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2012 Official Hall of Fame Ballot –

Posted by admin on December 20, 2011

2012 Official Hall of Fame Ballot w/ player stats

A rundown of everyone on the ballot for this year's election.

36 Responses to “2012 Official Hall of Fame Ballot –”

  1. Brian Says:

    I'd vote for five guys on this year's ballot:

    Really wish I could vote for McGwire but I just can't. I realize that the Bagwell vote is one that people would probably complain about but I think he was clean. I sure hope he was anyway.

  2. David Says:

    I'm with you on Bagwell. He should have gotten in last years. I'd also vote for Larkin, Jack Morris and Edgar Martinez.

  3. Tim Says:

    I would vote for Larkin, Bagwell and Walker. From 1997-2002 Walker hit .353 with a .648 Slugging %. Colorado or not those are amazing numbers!

  4. David Says:

    If you would vote for Walker then you should also take a look at Edgar Martinez's numbers. They are pretty similar.

  5. Jonathan Goldstein Says:

    My picks are Bagwell, Larkin, Mattingly, Raines, and Trammell. But Walker and Martinez are worthy, too.

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  7. Tim Says:

    I like Martinez - a Yankee killer - but Larry Walker was a great right fielder with a cannon right arm. (batted left). Thanks for the commercial message Tank.

  8. Hartvig Says:

    There's no one who's been mentioned that I would have any problem with their getting in. My vote would be Larkin, Trammell, Raines, Bagwell, Martinez & maybe Walker- I go back and forth on him about every time I think about it.

    I probably wouldn't vote for Donny Ballgame but a part of me would love to see him in the HOF

  9. Matt Says:

    I'd vote for Bagwell, McGwire, Walker and Larkin. Steroids and Colorado air aside, I think Larry Walker's and Mark McGwire's numbers were far too impressive to keep them out the Hall. Larkin was the 6th best hitting SS that I've ever seen play (since '84). I wouldn't vote for Edgar Martinez simply based on the fact that he was mainly a DH over his 18 year career. He only played in 561 games as a position player.

  10. pete Says:

    So many good candidates, maybe because of PEDs. I don't know. I think Morris deserves to get in, because he led the majors in wins for a decade. I know that wins can be shaky, as can losses, but in that era it means you kept your team in the game. He pitched many innings and was always a leader and tough.

  11. StephenH Says:

    I can't understand how Alomar skates in and Larkin doesn't get in. He would be the first name on my ballot. Followed by: Bagwell, Martinez, Trammel, McGriff, Raines, Morris and new for this year, Bernie Williams. I place great stock in the Ringo Starr theory, contributions to a winning team are very important. I also don't put much stock in the DWar numbers. I should also add this first ballot stuff is outdated.

  12. mosc Says:

    I don't understand Bagwell and Walker getting attention when Palmero gets none. I mean, you either care or you don't. Palmero violated no rule in baseball during those years and I can't fault any player for doing what he can to help his team win. The rules were the problem, not the players. Change the rules and the players will follow, as they for the vast majority have. Also, Palmero had a great career before steroids took over. He wouldn't have reached the milestones he did, but he was still a productive player. He wasn't that slow and had a pretty decent glove and it's not like all his power arrived out of nowhere in 1999 when he went to Texas, the guy had already hit 37 or more home runs in 5 of the last 6 years (only shortened 1994 season was missed). Yeah, he hit 40 for the first time at age 33 and then did it 3 more times but his power surge really came at age 28 when he hit 37. That's not that unusual. The guy was consistent at an all star level for more than a decade. He also walked more than he struck out which is always something I like to see from a hall of famer. That's not to say I don't mentally correct a player a little bit for what I think he did, just like I mentally correct a player based on position and era. I just think he makes it IN SPITE. I don't like the idea of making him the martyr for too many people's mistakes that weren't just his.

    I'm not a believer in Trammel, and there are too many candidates. I don't know how he racked up so much WAR with that average a bat. He put up those numbers in the late 80s and 90s, that was an offensive era. I just don't see his bat as exceptional. He's like a Cal Ripken without the record level player, and that's probably being unfair to Cal on the defensive side. Too many great shortstops, too little room.

