December 02, 2004
December means "Hall of Fame" time again

There are twenty-seven candidates on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame - twelve newcomers and fifteen holdovers. Only one newcomer is a sure thing, and that's Wade Boggs. He won't be the most talked-about candidate, though. If there's a Hall of What Might Have Been, Darryl Strawberry would be a first-ballot, inner-circle inductee. We're stuck in the real world, however, and here it's not close. Two great seasons, a couple of darned nice ones, lots of time missed to injuries and other things, and only one 100-game season after the age of 29. Ah, Darryl. Yankee fans will look fondly on your contributions to the '96 and '98 championships, and Met fans will curse your name forevermore. Better luck in the next life.

Anyway. With so little heft at the top of the ticket this year (and next), it's as good a chance as the likes of Bert Blyleven and Rich Gossage will ever get. Those two guys, plus Boggs, Ryne Sandberg, and Tommy John (my holdovers from last year) would be my choices. Jim Baker and Joe Sheehan go into more detail. Sheehan thinks that Blyleven is finally picking up some momentum, thanks in part to relentless support from the analyst community. Like him, if that's so I think it's a good thing. We'll see if it matters soon enough.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 02, 2004 to Baseball | TrackBack

I'm surprised Ryne Sandberg hasn't been inducted yet. I agree with your five choices for this year's ballot.

Darryl Strawberry will enter the "Worst Batter with Two Strikes Hall of Fame". Did he ever get a hit when he had two strikes on him?

Posted by: William Hughes on December 2, 2004 10:42 AM

Dawson, Smith, and Sutter might be pulling Chicago votes away from Sandberg?

Posted by: Laurence Simon on December 2, 2004 11:13 AM

Boggs is a lock. But I think it's time that the voters finally started giving relievers their due. Rich Gossage helped to define the role of the relief pitcher. And when he pitched, he didn't just pitch in the 9th inning with a 3-run inning (see, Wagner, Billy). He often pitched 2 or more innings a game, and those innings often meant something.

The same holds true for Bruce Sutter. I could care less about Sandberg or Byleven.

Posted by: johnr on December 4, 2004 12:00 AM