Entries Tagged as 'hof09'

Thoughts on the Hall of Fame ballot results

The way it went today was no real surprise.  From all the possible permutations the ballot could have gone, there was probably only one other result that realistically could have happen and that was Henderson getting in by himself.  Fortunately for Rice, the BBWAA saw things his way. 

The Hall of Fame ballot results do provide an angle for the media.  Henderson, who gets in on his first try and Jim Rice who finally was deemed good enough on his last try. 

One prediction I made came true… Bloggers were out in force questioning the members of the BBWAA with some of their crazy voting.  That was a safe bet, though. 

In a way, I’m glad Henderson got in but didn’t get in unanimously.  It would be a shame if Rickey Henderson, who, let’s face it, prolonged his career to up his career numbers, got in with a unanimous ballot in his first year of eligibility while true superstars like Aaron and Ripken did not. 

And congrats to Jim Rice who certainly deserved to be voted in all along.  Rice suffered a love-hate (but mostly hate) relationship with the media while he was playing with Boston.  I would think most of that animosity had dissipated by the time he was up for Hall of Fame nomination but who knows. 

Read The Baseball Zealot’s HOF ’09 profiles of all the 2009 candidates for the Hall

HOF ’09: We’re Done!

Well, with Teddy Ballgame’s write-up on Greg Vaughn earlier today, we’ve concluded HOF ’09, our series of profiles of this year’s candidates for the Hall of Fame.  It’s been fun and I think we’ve even learned a bit along the way.

As for me, it was an interesting group of players to profile for a couple reasons.  A big one was that most of these players were big stars while I was a teenager and young adult when I was forming my serious interest in baseball.  Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Tim Raines, Andre Dawson… I have fond memories.  Not to mention that some of these players played in the era when the Chicago Cubs finally became a post season threat (I can still remember the ’84 series against the Padres… ugh). 

Also, these players came from a time when baseball had more of a balance of power, speed, and pitching.  Appropriately enough, that is reflected in the 2009 Hall of Fame ballot.  With the speed of Henderson and Raines, the power of McGwire and Rice and the pitching of David Cone, Bert Blyleven and Tommy John, this class is well represented. 

Who will get elected?  Well, we put our opinions down who we think SHOULD get the call but as to who WILL get elected is another matter.  The BBWAA has been rather stingy lately and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s very possible that just one (Rickey Henderson??) will get elected and others will have to wait.

Time is running out for some, though.  The midnight hour is chiming for Jim Rice as it’s his last ballot.  There are some (myself included) who feel that his career and contribution is worthy of the Hall. 

We’ll find out tomorrow and the chips will fall where they may.  No doubt, many bloggers and pundits will be unhappy no matter how it goes.  I’ll predict at least one writer will have his credentials questioned and will be asked to step down from the BBWAA.  Unfortunately, THAT is the safest prediction I make right now. 

All that said, here are the opinions we’ve made in the last month.  Links go to our profiles on the players. 

Thanks for reading!

Hall of Fame Hall of Very Good Why is he even on the Ballot?
Harold Baines    
Jay Bell    
Bert Blyleven    
David Cone    
Andre Dawson    
Ron Gant    
Mark Grace    
Rickey Henderson    
Tommy John    
Don Mattingly    
Mark McGwire    
Jack Morris    
Dale Murphy    
Jesse Orosco    

Dave Parker

Dan Plesac    
Tim Raines    
Jim Rice    

Lee Smith

Alan Trammell    
Greg Vaughn    

Mo Vaughn


Matt Williams




Thanks to Teddy Ballgame and DonS for their help with his project.

Also, a lot of research went in to this.  I’d like to give props to the websites that were helpful. 

Baseball Reference:  I can’t say enough about this web site.  If there are baseball fans out there who haven’t seen this site and what it can do, you need to check it out.

Baseball Page:  Very helpful for bios and such.

Baseball Musings’ Day by Day Database:  Good for finding stats between established periods of time (and lots of other stuff).

Baseball Almanac:  another good bio site.  Good for the quotes too :)

HOF ’09: Greg Vaughn

vaughn2-crop When I first saw the name Greg Vaughn listed among the other Hall of Fame eligible players, I thought, what the f***?!?! But then, believe it or not, he had some pretty impressive numbers. It’s kind of like getting set up on a blind date with somebody’s cousin, who has a wonderful personality, and you find out, she ain’t half bad.