    And why all the Larry Walker love? I thought he had more suspicion on him than Bagwell AND had Coors field AND only managed a few healthy seasons with HOF numbers. Yes, his peak was stratospheric but this is the steriod era we're talking about. You take off some of those 154 coors field home runs (and some of the walks from people being careful IN coors field against him) and his numbers are not great. Career wise, it's really poor. Though I'll say he deserves more credit defensively than he gets but I can't imagine a RF getting in on defense. Especially one that couldn't stay healthy.

    Jack Morris minus 1991 WS wouldn't have gotten 5% of the vote his first year. Give it up. Did he pitch well in big games? No, he generally pitched mediocre. His post season ERA is terrible. His WS ERA isn't even that good because of the 1992 encore flop everyone forgets about. Good thing those bluejays could hit...

    Mattingly is a homer pick. His career was too short and injury filled. You can love the guy without saying he reached even a fraction of what could have been you know. Heros are not always the most successful people. You know he'll get in as a player/manager in another 20 or so years anyway so let it go. I actually think Bernie's got a better case. He could take a walk and steal a base and contributed to championship baseball teams in the post season. Bernie's 22 post season HR's (6 in '96) sure stick out in my memory. Do only post season PITCHING performances get any HOF credit?

    Tim Raines (it's offensive he's not in already, really)
    Rafael Palmeiro
    Jeff Bagwell
    Barry Larkin (better arm than Trammel, DWAR be damned).
    Fred McGriff
    Bernie Williams (There are lots of guys I would vote for on their first year just to give them some love, Bernie certainly qualifies).

    No McGuire. See, I do take some steroids into account ;) He's a far better Martyr than Palmero too.

  13. Dan Says:

    Martinez wouldn't get my vote. For much of his career, he was half of a player. That's the problem with DHs. Rest of the team takes the field, they sit in the dugout chomping on sunflower seeds and picking their nose, only getting up to swing the bat a few times. Don't tucker yourselves out, boys.

  14. Blake Walker Says:

    By the numbers? Larkin (minimally), Bagwell, Martinez and Palmeiro ...I don't know what to do about the issue of steroids. Or relief pitchers ,,,

    The HOF is for the very, very best and you can be really good and come up short. No slap against anyone not to make it.

    The only two without question are Larkin and Bagwell.

  15. Ian Says:

    Radke is really underrated. Don't think he's a HOFer but 41 WAR in only 12 years is pretty darn good.

  16. Ian Says:

    Here's my problem with Raines. Take away his 5 yr peak (83-87, four top 10 WAR seasons, one top 5) and you have 17 partial seasons with a 33.9 rWAR. True, some of those seasons were really, really partial but others weren't. He missed a lot of games - avg 100 games season after he left Montreal. For all the talk about his OBP, he only finished in the top 10 one time after his 5 yr peak. If he was a full time player, I think it's fair to say his rate stats would've fallen. And he was 120th in fWAR after he left Montreal. Those seasons should count, too. Guys like Tony Oliva and Kieth Hernandez had better and longer peaks and aren't in.

  17. Eddy Says:

    "Martinez wouldn't get my vote. For much of his career, he was half of a player. That's the problem with DHs. Rest of the team takes the field, they sit in the dugout chomping on sunflower seeds and picking their nose, only getting up to swing the bat a few times. Don't tucker yourselves out, boys."

    But when he did get up he hit better than 99% of guys playing at that time. I'd rather a bad defender sit in the dug out than play 1B terribly. Plus if you can hit that well you don't have to much else to be a great player.

  18. Dan Says:

    "But when he did get up he hit better than 99% of guys playing at that time. I'd rather a bad defender sit in the dug out than play 1B terribly. Plus if you can hit that well you don't have to much else to be a great player."

    99% is a bit of a stretch. But if all you do is hit, you're a softball player. By eliminating even the need to play the field, you eliminate a big part of what defines a baseball player. I mean, forget a five-tool player, in the AL you just need to be a four-tooler, maybe only three. A DH is nothing more than a PH who starts and "plays" the entire game. You want to have them in the Hall, let's have an exhibit honoring the best DHs. But as a pure player? No.

