My Hall of Fame Ballot for 2014: Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Schilling, Bagwell, Glavine, Thomas, Then A Tough Decision

Last year my post was using the scenario that I could vote for as many players as I wanted, and it was one of my few posts that got more than one comment on it, so you don’t need to tell me that this is a really divisive topic. A reminder that we can have conversations on these topics without resorting to name-calling and being condescending, as we should be doing throughout our baseball discussions, and all discussions, really. To echo what went down in 2013 on my voting, anybody associated with PEDs is not going to be dismissed, and I love advanced metrics. I know I didn’t watch some of these guys play, but I don’t think that should be something that makes opinions like mine ineligible for submissions. I also did a preview of twenty eligible players for the 2014 ballot that you can check out here. Now, here we go, my ten for 2014:

No doubt about it

Three spots left for seven guys

  • Mike Mussina — his having played in a competitive division gives him a little bit more an edge for me, and his advanced metric HOF numbers make this choice sit more comfortably with me
  • Craig Biggio — love his versatility and position flexibility. His advanced metric HOF numbers were not Top 10, but not everybody split time between the 2B, catcher, and outfield positions like he did. I may also be biased towards shorter players.
  • Mike Piazza — catcher that could be overshadowed by some other, great, worthy names that manned a corner spot, but he was a fantastic catcher.

The other four that missed my cut — keep in mind that I think that if any of these four were in, I would have no problems with it. Each of these players are very deserving, and is my argument for eliminating the ten-player limit

  • Larry Walker — Unlike Biggio, his advanced metric HOF numbers are all in the Top 10 of the 2014 class, and I do feel like I’m punishing him for not being at a different position.
  • Alan Trammell — He’s running out of time, and he’s got some good arguments for him, better than Biggio, in fact.
  • Edgar Martinez — Like Biggio, advanced metric HOF numbers were outside the Top 10, and I know I’m punishing him for lack of position flexibility here.
  • Tim Raines — Most stolen bases on the ballot, beating out Bonds by almost 300 bags.

Nah, man

So there you have it. Have at it. Tell me your ballot, your thoughts, opinions, all the while being civil. Would be more than happy to engage in some baseball discussion over this.



  1. tommygunn44

    I understand what your saying, or trying to at least… but if your throwing out the whole PED thing, how is someone like Sosa not a lock??… and where is Palmerio? …. and I disagree with you about Jeff Kent – arguably the best offensive 2b of all time…. if your putting Piazza in, you gotta put Kent in… Piazza was horrendous defensively, where as Kent was at least average. Despite his 300 wins, Glavine to me is borderline – the rest of his stats are pedestrian at best. The guy pitched 22 years, and is 12th ALL-TIME in career starts, but yet isn’t in the top 20 of any significant pitching statistic. He is the poster boy for consistency (not greatness) and playing on a contender for nearly all his career…. and lastly – Larry Walker should be a lock – his numbers are off the charts – this guy gets discredited more because he played at Coors than some guys do for using PEDs….. it’s ridiculous. But he was great in Montreal and St.Louis as well …. great post though –

    • stuartsj

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I think the stats you and I are using to evaluate Hall of Fame worthiness are different. I relied a lot — not 100%, but a lot — on the stats that I went through in my previous post profiling twenty of the HOF candidates ( I think if you get to play on the chart of Baseball Reference that’s linked in that post, you’ll see where I’m getting influenced. As for the individual players you mentioned:

      Sosa — Overall advanced metrics put him as a below average Hall of Fame member were he to be elected, but I really enjoyed watching him play with the Cubs, if that’s any consolation.
      Palmeiro — Unlike Sosa, the advanced metrics do say he would be a fit in Cooperstown. With him, I know I let my human side get in the way, remembering his testimony in front of Congress.
      Kent — A tremendous player, another one I enjoyed watching, especially being a Giants fan. Like Sosa, the advanced metrics are not favorable for him in relation to other HOF players. Was hoping his case would be stronger, I’d like to see him in.
      Piazza — His offensive numbers are so good, and in relation to other HOF catchers, his overall advanced metrics speak volumes.
      Glavine — Overall advanced metrics have him as just over the “average” mark for HOF starting pitchers. Like you were saying, his ERA, WHIP, and walk total may not be anything spectacular.
      Walker — I struggled with him and the other six for a spot, and I think you could make a legitimate case for him to take the spot of Mussina, Biggio, or Piazza, whom I put on the ballot. I want him to be a Hall of Famer, and I hope they expand the ballot. His overall advanced metrics are above the average, but I wanted to be sure to include the players that were better than their HOF brethren at that position, and not just guys that were Top 10 JAWS or Top 10 WAR.

  2. Jacob Smith

    I agree with your ballot, but I think McGwire deserves more consideration. His case is hurt by a relatively short career, but he was insanely valuable for the entire duration of it. OPS/OPS+ doesn’t capture it due to not weighting his massive OBP and walk totals properly.

    • stuartsj

      I think those are very important points to consider when talking McGwire. I voted him on last year when I had unlimited spots, so I know I’d remember that if we ever get the freedom to list more than ten. These next couple years are going to be so stacked, it will be interesting to see how McGwire fares.

  3. Madduxboy

    Your ballot reasoning boggles the mind. You say you let your “human side” keep Palmeiro off of your ballot (and totally unmentioned in your original post!!) because he wagged his finger at congress but at the same time you tell me that Bonds and Clemens are “no doubt” even though one was CONVICTED of obstructing justice wrt a PED investigation (and clearly violated federal controlled substance laws) and the other wriggled out of serious trouble when his buddy recanted damning testimony. What gives?

    • stuartsj

      I understand my reasoning can be frustrating, and I have no doubt that my opinion on certain players left off my ballot this year may or will change in the coming years. While I agree that it’s not like Clemens or Bonds are innocent of any wrongdoing, I feel the numbers of Bonds and Clemens are so extraordinary and above the average that they have to be in. Palmeiro is just above the average Hall of Famer, and it’s a small consolation, but I voted him in last year when I let myself have an unlimited number of spots. It’s a crowded ballot this year, and I’m more comfortable with other players over Palmeiro for the time being. Appreciate the read and the comment, hope that gives more insight into where I am!

  4. William Miller

    First of all, I appreciate the civilized tone of this blog. As for your ballot, I would be happy with any or all of the 14 players you deem to be Hall-worthy. My first ten might look slightly different from yours, but that’s because the ballot this year is just so crowded. On a much less crowded ballot, I might also be inclined to vote for Jeff Kent, but not yet when there are so many other deserving players.

    • stuartsj

      Many thanks on your feedback! Kent is a difficult case, and I know there a lot of strong opinions for Kent since he’s a player a lot of us saw perform at a high level. Since I rely so much on the advanced metrics available right now and they don’t support JK, there’s going to need to be a change in mindset or the coming out of a new stat that makes more sense to provide more arguments for Kent to get in. Until then, he’ll probably be off my ballot, and especially more so for the crowded ballot reasons you mentioned.

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