Writer’s View: The Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame

I recently posed a question to 22 baseball writers from across the country. It was a question that doesn’t have an easy answer. Given the subjectivity involved, it doesn’t even have a right answer.

“Who are the three best eligible players — not including Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — not in the Hall of Fame?”

The reason for excluding Bonds and Clemens is the likelihood they would have finished one-two on the majority of ballots. Also not eligible were players who will debut next year, and those, like Pete Rose, ineligible for enshrinement.

The writers were asked to rank their selections in order and provide a brief explanation. The results were then tabulated with first choices receiving five points, second choices receiving three points, and third choices receiving one point.

Their responses are listed below in alphabetical order, followed by the final results of the voting.

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Dan Barbarisi, Wall Street Journal

1. Tim Raines
2. Lou Whitaker
3. Babe Adams

Raines: What more could you want from a leadoff hitter? On-base ability (career .385 OBP), speed (808 steals), extra-base power (.425 slugging, 170 HR) – Raines was near perfect, and did it playing in the offensively-depressed 1980’s. It’s a travesty he isn’t in the hall. I have to think playing in Rickey Henderson’s shadow, and before the full appreciation of on-base percentage, dimmed his star somewhat, but hopefully that will be corrected soon.

Whitaker: I sometimes wonder if the association between Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker has hurt both players by suggesting they were just two parts of a greater whole, but no matter what it’s just criminal that Whitaker just got 2.9% of the vote in his only year on the ballot. His numbers are better than Trammell’s and aren’t that far off of Roberto Alomar’s.

Adams: Okay, so this is something of a personal cause celebre even if I know he doesn’t have a case – but what an interesting pitcher! Pitching from 1906 to 1926 as a reliever, starter, swingman, whatever, Adams never walked anyone (1.3 career BB/9) and had some of his best seasons from ages 37-39, when he was averaging an ERA+ of 150 as the league was coming out of the deadball era. He won 194 games with a 2.76 ERA, but that wasn’t enough to get him into the Hall – he topped out at 9.6% in 1955.

Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com Minnesota

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Curt Schilling
3. Tim Raines

Bagwell ranks 35th among position players in all-time fWAR, which puts him in the same company as players such as Joe DiMaggio, Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson. He’s a no-brainer Hall of Famer with a career .297/.408/.540 slash line with 449 homers and 488 doubles.

Schilling was a strikeout machine with great control in a 20-year career, as
evidenced by having the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in baseball history among pitchers with 1,000 innings pitched. He also had a career 2.23 ERA in 19 postseason starts, including the famous ‘Bloody Sock’ game.

Raines didn’t hit for the average that Tony Gywnn did but still got on base at a similar .385 clip in a 23-year career. He also was an elite base stealer, as
evidenced by his 808 stolen bases, ranking fifth all-time, and his amazing 84.7% success rate that ranks second only to Carlos Beltran.

Tim Britton, Providence Journal

1. Mike Piazza
2. Curt Schilling
3. Jeff Bagwell

Piazza is probably the finest hitting catcher of all-time, and his ability to maintain production while avoiding injury at baseball’s most rigorous position puts him just ahead of Bagwell (and his in-spite-of-the-Astrodome power) on the hierarchy. Indeed, one wonders what Piazza might have done with the chance of DHing part-time in the American League.

Schilling doesn’t land on his generation’s Mount Rushmore, but he’s probably its next best pitcher. He owns, as far as I can tell, the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in major-league history, which more than compensates for a bit of an elevated home-run rate. His career WHIP is better than that of Roger Clemens and even with those of Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson. Schilling also possesses a postseason career even Jack Morris can envy, with a 2.23 ERA in 19 starts (and 2.06 mark in seven World Series tilts). My favorite part of Schilling’s postseason career is how, after each of his bad playoff starts, he responded with one of his best later in the series.

Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

1. Mike Piazza
2. Alan Trammell
3. Luis Tiant

If he were eligible, it would be Pete Rose. Nobody represented the game of baseball on the field better, but nobody disrespected it off the field more.

Piazza is the greatest offensive catcher of our generation. Trammell was the whole package. He had excellent range, one of the most accurate throwing arms ever, and he hit, and hit for power. Tiant was an underappreciated pitcher whose numbers compare with Juan Marichal and Jim Palmer. An absolute warrior who many times pitched hurt.

Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports

1. Tim Raines
2. Alan Trammell
3. Dick Allen

Raines: Never has anyone been so unfairly penalized for not being quite as good as an immortal. Was he Rickey Henderson? No. But Jimmy Foxx wasn’t as good as Babe Ruth and he’s still in Cooperstown.

