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The Hall of Fame ballot is out, and it’s jam-packed with Hall of Famers

Nov 26, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Greg Maddux

The Hall of Fame ballot for the 2014 inductions has been released and it’s so full of Hall of Fame-worthy players it’s a bit ridiculous. Of course, because voters are limited to ten votes and most voters have decided to make the Hall of Fame election a morality test rather than just an assessment of baseball merit, hardly any of these guys will get in.  But some will.

The entire ballot can be seen at the BBWAA website. The most notable first-timers: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina. Among the holdovers with seriously strong Hall of Fame chances or, at the very least, cases: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling and Alan Trammell. There are several others on the ballot who deserve strong consideration as well but aren’t getting it.

A big reason some of them aren’t getting it? PEDs. Bonds, Clemens and McGwire were considered locks for the Hall of Fame at one point in their career, but are all practically disqualified now due to voters’ aversion to PED-connected players entering Cooperstown’s hallowed Hall. Bagwell and Piazza got way fewer votes than they should have because voters’ aversion to PEDs is so great that they’ll assume PED use even for guys who have never been credibly connected with the stuff. This is what we’re dealing with, folks.

As for handicapping the voting, Raines, Piazza, Bagwell, Morris and Biggio got over 50% of the vote last year, so they have to be considered contenders. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas are all pretty close to locks, one would assume, given the absence of PED-ties and their clearly strong cases on purely baseball merits. Of course, not all of them will get in, most likely because the overstuffed ballot will split support among the many worthy candidates.

Gun to my head, I figure Maddux, Glavine, Thomas, Biggio and Morris get in, with everyone else left out in the cold. If more than those guys creep in I’d say it’d be Bagwell or possibly Mussina, but my guess is they have some years to wait.

111 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. dlf9 - Nov 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    This ballot is so jam packed that Craig didn’t even list, as players with strong cases, a guy who has 600+ homers and cleared 60 three times, plus another who was 3000/500.

  2. moogro - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    Headlinezawinnah

  3. chefjon81 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    I know a lot of people say that Maddux won’t get 100%, but really, any writer who doesn’t vote for him has no business voting.

    • gloccamorra - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      You just described at least 40% of the voting pool. In 1936, there were 226 voters (and eleven of them didn’t vote for Babe Ruth!), but last year there were 572 votes cast! The BBWAA needs to cull the herd.

  4. chefjon81 - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM

    My all-time dream team 5-man rotation, in no particular order:

    Koufax, Marichal, Gibson, Paige, Maddux

    Who’s in, who’s out?

    • cohnjusack - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson, Pedro Martinez…that are 5 pitchers off the top of my head I’d take over Marichal.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        And Bob Feller, Addie Joss and perhaps even Nolan Ryan.

      • chefjon81 - Nov 26, 2013 at 8:50 PM

        i’d say Clemens and W. Johnson are the next up, and i’ll concede that Marichal is the weal link, but u gotta love the high leg kick….and if those five go against any OTHER five, tell me what five could beat ‘em…

      • gloccamorra - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:45 PM

        Funny, I’ve noticed that with these “greatest pitchers” lists, nobody ever mentions the guy they named the Cy Young award after.

    • chinahand11 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      That’s a nice staff. I had the pleasure of seeing Bob Feller pitch at an old timer’s game in Tampa when he was in his mid to late seventies. He stood closer to the plate, but he still had that perfect pitching form, although he wasn’t rocking it at 95-100 any more. Just saying.

      Anyhoo, I’d have Koufax, Gibby, Pedro, Maddux and Nolan Ryan.

    • misternascar - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:52 PM

      Wow a top 5 HOF Ballot without Carlton….. shows your knowledge

  5. frank35sox - Nov 26, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    I never watched Biggio and thought, “Wow, hall of famer.” Maybe that’s just me though.

    • cohnjusack - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      Strangely, a lot of baseball exists besides just what you happen to watch. Honestly, how many times do you think you saw Biggio. 30? 50? Out of the 2850 games he played?

  6. frank35sox - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    True, but even if you saw him succeed 50-80 times, then that is also 2800 times he could have been less than great. I just think that hall has been bastardized by players like Biggio (see Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin)

    • dlf9 - Nov 26, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      I don’t mean to be blunt, but anyone who thinks this has no understanding of baseball or of the history of the HOF.

      First, Biggio was a truly great player for nearly a decade and a strong performer for many years around that. He had great ability to reach base, was a good base runner, and had very good power (especially doubles) for a middle infielder. He is one of the 10 best 2Bs to ever play.

