Conor’s Hall of Fame selections
Yesterday we kicked off our series of BoSox Injection’s mock Hall of Fame ballots with Rick McNair’s introduction. Today, I’ll follow up with my own ballot and, without further ado, I’ll get to it.
- Randy Johnson, or “the big unit,” strongly displays the two attributes necessary for every Hall of Famer: longevity and complete, utter dominance. As for the longevity, Johnson was a regular major leaguer from 1989-2009, pitching until he was 45 years old and racking up 303 wins in the process. For the complete dominance, Johnson had a career 3.29 ERA pitching his prime in the height of the steroid era and winning five Cy Youngs, including four consecutively from 1999-2002. There’s no question he’ll be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
- Pedro Martinez may not have the longevity of Johnson as he began to tail off after his age 33 season in 2005. However, he was just as dominant as Johnson, if not more, and displayed more than enough to enter the Hall of Fame during his prime. Like Johnson, that prime fell in the heart of the steroid era but unlike Johnson, who pitched most of his years in the AL West (in Seattle) and in the NL West (in Arizona), Martinez’s prime fell in the AL East. However, that didn’t stop Martinez from winning three Cy Young awards in a four-year span (1997, 1999, 2000) and leading the league in ERA four times during a six-year span. There shouldn’t be any debate: first ballot Hall of Famer.
- Mike Piazza is the best hitting catcher of all time and, while he doesn’t have any MVP awards to show for it, he totes a career .308/.377/.545 slash line. Use of PED’s somewhat blurs his Hall of Fame case, but as you’ll soon learn, I’m not such a stickler on steroid use and the case against him is not strong enough to take away my vote.
- Craig Biggio was the picture of a solid, consistent player during his 20-year career, spent entirely in Houston. While his averages portray him as an above-average but not incredible player, take his .281/.363/.433 slash line for example, his counting stats will give him the boost he needs to reach Hall of Fame status in his third year on the ballot. Biggio posted 3060 career hits, 668 career doubles, 291 home runs, and 124 stolen bases. Those should be enough to make Biggio a Hall of Famer in the class of 2015.
- Jeff Bagwell will always be “the one that got away” for the Red Sox as they traded him to the Astros for a rental relief pitcher in 1990. Bagwell proceeded to reach the majors in 1991 and begin a career as one of the most feared hitters in baseball, winning the 1991 Rookie of the Year award and winning the MVP in the strike-shortened 1994 season, crushing 39 home runs in just 110 games. His case is also weakened by PED allegations, but his career slash line .297/.408/.540 and 449 home runs will give him my vote regardless.
- Edgar Martinez is the best designated hitter of all time and it’s time that we finally inducted a DH to the Hall of Fame. He never won any major awards due to his DH status, though he was voted to 7 All-Star games, but he was still one of the best hitters in baseball during his 18-year career spent entirely with the Mariners. A career .312/.418/.515 slash line and no link to steroids should put him over the edge as a legitimate Hall of Famer.
- Tim Raines was the Rickey Henderson of the National League, leading the league in stolen bases four consecutive times from 1981-1984 and while he never posted Henderson’s eye-popping and record-breaking stolen base numbers, he was still one of the best speedsters in the league. He posted at least 70 steals from 1981-1986 and stole at least 30 from 1981-1992. With the bat, he was no slouch either as he posted a .294/.385/.425 slash line over his career with 2605 hits and 170 home runs to go with his absurd 808 stolen bases. In his eighth year on the ballot, Raines should reach Hall of Fame status.
- Alan Trammell‘s career statistics are extremely similar to Biggio’s, the main difference being that Biggio played almost 600 more games than Trammell. However, while Biggio has the edge in games played, Trammell has the edge in being a shortstop. So, with a career .285/.352/.415 at historically the weakest offensive position to go with four Gold Gloves, Trammell has the necessary merit to enter the Hall of Fame.
- Barry Bonds is on my ballot and here comes the controversy. However, while Bonds has been tied to numerous steroid allegations and is practically the face of the steroid era, he still belongs in the Hall. The 1990’s and early 2000’s are named the steroid era because of the widespread use of steroids; despite their widespread use, however, nobody even approached Bonds’ offensive prowess during that time frame. The most feared hitter of all time, Bonds posted a career .298/.444/.607 slash line (almost unfathomably good even during that time of heightened offense) with all-time records in home runs and walks. Sure, he did steroids, but the steroid era is a piece of baseball’s history and we can’t just block it out and try and forget about it; the way to end that trend is by admitting Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
- Roger Clemens has a similar case as Bonds, except his is even stronger considering his success in a time of huge offense. Clemens also took performance-enhancing drugs, but given the ridiculous offensive trends around him, one could say he simply leveled the playing field. And on a level playing field, Clemens would be a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame, with his 7 Cy Young Awards, 354 wins, 4672 strikeouts, and 3.12 career ERA. I believe we should end the movement of forgetting about the steroid era and Clemens is statistically one of the best pitchers in baseball history. Put him in the Hall!