Legends On Deck

Kids In The Hall, 2015 Edition


Sitting here looking at candidates for the 2015 Baseball Hall Of Fame election, I can only think that there are two ways to view this particular group of players.

First, the normal way one would look at a person eligible for any award, all the reasons that they should be elected. and second, the reasons that some of these players should be excluded. And boy, are there a few of them…

In a perfect world, with no PEDs or scandal, my 10 player ballot would include Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, already snubbed for the Hall in the past, Pete Rose (not eligible due to his lifetime ban) , holdovers Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza .none of whom have been implicated in a PED scandal, but there have been rumors about all three, (see where i’m going with this ?), and four newcomers to the ballot – Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson and Carlos Delgado.clem

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are still on the ballot so we can celebrate 1998, when “chicks dug the long ball” and we all looked away when the dreaded S word was mentioned.

McGwire and Sosa were feared sluggers, but for my money Bonds and Clemens were locks for the Hall long before any steroid scandal. I would elect Biggio and Bagwell based on the fact that there is no solid evidence that either
used PEDs. “Knowing Ken Caminiti” isn’t a really solid argument in keeping them out of the Hall. They were the faces of the Astros franchise and put up the numbers to justify election.

I am assuming Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Randy Johnson are locks for election and induction this year. Three is a big number for the Hall Of Fame, and this would be two years in a row that three players were inducted (Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux last year). The problem with a large ballot of deserving players is that not everyone gets in every year, but every year new players with better numbers become eligible. (see : Blyleven, Bert)

Don Mattingly is on the ballot for the fifteenth and final time this year. If he is not elected, he will become eligible for election by the Expansion Era Committee beginning in 2016. Others on this list could see the same fate in the future as new names are added to the ballot each November.

unitMike Piazza was a twelve time All-Star and ten time Silver Slugger Award winner. This is his third year on the ballot and I worry that a player like he and also Carlos Delgado (as well as Larry Walker, Tim Raines and others will fall
short and end up in Hall Of Fame quicksand as Blyleven and Mattingly have been over the years.

The voting results will be announced at 2 p.m. eastern time on Jan. 6. And the debate over who should and should not have been elected will start around oh, 2:01 or so.

Brian is a Boston native and art school student who took a summer job with a baseball team and never left. He has been employed by the Boston Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1982. He also follows and blogs college basketball. Follow him on Twitter @BostonBrian2015

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