For 2019 ballot, I must say that there are many more players worthy of the Hall of Fame who have more impressive numbers than my 13th pick. However, the only number I was concerned about was 2005. That is the year Jon Garland helped pitch the White Sox on to winning their first world series since 1917. That gets him a vote in my book.
My 12th vote last year has a lot in common with my 12th vote this year. Actually, they are the same person. Gary Sheffield has the pedigree of a hall of famer yet like last year there are too many questions for me to really consider him further.
If I was advised that I could only vote for 11 players this year my 11th vote would be for Lance Berkman. Berkman is probably the Killer B who will not B inducted into C town. I thought his career was worthy of some mention and 11 seems appropriate.
As I state most years, I am a Chicago guy and I see my role as a Chicago guy to bring Chicago players to the attention of those who may not have seen them play regularly. If I were allowed to vote for exactly 10 players, my 10th vote would go to Freddy Garcia. But not for the reason I just mentioned. No for the reason I placed Garland 13th. Freddy won the most important White Sox game in my life time that’s reason enough for voting for him here.
It seems that Mike Mussina is going to make into Cooperstown. He will probably make it this year or next in his 6th or 7th year on the ballot. Last year I placed him 11th on my ballot and this year he is up to 9th. To me he’s a perennial fence sitter when it comes to enshrinement, it’s a good thing for him that many of the actual voters don’t view his career as I do,
I placed Jeff Kent 10th last year and bump him up to 8th this year. To quote myself … ” Kent is a very good player but I see him ultimately missing out of enshrinement to Cooperstown”.
If I was told I could vote for 7 and only 7 HOF candidates this year my 7th vote would go to Todd Helton. He has the highest career batting average of anyone on this years ballot at .316. Sure he played his whole career in homer friendly Colorado but he still batted .287 on the road with 142 of his 369 homers when out of town. I was very close to putting him on my OUB.
Speaking of which, If I was told that I could vote for as many or as few players on this years ballot that I thought were worthy of enshrinement, I would vote for six players. The 6th would be Roy Halladay. As mentioned at the outset, I spent some time equivocating on this selection. equivocation being a euphemism on my part for over thinking. My over thinking went like this , When I first hear Halladay’s name I don’t instantly think hall of famer, and since he died recently am I just giving him a sympathy vote. No. The truth his his numbers speak well of him and his 2 Cy Youngs one in each league 7 years apart speak of his dominance. This makes the late Mr. Halladay, the first of 7 players on my official unofficial ballot (OUB)
If I could vote for only 5 players this year, my 5th vote would go to Larry Walker. Like Halladay, Walker has not always been on my HOF radar. As I mentioned last year when he was the 6th player on my ballot and my oub was 5, He has been going up in my estimation each year he has been HOF elgible.
If I could only vote for one Nickname to be included in the Hall of Fame this year it would have to be the Crime Dog. This year Fred McGriff in his last year of eligibility get’s a bite on my ballot. If i could vote for only 5 players He would be 5th (jumping up from 7th last year. Truth is I still think Walker more worthy than McGriff but have McGriff ahead this year since it is his last time on the ballot.
While votes nine through four are kind of Cooperstown fence sitters, I have no mixed feelings whatsoever about my final 3 votes. 2 of which were on my OUB last year and one is in his first year of eligibility.
If I was told that I could only vite for 3 players this year my third vote would go to Omar Vizquel. Vizquel was my 5th choice last year and is a player who is more than just the sum of his stats. I saw Vizquel play many times against and for my beloved White Sox and have seen what a game changing shortstop he was.
I’m sorry my mind or my computer were just hacked. No offense to Juan, but if I had only one vote and even just 1/10th of my marbles that vote would have to go to Mariano Rivera in his 1st year on the ballot. The most dominant relief pitcher in both the regular and post season. Yes I hate the Yankees but only because of their greatness. Rivera enhanced that greatness and is deserving of being on 100% of the ballots.
This year I think that 3 or 4 players will make the HOF. Rivera and Martinez are perfect bookends, 2 positions that HOF voters aren’t sure about in their 1st and last years of eligibility. In my mind they are locks. I think either Mussina or Halladay or possibly both will also make it this year. I am pretty sure Rivera will not be on every ballot because there are some writers opposed to a 100%ballot and some writers opposed to relief pitchers in the Hall of Fame. So it’s the perfect storm of stupidity that will keep Rivera away from ballot perfection. The announcement is just minutes away, (procrastinate much?) So let’s go see if I was right.