively. 
Craig B - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 11:20 AM EST (#247520) #
Yes Mike, I think Edgar is the best of that second list, not that any of them weren't superb players.

A guy like Edgar, whose case is well-supported by the weight of numbers, is less urgent, in my view, than a player whose value is more evident to the viewer. In the long run, it's all numbers. For guys like Raines, Trammell and Walker, where the numbers are great but fall short of capturing the player, there is more urgency in voting for them early (the tendency of the voters to leave guys off for a time drives me batty).

However, that's on me too. There's no reason to put off voting for a guy. And Edgar was marvelous, and should have been playing in the majors earlier. OK, he's on, you convinced me.
Craig B - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 11:30 AM EST (#247521) #
jgadfly, thanks for the words on Minoso. Before my time, but he was a no-doubt great player.

A couple of words on Larry Walker. Larry Walker was the best defensive outfielder I ever saw, counting everything (leaving Maddox out because while I saw him, I never really "saw" him). He could do anything in the outfield. He was also maybe the best athlete in Expos history; better than Raines, or Vlad, or Dawson. His offensive numbers were incredible, and he took better advantage of his parks than anyone I can remember, especially the big outfield in Coors.

He couldn't stay healthy, though, and yes that is a significant strike against him, but on his day, when you could get him in the lineup, he was as good as anyone on this ballot.
Craig B - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 11:32 AM EST (#247522) #
And yes, by "incredible" I mean "incredible when adjusted for the high-offense environment he played in".
Dewey - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 12:15 PM EST (#247523) #
I have as much affection for Orestes Saturnino etc., etc. Minoso as anyone.  He absolutely carried the White Sox one  year, and was the toast of Chicago.  He knew the value of Ďbrandingí even before Rickey Henderson did.   But heís not a Hall of Famer; and to compare him to Willie Mays is . . .  well, itís . . . mistaken. 
Magpie - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 12:39 PM EST (#247525) #
Minoso's case is quite a bit like Bernie Williams. As Schoenfeld writes about Williams today, the career was almost all peak. Minoso and Williams both got started late, and both declined quickly and drastically. But both had a ten year run when they were clearly quite a bit better than... well, Andre Dawson, for one.
Magpie - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 12:55 PM EST (#247526) #
But [Minoso is] not a Hall of Famer; and to compare him to Willie Mays is . . . well, itís . . . mistaken.

Agreed, but Willie Mays is not the standard for the Hall of Fame. If he was, there'd only be five or six guys in the Hall.
John Northey - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 01:32 PM EST (#247527) #
A long list for the HOF but few newcomers will make it to the ballot-of-death

Hoping to get at least one vote...
Jeromy Burnitz
Brian Jordan
Bill Mueller
Phil Nevin
Tony Womack
Eric Young

Sub 5%'ers who should get a few pity votes...
Ruben Sierra
Terry Mulholland
Tim Salmon - more WAR than Juan Gonzalez but just 299 HR
Javy Lopez
Vinny Castilla
Brian Jordan
Brade Radke (148 wins doesn't go too far but has more WAR than Lee Smith, Jack Morris, and Don Mattingly)

Might crack 5%...
Bernie Williams - 10th in WAR on this ballot

Cheated out of being on the ballot...
Scott Erickson - 142 wins, All-Star once, 2nd in Cy once
Jeff Fassero - 108 ERA+ with 124 wins
Carl Everett - well, he thought he was one

Might fall off the ballot...
Juan Gonzalez 30 (5.2%)

Lives to fight another day...
Dale Murphy 73 (12.6%)
Edgar Martinez 191 (32.9%)
Don Mattingly 79 (13.6%)
Fred McGriff 104 (17.9%)
Mark McGwire 115 (19.8%)
Rafael Palmeiro 64 (11.0%)
Lee Smith 263 (43.5%)
Alan Trammell 141 (24.3%)
Larry Walker 118 (20.3%)

Deserves to be in already but won't make it this year...
Tim Raines 218 (37.5%)

Might sneak in...
Jeff Bagwell 242 (41.7%)
Jack Morris 311 (53.5%) (sigh)

Should be a lock...
Barry Larkin 361 (62.1%)

I'd vote for...
Larkin, Bagwell, Raines, Trammell, Walker, McGwire, McGriff, Palmeiro with maybes to Murphy, and Martinez. Lee Smith has been on my ballot before as holding any record that is viewed as major (and Saves are, like it or not) is something that moves a guy up the list pretty quickly. However, now that 600 saves has been reached twice and Smith was sub-500 I'd have to say that the bar for 'automatic entry' is well above his and he wasn't impressive enough otherwise to put in.