Jerry Royster’s & Mo Vaughn’s cousin was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 4th pick in the 1986 draft out of the University of Miami. Greg was an All Star four times, 1993, 96, 98, & 2001, four times he hit 30+ home runs, and three times drove in 100 or more. In 1998 he won a Silver Slugger, was named NL Comeback Player of the Year, hitting 50 home runs, trailing only Ken Griffey, Jr., Sammy Sosa, & Mark McGwire (who set the home run record that season). The next year Vaughn was traded to the Cincinnati Reds where he blasted 45 long balls, to become only the 2nd player in history to hit 40 or more homers for two different ballclubs (Andres Galarraga was the first).

On the downside, he was a poor outfielder, who struck out 100+ times nine different seasons, 1,513 times over 15 seasons, his lifetime average was just .242. Greg Vaughn was ripped at 6’0″ 193 pounds of solid muscle. Still, overall, you have to ask, Why is he even on the ballot?

  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.  

HOF ’09: Alan Trammell

Some interesting facts and trivia about Alan Trammell:

  • Other than Jim Rice, he’s the only one on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot who played his whole career with one team (20 years with the Detroit Tigers). 
  • He and keystone partner Lou Whitaker played more games together than any other pair of teammates in baseball history.  Not only that, the two had incredibly similar stats through 1986.  Same batting average (.281), within one point on slugging percentage (Trammell’s .403 to Sweet Lou’s .404).  They were also close on games played (within 6), homeruns (within 3), and hits (20). 
  • Trammell’s grand slam off Royals’ relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry was the first hit off the submarine pitcher.
  • Named his son after Lance Parrish.


Trammell Facts
  • Drafted 2nd round in 1976 by the Detroit Tigers
  • Played for Det (1977-1996)
  • 6 time All-Star, 4 Gold Gloves
  • 2nd in MVP voting in 1987


Does Alan Trammel make the Hall of Fame?  Find some Detroit Tiger fans and I’ll bet you’ll meet some takers.  He’s an interesting case, that’s for sure.  Comparing him stat-wise to the slugger-types is hardly fair.  He brings much more to the table.  Defense, speed, team leadership.

Trammell was brought up to the major leagues in 1977 but played his first full season the next year.  He played a solid enough season to place fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting.  Two years later in 1980, he had a breakout year with Detroit batting .300 and scoring 107 runs not to mention winning his first of four Gold Gloves. 

trammell wsmvp Trammell hit .300 plus six more times in his career.  His one chance at the MVP was in 1987 when he hit .343 with 28 homeruns, 105 rbis and 109 runs.  He placed second in the voting that year to George Bell and his 47 homeruns.  To this day, some say he was robbed. 

To make the Hall of Fame, Alan Trammell won’t do it because of his hitting.  Unless you want to count sacrifice hits, he never led the league in a single category during his whole career.  The close he came was his .343 average in 1987 which brought him 3rd place. 

In the field, Trammell was a very good shortstop… good enough to get him four Gold Gloves early on in his career.  He does deserve props for his part in bringing the Tigers to World Series in 1987 and winning the whole thing.  Trammell was the World Series MVP.

That said, I’ll give him a no vote with respect to Detroit fans.  It seems that the BBWAA is seeing that way, too.  His vote numbers have been steadily going down in recent years. 


  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

  Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.

HOF ’09: Lee Smith


Lee Arthur Smith finished his career with more saves than anyone in the history of the game, 478, since bested by Trevor Hoffman. But still Smith led his league in saves four times, and had twenty-five or more saves in twelve straight seasons. Lee was an eight time All Star, 1983, 87, 91-95. He appeared in 1,022 games, with a 3.03 ERA, and nearly a strikeout per inning.

“[I flipped] a coin with Lee Smith to see who throws the eighth inning of the ’91 game. We were behind in Toronto, and we were both tired. I won the flip, so I pitched the eighth, and that means he had to stay out there for the ninth. He didn’t get to pitch anyway, because we lost. But what I remember most from that is him coming back into the clubhouse and being ticked off because someone stole his glove. I felt guilty because he loses this flip to me, and that glove probably had 300 saves in it, bound for the Hall of Fame.”

— Rob Dibble on his favorite All-Star memory

Here’s one for CLuke, he has all the numbers, this guy should be voted into the HOF, maybe not in 2009, but he deserves in, but he doesn’t get the votes, due to east coast bias.

Hall of Fame


Hall of Very Good

  Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.

HOF ’09: Dale Murphy

“I’m a natural left-hander, but I bat and throw right-handed because that’s the way I learned. But, I eat left and drink left and write left. I’m amphibious.”

– Dale Murphy


First, how many of you remember Dale Murphy ending his career with the Colorado Rockies?  Not me. 

It can be argued that Murphy was a five-tool player.  He had speed (161 career stolen bases), power (398 homers), and was adept in the field (5 Gold Gloves).  While his career average is only .265, he managed to toy with .300 in his prime.  .

