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The guys on the Hall of Fame ballot who have no shot but are worth talking about anyway

Dec 28, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

Marquis Grissom

Day two of Joe Posnanski’s week-long look at the Hall of Fame consists of his review of the 11 players on this year’s ballot who are clearly not Hall of Famers, but who, according to Joe, are worth spending a few minutes remembering.  The Carlos Baergas and Brett Boones of the world, don’t you know.

I’m glad that Posnanski goes through them in detail because these are the guys who we’ll find more interesting and mysterious several years from now. Everyone knows Roberto Almoar’s career backwards and forwards at this point. People will soon forget that, say, Carlos Baerga got 200 hits in a season twice. Or that Marquis Grissom, while not necessarily better than you remember, was a really unique  player.  Heck, most people have probably already forgotten. A lot of those guys are described by Joe with phrases like “and suddenly, one day, he stopped being really good.”  Yeah, it was the time for that.

It’s a good read. It helps us to remember that, while eras are defined by the superstars, most of the working and paying, living and dying, pitching and hitting in Major League Baseball is done by regular guys.  Thanks to Joe for bearing witness to some of them here.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 28, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Just out of curiosity, what are those guys even doing on the ballot in the first place? Who put them there, and according to what rules, regulations, stipulations, calibrations, jactitations, speculations, cogitations, cerebrations or wild hairs?

    • Andrew - Dec 28, 2010 at 12:28 PM

      Any player with 10 years of major league experience and passes a “screening committee” (to weed out “players of clearly lesser quality”) according to the Wikipedia entry for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      • Old Gator - Dec 28, 2010 at 12:50 PM

        Thanks. Now – who’s on this “screening committee”? What I’m curious about is whether the same people who will cast definitive HOF votes later on are on it – in other words, as a connoisseur of the absurd, I wonder if the same folks who approve names for the ballot already know they’re not going to vote for most of these players anyway.

      • Rosenthals Speling Instrukter - Dec 28, 2010 at 1:05 PM

        @ Gator

        I would not be surprised if writers in this committee put players on the ballot but do not vote for them. Kind of a small honor for those who were very good but not quite up to the standard.

        Or as a thanks for granting them that interview after a tough loss.

  2. bigtrav425 - Dec 28, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Carlos Baerga is a sad story..if he wasnt to busy partying and worked half as hard as Alberte belle or Omar vizquel…Good chance he would of had a shot at the HoF…He was that good of a hitter..and im obviously from cleveland area but he was pretty good for awhile….brett boone isnt even close to a HoF’er

  3. megary - Dec 28, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    There’s only one Carlos Baerga and one Brett Boone on the ballot. Why pluralize? That’s what Joe Morgan used to do when he would try and shorthand a point he was trying to make. It ends up doing just the opposite as it diminishes the return of the pluralized party.

    Example: Looking for baseball news, one could read the Rosenthals or Calcaterras of the world.

    Makes it sound like you’re nothing special.

    *steps down from soapbox*

    • bigxrob - Dec 28, 2010 at 1:20 PM

      Thanks for pointing that out megary, it drives me nuts. Much like when announcers describe a player like this “he’s like the Derek Jeter’s and Cal Ripken’s of the world”

      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 28, 2010 at 1:26 PM

        Point taken, but isn’t the counterpoint that, unlike singular Hall of Famers, there are a lot of players with good-but-not-great Hall resumes? Only one Willie Mays, but a lot of Mickey Stanleys?

        Not that I’ll go to the mat for this one.

    • clydeserra - Dec 28, 2010 at 1:29 PM

      there is only one boone on the ballot why give him an extra “t” at the end of his name?

  4. Kevin S. - Dec 29, 2010 at 9:18 AM

    What regular guy has done the dying, besides Ray Chapman?

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