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HOF 2009

January 10, 2009

Rob suggested this topic and I figured I’d give it a whirl. The players listed on the 2009 HOF Ballots are:

Rickey Henderson – Discussion: There is none. Greatest leadoff hitter of all time and if there is any justice we’ll get to hear Rickey say “Rickey” in the third person about 132 times when he’s unanimously elected. Should receive every vote. YES

Alan Trammell – Discussion: A six-time all star with a World Series MVP, four Gold Gloves, three Silver Sluggers and 3 Top 10 MVP finishes. A hell of a shortstop and along with Ripken was one of the new mold breaking offensive guys at this position when I was growing up. A guy I remember being a stud (monster ’87 season) but from what I gather HOF standards like to look at your best collective seasons. I guess he didn’t dominate for long enough to be a HOF’er, but a stud none the less.

Tim Raines – Discussion: Let’s see, a leadoff hitter who finished in the top 10 in OBP seven times, batting average four times, OPS four times, Runs scored six times (6 STRAIGHT YEARS btw), hits six times, total bases four times, walks six times, stolen bases nine times (led the league from 81-84), runs created six times … ALL of that in a 10-year period (1981-1990). He’s going to get overlooked because of Rickey but in my opinion the second greatest leadoff hitter of the modern era. He did EVERYTHING you ask of a leadoff hitter and more, and he did it in Montreal. If he’d played in LA, NY or Boston he’d be a lock. YES.

Andre Dawson – Discussion: I just remember this guy OWNING the 80’s in right field in the NL. His ‘open contract’ and subsequent MVP season for the Cubs seemed to sum him up in a nutshell. Another player that will see Montreal continue to hurt his chances in my opinion. ROY, MVP, eight Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, four Top 10 MVP finishes, including two second-place finishes (which I think often times means MVP season in many other years). Add eight Top 10 SLG percentage finishes to the eight gold gloves and he was a RF that mashed and played HOF type defense for a decade. He dominated for a decade in the NL, and a decade worth of seasons like that is HOF material in my opinion. Add to all this that he was just a phenomenal guy and it’s an easy one for me. YES.

Bert Blyleven – Discussion: How on God’s green earth is this guy not on a plaque already? What the hell? Nineteen years after posting a WHIP of 1.159 — in 1970 btw — he posts a 1.116 WHIP (a truer standard of a pitchers effectiveness I have yet to see). NINETEEN YEARS LATER!! Oh, and he finished in the Top 10 nine times in between those two years. This guy played on CRAPPY teams!!!!!! CRAPPY! His HOF worthy stats are too numerous to mention so I link them here . Writers do us a favor and put a true HOF’er in the HOF. YES.

Jim Rice – Discussion: See Bert Blyleven … I mean come on. Does it strike anyone as odd that players increase their vote totals as the years go by, AFTER THEY RETIRE???? Look, I know it’s not easy, and I know mistakes are made, some by sheer accident, some by stupidity (see Dustin Pedroia being LEFT OFF the MVP ballot of one dolt this year), but how on earth do vote totals fluctuate for guys AFTER they are done? Does that mean voters are doing MORE work and MORE research as the years go by? Less? Shouldn’t this be taken dead serious by ALL writers afforded the honor of being allowed to vote? Should the process change? This guy finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting SIX TIMES in an 11-year period. Six times people considered him the best player in the AL in an 11-year period! I was more of an NL fan growing up but I’ve been around long enough, talked to enough pitchers from that era in the AL and to a man they are all pretty emphatic that he was without a doubt one of the 2-3 most feared hitters in the game. If he’s reading this he knows I can kick his ass in golf but I’m saying here and now this man deserves to be in the HOF. YES.

Dan Plesac – Discussion: My first “Sack” memory came in Milwaukee in the late ’80’s. He was throwing a pen coming off an injury and they had a gun on him. He was throwing his fastball from 96-99 and mixing in a 92 mph slider … He didn’t remain a closer long enough to merit HOF votes I don’t think but if there was a HOF for awesome teammates with great senses of humor this guy is a first ballot HOF’er. Sack could make you laugh until you cried, funny as hell and a fantastic teammate who I wish I’d been able to play longer with. I still remember walking into the bathroom in Arizona and I hear “GO TO THE WHIP! GO TO THE WHIP!!” and I’m thinking “What the hell?” only to see him come out of the stall. He is HUGE into Horse racing and breeding and has been for a long time.

Harold Baines – Discussion: First Harold Baines memory … Standing on the mound in Texas in 1989 and thinking “Man this guys standing WAY too far off the plate to hit MY fastball, he’s got no chance.” About 15 seconds later the ball bounces off the top of the center field fence and into the bleachers. A consistent producer at a tough spot to be one, this guy did nothing but produce. I think his post season numbers will be underrated but in the end this is the HOF, for baseball’s greatest, not baseballs very, very good.
Also a fantastic guy and from everything I heard an awesome teammate.

