If I Possessed a BBWAA 2010 Hall of Fame Ballot





I am not a voting member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Nor do I profess or pretend to be the “almighty and all seeing” eyes of the game, but I can bet the farm easily today that there will be a controversy extended at 1 pm when the official Inductees are announced for this year’s class for Induction this Summer to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Some may say I am posting this at 11:49 am because I know something, but I do not. I am instead wondering just like the rest of you who will join former Philadelphia Phillies writer Bill Conlin who was announced in early December as the J G Taylor Spinks Award winner in the BBWAA first ballot of the year. And within the next hour or so countless other BBWAA members and media savvy folks will be typing away either giving you their 2011 ballot for discussion, or writing prose in defense of them not submitting a certain name or the reasons why they were left off their ballot.

This year there are 14 carry-overs from the potential HOF nominating class of 2010 including two former players who just missed the Hall threshold with less than 75% of the BBWAA votes in 2009. Former slugger and ex-Tampa Bay Rays Second Baseman Roberto Alomar just missed his election in his first year of eligibility after receiving 73.7 percent of the vote. He was joined in that “just missed by a hair” club for men with fellow nominee Bert Blyleven (74.2 %) who missed a 2009 HOF election by a paltry.8 percent of the vote.

Here is the entire list of eligible former MLB players who comprised the voting community that the BBWAA members had to choose from in 2010 (anyone receiving votes in 2009):

Carlos Baerga, Jeff Bagwell, Harold Baines (6.1%), Bert Blyleven (74.2%), Bret Boone, Kevin Brown, John Franco, Juan Gonzalez, Marquis Grissom, Lenny Harris, Bobby Higginson, Barry Larkin (51.6%), Al Leiter, Edgar Martinez (36.2%), Don Mattingly (16.1%), Mark McGuire (23.7%), Raul Mondesi, Jack Morris (52.3%), Dale Murphy (11.7%), John Olerud, Rafael Palmeiro, Dave Parker (15.2%), Tim Raines (30.4%), Kirk Rueter, Benito Santiago, Lee Smith (47.3%), B J Surhoff, Alan Trammel (22.4%) and Larry Walker.

Also under consideration are 4 former Tampa Bay Rays, which include 2 former nominees Roberto Alomar (73.7%) and Fred McGriff (21.5%). The other two are first time nominees this year former Rays First Baseman Tino Martinez and Catcher Charles Johnson.

The list is an impressive selection that includes 2 former AL MVPS, 2 former AL MVPs, 2 Rookie of the Year winners, plus the MLB All Time pinch hit leader and a member of the exclusive 3,000 hit and 500 Home Run fraternity. With these 19 names it was hard to even pick a possible 10 that I would list on my own BBWAA ballot if I ever got a lucky break, but there are also a few that I will never vote for, and maybe that list should be easier for me to compile here. But instead of dragging someone’s MLB career through the mud for my own dislike of them personally, maybe I will just list my 10 personal nominees.

1. Edgar Martinez. I always loved the way the former Mariner always seemed to take the game and molded it into his own style. He is the first HOF nominee who can be mostly classified as a Designated Hitter, and his tenure on this list before Induction might be a testament to the struggles other DH’s will have in the future. But he has been class from the get-go to me, and has a sure fire check next to his name from me.

2. Roberto Alomar. I might not like the way the former Ray left the team before the season, but I can not detest him enough to leave him off the list because of the way he controlled and provided more than a book load of awesome moments both at the plate and turning the pivot in his career. Some might say his exclusion in 2009 might have been a nudge for his spitting incident, but the former Jays/O’s player has more problems currently in Tampa Bay where his wife is claiming some outrageous behavior that makes his spitting seem tame. But based on his skill and grace on the field….He get a head nod and a “sure thing” check mark.

3. Bert Blyleven. Here is another head scratcher for me from the 2009 HOF results. I thought the Manager of the Netherlands WBC squad was more than deserving, but I think 2010 is the year the former Twin hurler gets to be greeted by his already inducted peers on the steps of Cooperstown. He is one of my two sure thing picks.