  19. Matt Says:

    WAR is a cockamamie statistic. Offensive numbers should be judged only by OPS+, AVG and stolen bases.

  20. Joe Says:

    All are great players. We have enough HOF's at each position to judge each entry without the emotional baggage of sportswriters.The DH is a position and needs to be recognized,i.e.H.Baines and Edgar Martinez.Joe Torre's numbers are greater than 9 HOF catchers and needs to be installed.Those players eligible whom do not match current HOF's can be pooled for sportswriters to vote on as in old timemers committee.SABR and WAR are good in a advisory capacity only.Time honored measurements of players production is accountable w/o the blah,blah.

  21. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    They should make the ballot a simple "yes" or "no" proposition on the question of whether the voter thinks a player should be inducted into the HOF. Vote for as many players as you think should be in the HOF.

    As the rules stand now, the numbers work against players who carry over from one year to the next when they fall short of the 75% minimum vote.
    As it is now, the voter is limited to 10.
    When a group of three or four "sure-fire HOFers" appears on the ballot for the first time, that's three or four votes taken away from players who got votes the year before.

    The BBWAA system says you might almost be a HOFer one year, but the next year you're not quite that good because there's a new guy on the ballot who's getting your vote now. As Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman said on a recent radio talk show, "it's just a mess over there" in regars to HOF voting procedures.

    What MLB needs is a Commissioner who calls up the HOF and tells them that MLB will no longer recognize their entity as the game's official historical archive, stops sending them memorabilia to put on display, and announces the establishment of the MLB Hall of Fame. All players enshrined in the facility at Cooperstown will be "grandfathered in," but from this point on, the baseball writers don't control any aspect of it.
    Maybe that would get the baseball writers' attention and they would finally recognize that the game and its history doesn't belong to them.

  22. Biff Says:

    "99% is a bit of a stretch. But if all you do is hit, you're a softball player. By eliminating even the need to play the field, you eliminate a big part of what defines a baseball player."

    This is why I've always said there's 2 leagues in MLB; The National League and the Softball League (since a minimum 10 players are deemed necessary to play a minimum 9 player game).

    That said, I can't fault Edgar Martinez for not only playing a position that has been created by MLB, but also dominating it in doing so. MLB had to expect that a dominant DH would happen someday, so to me DHs would be no different than closers inducted in. I think he's an easy choice for induction given the circumstances, especially if the voters are going to police his PED peers out. All assuming Edgar's clean of course.

  23. Dan Says:

    The problem, Biff, is that it's impossible to really know how well he played relative to other players - unless they "played" exactly the same position of DH. That's why a wing/exhibit dedicated to the best DHs of all time makes a lot more sense.

    Just because a DH has an OPS+ of 140 and a non-DH has an OPS+ of 120 doesn't mean the former is 20% better than the latter. The latter had to do a lot more, had to participate much more often, had far more opportunities to screw up.

    It reminds me of old Wiffleball days, when you'd have a steady pitcher (for lack of players).

  24. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    Dan #23: Wiffleball??? What???????????
    A special wing at the HOF for DH's? I address that below in regards to Edgar Martinez....

    Mosc #12: I consider playoff and World Series performance, but I do not let it be a deciding factor in regards to HOF. Jack Morris on that basis is to me a borderline case, and I put a little extra weight on how consistent he was through his career, not how well he did in post-season. This is why Mariano Rivera doing so well in post-season doesn't carry as much weight with me as it does with many others. Would his team have even made it to post-season without him in the first place, now there's the rub.

    As for voting for Bernie Williams his first year "just to give him some love," you just illustrate my point about the problem with voting procedures. Is the guy a HOF'er, yes or no, never mind about "giving him some love." Lots of sportswriters gave Ron Santo a lot of hate over the years, and didn't vote for him.

