The Baseball Hall of Fame is housed in a modest brick building in a small town in upstate New York. If you blink you’d miss it as you were driving through Cooperstown, though why you’d be driving through that town is a mystery since it is not on the way to anywhere. It is kind of ironic that so much hype, hoopla, and hot air surrounds the choosing of who will end up enshrined on a plaque there.
Not to be left out, I have provided my two cents on this topic. I’ll be the first to admit that I love baseball and therefore I tend to have a bit of an emotional soft spot for some players and slightly irrational anger towards others. I choose with my heart more than my head. Probably a good thing I don’t really get a vote.
1 – Pedro Martinez : One of my biggest regrets in life is that I never got to see him pitch in person. I’m green with envy when my fellow fans say what a joy he was to watch pitch and how electric the atmosphere in Fenway was on his start days. His statistics are amazing. It would be hard not to choose him for the Hall. Even a “homer” such as myself would have to select him, even if he wore pinstripes, which thankfully he did not.
2 – John Smoltz: It’s not every day that you find a pitcher with great numbers as a starter and a reliever. His Cy Young award and multiple All-Star appearances show that he was appreciated during his career. It is only fitting that he is honored with a spot in the Hall.
3 – Curt Schilling: I know, I know. But if you put aside your thoughts on his political comments and business decisions it’s possible to see what a great pitcher he was. I know that I personally can’t forget the bloody sock but there was more to Schilling that just heroics. He was a great player.
4 – Jeff Bagwell: I personally have a “no juicers in the Hall” policy but I also believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty. Bagwell and his great home run and steal numbers belong in Cooperstown.
5 – Craig Biggio: He had a long career that may have lacked “flash” but was full of substance. His crazy high number of hits coupled with defense makes him a worthy candidate in my book.
6 – Edgar Martinez: This guy deserves to be considered for enshrinement, and I’m not just saying that because I’d like to one day see David Ortiz get in. Don’t hold being a designated hitter against Martinez and instead focus on his All-Star appearances, OPS, and overall batting numbers.
7 – Tim Raines: It must have been fun to watch this speedster play. Swiping bases as well as well-above-average batting should put him in the Hall.
8 – Mike Mussina: The wins statistic can be a deceiving one, but when linked with his Gold Glove defense and long career it should make him a Hall of Famer.
9 – Fred McGriff: He may not have gotten to the coveted 500 home run mark, but his overall batting slash line and postseason performances should get him in.
10 – Randy Johnson: I’ll admit that I had some difficulty with this pick. My brain had to have a stern talking-to with my heart to embrace the fact that his numbers don’t lie. He might not have been a very pleasant person all the time and he did play in the Bronx for a few seasons, but there is no denying that his guy should get in. It’s called the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Likable.