30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Who cares if I'm not qualified?

When it comes to submitting my personal 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, I went back and forth almost as much as the pendulum on my principal's desk.  It's a good thing that I don't actually have a vote, because I'm not really qualified.  There are just too many things to consider.

But there are a few things that remained consistent from the time I started reading all of your blog ballots to the moment I pressed publish on this post.

#1:  Less Is More

Although this has been a topic where I've stood and supported both sides, right now I firmly believe that Cooperstown should be reserved for the best of the best.  Sure... I was happy for the friends and families of Alan Trammell and Jack Morris in December.  But that doesn't mean I believe they're surefire hall of famers.  There is no shame in being in the fictional Hall of Very Good.  Today my votes will be "no brainers".  Elite guys who dominated the league for numerous years.

#2:  Nobody Is Perfect

Twenty years ago, I would have said that a person's character should be taken into consideration when deciding on who or who doesn't get a plaque.  I was naive.  Some of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game weren't society's best role models.  Others straight up broke the law and served time in jail.  There are players who used drugs during games.  And players who blatantly cheated on the field.  Unless they plan on kicking out all of these guys, I feel like players should be judged by their on the field performance.

#3:  The Path Has Been Paved

Mike Schmidt and Frank Thomas admitted using "greenies" while playing and it's been highly documented that they were far from being alone.  What are "greenies"?  They're amphetamines.  They gave players energy and enhanced their performance.  Greenies aren't steroids, but both are performance enhancing drugs.  And now that guys like Piazza, Pudge, and Bagwell are officially in, is it really fair to allow some players from that era in, but not others?

#4:  First Ballot Hall of Famers ≠ Other Hall of Famers

Out of all of the things listed today, this is one topic in which I have never wavered.  There is something extra special about being a first ballot hall of famer and it should be reserved for a very elite group of players.

Now that I've established the four things that have remained consistent since I started reading everyone's blogger ballots, it's time for me to go out on a limb and submit my own.  So without further adieu, here's who I'd vote for (in alphabetical order):

#1:  Barry Bonds

2001 Fleer Legacy Autographed Hat

#2:  Roger Clemens

2016 Topps Strata Autograph #SS-RCL (#'d 35/35)

#3: Vladimir Guerrero

2000 Upper Deck Game Jersey Autograph #H-VG

#4:  Chipper Jones

2016 Topps Strata Autograph #SA-CJ (#'d 56/75)

#5:  Jim Thome

2001 Fleer Legacy Autographed Hat

I've gone back and forth on guys like Edgar Martinez, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, Fred McGriff, and Larry Walker.  With the exception of Edgar and McGriff, all of these guys still have plenty of time to get in.  One more year won't hurt.

So there you have it.  These are the five guys who'd get my vote if I had one.  Obviously this is one of the hottest debate topics around, so let your voice be heard...

Who gets your 2018 Cooperstown vote?

Happy Sunday and sayonara!


  1. Well written post. It made me "reconsider" my position on the "asterisk" crowd. Secondly, I'd have to put McGriff in (and not just because he played in Atlanta), my goodness 7 dingers short of a no questions entry ticket.

  2. What a great post and an equally great idea for thought. I agree Bonds and Clemens. I'm softer for some reason on Chipper Jones & Vlad (though he actually gets my vote for having such an awesome first name). Thome hit a lot of bombs, but I feel he's just alright even with that fact. Manny Ramirez is a cautionary tale. It's a shame he was so stupid and got busted a couple (a few?) times... otherwise he'd be in without a doubt.

  3. While sentiment wants to see Walker get in and join Fergie as Canadians in the HOF, I think realistically, the only one Walker will be in is the Canadian Baseball HOF.

    I've seen the argument about steroids on Facebook debates for years now, and it generally has the same arguments every time..
    Bonds, I agree should be in.. No question.. Steroids don't make you be able to hit golf balls for batting practice and take freakish amounts of walks.. That's talent.

  4. I couldn't agree more-the moralistic tone of many baseball writers and peeps rubs me the wrong way-I mean how many of these guys were flat out racists and misogynistic asshats. I like your list-but, of course I am Redbird biased-so I would through Ted Simmons, Big Mac, and Ken Boyer-in the mix

  5. Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel in 2018. Yes, I am a homer for my Indians.

  6. Sounds like a cop-out but I still have misgivings about casting a (fictitious) vote for the players who live under that steroid shadow. You make a compelling case for their inclusion but I'm not quite ready to join the bandwagon.

    So here is my (bogus) ballot:
    Vladimir Guerrero
    Chipper Jones
    Edgar Martinex
    Mike Mussina
    Trevor Hoffman
    Elrod Hendricks

    OK, I'm kidding about Ellie but over at the "Fan Friendly Guy Hall of Fame" he was a unanimous first ballot winner!!

  7. Those are sweet Strata cards!!! I’m probably forgetting some guys, but I would vote Vlad, Larry Walker, McGriff, Edgar Martinez, Hoffman, Chipper, Mussina, Thome, Vizquel, Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, and Manny (over 2 years, since you can only select 10 guys).

  8. Mussina is the only one I'd add to your ballot and Jim Edmonds if he were still on the ballot.

  9. Interesting! Like Xavier, I'd want to see Moose on there, but I think you stuck to your guns.

  10. Bonds, Clemens, Vlad, Thome, Chipper, Mussina, Rolen, Edgar, and Walker for me.

  11. I'd put in the guys you mentioned (especially Vlad!), probably add Trevor Hoffman, and, as somewhat of a dark horse candidate, I still think Lee Smith should be in Cooperstown, though I doubt it'll ever happen. I also agree with your general rules, especially the idea that Less Is More. The HOF should only be for the best of the best, not the kinda-best.

  12. John Miller - Thanks John. Now that Vlad, Chipper, and Thome are out of the way... I can focus on guys like McGriff next year.

    Peter K. Steinberg - Manny was a beast. Shame he was a jackass too. The good news is I focus on the numbers more than anything else.

    Mike Matson - I'm a big Walker fan. And I'm in the camp that his HOF status shouldn't be tarnished because he played in Colorado. Did any of those Yankees hitters lose votes for having a short porch?

    B Man - Ted Simmons totally gets my vote. I think he gets in pretty soon.

    TSHenson - Just need to work on Omar. Loved watching him field. Time will tell.

    Commishbob - It's okay. We all have our own opinion. The fact that we read each other's blogs doesn't require us to think exactly the same. I still have the utmost respect for you buddy.

    Jeremya1um - Thanks. Never busted a box, but I do love their on card autographs. With four of you picks now out of the way, it'll be fun to see who gets in next year. Lol... but remember, you might want to consider adding Mariano to your list, because I'm pretty sure he's gonna get in.

    xavier higgins and The Lost Collector - I plan on doing more research on Mussina. I heard a lot of good discussions involving him the past month or so. Definitely looks like he'll eventually make it in.

    Nick Vossbrink - Edgar made a nice jump in % this year. I think he'll make it in... just like Mussina.

    Nick - You nailed it with Trevor. Loved watching him over the years. Played on a lot of subpar Padres teams, yet still managed to be come the all-time saves leader... until Mariano pushed him aside.