On January 9 MLB will announce the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees. This year’s ballot includes 13 players who are in their first year of eligibility and 14 players who accumulated enough votes last year to stay on the ballot. The player we all want to see enshrined in Cooperstown is, of course, Jeff Bagwell. The Astros slugging first-baseman came up short last year, but I feel as though the numbers speak for themselves. But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at the case made for Bagwell by Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times.
If he makes it, Bagwell will be the first player to wear an Astros uniform into the Hall. Others who have played for Houston have been enshrined but elected to sport the colors of another team. I don’t want to mention any names but one is known as the “Express” and currently holds an executive position with a soon-to-be interstate rival.
If Bagwell falls short of the 75% of the vote needed to gain entrance this year, perhaps he can reach the mark in 2013. Teammate Craig Biggio heads an impressive list of players that will debut on the ballot a year from now. I think Bagwell deserves to be inducted now, but it would be fitting if the two were to enter the Hall together.
The FanSided team of baseball writers will be casting ballots between now and the end of the month. We will be posting the results of our voting some time shortly after New Year’s Day. Here’s a look at the rest of the ballot.
|returning nominees||yr. on ballot||2011 total||first-timers|
|Barry Larkin||3||62.1||Jeromy Burnitz|
|Jack Morris||13||53.5||Vinny Castilla|
|Lee Smith||10||45.3||Brian Jordan|
|Jeff Bagwell||2||41.7||Javy Lopez|
|Tim Raines||5||37.5||Bill Mueller|
|Edgar Martinez||3||32.9||Terry Mulholland|
|Alan Trammell||11||24.3||Phil Nevin|
|Larry Walker||2||20.3||Brad Radke|
|Mark McGuire||6||19.8||Tim Salmon|
|Fred McGriff||3||17.9||Ruben Sierra|
|Don Mattingly||12||13.6||Bernie Williams|
|Dale Murphy||14||12.6||Tony Womack|
|Rafael Palmero||2||11||Eric Young|