Baseball's Hall of Fame: Bleacher Report's Picks for Induction in 2012
The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) cast their votes for players eligible for induction into Baseball's Hall of Fame before January 1, 2012. Bleacher Report baseball writers cast their votes yesterday.
The premise of the vote was exact, however. All candidates that appeared on the official 2012 ballot appeared on B/R's ballot, and writers were able to select a maximum of 10 candidates. For mock induction, a player needs to appear on at least 75.0% of the total ballots cast.
The following slides reveal our voting results and some comments from various B/R baseball writers about why they chose or didn't choose players for induction.
Players Who Received Less Than 5 Percent of the Vote
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Brad Radke - 0%
Terry Mulholland - 0%
Eric Young - 0%
Brian Jordan - 0%
Ruben Sierra - 0%
Vinny Castilla - 1.1%
Jeromy Burnitz - 1.1%
Javy Lopez - 2.2%
Tony Womack - 2.2%
Phil Nevin - 2.2%
Tim Salmon - 3.3%
Bill Mueller - 4.4%
Of the candidates that received the fewest votes, Bill Mueller received four votes from a total of 88 voters.
Although he was little more than a steady, above average-hitting infielder for most of his career, he is well known for his outstanding 2003 season where he won a batting title (.326), smashed 19 home runs and collected 85 RBI. He is also well known for his contributions to the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox for his help in delivering Boston's first championship in 86 years.
Players Who Received 5 to 20 Percent of the Vote
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Juan Gonzalez - 5.5%
Dale Murphy - 16.5%
"Dale Murphy is long overdue. He was one of the top five Braves of all-time and one of the best hitters of the 80's."
"I'm a Braves' fan, but Dale Murphy is not Hall of Fame worthy. He was great for six to eight years, but the Hall of Fame is about players who were great their entire careers."
"I kept PED allegations out of my voting process, but if, in the future, the HOF Voters leave those who have been accused of using PEDs off the ballot, it could open the door for fringe players. As a result, guys like Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Larry Walker, etc. could get some consideration simply due to thinner ballots."
"Why does no one ever give Dale Murphy his due? Back-to-back MVPs, seven ASG, five Gold Gloves, two home runs short of 400 in the pre-steroid era."
Players Who Received 20 to 25 Percent of the Vote
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Bernie Williams - 22.0%
"Williams was a good, not great player. The Hall, in my view, is for the great, elite players."
"Although Williams' numbers compare favorably with some of the lower-tier center fielders already inducted into the Hall of Fame (particularly Larry Doby and Earl Averill)—and although he was one of the best players on one of the best teams in the history of baseball—with the lack of any big awards or long strings of dominance, Bernie Williams probably shouldn't get the HOF nod—at least not on the first ballot."
"Bernie Williams is practically a legend already and deserves to enshrined with the rest of them."
Jack Morris - 22.0%
"Players who used steroids should not be in the Hall of Fame because they had an advantage with recovery time and strength by taking them. Jack Morris should go into the Hall over steroid users. He had a career ERA near four, but also pitched during an era when hitters had a clear advantage."
"Jack Morris has a solid resume, but the fact he was such a big game pitcher should give him that extra boost to make it."
"Jack Morris was a consistent winner, innings-eater and a big-game pitcher. You can take him to task for having a high ERA but the flipside is, when he was throwing 200+ innings, he could've easily skipped starts or left games after five or six strong innings like pitchers of today do. I don't hold his durability and reliability against him, and he showed how dominant he could be in clutch games like during the Minnesota Twins 1991 World Series run."
Rafael Palmeiro - 23.1%
"I voted for Palmeiro because of his on-field accomplishments. I don't care about steroids, because I can't judge who did what and how it affected their play. He was a product of his era. We don't mark down pre-integration players because they played in a league with no blacks; therefore, we shouldn't mark down steroid-era players either."
"Steroids are a no-no."
"If you are of the opinion that PED suspicion should not be a factor in consideration for the HOF, how could Palmeiro still not be voted in along with Mark McGwire? Five-hundred home runs and 3,000 hits used to be seminal marks, and former players who achieved even one of those marks were automatic bids. Palmeiro got both and continues to get no respect."
Players Who Received 25 to 30 Percent of the Vote
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Alan Trammell - 25.3%
"The case for Trammell is similar to the case for Barry Larkin. One of the best at this position (especially defensively) for a long time. Six-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers, World Series ring, and the 1984 World Series MVP Award."
"I had a hard time finding a reason to choose players that were tied deep into the steroid era. I felt the players from the previous era, such as Lee Smith and Alan Trammell were sure locks because their numbers were almost guaranteed to be attained naturally."
