2011 Hall of Fame Selections
The official announcement from the BBWAA regarding this year’s Hall of Fame inductees will not be released until January 5th. This year’s ballot features 33 players – 14 holdovers and 19 newcomers. Any player who is named on a minimum of 75% of the ballots submitted by eligible members of the BBWAA will be enshrined in Cooperstown during the next induction ceremonies in July 2011. The members of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance make our selections each year as well. We are each invited to select up to 10 names. Below you will find my nine selections.
The initial player bios below have been borrowed directly from the Baseball Hall of Fame website.
2nd year on the ballot … Played 17 seasons for the Padres, Blue Jays, Orioles, Indians, Mets, White Sox, and Diamondbacks … 12-time All Star consecutively (1990-2001) … Won 10 AL Gold Glove Awards at second base from 1991-1996, 1998-2001 with a career fielding percentage on .984 … Won four Silver Slugger Awards (1992, 1996, 1999, 2000) and finished in the Top 10 for MVP voting in five seasons (1991:6th, 1992:6th, 1993:6th, 1999:3rd, 2001:4th) … Named 1992 ALCS MVP and 1998 All Star Game MVP … Led league in runs scored in 1999 and was among the Top 10 AL league leaders in stolen bases six times and in the NL once … Had at least 40 doubles in four seasons … Scored over 100 runs in six seasons and had 100 RBI seasons twice … Hit .300 or better nine times and finished with a career batting average of .300 … Ranks 48th all-time in doubles with 504, 42nd in stolen bases with 474, and 55th in hits with 2,724 … Hit .313 with 33 RBI and 16 doubles in 11 postseason series … Four AL Division Series: (1996-97, 1999, 2001) batted .284 with 12 RBI in 67 at bats … Five AL Championship Series: (1991-93, 1996-97) batted .316 with 15 RBI in 114 at bats … Won two World Series with the Blue Jays, hitting .208 (5-for-24) with three stolen bases in six games in 1992 and .480 (12-for-25) with 6 RBI in six games in 1993.
1st year on the ballot … Played 15 seasons, all for the Astros … Four time All Star (1994, 1996-97, 1999) and three time Silver Slugger Award winner (1994, 1997, 1999) at first base … Won 1991 National League Rookie of the Year Award … Unanimous winner of 1994 NL Most Valuable Player Award … Won 1994 Gold Glove Award at first base … Finished in the Top 10 NL MVP voting five other times (1996:9th, 1997:3rd, 1999:2nd, 2000:7th, 2001:7th) … Led NL in runs scored three times (1994, 1999-2000), doubles once (1996), RBI once (1994), and walks once (1999) … Led NL in games played four times (1992, 1996-97, 1999) … Ranks 35th in career slugging percentage (.540), 40th in career on-base percentage (.408), 60th in runs scored (1,517), 65th in total bases (4,213), 34th in home runs (449, also an Astros team record), 27th in walks (1,401), and 45th in RBI (1,529) … Scored over 100 runs in eight of nine seasons from 1996-2004 and drove in over 100 runs seven times in that span … Hit better than .300 in six seasons … Batted .226 in nine postseason series with 2 HR, 13 RBI, and 19 walks … Played in NLCS in 2004 and 2005 … Member of Astros 2005 NL Pennant winning team.
14th year on the ballot … Pitched 22 seasons with the Twins, Rangers, Pirates, Indians, and Angels … Ranks 5th all time in strikeouts, 10th in starts, 9th in shutouts, 26th in wins, and 14th in innings pitched … Led AL in shutouts three times (1973, 1985, 1989), innings twice (1985, 1986), complete games once (1985), and strikeouts once (1985) … Named by The Sporting News as the AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year (1970) and Comeback Player of the Year (1989) … One 20-win season (1973) and eight 200+ strikeout seasons … Received AL Cy Young votes in 1973 (T-7th), 1984 (3rd), 1985 (T-3rd), and 1989 (4th) … Had 16 seasons with 200+ innings pitched, including 10 in a row and 6 in a row with 275+ innings pitched … Two All Star appearances (1973 and 1985) … Pitched a 6-0 no hitter against the California Angels on September 22, 1977 … Shares AL single game record for longest one-hit complete game, 10 innings on June 21, 1976 … Three League Championship Series (1970, 1979, 1987) appearances, owns a 3-0 record with a 2.59 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 24.1 innings … Two World Series (1979, 1987) appearances, owns a 2-1 record with a 2.35 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 23 innings … Member of two WS Championship teams (1979, 1987).