Trammell: The soft bigotry of expectations of what 1980s shortstops should be. I remain convinced that if he played the same defense he did yet only hit .245 instead of .285, he’d get more Hall of Fame votes because he’d fit a mold better. He wasn’t Ozzie, he wasn’t Cal, ergo people can’t handle him. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t deserving.

Allen: Maybe Bagwell is more deserving, but I have a soft spot for the misunderstood and disliked. If Allen played in the ‘90s-2000s he’d be Frank Thomas. The good one. Not the jerk teammate Allen actually had in the 60s.

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Craig Biggio
3. Mike Piazza

1) Yes, I would have liked to see Bagwell last a bit longer and reach 500 homers. But he was an amazing all-around player in his prime. And the numbers would have been a lot better if he hadn’t spent so much of his career playing in the Astrodome.

2) Like Bagwell, he went out there every day and relentlessly put up numbers. I’m a sucker for big milestones, and 3,060 hits make Biggio a slam dunk. Throw in 400-plus steals, the HBP record, a Robby Alomar-like career WAR and all those games at catcher, second base and the outfield, and he really should have made it on the first ballot.

3) I’m going with Piazza over the disgraced PED guys like McGwire and Palmeiro because he stands so far above the crowd as a dominant offensive catcher for so many years. Fun fact: Baseball-reference gives Yogi Berra a career WAR of 59.3, and Piazza checks in at 59.2. He’s in very good company.

Rich Dubroff, CSN Baltimore

1. Jim Kaat
2. Lou Whitaker
3. Steve Garvey

Kaat won 283 games and won 20 three times. He pitched 25 years, and unfortunately one of the reasons I think he hasn’t gotten more votes is that many of his excellent years came relatively early in his career. Kaat won 16 Gold Gloves and completed 180 games. He was good enough that teams wanted him to pitch for them when he was well into his forties.

Whitaker was the best second baseman in the American League of his generation, played for one of the best teams of its time, and stats compare favorably with Ryne Sandberg, a no-brainer for the Hall of Fame. He received just 2.9 percent of the vote in 2001 and was removed from future BBWAA consideration, and that’s a shame.

Garvey was arguably the best position player on teams that won four NL pennants, had six seasons of 200 or more hits and drove in 100 or more runs five times. I think he’s been penalized unjustly because he was seen by some as a self-promoter.

Vince Gennaro, Society for American Baseball Research [SABR]

1. Tim Raines
2. Minnie Minoso
3. Edgar Martinez

HOF voters have overlooked three particularly worthy candidates: Tim Raines, Minnie Minoso and Edgar Martinez. Raines credentials are extraordinary and should place him in the top half of all HOF’ers, instead of being on the outside looking in. In his 23 year career, he had a 123 OPS+, with a .385 OBP and over 800 stolen bases. Minoso was an OBP machine, second only to Mickey Mantle in the AL in the 1950s. His only shortcoming was that getting on base was not revered in the years that he received serious consideration for election. Edgar Martinez was victimized because he played the DH position, which lacks respect among some voters. Edgar put up a 147 OPS+ over his career, and was among the AL’s top hitters for many years, while he posted an OBP above .400 for nine consecutive seasons. The common theme among all of my candidates is their proven ability and outstanding track record of getting on base and avoiding making outs–the most important outcome for a hitter.

Jay Jaffe, Sports Illustrated

1. Mike Piazza
2. Jeff Bagwell
3. Tim Raines

Piazza: The Hall of Fame certainly ought to include the best-hitting catcher of all time; Piazza should have gotten in on the first ballot last year. Via my JAWS system, which compares each player’s career and seven-year peak value (Baseball-Reference.com version of Wins Above Replacement) to those of the average Hall of Famer at his position, Piazza ranks fifth among all catchers (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_C.shtml), worth about an 1.3 wins per year above the average Hall catcher.

Bagwell: Another player who should have gotten in the first time around. Even in an era of heavy-hitting first basemen, and even with a shortened career, he was more valuable than all of his contemporaries at the position except for Albert Pujols, and ranks six or seventh at the position in JAWS (http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/jaws_1B.shtml) depending upon whether one counts Stan Musial as a first baseman or outfielder.