Next year many guys will fall off due to ballots being overflowing. New guys include...
Inner Circle HOF Locks*: Bonds, Clemens
HOF Locks*: Sosa, Piazza (back acne will be talked about a lot when that ballot comes out)
HOF Locks (no *): Biggio
Near HOF Locks: Schilling - 216 wins, 67.7 WAR, great story with 'bloody sock'
High quality, normally would stick around: Lofton, David Wells (239 wins)
Normally would get a fair # of votes: Julio Franco, Steve Finley, Reggie Sanders, Shawn Green
Normally gets 'thank you' votes: Jeff Conine (first star for Marlins), Woody Williams (132 wins).

So 2013 has, outside of guys getting into a game this year, 5 guys who should be locks, but just one is. Also a 6th who should get in, maybe even on the first ballot. Mix in the deadlock the HOF voters have had with 40%+ likely voting for Raines, Bagwell, Smith and 10%+ for Murphy, Martinez, Mattingly, McGriff, McGwire, Palmeiro, Trammell and Walker (assuming Morris & Larkin get in) and there are few slots open.

My potential 2013 would be Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, Raines, Bagwell, Walker, and Trammell leaving off guys I'd like to vote for in Palmeiro and McGriff.

In 2014, assuming few get through in 2013, we'll see the ballot get worse as Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Jeff Kent (all time HR king for 2B iirc) all jump in. 2015 doesn't let up as we see Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Scheffield (509 HR), and Carlos Delgado (473 HR) join the ballot. 2016 will have Ken Griffey Jr, Manny Ramirez (unless he tries a comeback), Jim Edmonds (see him as a long term vote in) and Andy Pettitte.

Phew. For 2013/2014/2015/2016 if steroids were a non-factor we'd see a massive influx. Up to 6/5/4/3 first ballot quality players respectively for a total of 18 over 4 years. For many players (all but Larkin) this is their last chance to get in I suspect until the Vet's committee sees them in a decade or so. Larkin only has hope post this ballot due to no shortstop HOF locks being on the near term ballots.

As to 2017 and beyond we should see (near) locks Chipper Jones, Jim Thome, and I-Rod all retire soon. Then, around 2018 things might calm down. Might.
John Northey - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 01:40 PM EST (#247528) #
Might have made a mistake due to B-R still having guys who played in 2011 on the 2016 ballot. Manny goes on the 2017 ballot while Jones/Thome/I-Rod won't be on it until 2018 at the earliest (assuming all play in 2012 of course).
damos - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 01:53 PM EST (#247530) #
Larkin, Trammell, Bagwell, Raines, E. Martinez.
Thank you & goodnight!

Mick Doherty - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 02:21 PM EST (#247535) #

Jeff Kent (all time HR king for 2B iirc)

How/where does one look this up? I would have guessed Morgan, who pretty much never played anywjere but secondm while I think Kent, who had about 100 more career homers than Morgan, I think,  put in a fair amout of time at third? ...


John Northey - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 03:22 PM EST (#247539) #
Did a search and got ...

Not the most authoritative but it does provide info. also has a more detailed list (by league).
Jonny German - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 04:14 PM EST (#247542) #
I would have guessed Morgan

Not even close. A back-of-the-envelope calculation is sufficient.

Per the fielding section of Kent's player page at BB-Ref, he played 88% of his games as a second baseman. 88% of his 377 home runs is 332. Morgan hit 268 home runs.

Mike Green - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 04:34 PM EST (#247543) #
Bernie Williams' eligibility raises the old peak vs. prime vs. career issue.  Williams' peak and prime are very good, albeit not at the level that he is an automatic "yes".  His career is a little short, although far ahead of someone like Jim Rice.  He was one of the three key players on a great club (with Rivera and Jeter, and later Posada).  He falls a little short for me; in the end, he was a noticeably lesser player than Jim Edmonds and somewhere in the middle of the two players is my in/out line.  It wouldn't be a great injustice if he gets in.  Williams and Dawson are of very similar quality with Hawk having more peak and Williams having more prime. 
Dewey - Thursday, December 01 2011 @ 04:49 PM EST (#247544) #
Re Minoso/Mays.   I agree, Magpie.  I didnít mean to suggest that Mays was the standard for admission.  And I enjoyed Minnie thoroughly.  He was also a great favourite of my motherís.  She liked Cubans,  it seems,  as the local jockey,  Avelino Gomez,  also got her regular attention.  Both men were very, very good, of course -- and fine showmen with it.  Most everyone liked them.

I expect that my views on the hall are yet another matter that reflects my age.  I think I prefer a small hall.  (Because it was so much smaller when I was a boy?  Could be, I suppose.)   But I cannot (and do not) deny the merits of many, many fine ballplayers of the past 50 years or so.  Still not confident, though, that Minnie was truly a HoFer.
Mike Green - Sunday, December 04 2011 @ 08:47 PM EST (#247732) #
The Veterans Committee ballot has two starting pitchers (Tiant and Kaat) who were better than any of the starting pitchers on the writer's ballot.  That is unusual. 

2012 Hall of Fame Ballot | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.