The 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame class will be announced on Monday as part of a three hour special on the MLB Network. The Hall of Fame special begins at 2p.m. anchored by Matt Vasgersian with MLB Network’s Bob Costas, Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds, Hall of Fame award-winning baseball writer Peter Gammons, and Hall of Fame voters Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci.
The players eligible are household names like Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Juan Gonzalez, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams to name a few. There are also names like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro who have been shunned by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America over the past few years.
I spoke to MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds on his thoughts about the possible Class of 2012.
JW: Are there any lock for the class of 2012?
Reynolds:” The name that comes closest to a lock is Barry Larkin, best shortstop of his generation and clearly Hall of Fame worthy. Then you have a guy like Don Mattingly who was another great player in his era. I know that when I played I put my cap in my back pocket when I hit because “Donnie Baseball,” did it. You have a guy like Edgar Martínez who was a great designated hitter which, like it or not, it is an important position and should be recognized by the voters. I think that because of Bert Blyleven was elected that a fine pitcher like Jack Morris is likely get in this time. ”
JW: Should the voting be expanded beyond the Baseball Writers’ Association of America?
Reynolds:”Yes. I know that in the old days the baseball beat writers were the only guys that followed baseball on a daily basis. Times have changed now you have the radio and television broadcasters, the guys here at MLB Network, ESPN, TBS and Fox who follow every game played. There is no question that more people should be allowed to vote for the Hall of Fame beyond the baseball writers. I think more voices and more viewpoints are the best way to make things better. I have great respect for the writers but they no longer are the only people that follow baseball closely. So yes we should expand the pool of voters.”