"Anyone who thinks Barry Larkin, but not Trammell, deserves to be in, consider this: Larkin's career WAR was just one win higher than Trammell's."
"Alan Trammell should have been inducted years ago. It is time he gets his due."
Lee Smith - 27.5%
"I'm tired of ignorance when it comes to guys like Tim Raines and Lee Smith; they deserve to be in."
"Over the years, people seem to have forgotten how darn dominant Lee Smith was. In the late '80s/early '90s, he was as close to automatic in the 9th as anyone in history. He helped define the closer position. For that, he should be honored."
"Smith played in a time when relief pitching wasn't as glamorous. His numbers compare to Dennis Eckersley's closer years. By letting Eck in and keeping Smith out, we are saying that a closer must have a first-life as a mediocre starter before they can be considered as a Hall of Fame candidate."
"Lee Smith held the saves record for a long time and has a very low career ERA (3.03) for a reliever."
"If Bruce Sutter is in the Hall of Fame, Lee Smith must be as well. Period."
Fred McGriff - 29.7%
"The 'Crime Dog' was a feared slugger who played with leadership and style, without any whispers of steroid usage. He was a valuable cog on contending teams in Toronto and Atlanta."
"The 'Crime Dog' anchored the lineup of the best NL team of the '90s. He had a career .373 OBP, .383 in the playoffs. He didn't lay down, but kept raking for some horrific Tampa Bay Devil Rays teams of the late '90s."
"One of the most feared power hitters of his era, his stats are comparable to those of Hall of Famer Willie McCovey."
Don Mattingly - 31.9%
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"Don Mattingly consistently put up strong, solid numbers throughout his Yankee career. His abilities as a Yankee and as a professional baseball athlete were what all athletes should strive to become. He deserves the honor."
"One of the greatest Yankees to ever play, and the Yankees are the marquee franchise for baseball."
"Don Mattingly is long overdue for his induction. He was a terrific hitter and exceptional first baseman who had more longevity than people give him credit for."
"Only Yankee honks are still calling for Mattingly's induction."
Larry Walker - 36.3%
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"I think Larry Walker's 1997 season in Colorado (.366 average, 49 homers, 130 RBI, 33 steals) might be one of the most under-appreciated seasons in MLB history."
"Walker put up video game numbers for several years in the '90s. From 1997-99, he batted .369/.451/.689 averaging 36 HR, 104 RBI and 20 SB. Maybe we penalize players for taking steroids, but penalizing them for playing at Coors Field sets a dangerous precedent."
"Larry Walker embodied a complete ball player: speed, power, fielding, throwing arm."
"Larry Walker is being over-scrutinized for his time with the Colorado Rockies. Yes, those numbers are inflated, but he put up big numbers for the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals as well."
"Walker had a .385 BABIP in Coors. That wasn't all the ballpark, I don't think."
"I struggled with Larry Walker the most. I voted no. I think he's a just-miss, a very good player who was made to look like a Hall of Famer by his ballpark."
Mark McGwire - 38.5%
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"Mark McGwire, despite the taint of steroids, was an outstanding power-hitter, breaking Frank Robinson's long standing rookie record for home runs, with a whopping 49 (11 more than the record)."
"Steroids or not, Mark McGwire inspired baseball during his illustrious career. Perhaps thanks to him, MLB adopted their drug policies, but I am of the mind that his on-field accomplishments trump his off-field rumored drama."
"Mark McGwire is a part of baseball history and the Hall of Fame is for players that have made impressive contributions to the game. McGwire has done this by setting the single-season home run record and by hitting 583 career home runs."
"I'm not taking 'still not ready' approach with McGwire. He just doesn't cut it, period."
"I'm so sick of the pious steroid era whining and gatekeeping. It's been perpetuated for far too long by a legion of curmudgeon sports writers who couldn't jog 90 feet, yet consider themselves the gatekeepers of all that is holy in baseball. Regardless of everyone's thoughts on Big Mac (et al), it's time to change the system so that an association with an overinflated sense of self worth isn't wielding so much control. (And yes, I voted for Mark; he made baseball interesting again.)"
"I know that steroids enhanced his home run statistics, but he was still the most prolific home run hitter of his generation along with Barry Bonds. The only question is whether he's one of the best of all-time with Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. But even without enhancement, he surely would've been the best power hitter in a one or two-decade window."
"I didn't want to vote for anyone, to be honest. And I don't think McGwire will get in. But among the players on the list, he's the only who strikes me as a Hall of Fame-type player. I hate that he abused steroids. I hate that he lied about it. And I hate how he affected the game. But he's the most Hall of Fame-worthy player in this group."