Murphy Facts
  • Drafted 1st round (5th overall) in 1974 by the Atlanta Braves
  • Played for Atl, Phi, Col (1976-1993)
  • 7 time All-Star
  • Back-to-back MVP awards in 1982-83
  • Won 5 straight Gold Gloves


Let me start with Murphy’s positives at the outset.  Between 1982-1987, he was one of the best if not THE best hitting outfielders in the game.  If he crunch the stats, he averaged 36 homers, 104 rbis, 110 runs and a .382 OBP over those six years.  On top of that, he played excellent defense, winning those Gold Gloves. 

dale_murphy1-full Murphy won back to back MVP awards in 1982 and 1983.  Ironically, it was in the next two years, 1984 and 1985 when he led the NL in homers with 36 and 37 respectively (His 36 homers in ’82 and ’83 placed him second).  Health and consistency had much to do with Murphy’s success in the mid-80s.   He played every game from 1982-1985 for the Atlanta Braves. 

After his great season in 1987 when he hit 44 homeruns and 105 rbis, something snapped in Dale Murphy and he wasn’t quite the same player.  The next three seasons, he suffered sub-.250 batting averages though he managed to hit 20+ dingers.  This prompted a trade from Atlanta to Philly where his offense continued to slip (.252 and 18 homeruns in 1991).  He finished his career in Colorado in 1993 after 18 seasons of service to the game. 

If I could base my decision on Murphy’s five or six years when he was at his peak, he’d be a shoo-in.  No doubt about it.  But that’s not how it works and I can’t ignore the rest of his career (I don’t want to hear any crap from anyone about Sandy Koufax either). 

CLuke, who is the Dale Murphy fan in our APBA league, sees things a bit differently.  I did offer CLuke a chance to write this profile but he’s a bit busy this week.  He did email this though:

If Jim Rice is in then Murph deserves it. (He won’t get in or even get as close to Rice’s votes due to the east coast media’s bias towards Boston/ New York players.In Bill James’ book What ever happened to the Hall of Fame- he puts Dale as having 42 of the necessary points for Hall of fame induction. Jim Rice has 43 points.

Yes, put him in.

Nice try, CLuke.  Next time, you’ll write the article. 

I’ll say it’s close but I’d vote no.


  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

  Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.

HOF ’09: Tim Raines



Tim Raines is what I consider a borderline pick for the Hall in 2009.  That’s not a knock… in a year where it seems that there are one or two “sure things”, he might get a break and get the call. 

Raines Facts
  • Drafted 5th round in 1977 by the Montreal Expos
  • Played for Mon, Det, ChiW, NYY, Oak, Bal, Fla (1979-2002)
  • 7 time All-Star
  • Led NL in batting and OBP in 1986
  • Four time SB leader

Raines came in to the majors in 1979 at the age of the 19 as the youngest player in the baseball. It took him a couple years before he got his real chance to show what he was made of.  In 1981, he batted .304 in 313 at-bats, most of the strike shortened season.  But what amazed most people was his league-leading 71 stolen bases, a high amount for a shortened season or no. 

Raines proved it was no fluke by stealing 70 or more bases in the next five seasons reaching as high as 90 in 1983.  To go along with his speed, he had the ability to reach base with ease.  During his peak years (1981-1998), Raines’ OBP was .387 and he surpassed .400 five times (not counting 2001 when he only had 89 at-bats).  His combination of speed and OBP made him an excellent leadoff hitter for Montreal. 

And though he is known mostly as a Expo, he did put in five years with the White Sox and three with the Yankees.  By this time though, his offensive numbers began to dip a little.  Raines’ speed waned a bit with his SB numbers going down.  His first year with the Sox, he stole 21, then 13, 13 again and they never got that high again.  To his credit, his batting average (and for that matter OBP) stayed relatively high in the .280-.290 range.  Ironically, his last three years with the Sox in 1993-1995, Raines actually showed a bit of power, hitting double figures in homers each year. 

By 1999, when Raines went Oakland, he was pretty much done.  He hit .215 in 135 at-bats.  Montreal brought him back for a half a year in 2001 but was granted free agency that fall.  Raines retired the next year after one more failed attempt with the Marlins. 

Why Tim Raines will make the Hall of Fame in 2009

1) Solid career numbers.  Most striking are his 808 stolen bases which rank him 5th overall.  But he also ranks high in other categories important to a leadoff hitter, too.  Such as walks (1330, 33rd all-time), runs (1571, 49th) and times on base (3977, 41st). 

2)  Quite simply, in his prime Tim Raines was one of the best at what he did.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to say he helped redefine the role of the leadoff man.   While Vince Coleman eventually began winning the SB titles in 1985, Raines showed there was more to being a leadoff man than stealing bases.