      Second, the Hall is honored by players as good as Biggio. I can easily name a dozen players who don’t have half the merit that he does who have been in Cooperstown for at least two decades: Aparicio, Bancroft, Cuyler, Doerr, Evers, Ferrell, Gomez, Haffey, T. Jackson, Kelley, Lindstrom, Maranville, Perez, Rizutto, Schalk, Tinker, L.Waner … and by doing it alphabetically with only one per letter, I left out the two worst, McCarthy, and Haines.

      • willdrobins - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        I grew up when Biggio played and yes he was a fantastic player for many years. Here is the problem. I don’t recall him ever being in the top 5 in any one year. I realize it is subjective and Houston is not a big media market (back then). The HOF is reserved for players who were the best of their generation. One of the best 2B of his generation? Yes. Best of his generation period? No way. Not even in the conversation. He’ll get in because of 3,000 hits. It took him 20 freakin’ years though.

      • clemente2 - Nov 26, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        Biggio and Glavine are grinders—some people think that is OK for the Hall, others do not. Both are less talented than many of the eligible palyers—I would take 6-8 pitchers over Glavine.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        Biggio from ’93 to ’98 (his peak years) put up a line of :

        .304/.399/.476 – 135 OPS+; 227 2b, 226 3b, 106 HR, 209 SB/54 CS; 442 BB/528 K averaging 149 games played with average to above average defense

        36.4 rWAR (slightly more than 6 rWAR a season, that’s MVP level including 9.4 in ’97, second to larry walker’s 9.8)

        That’s similar to what Cano has done the last few years, and he’s probably going to get a $25M/year deal. Yes Biggio hung on for 3000 hits, but he shouldn’t need them for the HoF.

      • dlf9 - Nov 26, 2013 at 9:52 PM

        “The HOF is reserved for players who were the best of their generation” — absolutely wrong. Take a look at the list of players I posted above and try to justify any as being even among the best. Read through any list of the HOF and you’ll find many more Ross Youngs and Travis Jacksons than Babe Ruths or Willie Mayses. Being the 5th best CF (out of only 16 teams!) didn’t keep Richie Ashburn out of the HOF; he was behind Mays, Mantle, Snider, and Doby. How about Hank Greenberg, the #4 1B (out of 16) when he trailed Foxx, Gehrig, and Mize.

        “Biggio and Glavine are grinders” — I wonder how many players who have won not one but two Cy Young Awards are considered mere accumulators.

        I wonder too, how many of the posters here are too young to remember the 1990s. Makes me feel old to read so many posts.

  7. flickflint - Nov 26, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    How is the ballot jam packed w/ HOFers? None of them are in the HOF lol

  8. disgracedfury - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Morris should get in.His stats are not pretty but he was one of the best pitchers of the 80’s and I go for who was the best in their era and Morris was the biggest pitcher in the 80’s besides Clemens.

    People compare him to pitchers now who don’t go 8 innings or to pitchers like Schilling and Glavine who were NL pitchers and pitched in big ballparks.

    Glavine was good pitchers who walked the park and like Maddux wasn’t great in the postseason and I could name 8 pitchers who were better than Schilling in his era and yet people think these guys are locks.

    • tc4306 - Nov 27, 2013 at 3:04 AM

      “Morris was the biggest pitcher in the 80′s besides Clemens.”

      Clemens had 21 starts in ’84 and 15 in ’85.
      It was ’86 before he started his run of 30 plus starts per season.

      Morris did have a running mate through the 80’s
      who was as good or better than he.
      But it was not Clemens.
      It was Dave Stieb.

  9. sportsjunkie76 - Nov 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    If Barry Bonds doesn’t get in the HOF than neither should Jeff Kent. Without Bonds hitting in front of him, he would have never had the numbers that he had in San Francisco. Even without taking PED’s, you can’t say that he would have had the same without Bonds in the line up.

  10. rwlsports - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    I think Bonds was already one of the best players in the league before he used steroids. When McGuire and Sosa started using,(Before it was illegal,), Bonds got jealous since he was not getting any attention, and he was just as good or better than Sosa, but maybe not McGuire. Bonds used them because he was wanting the attention. When McGuire and Sosa used PEDs, no one cared. They all said, “Yeah, let’s go watch the McGuire home run derby tonight!” Everyone knew he was on steroids, but that was what the game turned into. To say that Bonds was not worthy to be on the ballot is inconsiderate of the fact that he was the best player in the game even before he used PEDs.

  11. tomgallagher76 - Nov 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    I can’t see Mike Piazza not making it in this year. I also can’t see him not making it in last year. It was largely perceived that it was for suspicion of PED use but there is one problem with that: why? He was strong. He went from a low level prospect barely drafted (and only as a favor to his dad) to become one of the greatest catchers of all time. And a sports writer noticed he had acne on his back in the locker room. That’s it. Those are the “smoking guns” for Piazza. Piazza deserves to be in the Hall of Fame already. There are many deserving candidates on this list, but the voters need to right their wrong from last years ballot first.

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