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Lack of standout first-timers on next year’s HOF ballot is good news for Larkin and Bagwell

Jan 5, 2011, 2:23 PM EDT

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Deserving players like Barry Larkin, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell fell short of reaching the 75 percent of the votes required for Hall of Fame induction this year, but they’ll have a good chance to increase their totals in 2012 as the pool of first-year eligible players doesn’t include anyone likely bound for Cooperstown.

Here’s an unofficial list of first-time players eligible for induction in 2012:

HITTERS                PITCHERS
Bernie Williams        Brad Radke
Tim Salmon             Scott Erickson
Ruben Sierra           Terry Mulholland
Javy Lopez             Pedro Astacio
Vinny Castilla         Jeff Fassero
Carl Everett           Rick Helling
Matt Lawton            Jose Lima
Eric Young             Matt Clement
Edgardo Alfonzo        Tim Worrell
Jeromy Burnitz         Danny Graves
Brian Jordan           Mike Remlinger
Phil Nevin             Jeff Nelson

Bernie Williams has a better Hall of Fame case than he’ll probably get credit for, particularly in his first year on the ballot, but aside from him it’s tough to see any of the other first-timers garnering significant support.

In addition to the lack of big names joining the ballot, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven will be off the ballot after being inducted and Dave Parker will be ineligible following the maximum 15 years on the ballot. That trio received a combined 1,075 votes from the 581 ballots this year,  and while not all of them will be reallocated to other players in 2012 it’s a safe bet a large chunk of them will be.

Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, and Curt Schilling lead an exceptionally strong class of first-timers for 2013, so if Larkin, Raines, Bagwell, and others are going to make major progress toward joining Alomar and Blyleven in the Hall of Fame it will come next year.

  1. pestiesti - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, and Curt Schilling lead an exceptionally strong class of first-timers for 2013

    That won’t be contentious at all.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

      Am I wrong to think that the only guaranteed player on that list is Biggio?

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        Biggio played with Bagwell. Ergo. Whisper it on.

      • TomTom - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        I would also think Schilling and Lofton would be easy first-timers.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:45 PM

        I suspect the bloody sock was faked. Disqualified.

      • sdelmonte - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        I think Piazza should be a shoo in. But there are those annoying whispers again.

  2. yowillie12 - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    2013…3 idiots, 3 nice guys and 1 asshole

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      And that breakdown would be…? Compelling arguments could be made for three a$$holes on there.

      And Piazza on a ballot with Clemens? Wow…where would the bat go?

      • clydeserra - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:49 PM

        When Piazza and Clemens retired the same year, I thought it would be great theater at their induction ceremony.

        Now I think its even funnier because i expect Piazza to get in and Clemens to not.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      Which ones are the nice guys?

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Aside from Biggio, I don’t know. All of the others had their issues. McGwire would probably be one of the idiots. Schilling could be a$$hole or idiot. I guess it all depends on your perception of the line between the two.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        I guess we’ll have to await yowillie’s breakdown.

        Schuerholz was pretty strident about Lofton in his book, comparing him to Deion Sanders in his refusal to “embrace our environment and ideals.”

      • Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        Of course, I would be among the idiots, as well, for adding McGwire to my response.

  3. ThatGuy - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:35 PM

    I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since Radke retired already…If I was a voter, i’d give him a token vote for pitching 2006 with a torn Labrum…(only partially kidding)

    • twinsfn343 - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM

      lol i thought the exact same thing, i had to count on my fingers to really believe it has been that long. I saw him pitch a game against the cubs in the dome in July 2006 on shear guts it was unreal.

  4. Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Has Bonds officially retired yet? And is that a necessity? The last I had heard about it, he was bitching about collusion or something.

    • dodger88 - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Official retirement is not required; eligibility is based on when one last played a MLB game and has nothing to do with whose choice it was.

      • clydeserra - Jan 5, 2011 at 6:50 PM

        Rickey Henderson never retired as far as I know.

  5. ThatGuy - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM

    Also Terry Mulholland deserves a vote for his historic run of trying to play for every team in the Majors… made it 1/3 the way their.

  6. davidw7 - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    I wonder if Everett will run into issues with the voters because he “wasn’t the easiest guy to get along with” :)

    • paperlions - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      Everett might get a few votes from the bible belt writers, who also don’t believe in dinosaurs.

  7. Chris K - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    PEDRO ASTACIO??????? The guy who simultaneously led the league in both HBP and HR in 2002 and HBP, ER, and HR in 1998? The guy had 1 season with an ERA below 4.00!

    • ThatGuy - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      If my understanding is correct, if you were good enough to hang around for 10 years you make the ballot. Granted you will likely never see another ballot.

    • Utley's Hair - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

      He’s a first ballot lock!

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      But he did it cleanly. Because no one has whispered that he didn’t.

  8. bigtrav425 - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Biggio is not a lock at all.Whoever thinks that needs to stop hitting the bong so much! No way that Raines and Bagwell make it over Walker

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Do you think Biggio shouldn’t be a lock, or that he’s not a lock because the writers are mornons and/or the Jeff Pearlman guilt by association standard will apply to him? Because I’m happy to listen to someone try to build a case against him, but I’m not aware of what it would be.

  9. hackerjay - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    “Bernie Williams has a better Hall of Fame case than he’ll probably get credit for”

    Really? I would think it would go the other way. He was a really nice player, but he was Harold Baines nice, not Hall of Fame nice. I would guess he will get some decent support just for being a part of the Yankees late 90’s dynasty.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 5, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      No, all that support belongs to Tino.

    • kinggeorge96 - Jan 5, 2011 at 4:20 PM

      What’s wrong with Bernie?

      No, he’ll never get in, but for a good 8 years or so he was one of the best outfielders / hitters in baseball. He is def one that should at least be considered for a while, and open those doors to the hall of very good. Don’t get me wrong, he was not Ken Griffy Jr, but he was way above average imo from around 95-02. Longevity and consistency is def a criteria for the hall, and he was quite good for a good 8 years.

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