Ahh, one of my favorite times of the year, the Election of Hall of Famers. The Veterans Committee is first, and they’ve released the ballot. There are two separate ballots: Post-1943 and Pre-1943. Here are the options for each:
There are a lot of good choices here. I’ll start with the first ballot.
My top picks for this one are Dick Allen, Jim Kaat, Tony Olivia, and Gil Hodges (if it’s Joe Torre as a manager, definitely him as well). I like all of these players and they’ll all be contenders. Allen has a Rookie of the Year award and an MVP award under his belt, and he hit 351 homers with 1119 RBIs. He has the highest OPS+ out of all of the candidates.
Jim Kaat was a great pitcher and with 283 wins he makes a strong case. But the only problem is exactly what people said about Jamie Moyer. Kaat was in the game for 25 years. Obviously, he was a much better pitcher than Moyer, but after 1975 he slowed down. If you subtract the number of wins Kaat had from his older years, he’d have 247 wins.
Tony Olivia makes a strong case with all of his achievements, but his stats aren’t really Hall of Fame worthy. His career average is .304. That’s good, but he wasn’t a very powerful outfielder (220 HR) and wasn’t a speedy outfielder (86 SB). He also doesn’t have many RBIs and runs scored.
Gil Hodges was a great player and was great in every category except he didn’t hit for as much average as the other candidates. He has the homers, RBIs, and runs scored to be a top contender.
Now, for the second ballot. My top picks for this ballot are Sherry Magee, Carl Mays, Bill Dahlen, Mickey Vernon, and Deacon White. Magee is my leading candidate because he is one of the best extra base hitters to play baseball. He has a good batting average, a good amount of hits, RBIs, and runs scored, and has 425 doubles and 166 triples.
I like Mays because he has a great ERA, and enough wins to be in the Hall. Plus, he did it all in 15 years. He’s most known for throwing the pitch that killed Ray Chapman in 1920.
Dahlen my second favorite candidate on this list because he has 1589 runs scored, 1233 RBIs, 2457 hits, and 547 stolen bases. The only category that could hurt him would be his batting average (.272) and fielding percentage (.926), but they used bad gloves back then if they wore them at all.
Vernon is another strong candidate. The only thing is that he was more of a big career guy than a big season guy. He had many great all-star worthy seasons, but he only had over 100 RBIs one year and clubbed 20 homers only once.
Finally, we reach Deacon White. White had a great career average and knocked in a lot of runs considering the era. He also scored plenty of runs to make a strong case.
Long story short, my picks are Dick Allen and Bill Dahlen.