3)  Longevity.  Though his later years were a bit lean (see below), Rock put together a 23 year career.  Not bad for a 5’8″ guy who came up as a secondbaseman.  


Why Tim Raines will NOT make the Hall of Fame in 2009

1) Like it or not, this year’s timing of Rickey Henderson who was a similar type player (leadoff hitter, same era) only better in almost every way doesn’t help Raines’ cause.

Raines fans will poo-poo this but it’s reality.

2) Raines’ offensive numbers went down in the second half of his career.  As a result, his playing time also suffered.  In the last nine seasons of his career, Raines batted over 500 times only once. 

3)  Four words. Pittsburgh. Drug. trials. 1985.

Here’s a good writeup on the topic including Raines’ famous quote about sliding headfirst in order not to break his cocaine vial which he kept in his back pocket.  Yes, there have been HOFers who have had drug issues but this kind of exposure can’t help. 


Part of me hopes that Raines gets the call.  For me, it’s really close.  If Raines had tacked on a couple more superstar years before going into his mediocre second half, he probably would get my vote.  But dang, it’s close.


  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

  Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.

HOF ’09: Dan Plesac


Dan Plesac was a three time All Star, 87, 88, & 89. Plesac recorded his most saves (33) and his lowest ERA (2.35) in 1989. Most of Dan’s success came in his early years with the Milwaukee Brewers, 124 of his 158 saves were recorded in first five years. The highest number of saves after that was 11 in 1996 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 6’5″ lefthanded relief pitcher pitched 18 years in the major leagues, 1,064 games, with a 3.64 ERA. Upon his retirement Dan Plesac became a Chicago Cubs broadcaster, now he’s working for the MLB Network. I have to ask the obvious question, “Why is he even on the ballot?”

  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.  

HOF ’09: Jesse Orosco


Jesse Orosco pitched in more games than any pitcher, ever, 1,252, over 24 years. He was an All Star in 1983 & 1984 with the New York Mets. He posted a 1.47 ERA, with a 13-7 record, & 17 saves in 1983, then followed that up the next year with 31 saves, a 10-6 mark, and a 2.59 ERA. 1984 was the only year Jesse was the number one closer on his team. As a lefthanded reliever he was able to stick around forever in the major leagues by becoming a lefty specialist.

He is one of the reasons, fathers, today, place a baseball in the left hand of their infant’s sons. The best way to make it to the big leagues and stay there, is as a lefthanded pitcher.

All this said about Jesse Orosco, I have to ask, “Why is this guy even on the ballot?”

  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.  

HOF ’09: Mo Vaughn


“I always wanted to be like Kirby Puckett. I’d want Reggie Jackson’s power and Carlton Fisk’s attitude and love of the game. But mostly, I’d wanted to be like Kirby Puckett.” — Mo Vaughn.

Mo Vaughn was born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut and arrived in the Major Leagues after playing college at Seton Hall.

He played for the Red Sox for 8 years, hitting 230 home runs and batting over .300  five times. He was MVP once and voted in the Top Five two other times. Mo had 40+ homers twice with another year of 39.

A free agent after the 1998 season, Mo signed a six-year, $80 million deal with the Angels, making him the highest-paid player in the game at that time

Moving west to wear the Halo, he had designs on lifting his new club to new heights in 1999, despite playing in the Big A, a more difficult hitters’ park.

“I learned a lot from Mo. He showed me some things that were very helpful in terms of driving the ball. He was a great player and a good teammate for me.” — Garret Anderson.

In the first inning of his first game at home in an Angels uniform, Vaughn slipped on the dugout steps and tumbled down in pursuit of a pop fly by the Indians’ Omar Vizquel, spraining an ankle. Playing with pain all season and limited to 139 games in 1999, Vaughn managed to produce 33 homers and 108 RBIs.

Healthy the following season, Vaughn played 161 games, matching his career high. He clouted 36 homers and 117 RBIs. Injuries forced him to miss the entire 2001 season, after which Vaughn was dealt to the Mets in exchange for starter Kevin Appier.

In 10 full Major League seasons and parts of two others, Vaughn hit .293 with 328 homers and 1,064 RBIs for the Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets.

Statistically, the five most similar career players to Mo Vaughn (among those retired long enough to be eligible for the Hall) are Ted Kluszewski, David Justice, Kent Hrbek, Hal Trosky and Joe Adcock. None are in the Hall of Fame.

My Opinion: From 1995-1998, he put up Hall of Fame numbers. There isn’t enough supporting play before or after to merit his selection.

  Hall of Fame

Hall of Very Good

  Why is he even on the Ballot?


While we wait for January 12 ballot results, The Baseball Zealot will be profiling those players who are on the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.  Read the rest the of the profiles.