Raines: With walks, steals at an incredible success rate, and slightly more power, Raines was essentially the equal of 3,000 hit man and eight-time batting champion Tony Gwynn in terms of career and peak value (http://mlb.si.com/2012/12/17/jaws-and-the-2013-hall-of-fame-ballot-tim-raines/#more-3491). That Gwynn went into the Hall with near-unanimity on the first ballot while Raines has languished into his seventh cycle is a grave injustice whose correction takes precedence over those of some of the other ballot’s worthy players such as Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker and Curt Schilling, all of whom clear the JAWS bars at their positions as well.

Tyler Kepner, New York Times

1. Curt Schilling
2. Craig Biggio
3. Tim Raines/Jack Morris

There are lots of eligible players I believe are deserving for the Hall of Fame; if my paper let me vote, I don’t know how I would cut down to 10, the arbitrary maximum allowed per ballot. Schilling, for me, is an easy choice. He was everything you could want in a Hall of Famer: dominant in the regular season, even better in October, with a magic number of 3,000-plus strikeouts and only 711 career walks. He averaged 4.38 strikeouts for every walk. The only pitcher with a better ratio, Tommy Bond, played his last game in 1884. Biggio had more than 3,000 hits, four Gold Gloves, 400 steals and the most doubles of any right-handed hitter of all-time. If we’re not putting guys like Schilling and Biggio in the Hall of Fame, our standards are way, way too high.

As for Raines, he ranks 46th all-time in times reached base. Every eligible player above him is in Cooperstown, except for those with steroid ties and Biggio, who of course should be in. And Morris is borderline with his regular season stats, but his dominance in the 1984 and 1991 World Series makes the difference.

Kevin Kernan, New York Post

1. Mike Piazza
2. Tim Raines
3. Craig Biggio

Piazza: The slugging-est catcher. You shouldn’t have to think twice about Piazza, I voted for him last year and will vote for him again next year. Sooner or later the other writers will figure it out.

Raines: To me, Raines was a step below Rickey Henderson, and Rickey was a no-brainer as a Hall of Famer. I also covered the Padres for 10 years and while I would not put Raines in Tony Gwynn’s class as others have done, I would say Rock Raines was a game-changer in his era and deserves to be in Cooperstown.

Biggio: The second baseman represents a certain everyman’s work ethic, and that is great to have in Cooperstown, and Biggio has the key numbers, most notably the 3,060 hits. Add it up and Biggio is HOF worthy.

Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

1. Tim Raines
2. Dwight Gooden
3. Larry Walker

Tim Raines could beat you anyway he needed to. If he had different teammates or played different market or had not been born in roughly the same timeframe as Rickey Henderson, there is no way he would be eligible for this list. It’s baffling why Raines is not in the Hall of Fame. Every other borderline player carries some argument against him, even if that argument is flawed – Dale Murphy’s peak was not long enough, Larry Walker played too many games at Coors Field, Mike Piazza had too much back acne. Whatever. There is not even a BAD reason for why Raines is not a Hall of Famer. It’s not that the argument to keep Raines out is invalid. The argument does not even exist. He hit .294. He had a .395 on-base percentage. He stole 808 friggin’ bases. He made seven all-star teams. His accomplishments have become more appreciated as statistical evaluation has advanced. His longevity is crazy. I was born in 1984 – Raines made his fourth all-star team and hit .309/.393/.437. I started high school in 1998 – Raines hit .290/.395/.383 as a part-time player for the 114-win Yankees. You never hear why Raines should not make the Hall of Famer. You just don’t see his name on the ballot.

For my last two spots, I would take Doc Gooden and Larry Walker. I don’t think Gooden is necessarily the most deserving of a Hall of Fame plaque, but you said best player, and at his best no one was ever better, maybe.

Roch Kubatko, MASN Baltimore

1. Rafael Palmeiro
2. Jim Kaat
3. Dale Murphy

Palmeiro: He won’t get into the Hall of Fame because of his failed drug test, unless the voters have a sudden and drastic change of heart, but he’s part of a very exclusive club. Palmeiro is one of only four players with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray. All of them in Cooperstown. He also won three Gold Gloves.

Kaat: What’s the knock on this guy? Is it the 283 victories, including three 20-win campaigns? The 16 Gold Gloves? The 180 complete game? The 25 years in the majors? Longevity and productivity. Seems like quite an oversight.

Murphy: Murphy apparently didn’t sustain his excellence for a suitable period of time, at least in the minds of the voters who leave him off their ballots. Or maybe it’s because he fell two home runs short of 400. Murphy was named the National Leagues MVP in back-to-back seasons – 1982 and 1983. He also was a seven-time All-Star and winner of five Gold Gloves. One of the game’s truly good guys.

