Well, here goes nothing. It's my first article, so I'll start with an easy topic, my Hall of Fame ballot. So, without further ado, here are my 2009 choices for the Baseball Hall of Fame:
All time leader in stolen bases and in runs. Almost 300 HR and a .401 career OBP. Need I say more?
It's really a shame that Blyleven not reaching a nice round number of wins may keep him out of the Hall of Fame. He was a truly great pitcher, 5th all time in career strikeouts and a 3.31 career ERA. He pitched consistently for 22 seasons. He is 14th all time in career innings pitched. He was truly a great pitcher, and he belongs in the Hall of Fame.
Dawson was a great hitter. Like Henderson and Blyleven, he played into his 40s. He was a mix of great power and great speed, hitting over 400 HR and stealing over 300 bases. He managed to win an MVP with the last-place 1987 Cubs, with a monster 49 HR season. He also had particularly good fielding, winning eight career Gold Glove awards. His Rookie of the Year award and eight All Star selections seal the deal.
This is Rice's final year of Hall eligibility, and, frankly, he should've been in a while ago. He's not quite as obvious of a selection as the media seems to make him out to be, but his nearly 400 HR, his career AVG of nearly .300, and his above average career on-base percentage make him definitely deserving of this honor.
There's an outfielders party in Cooperstown this year, and I'm inviting Tim Raines too. First off, the guy was amazing on the basepaths. Over 800 career steals. He was an above average career hitter (.294 career AVG, 170 career HR) and he was an good fielder. He also made seven career All Star Games and even snuck a Silver Slugger Award in there.
Alan Trammell was just great at everything. 185 career HR, a .285 career AVG, over 200 career steals, and great fielding. Three Silver Slugger awards, four Gold Glove awards, six All Star Games, one great career.
Lee Smith is an interesting case. He fares well in some of the media's favorite statistics (such as being third all-time in SV, and having a career ERA just over 3), but has not managed to be elected, even though fellow closers Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage have both been inducted into the Hall in recent years.
Lee Smith should be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He finished among the league leaders in Saves for 14 consecutive seasons from 1982-1995, and is now 3rd all time in career saves (he was first when he retired, though). His career ERA is just over 3. Delving even further into the stats helps Smith's case even more. His K:BB ratio is nearly 3:1 in his career.
His ERA was better then the league ERA in every season of his career but his last. He made 10 All Star Games and finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting four times and received an MVP vote in four seasons. He was a truly great closer and deserves the ultimate honor of Hall of Fame induction.