2017 Baseball Hall of Fame
So the news just broke that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will all be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, class of 2017.
Bagwell was one of his generations best power hitters and though he had the steroid cloud hanging over his cloud like a lot of sluggers from his generation, he was never as heavily linked to PEDs. He, along with fellow Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, lead the Astros to some very good years in the early part of the 2000s. During his fifteen year career he was named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player and will go down as one of the most loyal players in the game, choosing to stay with Houston his entire career.
Pudge was one of the best all around catchers in the game. In a 21 year career, Pudge was named a Gold Glover 13 times and an All-Star 14 times. He is also the career leader in hits, runs, doubles, and games played at catcher. He will likely go in as a member of the Texas Rangers, but he also played for Detroit, Miami, New York, Houston, and Washington.
Raines, in his final year of eligibility, is who I am most glad to see go in, is considered by many to be the second greatest leadoff hitter of all time, trailing only the great Ricky Henderson. He was a seven time All-Star and ranks fifth all time in stolen bases. Raines will likely go in as an Expo, and unless Vladimir Guerrero goes in under the same cap, he will be the last player to go in for the defunct franchise. Many people point to his admitted cocaine use during his playing days as a reason he had to wait so long to get into the prestigious HoF.
Falling just short this year were the aforementioned Vlad, who garnered 71% of the required 75% and Trevor Hoffman with 74%.
In his final year, former all time saves leader Lee Smith only managed to garner 34% of the vote.
The full list of candidates and votes received is below.
Click for Spoiler:
First off, congratulations to all 3... all very deserving.
Kind of upset that Vlad didn't get in on his first shot, but with 71% of the vote he'll definitely get in next year.
Also I'm really shocked Hoffman didn't get in, again with the percentage of votes that he got this year, he's a shoe in for next year. He was so consistent for so long. I wonder if it was because he played for San Diego? Surely if he played in a New York or LA he would've gotten in easy.
And Clemens and Bonds are trending in the right direction. It looks like they'll be getting in eventually.
Really pumped that Pudge is getting the nod. My all time favorite catcher and one of the reasons I ended up playing that position from a young age. Clemens and Bonds should already be in. I get it, they took steroids, but everybody knows they're going to be there eventually so let's just get it over with already. If they somehow didn't make it in, it would be disgraceful, especially in the case of Bonds.
Kind of surprised that Bagwell got such a high percentage of the vote but I can't say he doesn't deserve his spot. Happy for Tim Raines as well. Guy's bonafide. All things considered, it's a pretty good class.
What the hell Yaz? Just because I haven’t posted on this forum in four months doesn’t mean you can just assume I’m not coming back to create my traditional HOF thread. But you did me a favor. As a responder instead of the thread starter I feel I don’t have to be as long and detailed. We’ll see how that goes.
I agree with Bagwell and Pudge but I still don’t see Tim Raines as a hall of famer. Bagwell is long overdue and I’m glad Pudge got on the first ballot like he deserved. I was afraid Pudge would fall short because some people don’t like giving first timers as much support as they do later for some reason. One less guy and the already overcrowded ballot for next year.
From past posts I know I’m in the minority about Tim Raines. He was a great player. He’s borderline. I just don’t think he’s a hall of famer. I’ve followed MLB pretty closely throughout my life. When Raines started trending up and looking like he was going to eventually get in I had to visit the greatest website in the history of the internet, baseballreference.com, and look him up. Before I looked I figured Raines retired around 1995, a few years after his prime. I was pretty stunned to see his last year was 2002. Raines was largely irrelevant after 1992. Basically, he wasn’t a major factor for half his career. He was a great player with the Expos but it’s hard for me to say a guy that was pretty much forgotten for half his career his a hall of famer.
Hoffman missed election by five votes. Guerrero missed by fifteen on his first year on the ballot. It’s safe to say they’re both in next year. I really have a feeling some people are waiting to put Rivera in before voting for Hoffman. Rivera is still two years away so with being only 1% shy I think Hoffman will be sitting on stage when Mo gives his speech.
I was really curious about Vlad. I would have voted for him. He’ll get in next year, and Yaz, he will be the last Expo.
There Is Hope
I’m pretty surprised by Edgar’s jump. 58% is a strong number and one that should make him feel good about eventually getting in. The problem is eventually needs to mean soon. He has two years left on the ballot. Edgar was a favorite of mine but I wouldn’t vote for him for the HOF, but I don’t count. Last year I would have told you Edgar is never getting in, but to jump from 43% to 58% in one year and two years to go, it’s looking good for him.
I’m so glad to see Clemens and Bonds moving up. The way it went their first three years it wasn’t looking good for them but the last two years show reason for optimism. They’re still a little far off but they have time and they’re trending in the right direction now.
Three years ago I was disappointed to see Mike Mussina got only 20% of the vote. He is quickly progressing and now sits at 51%. Maybe not next year but two more years and he’s in.
Schilling actually went down from 52% to 45%. That’s kind of unusual for a guy like that to go backwards. The good news is it’s because of his controversial comments on social media which will be forgotten by next year. Some people think political comments a decade after he retired somehow effect his HOF status. They’ll get over it. Schilling’s election has been put on hold but if these voters are real they’ll put him in eventually.
