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Member Since:   6/14/2013
Last Login:   1/18/2018
Points:   13,988
From:   Mid-Missouri
Collection:   4,036 cards
Collects:   Kansas City Royals, Mizzou, Greg Maddux, Johnny Damon, Mike Alstott
Quote:   Just be yourself, sir. Whatever happens, they can't take that away from you. -Coleman (Trading Places)





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My 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot- Top Ten

Last time I made a list of all the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame candidates, and I also listed my honorable mentions and ones I wouldn't include.  If you kept track, you probably figured out who I would have voted for if I had a ballot.  I'll be clear, I admit I'm biased with my picks so while I feel all would be solid choices to make the Hall, if they were members of the Royals at any point (which one was), they get more of a consideration.  None of these choices are as out there as my first ballot I did which included Tom Gordon though, so I think I'm good.  So let's begin.  While these aren't in any random order, I'll save my top picks which I would put on 99 out of 100 ballots towards the bottom as I'll have more to say about them.

Edgar Martinez is usually an honorable mention on my list as I find it tough to consider someone who was mostly a full time DH a Hall of Famer.  Though his offensive stats were really impressive and even if he was an everyday first basemen or something, I doubt his offensive stats would have fallen much at all.

Vladimir Guerrero is a guy I don't think has had any negative talk about him not being a Hall of Famer.  I was more on the fence than most people were, but it was more do to the fact that the ballot was stacked and I had to decide if a pretty sure bet would be on my list, or allow someone else to take his spot.  I decided to keep him on the list for a couple reasons.  I think he will get into the Hall of Fame eventually, possibly this year.  I voted for him because I hope he does get in so the bottleneck of potential names makes it easier for others to get votes.  If Vlad goes in this year, guys like Edgar could get more votes next year.  The next few years could go either way with an abundant amount of inductees or very few.  If we knock a few out this year, then next year could get some others in.

Roger Clemens is someone I don't like.  Something about him since around 1994 I haven't liked about him.  It wasn't the steroids or even the fact he played for the Yankees, but something I just didn't care for.  Having said that, I think he was one of the better pitchers of the generation and even if steroids did help him the last few years I still think his earlier years more than make up for it.

Barry Bonds on the reverse of Clemens was someone I really liked.  I think I liked him more because he was the anti-McGwire when it came to the press.  He was a pompous jerk to the press, but the press wasn't innocent either.  He seemed forgotten until he started taking steroids and blasting home runs then they wanted to talk to him, and he basically said bug off.  Before he was blasting 70 homers though, he had a very solid career and one that was no doubt a Hall of Fame career.  I enjoyed his time with the Pirates much more than the Giants, but I still enjoyed watching him play.  If either him or Clemens don't make it in at some point, it will be a shame.  Then again, the Hall isn't a Hall of Fame until Pete Rose is inducted anyways, so that needs to be corrected first.

Mike Mussina had a solid career and until I saw other bloggers and folks on the TCDB discuss his body of work, I never really considered him.  Maybe it is the peer pressure, but I was finally convinced he's Hall worthy, and another guy that would benefit if multiple players are inducted the next year or two.

Curt Schilling gets a lot of crap these days, and he deserves it all.  The question is whethere it negates his Hall worthy career.  In my eyes, it doesn't.  He may be a sad miserable person who it seems loves to create controversy today, but much like Clemens, when he pitched, you made sure you was able to see him play.  If I only had 4 picks, he would be one of them, along with Bonds.

Manny Ramirez is like a controlled mess.  You didn't know which Manny you'd get on gameday and that usually made you want to watch him more.  It's where "that's just Manny being Manny" came from.  He sat down and rolled around on top of a ball once in what could be described as an adult hide and seek from a problem child.  That was also his drawback though.  As fun as it was to see him play or not play, you knew that he could always play better if he tried.  You also knew if he let a lot of things go, he would have been one of the best of his era.  Instead some think of him as a joke, and its not wrong for them to think that.  Personally, I would put him in the Hall, but I understand if some or most don't want him anywhere near.