    Joe #20: in regards to "we have enough HOF'ers at each position to judge each entry," what is "enough"? The HOF isn't about judging each entry against the guys who are already in the Hall, it's about whether a particular player is worthy of the HOF, and the only fair way to judge him is against his peers during his era. Case in point, Ron Santo, who certainly would have topped 400 career HRs and maybe approached 500 if he hadn't played during the "Age of the Pitcher," when every hitter's performance declined. If his career had begun ten years earlier, Ronnie would have made it in on the first ballot and never would have had votes taken away from him by Schmidt, Brett, and Boggs. So do we have "enough" third basemen, now that Ronnie's in ? ? ?

    Edgar Martinez and all other DH's must be considered for HOF on the same basis as relief pitchers. Theirs is a specialty job, they are not expected to play fulltime the enter game, and as the views on relievers changed and evolved since the Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers days, the same approach must be taken to DH's. They didn't write the rules, they played the game the way their manager decided to use them. Was Edgard Martinez a dominant DH, did he set standards that others are trying to match? As more and more career DH's play and retire without spending hardly a day on defense, their HOF status will have to be considered on the same plane as Closers.

  25. Dan Says:

    Phil #24 - I'm not sure if don't know what Wiffleball is or if you're just aghast at the comparison. A steady pitcher in Wiffleball serves the same purpose as a DH in baseball, i.e., one task. He doesn't bat. He pitches for both teams.

    I don't buy the comparison between a DH and a reliever, because the reliever CAN bat - and some do. The DH never does. If we presume that the three major components of a game are hitting, fielding, and pitching, the reliever does at least two of those right off the bat and can be used to do the third. The DH will do one of them consistently, one of them seldomly (i.e., not really as a DH), and the third never.

  26. Phil Haberkorn in Indiana Says:

    Dan #15:

    I'm well aware of what Wiffleball is. Played it hundreds of times since I was a kid. Never heard of any rule that says the pitcher doesn't bat and throws for both teams. In our neighborhood, Rick Stiver mastered the Wifflecurve, which is why he was a starter and not a "closer." Letting him pitch for both teams only would have resulted in a multitude of double no-hitters, and what's the point of even playing the game then?

    You really do need to buy into the comparison of a DH and a Closer, because they are both specialists and that's the direction the Hall of Fame is going because that's where the game itself is going. A "special wing" at the HOF for DH's is nonsense. DH's should not get the same consideration as the Negro Leagues players?

    So the DH never pitches, but a Closer sometimes will get a time at bat. So freakin' what??? This happened ALL THE TIME with guys like Elroy Face, Lindy McDaniel, Phil Regan and Bruce Sutter and Lee Smith and others, before the era of the One-Inning Closer came around. It's their records that these modern specialists are breaking, you know, the guys who are always being talked up as likely first-ballot HOF'ers, while by now the guys whose records are being wiped out are mostly off the ballot and forgotten. Back then you were a reliever because you couldn't go nine innings, and that was why you weren't even considered for the HOF. Nowadays you only need to go one inning at a time, frequently even less, to be considered effective, masterful, dominant, and a possible first-ballot HOF'er, even though the basic reason you're in the bullpen is still because you can't last nine innings.

    The reliever coming to bat in a tied or close game only means the manager is giving up an out because there's nobody better to come out of the bullpen. The guy is in the game for his pitching, not his hitting OR his fielding. Keep in mind that managers make their decisions based on trying to win that particular game, not whether the pitcher ought to be in the HOF.

    Relievers/Closers who get to bat occasionally are not a factor in our debate here, because their times at bat hardly ever have anything to do with the outcome of the game. If the three major components of the game were hitting, fielding, and pitching, as you say, it seems to me that this REQUIRES that you compare DHs and Relievers because no single player in baseball history except Babe Ruth ever did all three on a regular basis, and in his case it only lasted a few years until they realized his hitting can win the game every day, instead of pitching only ever fourth day. Occasionally you get a good-hitting pitcher, but that only helps him stay in the game in the middle or late innings if the opponent has the lead and the manager is banking on his offense putting up a rally. And that only applies to the National League, good-hitting pitchers don't even exist any more in the American League, so their occasional plate appearances aren't even a blip on our radar here.

    Mariano Rivera, a specialist, will go into the Hall of Fame because he was dominant at his specialty, Relief/Closer, which is now a basic element of managerial strategy. It's a roster spot the general manager has to fill if he wants the team to be competitive. Rivera won't be judged relative to all other pitchers, including starters, he will go into the HOF specifically BECAUSE he was a closer.