4. Fred McGriff. What can I say about the former Rays 1B and Special Advisor. When you get a moniker like “Crimedog”, you know he took a bite out of someone. In this case it was 200 Home Runs in each MLB League. But some say his struggle to get to 500 HR might be his downfall. But this character of great integrity and grace deserves a spot in the hallowed halls, even if he will not bear wearing a Rays capo.

5. Don Mattingly. This is the first time I have included “Donny Baseball” on my personal HOF wish list. More and more I have come to admire and respect the former pinstripe for what he did for his city, his team and the accolades he achieved. Now that he is finally getting the reins of a MLB team, hopefully this will be the first of two possible inductions, one as a player, and the second as a MLB Manager.

6. Tim Raines. I never got to see Raines stretch one out for extra bases or see him deliver a pinch hit that produced a walk-off win or moment. And maybe I am bitter about that. But in reality it is the type of player that Raines was, and the fear he instilled in his competition after a long career manning the outfields that should get his name called for Cooperstown. Hopefully he is not the last former Expos to get a chance to grace the Hall of Fame.

7. Dale Murphy. Here is a guy I got to see a lot in regional broadcasts of baseball games since the state of Florida got a lot of Braves games in his heydays. I respect the way he took this team on his back for so many years and lead by example and power to show some of us how the game should be played. The ATL would have been a totally different MLB town if not for the likes of Murphy stroking those long balls out of Turner Field. His HOF speech might be sponsored by TBS, which during his induction would mean, The Best Story”.

8. Jeff Bagwell. I do not know how this ballot could not include Bagwell. Has it really been 5 years since he last strapped on a pair of cleats? I still have that moment in my mind in the Astros dugout when my buddy Brandon Backe came off the mound during a 1-hit miracle in the World Series and “Bags” pumping Brandon up for the next inning with talks on the bench. He could make it on inspiration alone, but his talent will show he is Hall worthy (possibly 2011).

9. Mark McGuire. I am on the fence some days as to the effect that PED’s had on the game. But back in his era, Andro was not a condemned products until it was seen in a photo in McGuire’s locker and then investigated. For that I can not keep him off the HOF ballot, but his recent statements and also his willingness come back back and give of himself as a St. Louis Cardinals Coach speaks volume to the character underneath “Big Macs” now smaller pecs.

10. Shoeless Joe Jackson. I know this is just a personal statement, but Jackson ceased to be a “person” long ago and in it, his MLB restriction should have been lifted. How can the guy Babe Ruth copied his swing from not be HOF worthy. He was a Georgia farm boy who could not write with clarity and possibly buckled to the pressures of his White Sox teammates in the World Series scandal. Until the day I also cease to exist, I will bang the drum the Jackson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as much as 50% of the guy already deserving of the bronze plague.

Only one guy is on my black list of not getting a vote ever on my HOF ballot. Rafael Palmiero to me boldfaced lied to our collective faces, and Congress, then got caught and suddenly was as silent as a clam. I personally have a problem with someone who put out a mighty persona only to have it crumble down like a house of cheap cards. If he had not produced a positive drug test, then he might have been one of my favorites on this ballot for consideration. But he has tarnished the game in my mind, and for that you get a thumbs down for eternity. If he ever does get inducted, I will gladly turn my back to the screen during you induction, but that is the Renegade way.

Hope you enjoyed reading my little muses on the Hall of Fame ballot I would have submitted if given the chance. Some days I wish there was a few fans votes included into the actual Hall of Fame voting academy, but then someone would be writing from field level instead of the high palace that is the press box.


The Crimedog, in my opinion, should be in the Hall. It’s sad that so many other players in his era where juicing up to hit homers and he did it the right way. If he had retired in 1984 with his numbers he would have been a lock for the HoF.



Well Cliff, your number 2 & 3 made it in! Congratulations to both Alomar and Blyleven!
I am surprised to read that Alomar is only the 7th Latin player to make it in.

