Last month, we instituted our first-ever Veteran’s Committee vote, and 101 votes later we’ve now winnowed an original list of 30 players down to the 10 top vote-getters, for our final ballot (votes in parenthesis):
Minnie Miñoso (74)
Dick Allen (65)
Pete Rose (64)
Tommy John (57)
Lou Whitaker (56)
Kenny Lofton (42)
Dwight Evans (35)
Luis Tiant (33)
Bobby Bonds (28)
Mark McGwire (26)
The rules are that a player needed at least a 5% vote to survive on a future ballot, thus the following 17 players could be chosen for our vote next offseason (votes in parenthesis):
Jim Edmonds (22)
Joe Torre (22)
Bobby Grich (20)
Ken Boyer (18)
Lance Berkman (17)
Kevin Brown (17)
Graig Nettles (17)
Rafael Palmeiro (17)
David Cone (16)
Chet Lemon (15)
Buddy Bell (14)
Keith Hernandez (14)
Bret Saberhagen (10)
Rick Reuschel (8)
Willie Randolph (7)
Sal Bando (6)
Reggie Smith (6)
Finally, three players failed to garner the minimum support, and thus will drop off of our Veteran’s consideration for at least five years (votes in parenthesis):
Willie Davis (4)
Darrell Evans (3)
Chuck Finley (1)
So, we’re kicking off a month of Hall of Fame votes: Veteran’s (January 1-7), Traditional (January 8-14), and White Sox (January 15-22) with this final round of Veteran’s voting.
Veteran’s balloting will end next Tuesday, so vote sooner than later, please.
Below are the bios for our 10 remaining candidates. Players must receive 75% of the vote to be enshrined.
note: aWAR = average WAR across the three measures; aaWAR = adjusted average WAR, accounting for time lost due to labor impasses or institutional racism
First Baseman/Third Baseman
Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 161st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 17th
Core Stats: 351 HR, .292/.378/.534, .912 OPS, 156 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, 1972 AL MVP, seven-time All-Star, two Top 5 MVP finishes
One of the all-time hardest-hitters, Allen’s path to the Hall has been complicated by a number of “moody” tropes that defy his true role as a clubhouse force, at least proven by his White Sox days. Of course, Allen did also move to the beat of his own drum, which rarely endears.
Giants, Angels, Cleveland, Yankees, Rangers, Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 179th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF: 22nd
Core Stats: 332 home runs, 461 stolen bases, .268/.353/.471, .824 OPS, 129 OPS+
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, 1973 All-Star MVP, two Top 5 MVP finishes
It’s mind-boggling that while the Steve Garveys, Dale Murphys and Dave Parkers of baseball get studied consideration for the Hall, Bonds does not. A five-tool player, Bonds was derailed by personal issues off the field that helped keep him from all-time great status.
Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 138th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF: 15th
Core Stats: 385 home runs, .272/.370/.470, .840 OPS, 127 OPS+
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Evans has managed to be underrated despite some high-profile postseason appearances and status as nearly a career Red Sox player. A devastating all-around player.
Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland, Oakland A’s
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 201st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 85th
Core Stats: 288 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 3.38 FIP
Core Accolades: Four-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes
John is Exhibit A for the Jamie Moyer-type pitcher who simply never stopped pitching and piled up Hall-worthy numbers. That John was effective, even dominant, after the surgery that now bears his name adds an impressive wrinkle to his “piling up.”
Cleveland, Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Astros
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 100th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF: 10th
Core Stats: 622 stolen bases, .299/.372/.423, .794 OPS, 107 OPS+, 15.5 dWAR
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish
An elite center fielder who played center for a long time. Like Brown, his mercenary status hopping cities after Cleveland likely dinged his status among voters.
Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 137th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B: 18th
Core Stats: 583 home runs, .263/.394/.588, .982 OPS, 163 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1987 AL Rookie of the Year, 12-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, three Top 5 MVP finishes
PED controversies aside, McGwire put up numbers. There likely remain enough steroid purists out there to keep him far off of the ballot for years to come, but the numbers and rankings merit inclusion here.
Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Washington Senators, St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 229th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF: 22nd
Core Stats: .298/.389/.459, .848 OPS, 130 OPS+
Core Accolades: Nine-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, four Top 5 MVP finishes
Beyond his role as Mr. White Sox and trailbreaking status as the first great black Latino player in the majors, Miñoso has the numbers to merit induction. Institutional racism prevented Minnie from a full major league career, as he missed at least one All-Star level season in the majors while sequestered into the Negro Leagues.
First Baseman/Left Fielder/Third Baseman/Second Baseman/Right Fielder
Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF: 5th
Core Stats: 3,562 games, 4,256 hits, 2.165 runs, .303/.375/.409, .784 OPS, 118 OPS+
Core Accolades: All-time games and hits leader, 1973 NL MVP, 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, 17-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, four Top 5 MVP finishes, 1975 World Series MVP
Obviously Rose has the numbers to be in the Hall, as an all-time great, so his inclusion here is more a referendum on whether unsavory and/or banned actions off the field should affect enshrinement status on it. If not elected, Rose will be joined on the ballot next year by Joe Jackson, in a similar test.
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Boston Red Sox, Cleveland, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 111th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 57th
Core Stats: 3.30 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.47 FIP
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finish, one Top 5 MVP finish
Tiant’s case is bolstered (though not a determination for his inclusion here) by some heroic postseason pitching and extremely colorful personality.
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 76th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B: 13th
Core Stats: 2.369 hits, .276/.363/.426, .789 OPS, 117 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1978 Rookie of the Year, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove
While not the biggest lock of a candidate on this list necessarily, his idiotic bypassing by the Veteran’s Committee just last week helps fuel votes like this. You’d think almost no one thinks Whitaker is not a Hall-of-Famer at this point, certainly not if Alan Trammell is. But just enough folks on a solitary, punch-dunk Vet Committee just did, so labor on we must.
The ballot: Keep in mind that you can vote for up to four players, but review your selections before clicking [VOTE], because you can’t edit after the fact.