To recap, here are the 10 players who I voted for on my mock Hall of Fame ballot.
That list includes three players with strong ties to the Red Sox, plus Wagner, who made 15 appearances out of Boston’s bullpen in his final season.
The bottom few players might be long shots to get in but they were the best options to fill out my ballot after I ruled out everyone else. While we aren’t obligated to use all ten spots, I decided not to submit an incomplete ballot. Players fall off the ballot next year if they don’t receive at least five percent of the votes. Even if Kent and Wagner have no realistic chance of getting in this year, voting for them helps ensure they get another chance.
I am adamantly against the tactic of leaving a deserving player off the ballot simply because you assume they’ll get plenty of votes already and want to save a spot to help someone else stay on the ballot. That’s not what I did. If I left someone off my ballot, there’s a reason for it.
Aside from the previously identified PED-related exclusions, my toughest cuts were Scott Rolen, Cliff Lee, and Omar Vizquel. A case can be made for replacing the final three players on my ballot with this trio. Each is worthy of consideration, I just couldn’t find room for them on my list.
Other ballots will look much different than this one. Whittling down the list of candidates to only 10 selections is no easy task. I can understand the logic behind some other choices. This is my list and I’m standing by it – at least until next year when there’s an updated crop of candidates to choose from.