Casting an Early Ballot for Next Year's Baseball Hall of Fame Class

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Casting an Early Ballot for Next Year's Baseball Hall of Fame Class
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Frank Thomas will be on the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot.

With no players being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2013, it's easy to look ahead to the 2014 class and the names that will be eligible for the first time. 

Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine headline the players who will make their debut on the Hall of Fame ballot next year (or technically, at the end of this year). Others who could draw consideration among voters are Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent. 

There will be 45 players on the 2014 Hall of Fame ballot, eight more than were eligible to be voted in this year. The influx of new names will make it difficult for some names to break through and could ruin the chances of some borderline cases who still had a chance. 

That was definitely the case for me, as I filled out a hypothetical ballot for next year's Hall of Fame vote. Voters for the Baseball Writers Association of America are allowed to list a maximum of 10 players. As you can see from the voters who made their ballots public, few took advantage of that luxury. 

However, if I was eligible to fill out a ballot, I would put 10 names on it. Unfortunately, that still forced me to make a couple of tough choices. I believe Jack Morris should be a Hall of Famer, yet he was squeezed off my list of 10 players.

Even though I could have done some trickery and kept some names off because they'll be on the ballot for many years to come, I just feel the names I nominated deserve the honor more at this point. 

This is how my Hall of Fame ballot would look if I filled one out for next year's election. 

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