2nd year on the ballot … Played 19 seasons, all for the Reds … 12-time All Star (1988-1991, 1993-1997, 1999-2000, 2004) … Named NL MVP in 1995 … Won three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (1994-96) and nine Silver Slugger Awards (1988-1992, 1995-96, 1998-99) at shortstop … Cracked the Top 25 in NL MVP voting in six seasons … Named captain of the Reds prior to the 1997 season … Became the first shortstop join the 30-30 club when he hit 33 HR and stole 36 bases in 1996 … In 1991, became first shortstop to ever hit five HR in two consecutive games … Won the 1993 Roberto Clemente Award … Won the 1994 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award … Scored 80+ runs in seven seasons … Had at least 30 doubles in six seasons … Stole 30+ bases in five seasons … Batted .353 in 1990 World Series to help the Reds sweep Oakland in four games … Career .975 fielding percentage at shortstop … In 17 career postseason games (1990 NLCS and WS, 1995 NLDS and NLCS) batted .338 (24-for-71) with 11 runs scored and 8 stolen bases.
2nd year on the ballot … Played 18 seasons, all for the Mariners … Was named to seven All Star Games (1992, 1995-97, 2000-01, 2003) … Won five Silver Slugger Awards (1992, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003) … Ranked 3rd in MVP voting in 1995 and 6th in 2000 … Won AL batting titles in 1992 (.343) and 1995 (.356) … Led the league in on base percentage three times (1995:.479, 1998:.429, 1999:.447) and finished in the Top 5 in ten different seasons … Led the AL in games played (145) and runs scored (121) in 1995 … Led the league in doubles in 1992 (46) and 1995 (52) and RBI in 2000 (145) … One of only eight players in history with 300 HR, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career OBP higher than .400, and a career slugging percentage higher than .500 … Became only the fifth player in the 20th Century to hit 50 doubles in two consecutive seasons … Ranks as the Mariners’ all-time leader in hits (2,247), doubles (514), walks (1,283), RBI (1,261), and games played (2,055) … Signature postseason performance came in the 1995 ALDS against New York where he hit .571 (12-for-21) and was on base 18 times in 5 games and set the record for single game postseason RBI with 7 … In 34 career postseason games (1995 ALDS and ALCS, 1997 ALDS, 2000 ALDS and ALCS, 2001 ALDS and ALCS) hit .266 (34-for-128) with 8 HR and 24 RBI … Won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2004, the same year that MLB renamed the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in his honor.
11th year on the ballot … Played 14 seasons, all for the Yankees … Won 1985 AL MVP Award … Finished in the Top 10 in AL MVP voting in 1984 (5th), 1986 (2nd), and 1987 (7th) … Won AL Gold Glove Award nine times (1985-89, 1991-1994) … Named AL Player of the Year by The Sporting News three times (1984-86) … Named ML Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1985 … Six All Star appearances (1984-89) … Seven seasons with a .300+ batting average … 20+ HR in five seasons, 30+ HR in three seasons, 30+ doubles in nine seasons, 40+ doubles in four seasons, 100+ RBI in five seasons, and 100+ runs scored in two seasons … Led AL in batting (.343, 1984), RBI (145, 1985), doubles three times (1984-86), hits twice (1984, 1986), and slugging percentage (.573, 1986) … Led AL in total bases twice (1985-86) … Led AL in sacrifice flies (15, 1985) … Holds ML records for most HR in seven consecutive games (9) and eight consecutive games (10) with a home run in each game … Shares ML record with a HR in eight consecutive games … Shares ML single season record for most grand slams (6) in 1987 … Shares ML single game record for sacrifice flies (3) … Ranks 8th all time in fielding percentage among first baseman (.9958) … Led AL in fielding percentage seven times (1984-87, 1992-94), in putouts and total chances (1986), and in double plays (1985, 1991) … Shares ML record for most putouts and total chances by a first baseman in a nine inning game (22) … One AL Division Series (1995): batted .417 with 6 RBI, four doubles, and a HR in 24 at bats.
2nd year on the ballot…Played 19 seasons with the Blue Jays, Padres, Braves, Devil Rays, Cubs and Dodgers…A five-time All-Star (1992, 1994-1996, 2000)…Won three Silver Slugger Awards (1989,1992-1993) and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting six times (6thin 1989, 10th in 1990, 10th in 1991, 6th in1992, 4th in 1993, 8th in 1994)…Tied for the league lead in games played in 1995 with 144 and paced the league in homers in 1989 (36)and 1992 (35)…Hit 30 or more home runs in seven straight seasons from 1988-1994 and three more times in 1999, 2001, 2002…Hit .300-or-better in 1990 (.300),1994 (.318), 1999 (.310) and 2001 (.306)…Won the All-Star MVP Award in 1994…Won a World Series with the 1995 Atlanta Braves (.261 average, with five runs scored and three RBI) and a career .303 postseason batting average in 50 games (57-for-188) with 10 homers and 37 RBI in 10 series (1989 ALCS; 1993 NLCS; 1995 NLDS, NLCS and WS; 1996 NLDS, NLCS and WS, 1997 NLDS and NLCS) …Had a .992 fielding percentage at first base…Ranks tied for 26th all-time in home runs (493), 41st in RBI (1,550), 41st in walks (1,305), 45th in total bases (4,458), 43rd in extra base hits (958) and 27th in intentional walks (171).
