The 3rd Man In

My 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

A year ago not a single player was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, as Craig Biggio was the closest receiving 68.2 percent of the votes, but one thing is for sure the 2014 class could be one of the best fans have seen in years. Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre are already apart of the 2014 Hall of Fame class, and in a few days baseball fans will find out who will be joining them.

To be elected for the Hall of Fame a player must receive 75 percent of the votes while the voters are able to elect up to 10 different players. When I constructed my list of players who I would vote for I used all 10 votes because I felt that every one of these players deserve to be elected. Here is whom I would select for the 2014 Hall of Fame class:

* = First-time candidates

Greg Maddux* – RHP – 1986-2008: Do I have to say much about why Greg Maddux should be a Hall of Famer? He was one of the greatest pitchers the game has ever seen, as he had 355 career wins, which are good for eighth all-time. From 1992-1995 he won four straight Cy Young Awards, while also leading the league in ERA four times, innings pitched five times and in WHIP four times. He did all of this while pitching during the Steroid Era when batters where crushing the ball.

Maddux was a dominating control pitcher who found success without having an over powering fastball, and he will be a great addition to the Hall of Fame.

Frank Thomas* – 1B/DH – 1990-2008: The former South Side slugger, Frank Thomas, was an excellent power hitter in his time, hitting 521 home runs, good for 18th all-time. During his 18 years in the Show, he captured two MVP Awards and a batting title. The two knocks people have on him though is that he was primarily a DH his entire career, and he is from the Steroid Era, causing people to speculate him because of his ability to destroy the ball.

The Big Hurt has the numbers to be in the Hall of Fame, and while some people debate whether he deserves to get in, he will be selected on his first time on the ballot.

Tom Glavine* – LHP – 1987-2008: To have some people arguing that Tom Glavine does not deserve to be elected into the Hall of Fame on his first time appearing on the ballot is ridiculous. Glavine has the numbers to warrant his selection. He accumulated 305 wins over his 22-year career, while having an impressive 3.54 ERA during the Steroid Era. He also has two Cy Young Awards to add to his respectable resume.

The crafty lefty never over powered batters instead using location and deception to get batters out. He will receive at least the 75 percent required to get in, to join Maddux and Cox in Cooperstown.

Craig Biggio – 2B – 1988-2007: This will be Craig Biggio’s second year on the ballot after falling just short in his first year receiving 68.2 percent of the votes. Biggio was never the best player in the game, but he was always a solid and reliable player. In his 20-year career, all with the Houston Astros, he collected 3,060 hits, while making numerous All-Star Game appearances and winning Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger Awards.

Biggio’s name has never been linked to PEDs, and because of this along with his impressive career, he will be voted in the Hall of Fame this time around.

Mike Piazza – C – 1992-2007: Mike Piazza is an interesting candidate because although he is the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, there has been speculation of him using PEDs. While anyone can speculate there is no convincing evidence, in fact he has stated in his book he never took any illegal steroids.

Piazza is the all-time leader in home runs and OPS by a catcher, and in his second year on the ballot, after receiving 57.8 percent of the vote a year ago, fans can expect his vote percentage to increase. If he wants to get in he will have to hope voters believe he is steroid free.

Jack Morris – RHP – 1977-1994: This is the final year Jack Morris will appear on the ballot, and last season he took a step closer to being nominated receiving 67.7 percent of the votes. During Morris’ time he was one of the best pitchers in the game, and was always referred to as the ace of the pitching staff he was on. He won 254 games in his career, and finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting five times.

For some reason though he has not been elected. It will be really close, but Morris has to hope that voters will vote for him since it is his last year on the ballot if he wants to surpass the 75 percent mark.

Jeff Bagwell – 1B – 1991-2005: In his 15-year career Jeff Bagwell was an excellent first baseman. He was a well-rounded player showing his ability to hit for power, steal bases, hit for average and play adequate defense. Bagwell was a muscular player in his playing days, but besides that there are no ties to him using PEDs.

Last year Bagwell received 59.6 percent of the votes, and that number is expected to rise. He needs to hope that voters believe that he never used PEDs to have a chance, but one problem he still might face is the large amount of other deserving candidates on the ballot.

Curt Schilling – RHP – 1988-2007: Curt Schilling definitely has a Hall of Fame resume, but it is just a matter of the voters looking past his win total. In his career he won 216 games, but he was always referred to as one of the top pitchers in the game. He finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting four times including three second place finishes.

In the history of the game, there might not be a better postseason pitcher than Schilling who went 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 12 postseason series. He also won 3 World Series titles while winning the 2001 World Series MVP Award with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Schilling received 38.8 percent of the votes last year, and it will be hard for him to get in this time around, but there is no doubting the he deserves to be in.

Mike Mussina* – RHP – 1991-2008: During Mike Mussina’s 18-year career he was the most under appreciated pitcher in the game. He pitched his entire career in the difficult American League East, and put up incredible numbers during the Steroid Era as he won 270 games while posting a 3.68 ERA.

Mussina will most likely be overlooked on his first time on the ballot just like he was throughout his career, but in order for him to have a chance to get in he will need voters to understand how difficult it was for him to be successful due to the talented lineups he faced.

Fred McGriff – 1B – 1986-2004: Fred McGriff was an underrated player during his time, and while he did not blow you away, he was a consistent performer. He was never a big name star, but he did hit nearly 500 home runs while holding a .284 career batting average and playing solid defense.

With the ballot being filled with many star players, it will not be easy for McGriff to get voted in especially after receiving 20.7 percent of the votes last year, but he does deserve to have his name among the others in Cooperstown.

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