Originally Posted by The Brain
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. Iím confident Thome will get in and certainly wouldnít be the least bit surprised if itís 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 donít 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 doesnít seem like a hall of famer to me but some of his numbers are surprising. Maybe someday, but itís 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 donít see him getting in. Lee, Santana, and Rolen had solid careers but not Cooperstown worthy careers.
Iím going to spend the next several days obsessing over this and thinking about next year. Who am I kidding? Iíll spend the next year obsessing over it. I love this day. So much for not being as long and detailed.
I thought I might draw you out of the woodwork if I made a HOF thread.
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.