2012 Hall of Fame Ballot – My Predictions

The Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York, first opened its doors back on June 12, 1939. The first five players to be inducted being: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson–who were named in 1936. Since then 296 individuals have been viewed as Hall of Fame worthy. (206 former Major Leaguers, 35 Negro Leaguers, 19 managers, 9 umpires, and 27 pioneers, executives, and organizers.)

With the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees to be announced on Monday, I wanted to give my predictions and opinions as to which players will make the cut, and which won’t. There are a total of 27 players on this years HOF Ballot. Of those 27, 13 are first timers–including standouts, Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller. To be inducted into the Hall, a player must recieve a minimum of 75 percent of the votes. The number of inductees varies from one year to the next.

Although there are 27 players eligible for induction this year, I’m not going to take time to talk about them all. I’m just going to make cases for the ones which I feel will be selected for the Hall–starting with the newcomers.

FIRST TIME ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT

  • Jeromy Burnitz
  • Vinny Castilla
  • Brian Jordan
  • Javy Lopez
  • Bill Mueller
  • Terry Mulholland
  • Phil Nevin
  • Brad Radke
  • Tim Salmon
  • Ruben Sierra
  • Bernie Williams
  • Tony Womack
  • Eric Young

BERNIE WILLIAMS- I know this is going out on a limb, but I honestly think Bernie Williams is the only newcomer that has a shot at getting into the Hall of Fame the first go around. (Given it is a slight chance.) I know everyone is saying that he was fun to watch play, but isn’t worthy of the Hall, but I have to disagree. Looking at his career stats of 2,336 hits, 1,257 RBI’s, and a .297 batting average, I think he’s worthy of the Hall eventually–if not a first year induction. But that’s just my opinion.

TWO OR MORE YEARS ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Juan Gonzalez
  • Barry Larkin
  • Edgar Martinez
  • Don Mattingly
  • Fred McGriff
  • Mark McGwire
  • Jack Morris
  • Dale Murphy
  • Rafael Palmeiro
  • Tim Raines
  • Lee Smith
  • Alan Trammell
  • Larry Walker

JEFF BAGWELL- When you look at Jeff Bagwell’s career stats of 449 home runs, off of 2,314 hits, and 1,529 RBI’s you begin to wonder why Bagwell wasn’t a first year Hall of Famer. His stats are certainly good enough to warrant it, however the speculation that he did steroids is what is holding him back from already having a plaque in the Hall. I do however see the possibilty that the voters look beyond that this year, given his impressive stats. Not a very great chance, but a chance none the less. (Juan Gonzalez, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro all fall into this category with Bagwell of great stats, but steroid usage.)

BARRY LARKIN- This is a sure bet for me. Barry Larkin is the best player–in terms of stats without steroid usage–on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. 2,340 hits, 198 home runs, and a .295 batting average in his 19 season career. (While 198 home runs might seem low for a Hall of Fame worthy player, short stops aren’t generally known for their power hitting.)

EDGAR MARTINEZ- While I feel that Barry Larkin is the best player on the Hall of Fame ballot, Martinez isn’t far behind. Having a career batting average of .312, with 2,247 hits, and 309 home runs is good enough to earn him an induction to the Hall. While he wasn’t the best player on the Mariners back in the early 1990’s, he still found a way to stand out amongst teamates Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, by coming up big in big spots.

RECAP OF MY 2012 HALL OF FAME PREDICTIONS

To recap everything that I said above, I feel that Bernie Williams is the best overall player of all the newcomers to the Hall of Fame ballot. Of the players that have been on the ballot at least once before, I feel that Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez are the ones that stand the best chance of making the cut. (Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire, only if the voters put the steroid issues aside. Which I don’t think they will.) Be sure to watch MLB Network at 2 o’ clock, Eastern, on Monday, to see the live Hall of Fame election.

So that’s my view on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. What’s yours?

6 Comments

Whoa. I didn’t know Jeff Bagwell was suspected of steroids. When did this happen? I was wondering why he wasn’t already in.
-Mateo Fischer

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com

It’s not him, as much as it is ALL sluggers from the late 1990′ to early 2000’s. Here’s an article on this issue: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2011/01/steroid-speculation-keeps-jeff-bagwell-from-hall-of-fame/18070/

In which case, that’s absolute BS. I didn’t think Bagwell had anything linking steroids to him. I really can’t believe the BBWAA would keep anyone out for that reason. Wow, I’m shocked.

Completely agree on the prediction of Larkin getting the call. For all the statistical reasons, add the fact that when you watched him day to day during the 90s, he stood out as special. Martinez is also very deserving, but the BBWAA seems to wish that the Designated Hitter is not a REAL professional baseball position – GEEZ! Bagwell has to deal with the BBWAA’s myriad of different opinions on how to deal w/possible PED-use in the absence of any guidance from the HOF Board of Directors. We need to grasp that politics and religion (in addition to no crying) DO NOT belong in the Game, and evaluate and recognize the greats of the 90’s era. Since when do we all pretend the diamonds were empty over an entire era – come on people! Tim Raines also needs a plaque, but the BBWAA, in addition to most fans, have a long-ball fetish, and great baserunners/gamechangers go unrecognized.
Pat

I couldn’t agree more.

For all the special moments he gave us (Yankee fans) I hope Bernie gets in.

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