Bob Kuenster, Baseball Digest

1. Craig Biggio
2. Mike Piazza
3. Curt Schilling

Craig Biggio is an easy choice for election in my opinion. His 3,060 hits rank 21st on the all-time list. Only 14 players have scored more runs than Biggio’s 1,844, and only Tris Speaker, Pete Rose, Stan Musial and Ty Cobb stroked more doubles than Biggio’s total of 668. He also hit .281, stole 414 bases and set the modern record for hit-by-pitch with 285.

Mike Piazza was the best hitting catcher of his era and possibly in the history of the game. He clubbed 427 home runs and batted .308 over a 16-year career in the majors that included more than 1,600 games behind the plate. He also posted single-season high marks of 40 homers in 1997 and 1999 and a .362 BA in ’97.

Curt Schilling was a gamer who never backed down, and challenged hitters to beat his best. His 216 lifetime victories measure up to many Hall of Famers such as Catfish Hunter, Don Drysdale, Bob Lemon, Lefty Gomez or Hal Newhouser. His postseason performances were remarkable and his 4.38 strikeouts for every walk issued is the best mark among pitchers with 3,000 career punchouts.

Scott Miller, CBS Sports

1. Gil Hodges
2. Tim Raines
3. Alan Trammell/Lou Whitaker

OK, the three best players not in the HOF (we’re still working with the notion that Shoeless Joe Jackson is not eligible, correct?)

1. Gil Hodges. I will come right out here and admit that I’m too young to have seen him play. But time after time in conversation, too many old timers have told me Hodges should be in the Hall for me not to believe it. Throughout the 1950s, you could put him down for 20 or 30 home runs and 100-some RBIs, like clockwork.

2. Tim Raines: Time seems to have forgotten him, and I’m not sure if it’s because he was zapped for cocaine use or that it’s simply taken people far too long to take on-base percentage as seriously as they should. But you look at Raines’ career .385 OBP and 808 steals, it’s difficult not to see him as an HOFer.

3. Alan Trammell/Lou Whitaker: I lumped these two together because, why not? They were practically joined at the hip in Detroit as the longest-running double play combination in history. It is a travesty that Whitaker, a highly productive and terrific fielding second baseman, fell off of the ballot after just one year. And I’ve been on the Trammell HOF bandwagon for years. Talk to managers in the 1980s and if they were picking a team, most would have picked Trammell over Ozzie Smith because Trammell was so much more productive offensively, and it wasn’t like he was THAT far behind Ozzie defensively. Overall game, Trammell could help you win in more ways that Ozzie could. We can argue whether Trammell is a Hall of Famer, but there is NO WAY the difference between Smith (91.7 percent of the HOF vote) and Trammell (a high of 36.8% in 2012) is as large as the Hall voting discrepancy between them.

Troy Renck, Denver Post

1. Craig Biggio: 3,000 hits. Made successful position switch. Was more than a compiler.

2. Alan Trammell: Was consistently good at everything. That makes him great.

3. Tim Raines: One of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time. Reached base with alarming regularity. And stole them while there.

Trent Rosecrans, Cincinnati Enquirer

1. Mike Piazza
2. Tim Raines
3. Jeff Bagwell

I’ll start by saying this — I have not accrued the requisite 10 years of active, continuous membership to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in order to earn a Hall of Fame vote. I say that, because having voted for other awards (MVP, Cy Young), there’s a different level of scrutiny I put on myself when submitting that ballot than when I’m speaking in a hypothetical. The point, I think I know who would get my vote and how I would vote philosophically (which seems to be half the battle these days), I don’t know for sure, because the ballot isn’t in front of me.

So, with that said, here are my top three:

Mike Piazza: There’s plenty of statistical arguments that back this up, so I’ll go with what sticks out in my mind. I was on the field for batting practice at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston, and one hitting group was Piazza, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sean Casey. Of those, the ball seemed loudest off the bat of Piazza. It doesn’t mean much, but I’ll always remember that sound.

Tim Raines: I have yet to hear a single compelling argument for why he’s not in already. It’s unfathomable to me to look at his numbers and not write his name on the ballot.”

Jeff Bagwell: At least with Raines, voters believe they’re making some sort of baseball argument. With Bagwell, there’s none really to be made. We know the issue, everyone knows the issue. It’s, like Piazza, suspicion. The facts are that Bagwell was one of the game’s great hitters. His shoulder injury later in his career kept him from any of the game’s big, round numbers, but his rate stats are up there with the best. He was a career .297/.408/.540 hitter with a 149 OPS+. He also spent the first half of his career in the cavernous Astrodome, but still put up great power numbers.

