I joined the IBWAA in October of this year and was extremely excited to vote for the Hall of Fame. As a baseball fan I have always had my picks to who I thought should be voted in but they never counted towards anything, until this year. I took this honor very seriously and here’s what I came up with.
WHO I VOTED FOR:
1st time on ballot and a for sure Hall of Famer. The Big Unit was the most feared LHP in the game when he played and he took full advantage of it. He had quite a career; 300 game winner, 5 time Cy Young winner, 10 time All-Star and 2nd all-time in K’s with 4,875. He won a World Series with the D-Backs in 2001 and was the Co-MVP.
1st time on ballot and also a for sure Hall of Famer. Pedro might not have been as feared as Randy but there wasn’t a player that stepped in the box that scared Pedro. He came up with the Dodgers and they thought he was too small to become a great pitcher so they shipped him off to Montreal. He ended up being an 8 time All-Star, winning 3 Cy Young awards and striking out 3,100+. He won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004.
1st time on ballot. Smoltz is an interesting case. He spent his 1st 12 years as an elite level starter even winning a Cy Young in 1996. He missed the entire 2000 season an injury but came back and spent 3 years as a closer, saving 144 games and being 1 of the best. He went back to starting and was named to 2 more All-Star games (8 overall). He ended his career with 213 wins, 3,000+ K’s and a 3.33 ERA. He won a World Series with the Braves in 1995.
Larkin was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012 by the BBWAA and I think it’s time we in the IBWAA vote him in. Larkin was one of few power hitting SS and he had a slick glove. He spent his entire 19 year career with the Cincinnati Reds. He was a 12 time All-Star, won 9 Silver Slugger awards, won 3 Gold Glove awards and was the 1995 NL MVP. I really hope the fine folks at IBWAA vote him in this year.
6th time on ballot. I voted for him and here’s why http://9inningknowitall.com/2014/12/30/the-case-for-edgar-martinez/ This was written by Aaron Urseth
8th time on ballot. After Rickey Henderson, Raines is probably the best leadoff hitter of all time. He was a 7 time All-Star with 2,605 hits, 808 stolen bases, scored 1,571 runs and was a lifetime .294 hitter. For the people that believe in Wins Above Replacement (WAR), he was a 69.1. Tony Gwynn who was a 1st ballot HOF has a 68.8 WAR. I’m not saying Raines is in the same level as Gwynn but I’m saying Raines should be in the Hall of Fame.
13th year on ballot. I think one of the things that has hurt Smith is that he played on so many teams, 8 in 18 seasons. He was still a 7 time All-Star and is 3rd all-time in saves with 478. I believe when he retired he was the all-time saves leader until Rivera and Hoffman came along. He was one of the most feared relievers in his time and pitched in an era where closers were asked to pitch more than just an inning. Not to mention a career 3.03 ERA.
14th year on ballot. I’m not sure why or how Trammell hasn’t been voted in yet. He was a 6 time All Star, won 4 Gold Gloves and 3 Silver Sluggers. He is highly underrated. He is right on par with Barry Larkin who is a BBWAA Hall of Famer (WAR Trammell 70.4 Larkin 70.2). On the biggest stage he was a gamer. In the 1984 World Series he batted .450 with 2 HR’s, 6 RBI’s and was name WS MVP.
THE STEROID 4
At this time I can’t bring myself to vote for Bonds, McGwire, Sosa and Clemens. Maybe things will change in time but I just don’t see it. What really bugs me is that Bonds, Clemens and McGwire were probably already headed for the Hall of Fame before they got into the PED’s.