MLB.com Shares Their Reporters 2015 Hall Ballots
The winners soon to be revealed.
With the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame results to be released Tuesday at 2 pm, it was interesting to see the ballots shared by some of the writers and columnists for both ESPN.com and MLB.com.
Below you can read the picks from some of the MLB.com columnist and reporters.
There is nothing currently on the record that would do anything other than endorse the Hall of Fame candidacies of these players. The three newcomers should be first-ballot Hall of Famers and the other four should have already been elected.
This was the most difficult ballot I’ve filed, and I’ve been voting since 1992. I deemed 17 players Hall of Fame worthy for 10 spots. Some years I might have been hard-pressed to find six. The logjam was caused by a great generation of pitchers on the ballot for the first time, joining those who have been blocked by some of my BBWAA colleagues because of their perceived involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. Add another with 3,060 hits, who missed by two votes and should have been elected last year. Above is my Top 10.
CHRIS HAFT, Giants beat reporter
Bagwell, Biggio, Johnson, Jeff Kent, P. Martinez, Piazza, Smith, Smoltz
Right, I voted for two suspected PED users (Bagwell, Piazza) and omitted two others (Bonds, Clemens). All I can say is I saw enough of Bagwell and Piazza to believe they were legit. Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz sure as heck were. And why Kent and Smith don’t receive more support boggles the mind. Kent continued to produce without batting alongside Bonds and Smith was a head-for-the-exits closer.
TERENCE MOORE, columnist
Biggio, Johnson, P. Martinez, McGriff, Raines, Gary Sheffield, Smith, Smoltz
On my 2015 Hall of Fame Ballot, there are four no-brainers, three holdovers and a close call.
The only player who is as much of a no-brainer as flame-throwing starter Johnson is Smoltz, a flame-throwing starter and closer. My other no-brainers are Pedro Martinez, the consummate pitching ace, and Sheffield, among baseball’s all-time consistent sluggers.
I voted again for Smith, McGriff and Raines (I inadvertently left him off last year’s ballot).
As for the close call, Biggio was only good overall, but I keep thinking about this: 3,000. That’s a lot of hits. I’ll give in.
CARRIE MUSKAT, Cubs beat reporter
Biggio, Johnson, P. Martinez, Raines, Schilling, Smoltz, Trammell
Martinez may not have 300 wins, but his career 2.93 ERA, 3,154 strikeouts, three Cy Youngs (plus four top-four finishes) and postseason play make up for that. I put Johnson into the Hall after watching him in the 2001 playoffs. Winning five Cy Young Awards plus striking out 4,875 sealed it. Schilling, too. Smoltz needs to be reunited with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine in Cooperstown. I’ve voted for Biggio, Raines and Trammell in the past. I also have voted for Bonds and Clemens but done so reluctantly. No more. Conversations with other HOF players have convinced me.
MARTY NOBLE, national reporter
Johnson, P. Martinez, Smoltz
For the second year in a row, no need to study the ballot existed. I voted for the three no-brainer candidates — Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz. I never picked up a book or clicked on a website, though, as encouraged by the Hall, I did chat with guys who covered the game when I did. We had similar thoughts, and now I sense that The Unit and Pedro are definites and Smoltz is a likely. I think Biggio makes it this year, and I’ll be happy for him. But he didn’t get my support for reasons — read suspicions — stated last year. Same with Piazza and the others who have prompted greater suspicions, been caught or admitted using.
TRACY RINGOLSBY, national columnist
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Johnson, P. Martinez, Piazza, Raines, Smoltz, Trammell
I never have bought into using the Hall of Fame vote as a platform for personal reasons. As much as Bonds and Clemens have been associated with the use of PEDs, the bottom line is they were dominant in their era. Bonds and Clemens have been on the top of my ballot since the first year they were eligible and remain there this year. It’s a challenge filling out the rest because there are at least a handful of worthy candidates who have to be left off.
This is no longer an exercise of who belongs, but rather a challenge to determine who are the most worthy. Along with Bonds and Clemens, I settled on Bagwell, Biggio, Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Piazza, Raines, Smoltz and Trammell.
It was difficult but that meant leaving off Larry Walker and Smith, who I voted for in the past, along with Schilling, Mussina and Edgar Martinez, not to mention Don Mattingly, who is in his 15th and final appearance on the BBWAA ballot.
TOM SINGER, Pirates beat reporter
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Johnson, Kent, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Piazza, Smith
For the first time in my recollection, I made all 10 available checkmarks, retiring from the PED Police. Beyond the no-brainers (Biggio, Johnson, Pedro), I’ve made my last about-face on Bonds: He was a Hall of Fame player before he became a Hall of Fame lightning rod. Clemens pitched 24 seasons and had a losing record in one of them. Kent and Piazza get the best-at-their-position votes. Edgar and Smith put their specialties on the map. Biggio scored 1,566 runs from 1991-2005 — and was driven in on 370 of them by fellow Killer B, Bagwell.
LYLE SPENCER, national reporter
Biggio, Johnson, P. Martinez, McGriff, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Smoltz, Trammell
It has become such an impossible task that this might be my last ballot. I remain loyal to ’70s and ’80s stars I considered locks in their time who have no shot — McGriff, Trammell, Raines — and finally dropped Mattingly, reluctantly, to include new names. I voted for as few as two or three candidates some years but feel confined now by the 10-player limit.
T.R. SULLIVAN, Rangers beat reporter
Bagwell, Biggio, Bonds, Clemens, Johnson, P. Martinez, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Schilling
Smoltz deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but so do a few other guys who have been on the ballot longer. Biggio should not have had to wait this long but hopefully this will be the year.
(Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)