Mariners Insider

One HOF ballot, lots of questions

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on Jan. 3, 2011 at 7:08 am with 5 Comments »
January 3, 2011 7:08 am

The 2010 Hall of Fame class will be announced later this week, and my ballot was mailed in before the Saturday deadline – one of my final obligations before the New Year.

There were more than 30 eligible candidates, including 19 who appeared on the ballot for the first time – guys like Bret Boone, John Olerud, Larry Walker and Rafael Palmeiro.

 There were those, like Bert Blyleven, Roberto Alomar, Jack Morris and Barry Larkin, who got more than 50 per cent of the votes from Baseball Writers of American Association members last year.

 Each eligible writer – you have to have covered the game for at least 10 years – can vote for as many as 10 players each year, or send in an empty ballot.

Me? I put nine men on my 2010 ballot, and I wrestled with a handful of others.

Here are the players who got my vote: Alomar, Jeff Bagwell, Blyleven, Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Morris, Tim Raines and Lee Smith.

Among the guys I didn’t vote for included some all-time personal favorites: Harold Baines, Boone, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Olerud, Larry Walker. Each was a player I enjoyed watching play the game, and liked as much or more off the field.

And then there was  Palmeiro. Great numbers, good guy, denies what major league baseball said it had irrefutable evidence of – the use of performance enhancing drugs that were taken by injection.

No, not tainted shakes or supplements. Hard-core stuff that required injections.

Palmeiro was a marvelous hitter – a .288 average with a .371 on-base percentage, 569 home runs and 1,853 RBI. He won Gold Gloves for his defense, was an All-Star in an era of great first baseman.

But if I can’t vote for McGwire, who I always liked spending time with, I have to use the same yardstick with Palmeiro. We’ll never know how much their statistics were helped by steroids, but the evidence says they used them.

So no, I won’t put anyone caught using PEDs on a Hall of Fame ballot. Not when one of the qualifications for the honor is integrity.

I’m open to arguments for anyone I didn’t vote for this year, and to anyone’s thoughts on the players I did. One of the beauties of the Hall of Fame election process is its subjectivity.

John McGrath is as good as any columnist in the country – a delightful baseball expert and press box companion- and we often disagree on our ballots.  Let me know what you think, and we’ll talk more when the results are made official.

And Happy New Year.

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. stevenrey says:

    Just one from me. I think if Edgar gets a vote shouldn’t Baines? But it’s not something I’d be willing to dig my heels on.

  2. bigmike04 says:

    Good vote, thought if you not going to voted for Rafel Palmerio than you have to include brett boone in that steroid discussion of votes as he did take Roids and was on the mitchell list.

    Thought guys you voted for deserve it especiality Lee Smith who was leading closer stats before it got broken..

  3. wabubba67 says:

    Boone doesn’t deserve a vote even if you think that he never used steroids….that said, Larry didn’t vote for him, so what’s your point bigmike?

  4. I agree with you on Edgar, continue to disagree with you on McGuire/the whole steroids issue.

  5. Larry Larue says:

    steven – you’re right about the similarities, and for years i did vote for baines. as i told him last season, though, my vote obviously hasn’t and won’t influence anyone else – his votes are in decline – so i’m now casting one for edgar, who i believe still has a chance. hopefully, the veterans committee one day puts baines in. i think he’s deserving.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0