"Mark McGwire has admitted to steroid use. I would never vote for him into the Hall based on that."
Tim Raines - 39.6%
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
"Had Tim Raines not played his career in the shadow of Rickey Henderson, the Expo great would be a shoe-in for the Hall. Look at the obscene production of Rock's peak five years ('83-'87), combined with his longevity and voila: you have yourself a legend."
"Tim Raines' numbers are superior to Lou Brock's and only Rickey Henderson outdid him as a leadoff hitter."
"Tim Raines was a smart baserunner on top of being extremely gifted. Not a slouch with the bat, either."
"Raines had 12 straight seasons of 30 or more steals, and had an on-base percentage of over .350 in each of those seasons. That's incredible."
"Raines might be considered the best leadoff hitter of all time if not for Rickey Henderson. He compares favorably to Tony Gwynn, having more runs scored, home runs, stolen bases and reached base more than Gwynn did."
Edgar Martinez - 57.1%
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"Edgar Martinez is the greatest DH in baseball history and has a lifetime batting average of .312."
"Edgar Martinez was the premiere right-handed hitter of his decade, and I don't penalize him for being a DH. If he was a first baseman, he would've had no more/less impact on the game."
"I considered Edgar Martinez, but his overall stats were not quite good enough—plus he did not play the field."
"Simply put, the greatest designated hitter to ever play the game. Regardless of how people view the DH, it is a position in baseball, and the best at that position deserves to be in the Hall of Fame."
"The knock against Edgar Martinez' candidacy is that he didn't play defense. And while bad defenders litter the Hall of Fame, that is a valid concern. However, in defense of Martinez, his offensive value (.312/.418/.515) was such that one should overlook his primary role as DH."
"Edgar Martinez was one of the most dangerous pure hitters in baseball during his time as a DH. His position exists in MLB and has for decades now; it is time for one to be represented, and a player never accused of using PEDs is the perfect candidate to represent the DH well."
Barry Larkin [INDUCTED] - 75.8%
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"Barry Larkin is a no-brainer: 12-time All Star, one MVP award, three Gold Gloves at arguably the toughest position to field in baseball, .338 postseason average, and one World Series ring."
"I didn't cast my vote for Barry Larkin because he was a very good shortstop in an era of great shortstops. He played in the same era as Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel. There are roughly 20 shortstops in the Hall of Fame, so the standard is incredibly high, and Larkin, as great a player as he was, just doesn't rise to the level of a Hall of Famer."
"Larkin's three Gold Gloves are understated, considering he played in the same league as Ozzie Smith. It's a wonder he even got three!"
"Larkin was brilliant offensively and defensively before the era of the power shortstop."
"At the end of the day, Larkin is one of the best shortstops to ever play the game. 12-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, nine Silver Sluggers, an MVP Award, and a World Series ring. Those are Hall of Fame credentials."
Jeff Bagwell [INDUCTED] - 78.0%
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"The fact that he is on the ballot with a number of accused steroid users from his day only strengthens the case for Bagwell, who should be a Hall of Famer regardless. He has a Rookie of the Year Award, is a four-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, and an MVP. Four-hundred and forty-nine home runs seal the deal."
"Jeff Bagwell may not have hit 500 homers, but with a career slash of .297/.408/.540, OPS-plus of 149, 449 homers, 1,529 RBI and 1,517 runs, he has terrific numbers. Add a ROY award, a Gold Glove, an MVP and two 30-30 seasons, and Bags is deserving."
"In the prime of Jeff Bagwell's career, he had five out of six seasons with at least 120 RBI; and in three of those seasons he was above 130. For a power hitter, he still batted just three points shy of .300 for his career. Plus he had the most awesome crouched batting stance and wizard beard ever."
"Bagwell deserves in. Stayed clean, worked hard and was the face of a franchise for well over a decade. I believe he is innocent of taking steroids, but I understand the hesitancy. He was a model of consistency, he belongs in the Hall."
"Jeff Bagwell is the only player on the ballot this year that is worthy of induction. The 1994 MVP ranks in the top 50 all-time in on-base percentage, slugging, homers, RBI and walks."
"He played 15 seasons. In 12 of those he appeared in 142 games or more. He had eight seasons with 100+ RBI, and nine seasons with 100+ runs. His 162-game average for his career: .297, 34 HR, 114 runs, 115 RBI, .948 OPS. MVP in 1994, Rookie of the Year in 1991. No PED evidence at all—none."