The votes have been tabulated and one player stands out above the rest. Forty-four writers here at the FanSided Network of baseball blogs cast their votes and Jeff Bagwell was the only player to appear on at least 75% of the ballots. Unfortunately our opinion has no impact on the actual Hall of Fame voting. But the fact that we usually get it right when it comes to this sort of thing should be worth something. Click the page below to read Lew Freedman’s post with details of the voting.
Yesterday I promised to unveil my HOF vote sometime later in the week. Well, here it is…
Of course I voted for Jeff Bagwell. That much you probably could have guessed. I think Jeff’s numbers speak for themselves. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like 75% of the BBWA members will vote for Bagwell (this year.) But it will be interesting to see what Bagwell’s percentage is this time around. I am hopeful that at least half of the voters will see the light. Such a percentage would be a step in the right direction and give Bagwell hope for 2013.
Okay, now for the rest of my ballot. Bagwell isn’t the only player who has been overlooked, in my opinion. I believe that Edgar Martinez deserves to gain entry into the Hall. The voters don’t like Edgar because he spent most of his career as a DH. Martinez posted a .312/.418/.515 career slash line. Pretty impressive, regardless of his position. In the strike-shortened 1995 season Martinez led the American League in batting average, on base percentage, OPS, and WAR. That’s right a DH led the league in WAR. He also led the league that season with an incredible total of 121 runs scored and 52 doubles. But Martinez wasn’t a one year wonder. He also won the batting title in 1992 and led the league with 145 RBIs in 2000. Martinez also finished his 18 year career with 1283 walks and only 1202 strikeouts. Simply put, Martinez was one of the most productive and feared hitters of his era (or any era for that matter.) If that doesn’t scream Hall of Fame I don’t know what does. Someday a DH will be inducted into the Hall. I think Martinez deserves to be the first.
I also voted for Tim Raines. Raines led the National League in stolen bases for four straight seasons in the early eighties and ranks fifth on the all-time list with 808. In the era of the base-stealer Raines was one of the best. But he brought more to the table than speed alone. Raines led the league in hitting in 1986 and finished his 23 year career with a .294/.385/.425 slash line. Raines appeared in seven consecutive All-Star games which suggests domination at his position for his era, which is one of my measuring sticks for the Hall.
My fourth and final vote went to Jack Morris. His statistics alone probably won’t be enough to earn Morris a trip to Cooperstown. But Morris deserves the nod, in my opinion, because he was a winner and leader of men. Morris took the ball every fifth day and always gave his team a chance to win. Morris was always among the league leaders in wins and innings pitched. He was the staff ace on three different World Series Champions. (’84 Tigers, ’91 Twins, ’92 Blue Jays) Morris led the league with 21 victories in ’92 but struggled in the postseason. Prior to his two losses in the ’92 Series, Morris was 4-0 with three complete games in five World Series starts. He was the definition of a big game pitcher.