These guys just aren’t moving. Some went up but just barely. It’s only Sheffield’s second year so he has time to move up. It’s also Wagner’s second year but I don’t see him moving up. He’s just not a hall of famer in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall off before his ten years are up by eventually falling short of 5%. Bonds trends up but Sosa remains where he is. Don’t get me wrong, any way you look at it Bonds was way better than Sosa but if voters are starting to soften on PED usage Sosa should be at more than 8%. Doesn’t look like he’ll ever get in. Walker and Kent are borderline but I wouldn’t vote for either so their results don’t bother me. Just look at any of my pasts posts to see me cry over Fred McGriff. I just don’t know why he doesn’t get any respect.
A new PED guy on the ballot and like the others he starts off slow. 23% has to be a little disappointing, yet not surprising. The increase for Bonds and Clemens should give Manny hope, but there is a major difference. Bonds and Clemens never failed a test and never served a suspension. Manny did. That might make a difference for him. I’ll be very curious to track his progress, or lack thereof, over the next few years.
It was Smith’s 15th year on the ballot and Posada’s first. I don’t see either as a hall of famer but thought they were worth mentioning. I’m a lifelong Cub fan and Lee Smith was their closer when I started watching so part of me always kind of hoped he’d make, but honestly, I wouldn’t have voted for him. I wouldn’t have voted for Posada either but I’m just a little surprised he didn’t get 5% to remain on the ballot. I’m glad though. The ballot is overcrowded so no need to keep a guy like Posada on taking up space.
These are among some of the first-time eligible players next year. The only one that I think is a sure thing on the first ballot is Chipper. I’m confident Thome will get in and certainly wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if it’s next year but I have a feeling he might not be a first ballot choice. Factoring in the defense Andruw Jones has the numbers to justify election but I just don’t see it. Speaking of defense that may be the key to getting Omar Vizquel in. I have a feeling he might be the next Tim Raines. People will spend years comparing him to Ozzie Smith the way they compared Raines to Ricky Henderson. Vizquel doesn’t seem like a hall of famer to me but some of his numbers are surprising. Maybe someday, but it’s going to take him a while if he gets in. Damon might get a little support and hang around the ballot for a bit but I don’t see him getting in. Lee, Santana, and Rolen had solid careers but not Cooperstown worthy careers.
I’m going to spend the next several days obsessing over this and thinking about next year. Who am I kidding? I’ll spend the next year obsessing over it. I love this day. So much for not being as long and detailed.
Alwasy appreciate the insight you provide. I wanna talk about next year's first time guys too.
So Chipper will get in. The argument can be made he is the best switch hitter of all time. Outside of Altanta's great pitching staffs, he was the leader of all those great Braves teams in the 90s and early 2000s. Never had the steroid issues hanging around him. My all time favorite player to boot. I'd say he gets in within three years, wouldn't be shocked to see him go in year one.
Speaking of Braves players I liked, Andruw is up. Man that makes me feel old to see two guys I grew up watching getting ready to be on the ballot. Great defensive center fielder, maybe the best of his generation and through his years in Atlanta a great power hitter. Once he left the ATL for bigger paychecks, his production and defense dipped until he had a mini resugance as a DH for a couple years. I want to see Andruw make it, but like most Braves fans who settled for Dale Murphy getting the same treatment before, I'd settle for him going into the Braves Hall of Fame and getting the number 25 retired by the team.
Thome is an interesting case. 600+ home runs and had great patience at the plate. I don't recall him ever being linked to PEDs, but he was such a quiet player. I think he will get in, his numbers are too good to deny him, but he may have to wait due to more prolific players ahead of him.
Damon and Vizquel are borderline. Both were very good, and both had surpising numbers. I believe each were only another solid two or three years from the 3000 hit club. Damon was the bigger personality, so I think that will help his cause, especially considering he was a driving force for that Red Sox team in '04, but Omar was a more complete player in my opinion. I wouldn't fuss if either guy snuck in.
Rolen and Santana might have had a better chance if they didn't deal with the injury bug in their careers, but I agree they both go into the Hall of Very Good. Same with Lee.
By the way, a little off topic but I haven't posted in months so I just had to mention
THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!
There was an interesting article on ESPN today where Dave Schoenfield predicted every Hall of Fame member starting with the 2018 class and ending up at the 2045 class.
He had both Bonds and Clemens going in in 2020, along with first time eligible Derek Jeter.
Well worth the time to take to read.
Next year is the first year the writers have to disclose their ballots.
That being said, I think Chipper Jones will be the first player to get 100% of the vote.
I am a lifelong Mets fan and grew up hating, but respecting, Chipper Jones. He was a great player and deserves to be a hall of famer. But the fact that HE will be the first to achieve 100% of the vote bothers me. Not because of him being a Brave. But because to me, he's not the one who deserves that honor. That should have been Ken Griffey Jr. The BBWAA has gotten away with picking and choosing hall of famers over their personal feelings of the player and not facts.
I think Vladimir Guerrero gets in next year, as does Trevor Hoffman. Thome could get in next year too, but I think he waits one year. Though again, how can a writer validate giving Thome a "no" on the ballot? Vizquel is a slight possibility, but his offense will hold him back. He might be a late entry in a down HOF year.
Andruw Jones won't get in. He took such a steep decline in his career that his numbers just aren't there. Derek Lee and Johan Santana had a few years where they were great, but both just took too deep of declines, or in Santana's case, injuries shortened their career. Scott Rolen will be one of those who it comes down to year 9. He'll be a guy who is borderline the whole time and if he gets a year where the potential HOF class is weak, he might get in.
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