Congratulations to Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven (who was a great Angel too, for a little while)! I am with you on Shoeless Joe, especially when they can’t even prove he made an actual attempt to throw the game based on his play that series.
Reading your comments about Bagwell, did you play pro ball Rays Renegade? Forgive me if this is a silly question that everyone else here already knows the answer to, but I am new to MLBlogs and some of the things you say make me think you played. If so, and if you would care to share such things, where/when/etc?
– Kristen

I cant argue with any of your picks, and I agree with most of them. But my only question would be why you would vote in McGwire, a confessed steroid user, and not even think about Palmeiro.

If they both used; and you said your not sure of the effects of PED’s on the game, Palmeiro’s numbers are far superior to Big Mac’s

I’m so happy for Alomar. He deserves it. If we weren’t going away the weekend of his indunction, we’d take a trip to Cooperstown and cheer for a former Blue Jay.



They were my two bronzers, or guys I thought had a solid chance to finally step into the HOF as inductees. I have not seen the official tally of votes or percentages yet, but I think 2011 will be Barry Larkin’s HOf Induction chance to lose.
Next years class is kind of slim and a few guys like Larkin and Tim Raines might get the nod.
Still great to see ESPN’s favorite part line player Bret “Be Home” Blyleven get into the Hall…finally.

Rays Renegade


For some reason I have a sneaking feeling that McGriff might be caught in that “no-man’s” land of accused and not accused PED offenders.
It is ashame since his 200 HR in each League is a definite HOF worthy feat. Add to that the tragedy that he did not get to hit his 500th HR, and it adds more against him getting a HOF later as opposed to later.

Rays Renegade


All I can say, Larkin, Walker, Murphy, and Bagwell got screwed out of being in the HoF this year.


I’m with you on Donnie Baseball. I doubt he’ll ever make it in but I wish he would. As for Blyleven, Michael said when he heard the news today, “He had the best curveball I’ve ever seen.”


I never played professional ball, but I did do two Summer Leagues in the NE and played for both my colleges along with my football talents. I did however play professionally in another 3-letter League, and my old team is also playing this weekend ( Go Colts!).
That is where I get my personal experience as to team chemistry,character and some of the superstitions and nuances that hang in th darkness within sports.
Helps that one of the ex Rays players also invited me into their circle of trust a few years back and they know I will not write something mean siprited unless it is deserved.
Need to know anything else…..Just ask, I do not shy away from too much.

Rays Renegade


Rays Renegade- I knew Walker wouldn’t make it this round. Unfortunately I’m not sure he’ll ever make it into the Hall. I agree with you 100% about shoeless Joe…it’s sad.
Also I love your line “He was joined in that “just missed by a hair” club for men”. Oh well sheet happens, all we can do is hope for next year…D

I agree on Shoeless Joe getting elected. His stats in the ’19 series proves his worth alone. I don’t understand what’s keeping Jack Morris out of the Hall. He has the most wins of the ’80’s, and has three WS rings.
‘Minoring In Baseball’

When McGwire went before Congress, he did not lie. He just used his 5th Amendment rights. Palmeiro inphatically lied to us and them. Andro was on his clubhouse shelf, Palmeiro was found with it in his body by testing. McGwirw had admitted now that he did use at a point in his career, but we already knew he did before MLB outlawed Andro.
Palmeiro to this day besides a 10 day suspensiuon has not even hinted at asking for forgiveness or deserves it.
It is a tale of two cities to me, with McGwire at least not making it worst by lying and covering it up. He just refused to talk about it, which is within his right.
I guess we can agree to disagree on him.

Rays Renegade


I kind of had Alomar on my list of guys that would make it, but they made him sweat a bit in 2009.
Some might say it was a reality check/ “Hirschbeck check”, but he was going in on the first ballot in their minds because of it.
Then his domestic stuff here in Tampa kind of got heated around November 2009, which might of played into a small sidebar of the wholeadventure. But now the thinking can end and we can celebrate.
Sorry you will miss it, but hopefully the Alomar family, well at least 2 generations of it will be beaming with smiles formiles this Summer in Cooperstown.

Rays Renegade


Well, my ballot would contain a lot less names than yours, but heck, that’s the fun of it all, eh!?