    Edgar Martinez is likewise a specialist, Designated Hitter which is now a basic element of managerial strategy. It's a roster spot the general manager has to fill if he wants the team to be competitive. A player who excels at DH deserves consideration on the same basis as relief/closers, and we need to ignore considerations of how he played relative to other players who were not DHs just as we ignore starters when we consider Rivera and other closers for the HOF.

    Besides, in the hitting-pitching-fielding spectrum of relative importance that you suggest, baserunning is actually far more important than fielding because good baserunning creates and forces fielding mistakes, and if your DH is a lousy fielder but is a good baserunner he can impact the opponent's fielding and help offset his own defensive liabilities - which don't even come into play as long as he doesn't play defense. For decades pitchers have commonly been used as pinch-runners, because the managers knew their legs were probably in better shape than most of the position players until we entered the era of year-round conditioning.


  27. Dan Says:

    This may surprise you, #26, but not all Wiffleball games are played by official rules. I'm not trying to assert that the official league has such a rule.

    You know, a lot of this simply boils down to what you consider a baseball player to be. To me, it's someone who plays in the field and who bats. If there were a specific position that did not bat, I couldn't really consider such a player to be a baseball player. Imagine if every roster had a Herb Washington. Would the best Herb Washingtons be worthy of the Hall of Fame? Probably not. They just can't be as involved as the other players.

    This argument isn't one either of us will "win" - so we should probably leave it as it is. Edgar Martinez was a terrific hitter. I think that he played longer and put up better numbers because he didn't have to do what many other players had to do. Wear and tear didn't enter into the equation to the degree it did for others in his era. Somewhere, someone out there is developing a metric by which we can truly measure DHs. That is, you take their offensive stats and adjust them for the DH. Are they then still well ahead of others in their era? Then that's good enough for me. (For example, if Martinez had an OPS+ of 130 over a five year period, after adjusting for DH it sunk to 110, then he becomes merely a really good player instead of a great one over that particular timespan.)

  28. Biff Says:

    "Just because a DH has an OPS+ of 140 and a non-DH has an OPS+ of 120 doesn't mean the former is 20% better than the latter. The latter had to do a lot more, had to participate much more often, had far more opportunities to screw up."

    Dan, I hate the DH rule. Really hate it. However, I will flip the other side of that coin. The non-DH does have more opportunities to screw up, but you could say that the DH has less opportunity to succeed. If a DH ends up in a bad slump, there's no way for him to make up ground in the field (no pun intended) unlike the position player. When you consider the DH's value to a team, one could argue that a even a good (let alone great) DH has been more difficult for GMs to secure than certain position players.

    Since the DH is a full time position, I think it's kind of tough to compare it to a Herb Washington (a poor man's Matt Alexander) scenario. I do agree with you that it depends on what one considers a baseball player to be, but I think that a dominant DH contributes greatly to a team's success to be considered worthy for the hall, rule be damned.

  29. Dan Says:

    Well, no argument here, Biff, but I think that no matter how greatly he contributes, it's still only half of the puzzle.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that if you're contributing only offensively, you have to be way, way better than anyone else in terms of offense. You want DHs in the Hall? Okay. But they, like relievers, should be extremely elite, more so than players who were asked to do more in the first place.

    With closers, you measure the closer against other closers, particularly those in his own era (which is why Sutter is in - he was dominant but would be middling if he played today, maybe). Mariano Rivera is the most dominant closer of all time, bar none, and will be a first-ballot HoFer. His talent and results transcend eras.

    But with DHs, you compare them not only with other DHs but with other hitters. There are no DH-centric stats, for example. So personally, I would think a DH would be worthy of Hall status if he was much better than other hitters in his era (say, again, 140 OPS+ rather than 120 OPS+), because he would have had to face less adversity (fewer opportunities for injuries).

  30. gringoculto Says:

    Interestng debate.....

    I would vote for Raines, Bagwell and Martinez on the 2012 ballot.

