The 2009 Hall Of Fame class saw Rickey Henderson, Jim Rice, and Joe Gordan enshrined in the annals of Cooperstown.
Here is just a look ahead to next year's Hall Of Fame election and a few guys who will be on the ballot. Next year, the ballot will have former staff aces, feared middle of the lineup bats, and guys that just flat out made the game fun to watch.
But who will actually have the honor of joining the legends of the game? These are the five guys who I think have the best chance of making Cooperstown this year.
All time Mariner great Edgar Martinez will be on the ballot, this will be the first real shot for a full time DH to take a shot at the HOF. Edgar was a 7x All Star, had 6 100+ RBI seasons, 8 20+ HR seasons, 11 times batted over .300 and 5 seasons of 100 + runs scored.
One of the top five second basemen of all time will be on the ballot. In his great career, he had 12 All-Star Selections, 10 Gold Gloves, batted .300 or greater nine times, stole over 20 bases 10 times, and had over 40 doubles four times.
Barry Larkin gets his first shot at the hall. With 12 All-Star Selections, and a shortstop record of nine Sliver Sluggers, he was the first SS ever to go 30/30, batted over .300 and stole 20 bases nine times each.
"The Crime Dog" Fred McGriff is on the ballot for the first time, getting recognition for being the fearsome slugger he was. A four time All-Star, he has 15 20 plus HR seasons, eight 100 plus RBI seasons, and five seasons of 30 plus doubles.
"The Big Cat," Andres Galaragga is on the ballot for the first time, and like Fred McGriff, he was too terrorized NL pitching in his day. He was a five time All-Star, had 3 40 plus HR seasons, five 100 plus RBI seasons, 10 times batted over .300, and three times scored over 100 runs.
Other first timers: Robin Ventura, Kevin Appier, Andy Ashby, Ellis Burks, David Burba, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Mark McLemore, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Fernando Vina and Todd Zeile will be on the ballot.
Here are the five guys that I think should be given some serious consideration, but didn't make the it into the HOF in past years.
"The Hawk" was his name because of his power and speed. An eight time All-Star, and eight time winner of the Gold Glove Award, he holds four Sliver Sluggers, and had 13 seasons of over 20 HR, four 100 plus RBI seasons, and seven seasons of over 20 SB.
He had one of the greatest curveballs ever, and has yet to get entry into the Hall. He was an All-Star twice, with eight seasons of over 200 strikeouts, won over 17 games seven times, had 242 CG, 3701 K's, and a career WHIP of 1.19.
The former holder of the all time saves record should be given a ton of consideration. A seven time All-Star, he had ten seasons with over 30 saves, four seasons of a K/BB ratio over 10.0/9, and six seasons of an ERA under 3.00.
Speedster Tim Raines is on my list, as I truly believe he was one of the most underrated players of his era. A seven time All-Star, he stole over 40 bases 11 times, six times had over 30 doubles, eight times batted over .300, and six times had an OBP over .400%.
He had the most the most wins in the '80s and was a five time All-Star, with 254 wins, won 20 plus games three times, had over 200 K's three times, had over 200 IP 11 times, over 35 starts eight times, and over 10+ CG 11 times.
But who will actually be elected to the hall? Here is my prediction for how the top five will turn out.
5). Edgar Martinez
Growing up, Edgar was one of the best "pure hitters" I ever saw. But being realistic, I don't think he will get in on first ballot. The thing that hurts his candidacy a bit is that he never had a pure position, as a DH.
4). Bert Blyleven
Unfortunately, I think Bert has to wait another year. He just doesn't have the numbers that the guys ahead of him have. He should have been voted in a long time ago, but this year's class is too good for Bert to join them.
3). Andre Dawson
I have a feeling Andre might place third for the third straight year. His numbers are phenomenal and he is one of the greatest power/speed combination guys ever. But, the OBP is going to hurt him and all of his numbers are coming from the OF position. The guys ahead of him have numbers coming from weaker positions.
2). Barry Larkin
Larkin really did reinvent the shortstop position. His MVP year in 1996 has to go down as one of the greatest seasons for a shortstop. He was the most dominant in the '90s and he really does deserve to get in.
1). Roberto Alomar
A lock for the HOF this year has to be Roberto Alomar; he is hands down one of the top five second basemen of all time and the most dominant of his era. He is the greatest defensive second basemen of all time. Just a great player.
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