4th year on the ballot…Played 23 seasons with Expos, White Sox, Yankees, A’s, Orioles and Marlins…Named 1981 NL Rookie Player of the Year by The Sporting News…Seven-time All-Star (1981-87)…Named 1987 All-Star Game MVP…Finished in the top 20 in NL MVP voting seven times, including one top-5 finish (5th, 1983)…Received NL Silver Slugger Award in 1986…Led NL in stolen bases four times, runs twice…Won 1986 NL batting title (.334)…Led league in on-base percentage (1986) and doubles (1984)…Six 100-runs seasons…Seven full seasons of hitting .300 or better, four times finishing in the top 10 in average…Sixteen seasons of 10 or more stolen bases, 11 times finishing in the top 10… Ranks second for highest stolen-base percentage (300 or more attempts) with .847…Led NL outfielders with 21 assists in 1983…Hit for the cycle on Aug. 16, 1987…Twice collected switch-hit home runs in one game…Hit three home runs in one game (April 18, 1994)…Holds Expos records for most runs (947), triples (82) and stolen bases (635)…Ranks 5th all-time in stolen bases (808) and 49th all-time in runs (1,571)…Two World Series teams with the Yankees (1996, 1998), batting .214 (3-14)…Hit .270 (34-126) in 34 career postseason games.
10th year on the ballot…Played 20 seasons, all with the Detroit Tigers…Seven .300 batting average seasons, one season with 200-plus hits, one season with 100-plus RBI,and three seasons with 100-plus runs scored…Finished in top 10 in MVP voting three times in 1984 (9th), ’87 (2nd), and ’88 (7th)…Named WS MVP (1984); batted .450 with six RBI and two HR in 20 WS at-bats…Shares single-game WS record for driving in all of team’s runs (4) on Oct. 13, 1984…Six All-Star teams (1980,’84-85, ’87-88, ’90)… Won four AL Gold Glove awards (1980-81, ’83-84)…Named 1983 AL Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News…Finished tied for 4th in the 1978 BBWAA AL Rookie of the Year Award voting…20-plus HR twice, 30-plus doubles six times, 20-plus stolen bases three times, and 30-plus stolen bases once…Five career grand slams…Had 20-game hitting streak (Aug. 5-22, 1984) and 21-game hitting streak (May 24-June 16, 1987)… Led AL in sacrifice hits in 1981 (16) and ’83 (15)… Led AL shortstops in double plays (102) in 1990… Two ALCS (1984, ’87); batted .258 with five RBI and one HR in 31 ALCS at-bats…One World Series (1984); member of 1984 WS championship team.
Of the 10 players named above I think we will certainly see a minimum of half of them reach the honor of being inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Both Alomar and Blyleven were able to record more than 70% of the votes on last year’s ballot and each just missed induction by just a handful of votes. The two go into this year’s voting – Blyleven’s second to last year of eligibility – as the favorites to reach the 75% mark required for induction.
Larkin also was named on more than 60% of the ballots in what was his first year of eligibility. He easily was the top shortstop in the National League during his time. Bagwell is the most appealing of the 19 newcomers to this year’s ballot. He could be hurt some by being a power hitter during the “Steroid Era” but there have not been any accusations about his involvement in such activities that have hurt his overall legacy. These two should also reach the 75% mark this year, in my opinion.
Martinez is an interesting case because he was the first full-time DH to appear on the ballot that had the type of production that he was able to accomplish over his career. Many others who would qualify as primarily a DH had longer careers in the field before making such a transition when compared to the path Martinez took. Like the longstanding debate over what qualifies a relief pitcher for induction, Martinez may face some of the same scrutiny simple because he did not play the field, thus limiting his overall value from a historical perspective. He too will eventually earn his place in Cooperstown.
Mattingly, McGriff, Raines, and Trammell had careers that certainly warrant remembering and many would like to see them enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Their chances are slimmer, by comparison, and these players may have to wait longer before they are selected by the BBWAA for baseball’s highest honor, if they make it at all.