2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot - BBA
As Hersh mentioned in this post, the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot is especially intriguing because it marks the first time that we'll see "no doubt about it" first ballot Hall of Famers* - take note of that asterisk. Of course, the asterisk exists because of links to performance enhancing drugs and the steroid era. By the numbers, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mike Piazza are undoubtedly in the discussion of greatest of all-time at their respective positions but all three are strongly linked to the performance enhancing drugs and the steroid era. This year also marks Jeff Bagwell's second time on the ballot... although speculation exists that Bagpipes took PED's because of his stature, there's nothing concrete out there to prove anything. This year's voting results should give us a good indication of what the BBWAA is going to do moving forward.
For our ballots, we chose Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Fred McGriff.
For me, personally, Biggio was an easy vote to cast. Besides the 3,000 hits, Biggio exemplified sportsmanship and what it means to be a team player. He played whatever position the team needed him to play, grinded out at bats and did everything in pursuit of greatness. Had he played his entire career at second base, he probably would get more attention as he would be in the discussion of one of the greatest of all-time at that position. As far as I'm concerned, his versatility, longevity and all-around play should solidify his status among the elite as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
In addition to Biggio, we supported Bagwell's campaign as there is virtually no evidence or inkling to our knowledge that he used PED's (and our stance is clearly not to vote PED users in, at this point) and although we did not have 100% agreement on Fred McGriff (you can see our McGriff Hall of Fame Debate piece here), we felt that the concensus was strong enough among us to warrant a vote.
Jack Morris just missed the cut for us but we wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he hears his name called on January 2nd. Dale Murphy also just missed the cut despite some compelling arguments by his children and unfortunately we think his enshrinement will come by way of the Veteran's Committee (I gave him my support but my colleagues did not agree). The problem with Murphy is that once you open the door for Dale Murphy, you have to really consider his candidacy against Don Mattingly and some of the other players that aren't in with similar prime numbers and we weren't ready to go there.
HOF Ballot Eligible:
Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy (last time on the ballot), Rafael Palmeiro, Bernie Williams,
First Ballot - Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, Kenny Lofton, Craig Biggio, Sammy Sosa, David Wells, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Reggie Sanders, Shawn Green, Jeff Cirillo, Woody Williams, Rondell White, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Sele, Roberto Hernandez, Royce Clayton, Jeff Conine, Mike Stanton, Sandy Alomar, Jose Mesa, Todd Walker