2009 Hall of Fame Ballot
The 2009 Hall of Fame Ballot was released in early December and the Web is starting to buzz with pro and con arguments. Below is a list of those on the ballots, some pertinent stats and analysis:
- Harold Baines (OF, DH, 1B)
.823 Lifetime OPS. 2866 career hits. Drove in 100+ runs only twice. Never scored 100 runs. 384 career homers. Only played 1061 of his 2830 games in the field.
Bottom Line: Good hitter for a long time, but not enough production as DH.
- Jay Bell (SS)
One great year. One more good one. .265 lifetime BA. .759 lifetime OPS.
Bottom Line: Not even close. Should fall off the ballot after one year.
- Burt Blyleven (RHP)
287 career wins. 3.31 lifetime ERA in the DH era. 2.79/1 strikeout to walk ratio. Won 14 or more games 10 times.
Bottom Line: Hard to fathom why Blyleven has not been voted in. One of the best pitchers of his era.
- David Cone (RHP)
194-126 won, loss record. 8.28 strikeouts per nine innings lifetime. .309 lifetime On Base Against. 1.26 WHIP. Perfect Game. Big wins in postseason.
Bottom Line: A very good pitcher for his era. Just not enough longevity to pile up wins required to enter.
- Andre Dawson (OF, DH)
2774 lifetime hits. .805 OPS. 1591 RBI including four years of 100 or more.
Bottom Line: Despite impressive RBI total, Dawson's OPS is simply too low in comparison with other HOF outfielders.
- Ron Gant (OF, 3B)
.802 OPS. 321 homers. 243 stolen bases. .256 lifetime Batting Average.
Bottom Line: Not a chance.
- Mark Grace (1B, OF)
.302 lifetime Batting Average. .383 On Base Average. 433 more walks in his career than strikeouts. 2445 career hits. .825 OPS. Considered a good fielder.
Bottom Line: Low slugging percentage due to little power hurts statistics. A very good player, he was probably not quite good enough to get in.
- Rickey Henderson (OF)
No need to consider statistics. Henderson is a first ballot Hall of Famer with some records that will never be broken. The interesting thing is that he was the Manny Ramirez superstar of his era where his dedication and off-beat personality were constantly called into question. It is only in retrospect that he is appreciated. Lesson?
- Tommy John (LHP)
288 career wins. 3.32 ERA in the DH era. 1.24 walks per nine innings for career. Considerably better his last fifteen years in that category. Surgical procedure named after him.
Bottom Line: His career numbers should be good enough to get him in. He wasn't flashy enough for the sizzle of the memory.
- Don Mattingly (1B)
Bottom Line: Ah! What could have been. Was for four years the best player in MLB. Great fielder. Back problems shortened his career and limited his effectiveness in the last years of his career. Not enough numbers to get him in.
- Mark McGwire (1B)
The Fan's recent post concerning lifetime OPS for sluggers with more than 400 career homers list McGwire near the top of the list. Dirtied by the steroid issue, he was still one of the best sluggers of his era.
- Jack Morris (RHP)
254-186 won, loss record. 3.90 ERA. 13 years with 14 or more wins. 20 or more wins three times. Lifetime WHIP was 1.30.
Bottom Line: Lifetime ERA and WHIP puts him behind Blyleven and Tommy John.
- Dale Murphy (OF, 1B, C)
398 career homers. .815 lifetime OPS. .265 lifetime BA.
Bottom Line: One of the league's best players for six years, his production dropped too quickly and too precipitously.
- Jesse Orosco (LHP)
Pitched for 24 years. 1251 appearances. 3.15 lifetime ERA. 144 career saves.
Bottom Line: Effective pitcher for a very, very long time. Too much of a specialist to warrant consideration.
- Dave Parker (OF, DH)
2712 lifetime hits. .290 lifetime BA. .810 lifetime OPS. 526 career doubles.
Bottom Line: Fearsome hitter for a few years, but too low OPS over the long haul.
- Dan Plesac (LHP)
1064 appearances. 158 career saves. 1041 strikeouts in 1072 career innings.
Bottom Line: Comparable to Jesse Orosco. Again, too much of a specialist to merit consideration.
- Tim Raines (OF)
2605 lifetime hits. .385 career On Base Average. 430 doubles and 113 career triples. 1571 career runs scored. 808 stolen bases in 954 attempts.
Bottom Line: The second best leadoff hitter of his generation. Still suffers from drug talk early in his career.
- Jim Rice (OF)
.298 career Batting Average. .854 lifetime OPS. 1451 RBI. .502 career Slugging Percentage. Drove in 100 or more runs eight times.
Bottom Line: Perhaps too short a career to get enough "magical" numbers to get in.
- Lee Smith (RHP)
478 career Saves. 1022 lifetime appearances. 3.03 lifetime ERA. 1251 strikeouts in 1289 career innings.
Bottom Line: If Bruce Sutter is a Hall of Famer, so is Lee Smith.
- Alan Trammell (SS, INF)
2365 career hits. .285 lifetime Batting Average. .767 lifetime OPS.
Bottom Line: Hard to quantify his fielding compared to period players to justify his very low OPS.
- Greg Vaughn (OF)
355 career homers. .807 career OPS. .242 lifetime Batting Average.
Bottom Line: Good power, but pretty marginal in every other way.
- Mo Vaughn (1B)
.293 career Batting Average. .906 career OPS. 328 homers in only 12 years.
Bottom Line: Mo Vaughn was the David Ortiz of his time. Injuries shortened his career and will keep him out of the HOF.
- Matt Williams (3B)
378 career home runs. .317 lifetime On Base Average. .806 lifetime OPS.
Bottom Line: Injuries and steroid whispers will keep him out of the HOF. Terrible OBA.
If the Fan had a ballot, votes would be cast for: Tim Raines, Mark McGwire, Rickey Henderson, Burt Blyleven, Tommy John and Lee Smith