Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Brave Aces On Hall of Fame Ballot

The Hall of Fame ballot was released today.  And unlike last year, when the Baseball Writers Association of America had a collective fit of conscience and took it out on… well, everybody… it would seem quite likely that there should be some enshrinements for next Summer’s ceremonies in Cooperstown.  Let’s take a gander.

First Time on the Ballot

Moises Alou
Armando Benitez
Sean Casey
Ray Durham
Eric Gagne
Tom Glavine
Luis Gonzalez
Jacque Jones
Todd Jones
Jeff Kent
Paul Lo Duca
Greg Maddux
Mike Mussina
Hideo Nomo
J.T. Snow
Frank Thomas
Mike Timlin
Kenny Rogers
Richie Sexson

There is a requirement that nominees must get 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot for successive years.  Most of these players won’t get that.  Yeah, Richie – that’s you.

Here are the returning nominees from past years:

Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Roger Clemens
Edgar Martinez
Don Mattingly
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Rafael Palmeiro
Mike Piazza
Tim Raines
Curt Schilling
Lee Smith
Sammy Sosa
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker

In addition, Jack Morris makes his 15th and final attempt to reach the required 75% threshold (75% support among all ballots received) for election.


So Who Gets Elected in 2014?

That’s the next, most obvious question.  The voters are a fickle lot – as last year showed.  There are some that will vote for Morris simply because it’s his last shot.  There are others (maybe the same group) who won’t vote for Maddux or Glavine because they seem to think they are the Keepers of the Mystique – saving the privilege of the “First Ballot HOFer” for only the best of the best.  There are still others who – despite being allowed to vote for up to 10 players – will self-limit their ballot to 2-to-4 names… somehow preserving the integrity of the process.


Those who will likely get in this year:

  • Greg Maddux
  • Tom Glavine
  • Jack Morris

Those who will be very close – one way or another

  • Craig Biggio – more likely ‘in’ than not
  • Jeff Bagwell – on the cusp
  • Frank Thomas – could be a victim of that ’1st ballot bias’ thing
  • Mike Piazza – also on the cusp

Those who don’t get NEARLY enough respect

  • Fred McGriff – one off-year short of the 500 HR club.  Too nice of a guy.
  • Tim Raines – passed 50% last year.  This ballot will likely overshadow him.  Should eventually get there.
  • Alan Trammell – Too much under the radar, I guess.  Any of these voters ever check his career WAR?
  • Edgar Martinez – DH discrimination

…and of course the PED Poster Children (Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, Clemens) have no shot.

But hopefully – possibly, maybe – Braves’ fans will have two first-ballot guys to celebrate over next year.  Good luck to all!



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Tags: Atlanta Braves Ballot Hall Of Fame

  • Lee Trocinski

    If you need a steroids-free ballot, I’d easily vote for Maddux, Schilling, Mussina, Glavine, Bagwell, Thomas, Piazza, Walker, Raines, and Biggio. And I only stop there because 10 is the limit. Edgar and Trammell also deserve induction.

    I think Bonds and Clemens should be in, but I also understand that won’t happen anytime soon. If you want to make morality a necessity for induction, players like Cobb, Speaker, maybe Niekro and Perry should have never been inducted. A historical museum without players as good as Bonds and Clemens, who are not officially banned from the game, is not a complete museum. I can live without McGwire, Sosa, and Palmeiro not getting in, but the big two should eventually get in.

    • Lee Trocinski

      And we can’t forget the worthy players voted off the ballot who could still be eligible: Whitaker, Kevin Brown, Lofton, Cone, even Saberhagen and Stieb. How Kenny Lofton can’t get 5% on his first ballot while Lou Brock gets in on his first ballot is really a joke.

      • fireboss

        Brock was seminal player is his day and a better player than Lofton. His trade to St Louis was the turning point of the 64 season for the Cardinals who were 28-31 at the time, they finished 93-69For the first half of Brock’s career the mound was higher It was a different era with different and better pitchers more times than when Lofton played. In Brocks top ten pitchers faced 8 are HoF Lofton doesn’t have 8 pitchers in that class and he faced seven of those over 100 times and the last Steve Carlton 70. Lofton doesn’t have that many pitchers of that class in his first fifty. He never faced any pitcher 100 times. In the post season Brosk was a beast. His OPS is 1.079 in three world series (21 games). In his last two it was 1.107 and 1.179. Lofton’s post season ops is .667 and while he did have a few good series mostly he was average or below.