I actually thought Bagwell might garner a few more votes than he did, but I think he will get into the Hall of Fame, with class of 2011 being a bit week, so there is a chance. Same with Larkin. Next year’s HOF nominating class has a weak spot with the exception of maybe Bernie Williams getting a few votes.

Rays Renegade


I think Mattingly had the heart and soul of the Yankees for a long time while hism team did not venture into the World Series and had a lot less press than he deserved. That being said, his
Coaching/Managerial slate can get as huge boost if he can develop and contend with a Dodger team that might have a few holes for 2011. Still, people have gotten to the big game with less, and if anyone can pull the inspiration card out of his pocket…it is Donny Baseball.

Rays Renegade


The good thing is ex-Rockies plater Larry Walker got votes, which mean there is hope for 2011. Some guys have the seasonal experience and stats that bode well for a Hall of Fame nod, but sometimes postseason and awards, championships and things like Silver Sluggers or Gold Glove Awards can bend the needle more towards their cause.
Have faith the system will work out in the end, then Walker can sprint, not walk into those hallowed halls.

Rays Renegade


Mike doing some research on a petition filed by Baseball Hall of Famer the late Ted Williams and recently late Bob Feller back about 20 years aho that was submitted to the MLB powers that be.
So far it is an interesting read, plus there is some significant legal jargon contained in the BBWAA rules for eligibility, and some interesting notes of clarity as to why he is even considered on the restricted or ineligible list if he has been dead for some time.
Didn’e cease to be a “person” or “Player” when he died?

Rays Renegade


Even if I had 10 years covering a team I think BBWAA would never let me vote because I would write-in “Shoeless ” Joe Jackson every year in protest.
But that is what a renegade does….

rays Renegade


Pete Rose! will it ever happen?

That is a hard one to answer. A few years ago when Rose was very upfront with his mistakes I thought MLB Commish Selig might reverse the ban, but it never happened, and the lifting of the lifetime ban could wait until Selig is about to leave office like a last second death sentence repreive.
In two years we could have the Career hits leader (Rose) and the Career HR hitter both not in the HOF…..How times have changed.

Rays Renegade


Your ballot looks sufficient but i do disagree with the inducting of Mark McGuire. He may be a good guy but he cheated his way to the top and those are the guys I cant’ stand to see on the HOF ballots.

When McGwire first took his supplements, they were not illegal by MLB drug testing.
When he went before U S Congress he used his 5th Amendment right to not answer.
When he became a St. Louis Cardinals Coach he advocated that he might have done wrong, but not by design, but my ways of beating the system in place at the time.
Unlike Rafael Palmeiro, McGwire was never suspended, found to possess an illegal substance in his tests or proclaim he was not guilty of wrongdoing.
He is the one guy who might have violated the test that thought smart and never proclaimed himself to be clean unlike Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz who all tested positive.

Rays Renegade

Very good point! haha I do believe you on the a-rod, manny ramirez, and big papi statement ! I hate it when players who cheat with steroids and get to the ballots which i said on my entry on Peter Rose and the HOF. What do you think will Pete ever make it?

Pete Rose might not even get back on the eligible list until current MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is about to step down. I can see Selig pardon Rose as his last official act as MLB Commish and then ride off into the sunset.
But if Selig doesn’t get him reinstated, someone will some day.
As for the HOF, he deserves a spot with his accomplishments, but like “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, the first act of kindness has to be reinstatement,then the rest will follow suit.
I would like to see him in some day. Sooner than later, but that might take a while.

Rays Renegade

I hope to see him there someday too! If you want to see more on what i think on that subject check out my entry HOF: Pete Rose

Worst thing is that the BBWAA has the power right now in regards to Rose and any HOF chance.
I think the realisatic chance willcome out of the Veteran’s Committee who sometimes have a sympathic eye and ear to guy’s like Rose who got shafted by the younger sportswriters.
But first there has to be a reversal of the late MLB Commish Bart Giamatti’s decision…The Rosemight be off to the races.

Rays Renegade

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