    The DH rule is part of baseball.....In 2009, Hideki Matsui won the WS MVP because in three games as a DH, he lit up Phillies pitchers.

    Ast the beginning of his his career with the Yankees, Matsui played EVERY day for more then three years and continued a consectuve games streak that had originated with the Yomiuri Giants

    Are we going to say that Matsi was a player in Japan and for the first few years as a Yankee, but after he was switched to the DH role,,,,he was no longer a player?

    No............ what we can say is that because of his legs, he could not play an in the field posiiton, anymore but he still was a dangeros and productive hitter, and hitting is oNE of the things a baseball player does.

    Mist prfoessional sports have players on their rosters who do something very well and those players are used to maximize whatever the rule the strategy

    3 point shooters in the NBA
    Sixth men in trhe NBA
    soccer style place kickers in American football
    penalty killers in ice hockey
    DH s in American League baseball.

    As an example KC Jones, a former NBA Boston Celtics guard and coach was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. I think his career PPG average was 5.2, but he played such great defese that he was inducted

    All of these specialists are PLAYERS.

    Edgar Martinez was a GREAT baseball hitter.....playing an on the field posiiton or not playing...... a great hitter still has to have plate discipline, see the ball and hit it..nMartinez had an exceptionally high OBP, and hit for average and power.

    Being on the bench eating sunflower seeds has NOTHING to do with great hititng, but studying video, watching pirchers for tells, and seeing and getting good pitches to drive...

    has EVERYTHING to do with great hitting . and Martinez did those things.


  31. Brian Says:

    My HOF vote is

  32. Ralph Says:

    Happy holidays all.

    In my humble opinion Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro are all Hall of Famers. The phrase "all-time great" doesn't pop into my mind when i hear the rest of the names. That said i wouldn't have a problem if Barry Larkin and/or Jack Morris got in.

    Lets remember that players of ALL generations used whatever they could to get an edge.

  33. Marino>Brady Says:

    My votes go to the following:

    Alan Trammel - premium position, well above average productivity, gold gloves, outstanding playoffs and World Series

    Barry Larkin - IMO this is a no brainer

    Jack Morris - 250 wins, big game pitcher, 2 outstanding playoffs and World Series

    Tim Raines - Dynamic player, outstanding speed, OBP and OPS compare very favorably with Tony Gwynn

    Jeff Bagwell - I don't want to see any steroid users in the HOF. Statistically, Bagwell belongs in the HOF. I am not aware of him being a user.

    Edgar Martinez - Outstanding hitter. I don't care that he only played the field in about 600 games. He is one of the best hitters I have ever seen.

  34. Marino>Brady Says:

    One more.

    Larry Walker belongs in the HOF. You could give him the Coors Field asterisk, but statistically this guys is a HOFer.

  35. Marino>Brady Says:

    Going off the ballot, I like the following players:

    Joe Carter - best World Series HR of my generation, 396 career HRs, and ten 100 RBI seasons

    Dick Allen - troubled player, outstanding hitter, ROY, MVP, 4 time league leader in OPS

    Thurmon Munson - I am a huge Sox fan, but I think it is a travesty that Munson is not in the HOF. He was a complete catcher. Multiple gold gloves, ROY, MVP. Career was cut short, but the guy belongs in the HOF.

  36. gringoculto Says:


    Im sorry, but ive got to respecfully diagree.

    Carter never progressed as a hittler, in fact he declined. His OBPs were poor, his walk to K ratio was poor....yes he hit 396 HRs and one historic WS home run, but he was never a complete hitter.

    There was a very long thread about Dick Allen and the HOF some ime ago...Yes, he had iSSUES, and maybe they prevented him from played all the time.. And at times he was a great hitter, but the HOF?

    Thurman Munson had started to decline hsi last two years .and its a tragedy that he died so young. If he had been THAT great, the writers would have had a special election. But Thurman Munson wasn t Lou Gehrig or Roberto Clemente...and there wasnt a special election. He got 15% his first year on the HOF ballot. which I thought was appropriate and never approached that again.

    He also wasn t Johnny Bench or Gary Carter or Ivan Rodriguez. He was for about 8 years a very durable, very good hitting catcher, and a terrific competitor