The MLB Hall of Fame ballot for 2006 has been announced, and it's remarkable in two ways: One, there's no slamdunk newcomer on the list, and two, it's curtains for Pete Rose until and unless the Veterans Committee takes up his cause.
Pete Rose's eligibility for the baseball writers' Hall of Fame ballot expired Monday when the 2006 candidates were announced, a group that includes Cy Young Award winners Orel Hershiser and Dwight Gooden.
Albert Belle, Will Clark and Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen were among 14 first-time candidates on the 29-man ballot. Bruce Sutter is the holdover who came closest to election, falling 43 votes shy last year.
First-year candidates include pitchers Rick Aguilera, Alex Fernandez, Doug Jones and John Wetteland and infielders Gary DiSarcina, Gary Gaetti, Gregg Jefferies, Hal Morris and Walt Weiss.
Albert Belle is an interesting case. In terms of career arc and reputation with the press he strongly parallels Dick Allen, who's getting a bit of career rehab these days. Belle has two slugging percentage titles, three for RBIs, and one for home runs to compare to Allen, but no MVP award. Looking at them side by side and considering the context for offense that each played in, I'd go with Allen slightly before I'd go with Belle, but I don't feel particularly compelled to vote either of them in. Belle will get less support than he deserves due to his bad-boy reputation, and I think Jim Baker is correct to say that the writers will "use [the context of his numbers] as a bludgeon with which to knock him back from election". I expect to see at least one truly egregious piece bashing Belle based on both of those things.
The complete ballot:
Rick Aguilera, Albert Belle, Bert Blyleven, Will Clark, Dave Concepcion, Andre Dawson, Gary DiSarcina, Alex Fernandez, Gary Gaetti, Steve Garvey, Dwight Gooden, Rich Gossage, Ozzie Guillen, Orel Hershiser, Gregg Jefferies, Tommy John, Doug Jones, Don Mattingly, Willie McGee, Hal Morris, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Lee Smith, Bruce Sutter, Alan Trammell, Walt Weiss, John Wetteland.
Also up for consideration are 39 Negro League and pre-Negro League players, who will be voted on by a committee of scholars, chaired by former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent. Minnie Minoso and Buck O'Neil appear to be the leading candidates there.
The nine pre-Negro Leagues candidates are Frank Grant, Pete Hill, Home Run Johnson, Jose Mendez, Spot Poles, Dick Redding, Louis Santop, Ben Taylor and Sol White.
The 30 Negro Leagues candidates are Newt Allen, John Beckwith, William Bell, Chet Brewer, Ray Brown, Willard Brown, Bill Byrd, Andy Cooper, Rap Dixon, John Donaldson, Sammy Hughes, Fats Jenkins, Dick Lundy, Biz Mackey, Effa Manley, Oliver Marcell, Minoso, Dobie Moore, Alejandro Oms, O'Neil, Red Parnell, Alex Pompez, Cum Posey, George Scales, Mile Suttles, Candy Jim Taylor, C.I. Taylor, Cristobal Torriente, JL Wilkinson and Jud Wilson.
UPDATE: Here's Linkmeister's ballot.Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 30, 2005 to Baseball | TrackBack