David Cone – Discussion: Didn’t win 200, or strikeout 3,000 but this guy was damn good for a long time. A post season monster who had three bad games to spoil his ERA but a 12-3 lifetime record is money, and he was. I remember him being the first real ‘hired gun’ guy in the mid-to-late 90’s. I only knew him a little but he was a great guy and everyone from Lenny D to a few others that played with him swear by him as a teammate. Should get more votes than he likely will but another VERY good player who might be just short of being considered great.

Ron Gant – Discussion: Had he not broken his leg I think Ronnie would have been a 500 HR 500 SB guy, and a lock. One of my all-time favorite teammates. He played the game as hard as it could be played and he played hurt. Fantastic teammate and fantastic person.

Mark Grace – Discussion: Only guy I played with that talked more than me, which in and of itself merits some sort of Hall of Fame. One hundred and seventy-four HR, and more than 2,400 hits don’t get you into the Hall of Fame, but, this guy could flat out play. Was literally a Gold Glove SS playing first base. Four Gold Gloves (and he should have won more) and no one had more hits than Gracie in the 90’s. An OB and Doubles machine, I don’t think Mark will get the votes he should but he never did the ‘sexy’ stuff like hit HR’s and drive in boatloads, he was the guy getting on base in front of those guys and if you don’t hit 350 or steal 75 bases people seem to downplay how good you could have been.

I’ll finish the rest tomorrow …

Related link:

Minihane: Who Belongs In 2009?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2009 2:00 am

    Curt

    Rickey is in a class by himself, unanimous vote and Dawson will get in. I agree he owned the 80’S and was a killer at the plate. Please Please Please do not compare Trammel to Ripken. To use the words along with next to probably one of the best SS to play the game is wrong. I am middle of the road about Rice getting in, all those great teams and they never made it to the show..Maybe next year for Rice….Zman sends

  2. Babe Ruth permalink
    January 11, 2009 5:17 am

    I’d agree with Rickey… Dawson, Rice and Jim Kaat are a good argument. Sorry to everyone else.

  3. Scott permalink
    January 11, 2009 10:22 am

    Jim Rice 2009!! Its sad for baseball that he hasn’t already gotten in

    Jim Rice Rocks!

  4. Mike Jones permalink
    January 11, 2009 12:40 pm

    Good calls, Curt, especially on Raines. IMO, Rickey and Raines were the top 2 leadoff men ever. I hope Rice makes it; I’ve been a big Rice fan ever since he came up (and I can’t help but wonder what the ’75 series would have been like if he had been able to play), but rationally I have to say that Rice is pretty much my definition of “borderline”. I’d like to see him in, but I’ve seen pretty convincing arguments both ways.

  5. Jeff Mills permalink
    January 11, 2009 6:07 pm

    Curt, I agree with all of your selections, but the HOF has been pretty messed up lately with some of their choices especially the Veterans Committee. How in the world does Joe Gordon get in over Ron Santo, Joe Torre, Gil Hodges and Jim Kaat? With all due respect, who the heck is Joe Gordon? I looked up his stats and, at best, he was a Robinson Cano-type hitter from the 30s. So how does this merit HOF consideration? Oh, that’s right. He wore a Yankee uniform.

    My prediction is that Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice will get in tomorrow, but Rice will squeak by. Dawson will barely miss making it again and McGwire will once again be snubbed.

    I’ll make this short. Here is my top 5 for guys who should be in the HOF:

    1) Rickey Henderson
    2) Andre Dawson
    3) Jim Rice
    4) Lee Smith (one of the best closers IMHO)
    5) Bert Blyleven

    Honorable mention: Tommy John. How in the world can John not be voted in by now? The man came back from surgery which is now known as “Tommy John surgery.” He came back a completely different pitcher than he was before his injury and he continued to be a successful pitcher well into his late 30s and early 40s.

  6. Shindig permalink
    January 11, 2009 11:45 pm

    Which jackass will not vote for Rickey in order to make some personal statement about something that has nothing to do with Henderson’s merits?

  7. January 12, 2009 4:05 pm

    jeff ur a idiot curt nice blog bert blyleven was a 19 year old prodigy for twins.
    the only thing i disagree with you curt is tose teams werent crappy they just didnt hit. those twins teams had several seasons over 500. That was due to jimmy perry katt and the ace bly leven: 15 seasons of a sub 3.18 era 8 sub 3.ooera seasons .
    He would have won 320 easy. Take into account his first 6 seasons his era was in the 2.7s with 5 200k seasons but he had 2 17-17 years a 16- 15 season and the year he won 20 he lost 17. For 10 year streth his era was below 3 and 2000 ks. Longevity in his 16th season 1985 he was 17- 16 293 inn led the al in ks and cg24 sho 5 yes 24 cg the most since that year 4 seasons later his best and he did it with finesse 17-5 with 2.73 era and a league leading 5 sho. so in closing 1998 first ballot hall of famer in my eyes bert blyleven.