Travis Sawchik, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

1. Curt Schilling
2. Edgar Martinez
3. Alan Trammell

Schilling: I love efficient pitchers — who doesn’t? — and Schilling is one of the most efficient pitchers in baseball history. His career 4.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks second all-time and ahead of Pedro Martinez and Mariano Rivera. He had an elite peak: three runner-up Cy Young finishes in a five-year period. His best seven seasons, per WAR (48.9), are the best of any eligible player not named Bonds or Clemens, who has appeared on a ballot and remains eligible. He was excellent on the game’s postseason stage, playing a key role in delivering three World Series titles over a six-year period. He didn’t reach some significant milestones like 300 wins, but that Hall of Fame litmus test should be revisited as few pitchers going forward will rarely reach that threshold. And, hey, 80.7 career WAR is pretty legit.

Martinez: Yes, Martinez didn’t play in the field often. Yes, some scribes could beat in him a 60-yard dash. Yes, some of his counting numbers fall short of traditional benchmarks. But, man, could he hit. Martinez ranks 41st all-time in OPS+ (147) the same number as Willie McCovey and Mike Schmidt. He is knocked because he starred as a DH. But the designated hitter has been part of the game for 40 years and Martinez is in the conversation with Frank Thomas as the game’s best DH. One of the game’s best hitters of the last forty years deserves a spot in its hall. Moreover, Martinez was the 2004 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award.

Trammell: A gifted offensive and defensive shortstop who played all 20 years of his career with the Tigers. His seven-year peak, per WAR (43.3), is superior to that of the majority of shortstops already enshrined. He won four Gold Gloves and finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three times.

Emma Span, Sports on Earth

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Mike Piazza
3. Tim Raines

The only reason Bagwell isn’t in already is the sentiment among some voters that he may have used PEDs. I have no idea whether he did or not, so I can only revert to what I do know, which is that Jeff Bagwell was one of the five to ten best first basemen ever.

(*I think the Hall’s current most glaring omission is actually Marvin Miller, but of course he’s not a player.)

Piazza is, I would argue, the best-hitting catcher of all time. How are you going to leave out the best-hitting catcher of all time? (That’s a rhetorical question, Mr. Chass).

If you didn’t watch him play often (I saw him mostly in his somewhat faded Yankees days), you have to take a pretty close look to appreciate how great Raines was. Once you realize, it seems obvious, like one of those optical illusion drawings that’s clearly both a man’s face and a wombat playing poker now that you know how to see it. Jay Jaffe’s JAWS system confirms Raines as the best eligible left-fielder not yet in the Hall, non-Bonds division.

Runners-up: Craig Biggio, Edgar Martinez

Jayson Stark, ESPN

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Tim Raines
3. Curt Schilling

As I wrote for ESPN in January, Jeff Bagwell was, in a nutshell, one of the four greatest first basmen of the live-ball era. How many first basemen have ever strung together a dozen consecutive seasons with an OPS-Plus of 130 or better? That answer is two: Bagwell and Lou Gehrig. What other first basemen will you find in the 400-homer, 200-steal club? None. Just him.

And if you need your Hall of Famers to be men who took trips to the hardware store, remember Bagwell owns practically a complete set of baseball hardware: MVP, rookie of the year, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, Sporting News player of the year. Somehow, he missed the Nobel Peace Prize. Must have been an oversight.

Graham Womack, Baseball Past and Present

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Dick Allen
3. Tim Raines

Players denied the Hall of Fame for any extended period tend to have a flaw, real or perceived, that voters fixate on. For Dick Allen, it was having one of the more maligned personalities in baseball history, on par with Barry Bonds, Hal Chase, or Carl Mays. For Jeff Bagwell, it was having a suspiciously large physique during the Steroid Era. For Tim Raines, it was becoming a journeyman after an outstanding start to his career.

Get past the imperfections, though, and Allen, Bagwell and Raines would make for three fine plaques in Cooperstown. Aside from Bonds, Bagwell has the most career Wins Above Replacement of any position player who’s currently eligible but not enshrined. Raines might be the second-best leadoff hitter ever, after Rickey Henderson. Allen, for his part, ranks as one of the icons of his era and should’ve been in Cooperstown 20 years ago. He’s the new Ron Santo, since the oft-overlooked Cub finally got his plaque in 2011

Anonymous Beat Writer, Large-circulation Newspaper

1. Craig Biggio
2. Mike Piazza
3. Jeff Bagwell.

Selecting worth candidates for the Hall of Fame treads through some murky waters considering the dark cloud of the Steroid Era, but if I had the opportunity to select three current candidates, I’d select Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell.

