We have not seen a Hall of Fame ballot quite like this for some time. I know certainly not in my lifetime. The amount of deserving candidates could be seen as overwhelming.
As a fan of players who are up for election, it makes the process stressful, but also exciting. Everyone has their own opinions. Some deserving players are being excluded simply for a lack of space.
Let’s take a look at the ballots of two respected baseball writers, Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe, and Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and the MLB Network.
Carfardo filled up the space on his ballot, but says he would have likely added another four names if possible.
My ballot could have extended to 14 choices easily, but the 10 I voted for were: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, and Craig Biggio. In the future, I would like to vote for Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell.
I will be revealing my ballot here as we get closer to election day, but I would likely only make one change, and at most two, to Carfardo’s ballot. The other issue that must be addressed, is that this is Morris’ last year of eligibility.
In a perfect world, Clemens, Bonds, and Piazza would have already been elected. I would like to include Biggio in that group, but I know there is a large group of writers that hold “first ballot” Hall of Famers in a different regard. Then this year’s ballot would have been potentially a little less crowded.
Rosenthal also voted for the maximum amount of candidates, and introduces one player, Edgar Martinez, whom Carfardo did not even list. In looking at the two ballots, it is clear that Rosenthal is treating steroid use and allegations in a different regard.
This year, for the first time, I am voting for the maximum 10 players – Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Tom Glavine; Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina; Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas.
Four of those players (Glavine, Maddux, Mussina and Thomas) are first-time candidates. To include them, I made the choice to exclude three players for whom I voted in the past (Fred McGriff, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.)