Many are calling this year’s list of Hall of Fame hopefuls a ‘B’ type list that is rather weak when it comes to ballot names. First time names such as Rubin Sierra, Tim Salmon and Vinny Castilla will join former Red Sox Bill Mueller and Yankee great, Bernie Williams. Holdover names include favorites Jack Morris and Barry Larkin, as well as Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Don Mattingly.
For now we have to settle on this year’s crop of former big leaguers and while there is one former Red Sox on the list, it won’t be Mueller who can expect the call.
Mueller did win a batting title back in 2003 as a member of the Red Sox, hitting .326 during the year. This is hist first appearance on the HOF ballot and he should probably get used to being on the ballot for quite a few more years.
Former Yankee great, Bernie Williams make his first appearance as a possible vote seeker. Williams who led the AL in batting in 1998 with an average of .339 will likely have to wait a few years as well before he gets the call to Cooperstown.
Mueller and Williams are just two of the thirteen newbies on the list part, of the total 27 that are eligible this year.
Last year you may recall it was Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven who got inducted, leaving Jack Morris and Barry Larkin as the proverbial front runners for this year’s class.
Morris received 53.5% of the votes on what was his 12th attempt at getting into Cooperstown, while Larkin collected 62.1% of the votes. A total of 75% is needed in order to gain entrance into the elite class of baseball’s hall of fame. Winners will be announced on January 9, 2012. For a complete look at the list you can check out Ben Watanabe”s post on the NESN site.
But back to next year and the potential candidates that could be on the ballot.
It’s full of doped up record setters. Names like Bonds, Clemens and Sosa who set many records, mainly Bonds who hit 73 home-runs in back in 2001.
If the past two years have shown us anything it’s that these players may not be given a whole lot of consideration for the HOF. You will recall it was former home-run record holder, Mark McGuire who has been eligible for five-years now, has seen his vote percentage drop since he admitted to using steroids and human growth hormone. McGuire was almost a sure bet to be in the Hall, collecting 23.7% of the votes in 2010, but after the confession, he garnered 19.8%.
Could this be a sign of things to come for the latest generation of stars that are now becoming eligible for baseball mortality? There are many, many glorious achievements between guys like Bonds and Clemens et al. Numerous MVP awards, not to mention the seven Cy Young awards that the Rocket took home. But it’s what they did behind the scenes that has everyone second guessing their credentials.
Steroids and human growth hormones litter the aforementioned list of potentials for next year’s ballot. Do they deserve a shot at the HOF when it’s been known that they used a performance enhancing drug? That is a whole other argument, one we’ll save for a later date, say a year from now.
Notice I haven’t used the word cheater either. Dopers yes, but to call them cheaters is again another debate for another time. It’s a far too sensitive issue to get into now.
Rather, for now we’ll get set to congratulate the 2012 class in the new year whoever that may turn out to be. The dopers can wait.