Our Way Too Premature 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
I don't know what it is about the Baseball Hall of Fame vote that causes us to lose our collective minds as a nation, but it happened again.
The madness kicked off earlier this week, as Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez and Tim Raines were voted into Cooperstown, though not everyone was happy with the inductions...
We figured let's get a bit of a head start on next year's balloting, and take a look at who will make Jose Canseco angry next season...
(year on ballot in parenthesis)
Chipper Jones (1st)
Looking back on the glorious 90's, Chipper is one of the many athletes from the era we wish the golden age of social media was around to see. He was the perfect mix of business and pleasure, the face of the Atlanta Braves' monopoly over the National League East. Arguments could be made that Jones's Braves could've been more successful...he was 1-2 in the World Series...but his impact in statistical categories cannot be denied. His 1,263 RBI are most of any third baseman, and is likely the most illustrious switch-hitter of all-time.
Jim Thome (1st)
You hear all the time about how Cooperstown should be filled with "high character" guys. Look no further than Thome, a two-time Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, awarded to players known for their contributions on and off the field, as well as a Lou Gerhig Memorial Award in 2004. On the field, Thome was a much scarier prescience with his unorthodox batting stance, one that led him to be one of the few players in MLB history to tally over 600 home runs. Had it not been for a kid named...The Kid...Thome might go down as the best hitter without a World Series ring.
Vladimir Guerrero (2nd)
Vlad fell jussssssst short of making it in his first year on the ballot. It's disappointing, as we would've loved to see two former Montreal Expos legend make Cooperstown together (Raines being the other), but we're certain voters will rectify the situation next year. He's another one who tragically missed out on tasting success in the Fall Classic, but if you're looking for one of the biggest names on baseball's international level, look no further than Guerrero, who, at time of his retirement, was the all-time leader in hits by a Dominican-born player. Also, could anyone in the history of baseball make a hit out the worst pitch in the world than Vlad? Rarely a walker, he stilled fulfilled the "Moneyball" requirement of getting on base, concluding his career with 2,590, which could have easily been 3,000 if not for injuries.
[caption id="attachment_349398" align="alignnone" width="594"] SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 5: Closer Trevor Hoffman #51 of the San Diego Padres pitches during his team's game against the San Francisco Giants at Petco Park August 5, 2007 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)[/caption]
Trevor Hoffman (3rd)
Closer are to Cooperstown as kickers are to Canton...both groups are unjustly underrepresented, and that needs to change. Was Hoffman the greatest closer of all-time? No. Did he have a reputation of choking in big games? Yes. However...the sheer number of saves alone, not the mention the journey he made to do so, should earn him the nod. A shortstop in college, Hoffman began his saves journey in 1993, and went all the way through 2010, ending a career that featured 601 saves. As if the position change scrutiny didn't effect Hoffman enough, he was also forced to retire his fastball after an injury in 1994, making up for it by developing one of the best change-ups baseball has ever seen. Had it not been for some unknown named Mariano Rivera, Hoffman would probably go down as the most prolific closer of all time. Put the closer prejudice aside and put him in already.
For the complete unofficial ballot, click here.
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