Ok, here's a question. Three guys retired last season, who are in my opinion a lock for the HOF.
Who doesn't make it on the first ballot? Do you vote all three in if you have 5 votes in 2006?
If Caminiti is done, does he get the 5% to stay on the ballot with these guys eligible? Is Cammi even someone to be considered? He has an MVP in 1996 - was a dominating defensive player - and played ok in the post season (except for falling over in the World Series in 1998).
Of course, the crack smoking thing probably eliminates him anyway, but would his decent numbers + 14 seasons with a cannon for an arm at 3rd even get him a second look?
Cammi is probably not a HOFer. I'd just hate to see him drop off on his first eligible date.
It's also possible that Rickey Henderson, if he doesn't latch on with a team in spring training, would also be eligible in 2006.
In the opinion of many baseball insiders, Henderson would actually be the "best" candidate that year.
I'd leave off McGwire, given the choice.
And HOF ballots have 10 spots, if the voter chooses to use them all.
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family...Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance...Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing junk food into your mouth...Choose a future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
I think baseball writers around the country finally get their revenge by not voting Rickey Henderson in first ballot. In fact, that would be justice, considering how rickey was me-first his entire career.
Tony Gwynn and McGwire are two easy first ballots and I don't see how anyone could justify leaving McGwire off.
I think Caminiti will get the five percent necessary, but nothing more than that.
Oh yeah, a guy named Ripken gets in that year too!
If Rickey Henderson doesn't play next season, he would be my first choice. He is the career all time leader in three different categories.
Then I would say Gwynn, then Ripken, then McGwire.
But like it's already been said Henderson could be back next year and McGwire has talked about playing for the Angels since Mo Vaughn is gone now. So that he could live in California and still play baseball.
What about Paul O'Neil? I know he never had any season like Gwynn or McGwire but he had some very good seasons.
Even though I'm a yankee hater I will admit Paul was a really good outfielder. But not a hall of famer. I do think he will have his number retired this year, leaving only numbers 60-99 left for new yankees
Rickey Henderson should be a unanimous selection. Look at his numbers! And Mr. Hungarian is being a me-first player means getting on base and scoring a boatload of runs, then maybe he was. Past strikeouts and homeruns and all the other statistical noise we can talk about, the object of the game is to score runs and Rickey could do that better than anybody. (And don't get started on who hit behind him, yadda yadda yadda).
He's Rolie Polie Olie - and in his world of curves and curls, he's the swellest kid around.
I don't mean to pile on you, Hungarian, but pieman is 100% right on this one. We're not discussing whether Rickey is a good person, or a good teammate, or for that matter, whether he truly respected the game. He is arguably the most productive leadoff hitter ever. His runs, his walks, his steals, his hits... all those totals demand he enter the HOF. And none of this writer-bias "He's not a first ballot guy" crap. He's one of the immortals. In the words of another legend, "You may not like it, but you better get used to it! WOOO!"
Besides, I can't wait for his induction speech. You want to define humor? Third person references and unintelligible statements will abound. He'll make Phil Rizzuto's rambling address seem like the "Emancipation Proclamation."
Good times, good times!
"Come to the Dark Side... You Know You Want To!" The Evil Buddha, spreading Alcoholism, Bad Humor and Chaos since 1971
I guess I fall in the category of people who think that if someone's worth voting for, he's worth voting for every time he's eligible. I also feel like the HOF should first induct people who have a reasonable claim to being the best player of a type (like at a position, or leadoff hitter, or relief pitcher) that's not yet inducted.
By this standard, Rickey Henderson would be the most crucial vote, as the greatest leadoff hitter ever and one of the five greatest left fielders ever, but all three (and Ripken) are clearly overqualified by the Hall of Fame's standards. I'd go McGwire (most), Ripken and Gwynn (least) in terms of degree of overqualification.
But then, I've never been able to resolve my feelings about Ripken - he's unquestionably been a problem as a teammate but great to the fans.
Another guy popped into my head while we were on this topic. Tim Raines. He hasn't officially retired yet, but he is done as a player. Here's a guy who was a very good player from 1983-1996, is a 7 time all-star, has a batting title, and was an excellent leadoff hitter and base stealer, and would be the best leadoff hitter of his generation if it was for Rickey Henderson. Does he make it in?
"You can see a million miles tonight, but you can't get very far." - Adam Duritz
Tito's an idiot, but by embracing management's philosophy of basically never bunting or issuing intentional walks, he found himself as one of the best managers in baseball. Hopefully whoever gets brought in is similarly accommodating.