Note that after each name is the player’s career WAR.
Related: My Hall of Fame Ballot (Podcast)
Last year there weren’t any no-doubters, but this year there sure is: Chipper Jones (85.0). He was the dominant third-baseman of his era, and there weren’t any PED suspicions surrounding him. He’s a first-ballot lock.
Holdovers from Last Year
Mike Mussina (83.0), Curt Schilling (79.9), Vladimir Guerrero (59.3), Larry Walker (72.6), Edgar Martinez (68.3). I’m happy to see that, at least in the voting gathered so far, Schilling is adding votes. I’d hate to see him denied entry into the Hall due to political correctness.
New for This Year
Jim Thome (72.9). Jim Thome might be the most underrated great player of the past generation. He’s never included in any “great player” lists, yet his stats were off the charts. A .276/.402/.554 slash line, with 612 home runs.
Scott Rolen (70.0). Even though I loved his time with the Reds, and I knew he was a very good player, I never thought of him as a Hall of Famer until I started looking deeper into his career. It was much better than I thought – Hall-worthy, in my opinion.
Might Be Added Later
I really considered including Andruw Jones (62.8), but I just don’t see him as a Hall of Famer at this point. He was a great defender, but I don’t trust defensive metrics enough to know if that 62.8 WAR is really accurate. But I’m willing to change my mind on him in the future.
Still Not Voting for Them
Trevor Hoffman (28.4). Relievers, in general, simply don’t contribute enough to a team to be Hall-worthy. Just look at his sub-30 WAR.
Barry Bonds (162.4), Roger Clemens (140.3). According to the official criteria, “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.” Three of the six criteria reference non-playing factors, and Bonds and Clemens fail miserably in those regards. #NeverBonds #NeverClemens
As you can tell, I’m still a “small Hall” guy, as I only voted for eight guys this year. Unlike a lot of the actual voters, I don’t have a problem with limiting the vote to only ten players.