In my mind, Biggio makes it on the merit that he’s one of 28 players to record 3,000 hits, which historically has enough for induction unless your name is Pete Rose or Rafael Palmeiro.

Simply put, Piazza is the most offensively productive catcher in the game. He posted a .308/.377/.545 career slash line hit 427 homers, was a 12-time all-star, 10-time silver slugger winner and was top-four in MVP voting four times.

Bagwell compiled seven 100-run/100-RBI seasons, won the NL MVP in 2004 and was top-three in voting two other times. He hit 449 homers and 488 doubles. Combine that with a career .297/.408/.545 slash line and he deserves the nod.

I selected these three over Curt Schilling, Fred McGriff and Tim Raines, all of whom I hope eventually get inducted. They are all Hall of Fame worthy.

I think over time those stars closest tied with the Steroid Era – Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Palmeiro – will get their pass, but now isn’t the time.

——

First Place Votes: Bagwell (Bollinger, Crasnick, Span, Stark, Womack) Biggio (Anonymous Beat Writer, Kuenster, Renck) Hodges (Miller) Kaat (Dubroff) Palmeiro (Kubatko) Piazza (Britton, Cafardo, Jaffe, Kernan, Rosecrans) Raines (Barbarisi, Calcaterra, Gennaro, Kilgore) Schilling (Kepner, Sawchik)

Second Place Votes: Allen (Womack) Bagwell (Jaffe) Biggio (Crasnick, Kepner) Gooden (Kilgore) Kaat (Kubatko) Martinez (Sawchik) Minoso (Gennaro) Piazza (Anonymous Beat Writer, Kuenster, Span) Raines (Kernan, Miller, Rosecrans, Stark) Schilling (Bollinger, Britton) Trammell (Cafardo, Calcaterra, Renck) Whitaker (Barbarisi, Dubroff)

Third Place Votes: Adams (Barbarisi) Allen (Calcaterra) Bagwell (Anonymous Beat Writer, Britton, Rosecrans) Biggio (Kernan) Garvey (Dubroff) Martinez (Gennaro) Morris (Kepner) Murphy (Kubatko) Piazza (Crasnick) Raines (Bollinger, Jaffe, Kepner, Renck, Span, Womack) Schilling (Kuenster, Stark) Tiant (Cafardo) Trammell (Miller, Sawchik) Walker (Kilgore) Whitaker (Miller)

——

Point Totals:

Raines = 38
Piazza = 36
Bagwell = 31
Biggio = 22
Schilling = 18
Trammell = 11
Kaat = 8
Whitaker = 7
Hodges = 5
Palmeiro = 5
Allen = 4
Martinez = 4
Gooden = 3
Minoso = 3
Adams = 1
Garvey = 1
Morris = 1
Murphy = 1
Tiant = 1
Walker = 1



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David Laurila grew up in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and now writes about baseball from his home in Cambridge, Mass. He authored the Prospectus Q&A series at Baseball Prospectus from February 2006-March 2011 and is a regular contributor to several publications. He can be followed on Twitter @DavidLaurilaQA.


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Spunky
Guest
Spunky

Another gem Dave! I’m glad to see Raines, Piazza, and Bagwell far at the top of this list.

Balthazar
Guest
Balthazar

Agreed Dave, it’s quite interesting to see what the consensus position on this is at present. If there’s a flaw, it’s the Fallacy of Recency. That is, more recent players loom largest when that may not necessarily be quite so.

For me on who absolutely should be in the Hall: Billy Pierce, Dick Allen, Jim Kaat, Lou Whitaker, Edgar Martinez, Curt Schilling.

Who has a solid case: Tim Raines, Alan Trammel, Craig Biggio.

Who’re products of their time: Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Rafael Palmeiro . . . had great numbers, didn’t they?

We All Know Who They Are: Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B

“Products of their time” seems to be trying to draw a steroid use connection to Bagwell and Piazza without using the s-word.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B

Also, it should be more heavily populated with recent players; the players from the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s got their shot through their normal voting process, and then the veteran’s committee. Which allowed several players in who are well below traditional HOF standards.

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