I guess there won’t be any Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer in Cooperstown. The most controversial group on the ballot turned out a whopping zero players in this year. In order to make it to the hall of fame a player needs to have at least 75% of the votes to make it in. Only two players on this years list made it over 60%. Needless to say though I am slightly shocked to see that not a single player was good enough to make it. But when you look at some of the names on the ballot you would be far fetched to see this happening.
One such player denied a trip is the man who sits at number 20 in hits all time, a multiple time all star and three position stud, Craig Biggio. I remember watching Biggio play and he was a machine. Constantly playing hard every single at bat, every single ground ball at second. The former catcher turned second basemen belongs in the hall. Having over 3,000 hits and playing his entire career with the Houston Astros, Biggio is what the hall needs. A player who played hard, a grinder. Few players today are similar to what Biggio was. Boston second baseman Dustin Pedrioa and Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley are the two closest who resemble what Biggio was.
The only other player to reach at least sixty percent was starting pitcher Jack Morris. A lot of people will argue that Morris belongs based on how he led the 80’s in almost every pitching categories including losses as well. But is Morris hall worthy? Of course the voters didn’t think he was. But I guess Morris, 57, will get one more shot at making it next year.
Now just because both Biggio and Morris didn’t get enough votes doesn’t mean they won’t make it. I think eventually the writers will vote Biggio in but I’m not so sure about Morris. As well as those two three other players on the ballot reached over 50% of the vote. One such player is former Boston Red Sox farmhand Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell played 14 years at firstbase with the Houston Astros making the all-star team 4 times during that span as well as taking home a rookie of the year award and the 94 MVP for the NL. Bagwell was a tremendous hitter, an almost perennial .300 hitter with 30 homer power and the ability to drive in 100 a season he finished with a lifetime .297 average and 449 homers and over 1500 rbi. Bagwell might not make it in due to the fact that well he was accused of using steroids.
Another player who was denied entry is the local boy, Mike Piazza. Arguably the greatest hitting catcher of all time the Norristown native finished with a career average of over .300 and over 400 home runs. Piazza was well known for his tenure with the Dodgers where he spent 6 years and won the rookie of the year. Piazza was a 12 time all star as a catcher but once he left the Mets (after a brief run with the Marlins) he was washed up. Maybe that’s why he didn’t make the cut.
Tim Raines also failed to get in as well. Raines had a lengthy career and most people would say he doesn’t belong based on sabremetrics but that is neither here nor there. Both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, who some might consider the best at their positions, got only 30 percent of the vote (roughly) and this is all due to the steroids. Who is to say that in a few years both of them won’t be enshrined in the hall but it seems highly unlikely. Sammy Sosa and Rafeal Palmeiro got very few votes. While both Don Mattingly and Mark McGwire found themselves overwhelmed with the competition.
Two other players who might be considered for the hall, DH/third baseman Edgar Martinez and starter Curt Schilling got over thirty percent. Martinez was a 7 time all star in his 17 year career with the Mariners where he drove in 1000 plus runs and whacked over 200 plus homers with a lifetime average over .300 but Martinez didn’t get 3000 hits thus meaning he might not get in. Schilling didn’t have the greatest career numbers but he was brilliant in the postseason. The sad thing for Schilling is it’s been a rough year for him with his video game company going bankrupt and him going bankrupt to not make it.
Morris and Schilling are going to have tough company next year as former Atlanta Brave aces Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine are first year ballot members as well as Frank Thomas. Thomas might get in due to his power numbers out in Chicago but Glavine and Maddux are 300 game winners and are shoo ins. Maybe the voters were right in putting no one in this year. Denying both Clemens and Bonds was a smart move. As was Sosa and Palmerio and McGwire. Steroids don’t belong in the hall of fame, why should you be allowed to cheat and then be enshrined for the hall?