  8. January 12, 2009 4:25 pm

    oh yeah send this to the big show seeing those homers no nothing about any thing but there own teams the fact that dont recognize blys aceievements show how biase they are. Iam not even a big bly, fan despite my last blog but those guys make me sick they are over rated if it wasnt fo ther laptops they wouldnt know crap by the way i knew all of blys stats cuz i studied them i sugeest you do the same. iam not the only that cant stand these guys they talk over every one and if you dont agree with them they blow you up how orginal . if or when i get my foot in the door iam gonna rip you clowns down. I know more than they will ever know. sorry curt i love you bro you were a gamer thanx for the memories if you dont give it another go.

  9. January 12, 2009 4:44 pm

    sorry for my typing i got more for you curt analize the numbers between kevin brown and catfish hunter its nuts inn hits allowed ks wins era all nearly identical catfishs 5 straight 20 win seasons was his run but browns 5 year run was more dominant and in tougher steroid era from 96 2000 he didnt win 20 games once but he beat old catfish in every catogory except innings brown led the league and era twice and his era for those 5 years 1.89-2.69-2.38-3.00-2.58 and 4 200 ks seasons

    hunter brown
    224-166 57.9 w-l pct 211-144 59.4
    3449-2012 inn-ks 3256-2397
    2958-374 hits-hral 3079-208
    901 bb 954
    3.26-3.40 era leaguera 3.28 -4.16 wow this is the best one

  10. January 12, 2009 5:02 pm

    Great Bert Blyleven/Howard Cosell/Earl Weaver story–

    Howard: Bert Blyleven starting today, trying to put to rest the rap that he can’t win the big ones.

    Earl: Well, he didn’t pitch in many big ones in Cleveland and Minnesota.

    I’ll revisit my opinion of Tim Raines.

    38P, it’s a question for next year, but what is your take on Edgar Martinez and the HOF? I know he was a DH, but that guy could hit (.312/.418/.515 over 18 years.) For a 6-year run, he was as clutch as Nomar before Nomar got hurt; I *hated* seeing Edgar come up in a tight spot in a Sox-M’s game. Living out here, I got to watch him a lot, and is was a pure pleasure. He’s a great guy. too — even has a street next to Safeco named after him!

  11. January 12, 2009 7:58 pm

    Curt, I don’t agree with your politics; so what? This blog is a perfect example why I do read your blog. I love baseball, and I love to read an insiders view! Don’t stop.

  12. Eric permalink
    January 12, 2009 11:01 pm

    Curt, I love you comments about Mark Grace. Although he’s not going to get in he is one of the all-time gamers. He played hard everyday and your right he should have won more gold gloves. Not only could he play but from what I know him, your right again he could talk and he was hilarious. I love baseball and always been a fan of guys who are so called “dirt dogs” and Gracie was certainly that. I agree wit your point about him not getting all the credit he deserves because he didn’t hit for power and drive in a lot of runs. Not that he’d make it in anyways but you’d think we’d be appreciative of a guy like him in an era when “power” was essentially a farce. Anyway, nice blog good stuff.

  13. January 13, 2009 1:45 pm

    Gracie did drive in over 1100 runs. but what about garvey and buckner two of the better defensive 1b and garvey one of th e best

    buckner garvey grace
    game 2517 2399 2245
    abs 9397 8835 8065
    hits 2715 2599 2445
    dbs 498 440 511
    hr 174 272 173
    ave .289 294 .303
    rbi 1208 1308 1146
    fieding 99.2 99.6 99.5
    k/bb 453\450 1003-479 647-1075 obp383

    the similarities are great to me garvey is a hall of fame with these two just behind just what the stats show. Garvey was a dirt dog and the best def. 1b in history hit for power and 7 200 hit seasons 5 time fielding champ including errorless in 84′ . He didnt play full time till he was 26 and 5times in the postseason. Buckners eye was nuts he just made contact striking out close to 1\20 abs And in 1985 struck out just 25 in 629 abs . bucky falls short cuz of lack of power he needed 3000 hits that wouldve been the only way

  14. Mike permalink
    January 13, 2009 3:23 pm

    28 people didn’t vote for Ricky Henderson? What planet do these clowns live on? Was he not “humble” enough for the moralists of the keyboard? There needs to be a review every year of the BBWAA voters and they ought to have their privileges revoked for incompetence.

    Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripkin and Ricky Henderson don’t get unaminous votes – who does? Manny? Bonds? Arod?

    Maybe Maddox – for the love of all that is good and holy tell me there isn’t someone dumb enough to vote NO on Greg Maddox when the time comes.

  15. January 13, 2009 8:18 pm

    This whole Blyleven thing is really pissing me off. Why don’t these sports writers get it? Someone should take the vote out of their hands. Same thing with not voting for Rickey. Did these 28 bone heads not have cable TV for 25 years? I have a feeling that Bert will be the first person to reach 70% of the vote, and not get in. I think all those with a voice to be heard should lobby for this guy. He’s still going to be 5th on the all-time strikeout list 20 years from now. (6th barring a healthy Santana) You hit the nail on the head curt. Sometimes I think that there are too many writers that have never put on a glove or stepped into a batters box. Why make a guy suffer for playing on a poor team. I’m sure it was enough torture have his time blow great pitching performances, year after year.

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