        Brock had no video to study in advance of games and used inferior equipment compared to that available to Lofton. He was second to Maury Wills in stolen bases in 65 and for eight of the next nine years he led the league taking the stolen base record from Wills in the process. I’m sure there’s some adjustment factor calculated that says all of that is irrelevant but it was a harder game back then on and off the field. Brock was one of a kind when he played, Lofton was very good but all things considered, Brock was better

        • Lee Trocinski

          I have been wondering lately about how much quality/size of league affects stats. There were a lot of HOF pitchers in that era, but that was also the lowest-scoring era the past 100 years, so how much does that adjustment encompass Brock’s talent? His OPS is 41 points lower than Lofton’s, despite his OPS+ being 2 points higher. There might be more of an adjustment needed, but not a ton.

          My bigger thing is on the other side of the ball. Kenny Lofton was a tremendous CF, while Brock was an average LF. Even if you concede that Brock had a significant offensive edge, that goes away with the defense. I don’t have a problem with a revolutionary like Brock being in, but someone similar, at least offensively, getting one-and-done’d seems counter-intuitive.

          • fireboss

            Could the number of Hall of Fame pitchers have been a major reason that was the lowest scoring era in the last 100 years? Seems to be a cause and effect ting going on there.

            It is an era thing of course and Brock wasn’t a bad defender for the era. if you look at all outfielders during career (62-79) who git 7500 PA his -48 looks bad until you see it’s seventh on the list and only Yastremski, willie Davis and Aaron are in positive numbers. Lou played his home games in Busch Memorial Stadium. In the summer the grass was hard to keep alive and the ground hard as rock. They replaced it with Astro Turf in 1970 to improve things. He had his worst three fielding years (70-72) adjusting to the turf and new CF partners beside him.

            The Hall is about players who dominate their era and no one dominated his era as a base stealer more than Brock. While Maury Wills ignited the base stealing game withe the Dodgers in 60 he was not in Brock’s league. The only player who could see Brock’s taillights is Joe Morgan and he’s 249 behind Brock who is still second only to Rickey Henderson. To do that you have to be on base. Brock had 185 hits in 68 then 6 consecutive years of 193 or more hits – with a 200 and a 202 sandwiched in the middle.
            In terms of runs for his position (LF with 7500 PA) between 65 and 79 Brock’s RE24 comes in fourth behind Stargell, Yastremski, and Williams, all 300+ homer guys during that period. During that same time his RC (1281) among all OF with 7500PA was fourth behind Pete Rose, Yastremski and Rusty Srtaub and 46 ahead of Billy Williams. All save Staub are HoF players – Rose would be except for the gambling ban of course.

            The WAR runs base running (73) leads all outfielders with 8000 PA and is nearly twice that of his closest follower – Bobby Bonds – 38
            I understand that Lofton’s paper numbers are almost identical to Brock’s and he was a better defender. But Brock played in some horrible ballparks with awful lighting and probably 40% of his games during the daytime. If Maury Will made everyone remember what a base stealer could do. Brock reminded owners, GMs and managers that such players could be game changers, run creators and durable.He paved the way for Raines, Henderson and Lofton. That’s why he got 87.5% and was inducted first time.

            Lofton fell into an era dominated by Earl Weaver method of wining – get 2 on and hit a homer – leading to the explosion of steroids. He does deserve more recognition for his accomplishments during that time as does McGriff and a couple of others who are over looked. I’m not a guy who thinks first ballot selection is special and I certainly want the way players are selected improved by say making voters give points for at least 10 players on the ballot similar to the MVP voting. But if it’s one or the other, it’s Brock because of when he did what he did and what happened as a result.

            Yes I know, I talk too much. Happy Thanksgiving my friend

  • fireboss

    Crime Dog gets no respect damn it. .. Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, McGriff, Mussina, Piazza, Raines, Trammel, Thomas

    • Lee Trocinski

      I remember our discussion on McGriff last year, but why no Schilling? He’s basically Glavine and Mussina, but with better postseason numbers.

      • fireboss

        It was a coin toss, limited to 10 prefer Trammel and Mussina slightly over Schilling.