Jim Thome is another guy much like Vladimir Guerrero, as I was on the fence on.  Again, a very solid player but I had others I wanted on the ballot.  Though again, much like Vlad, I think he'll get in, and the sooner the better.  I tended to forget about him after his Indians days, but he still played very solid and you never heard much negative about him.

Chipper Jones was no doubt going to be on my list.  Since I saw Maddux play as much as possible, I also saw a lot of Chipper playing and was never disappointed.  He is a lock getting in and while I could have left him off and he'd still be fine, I didn't.  Chipper sometimes makes some ill-advised tweets, but unlike Curt Schilling, he knows when to cool it and that will also help in his bid.

So one more left, and its the Royals player I mentioned earlier.  While that is the majority of the reason I included him, I think a lot look past his stats.

Johnny Damon had a solid career, playing for many teams and contributing to most of those teams.  While I followed him throughout his career, I was locked in specifically on the years he played for Kansas City and Boston.  For a long time the Red Sox was my #2 team, and so I wasn't disappointed when he signed with Boston.  When they made the World Series in 2004, I had a boss who was from Boston and we were the only two Red Sox fans in a sea of Cardinal red.  When the curse was reversed, we were working that night and we gloated.  Not only was I happy the Red Sox finally won, but happy for a long haired Damon winning a World Series ring.  I felt bad for a lot of Royals players especially when it was obvious many wouldn't ever win a ring in KC, so I always wanted them to go to teams that gave them a chance to win a ring.  At one point, KC had an outfield of Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Carlos Beltran.  After Beltran's 2017 World Series win with the Astros, all three would get rings.  Its a shame Kansas City couldn't keep them and had a run ourselves.  Luckily our fanbase got a World Series win in 2015, so all is good (except for Mike Sweeney, who deserved a ring at some point too).

So why does Damon deserve to go in the Hall?  It can't just be because he was a Royal and won a World Series, right?  Well, actually those are all the reasons I need, but how about some more reasons.

He was a 2 time All-Star, which may not seem like much, but he did record a stolen base in the 2002 game which as you remember was the tie game.  In 2005, he was the starting center fielder and first in the lineup for the victorious AL team.

His long career has allowed him to rank in the top 40 in both at bats and plate appearances.  While that may not seem impressive, consider how often players are removed from the games today and also injuries and days off, and I think both of those are very impressive.

He is 32nd all time in Runs Scored and spent 8 seasons in the top 10.  Again I think that's very impressive especially since the bulk of his career he usually didn't bat 3rd or 4th, but usually in the top or middle of the order.

While he didn't reach 3,000 hits, he is currently ranked 54th all time with 2,769.  His last year or two didn't give him many plate appearances, and I truly believe he could have played until he got to 3000 if he wanted.

He is 48th in career doubles.  Not only did he score runs, but he didn't just hit singles.  Another impressive achievement.

He is 67th in career stolen bases, finishing first in the AL in 2000, and had 8 seasons where he ranked in the top ten.  Depending on the team you play on, base stealing seems like a lost art form these days, so being in the top 100 is quite impressive.

There are many other categories where he ranks in the top 100 all time in which I won't mention here.  While individually these may not seem impressive, Add them together and I think it is very impressive. 

Now do I think he'll make the Hall of Fame?  Honestly, no, but I think it would be horrible if people don't at least consider him much more than they have.  He played for 18 years and while I don't care much for the stat, his WAR over his career was a 56.0 and only twice was it below 1.0 for a season those being his first full season, and his last season.  He made it to 8 Divisional Series, 3 Championship Series, and 2 World Series.  Again, while its a team effort, some guys never get the chance to make it near the playoffs.  He played in over 140 games a year for 16 of his 18 years, with only his first and last being less.  To some that may equate to the Hall of Very Good, but at least those people are considering him.  At this point I wouldn't be shocked if he didn't get the 5% to stay on the ballot, but he deserves much more consideration than I hear anyone giving him.

So that is my ballot, and I understand if some or most disagree, but that's why its fun to do these.  What are your thoughts, am I spot on, or way off base?  We'll find out soon.  Next year will be another loaded ballot, so let's hope at least 3 of these guys get voted in.  If I had to guess I'd say Chipper is a lock, Vlad will get in, and a couple could hit 60%.  Thanks for reading, and have a great night.

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