2021 BBHoF Ballot

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
10,342
This article makes no sense "I am not invoking the character clause", yet he says he's a good enough pitcher to be a hall of famer, that he would have voted for him until this year, and that he wouldn't vote for him entirely because of his character
Exactly. He should have said (and kind of did) that he’s not invoking the “I don’t like his politics so I’m not voting for him” clause. That at least would be accurate. He’s calling Schilling an absolutely horrid human being, which is why he’s not voting for him. This is kind of the definition of the character clause.
 

CarolinaBeerGuy

Don't know him from Adam
SoSH Member
Mar 14, 2006
5,824
Kernersville, NC
The numbers are just mind bending. Some highlights from a Deadspin article:

I like to read that article every couple years just to remind myself how much I took Bonds for granted.
 

Danny_Darwin

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,784
It's not just this year that looks mediocre. Over the next 5 years there's going to be a lot of time to debate the players that may, or may not have, used performance enhancing drugs, because there are not a lot of first ballot HOFers.

To go along with holdovers - Schilling, Bonds, Clemens, Manny, Sosa - here are the best candidates of the next few classes:

2021 - None
2022 - Ortiz, ARod
2023 - Beltran, Francisco Rodriguez
2024 - Beltre, Victor Martinez, Joe Mauer
2025 - Sabathia, Ichiro

Could be that we're looking at another logjam, as I think most of those guys will receive significant support (maybe not Victor, but Chase Utley arrives on the ballot that year, too, and I think he's an interesting case). Beltre and Ichiro are first-balloters, and I think Ortiz and Beltran will get the Alomar treatment of "we're going to punish you by not voting you in on the first ballot." CC and Mauer will get in, but probably not right away. I think A-Rod will, also, but probably not until his 9th or 10th year on the ballot. I think his path will mirror Bonds's and Clemens's, broadly speaking. And then, yeah, meanwhile guys like Rolen and Helton who've been building momentum are still 2-3 years away from being in "striking distance," so we'll be back to trying to sort


The Case Against Curt Schilling.

Craig Calcaterra has an interesting argument against putting Schilling in the Hall, and it's not because of baseball merits or his GOP political affiliations.
My (admittedly galaxy-brained) take on Schilling is that Schilling the Perennially-Snubbed Candidate gets more attention than Schilling the Actual HoFer would. As of now, we're subjected to this annual Schilling Conversation where we rehash and re-litigate the various vile things he's said and done. But if he was in, after his speech, we'd be free to ignore him much as we ignore pretty much every other Hall of Famer who isn't actively involved in the game. Which then raises the question of why anyone cares about the Hall to begin with.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Holding my nose while saying this, but I think Pettitte should be considered with 256 wins and a 68 fWAR. Standards for starting pitchers have been trending too far up. I'm also a Billy Wagner guy.

Vizquel getting 42% of the vote with an 82 OPS+ and 11 gold gloves compared to Scott Rolen getting 17% with his OPS+ of 122 and 8 gold gloves is ridiculous. He was legitimately a platinum glove candidate a few of those years too.
I have no problem with any Rolen people, I can understand Wagner people because relievers aren't really given the same opportunity to accumulate value, and I think there's a reasonable case to be made for Pettitte, even if he's below my own standards (and even if a lot of the case sounds like "RINGZZZZ!").

Where I draw the line is Vizquel. "I was part of a great lineup" is not a qualification.
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,501
Portland
I can understand Wagner people because relievers aren't really given the same opportunity to accumulate value.
Exactly. You can argue the merits of the position and their relative value to winning games, but once the voters started acknowledging relievers as a position, they have to keep electing those guys moving forward. During the 15 years he pitched, he was 3rd in saves, 2nd in k/9 (which is 2 better than anyone in the Hall, 2nd in fWAR, 7th in ERA. His rate stats are better than Hoffman's and blow Sutter's out of the water - not to mention having 142 more saves.

I think he'll get less love going forward too because relievers are routinely blowing hitters away in this new era like he was then.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
I have no problem with any Rolen people, I can understand Wagner people because relievers aren't really given the same opportunity to accumulate value, and I think there's a reasonable case to be made for Pettitte, even if he's below my own standards (and even if a lot of the case sounds like "RINGZZZZ!").

Where I draw the line is Vizquel. "I was part of a great lineup" is not a qualification.
Pettitte getting in when Johan Santana couldn't even make it to a second ballot would be absolutely insane. Also when comparable pitchers are first timers on the ballot now who will get almost no support.
 

luckiestman

Son of the Harpy
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
17,992
Holding my nose while saying this, but I think Pettitte should be considered with 256 wins and a 68 fWAR. Standards for starting pitchers have been trending too far up. I'm also a Billy Wagner guy.

Vizquel getting 42% of the vote with an 82 OPS+ and 11 gold gloves compared to Scott Rolen getting 17% with his OPS+ of 122 and 8 gold gloves is ridiculous. He was legitimately a platinum glove candidate a few of those years too.

Pettite is an HGH guy so he is way behind Clemens on deserving to be in the HOF
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
SoSH Member
May 16, 2007
3,501
Portland
Pettitte getting in when Johan Santana couldn't even make it to a second ballot would be absolutely insane. Also when comparable pitchers are first timers on the ballot now who will get almost no support.
I don't think anyone would argue who the better pitcher was, but Santana only had 8 or 9 full seasons as a starter. That's just not enough to be considered IMO unless you're Sandy Koufax.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
I don't think anyone would argue who the better pitcher was, but Santana only had 8 or 9 full seasons as a starter. That's just not enough to be considered IMO unless you're Sandy Koufax.
Santana basically was Sandy Koufax without the postseason resume.

Koufax 2300 innings 49 war 131 era+, Santana 2000 innings 52 war 136 era+

He didn't quite have the peak, though he wasn't far from it, but he was really good for a few years longer
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
10,961
If I could, I would vote for:

Bonds
Clemens
Manny

Wouldn't vote for them, but not totally upset if they get in, and may change my mind in future years:

Rolen
Sheffield
Wagner

Will never vote for (it's my vote, not a WAR logic quiz, so don't @ me on this):

Schilling

Repeaters IMO that should receive <10% and therefore be punted, so we never have to discuss them again:

Bobby Abreu
Andy Pettitte
Omar Vizquel

First timers where it will not bother me if they stay eligible for another year:

Tim Hudson
Shane Victorino
 

GrandSlamPozo

lurker
May 16, 2017
36
At a quick glance I thought Aramis Ramirez would have the best case out of the first-time candidates based solely on what I remembered about them, but after checking his stats I'm surprised at how low his career WAR is, especially as a 3rd baseman with a good batting average and almost 400 homers. In his prime years he put up offensive numbers that were consistently good, but never truly great, and he also had a lot of seasons where he completely stunk up the joint. Also he apparently was a butcher in the field and fairly injury prone as well.
 

Gdiguy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,912
San Diego, CA
Exactly. He should have said (and kind of did) that he’s not invoking the “I don’t like his politics so I’m not voting for him” clause. That at least would be accurate. He’s calling Schilling an absolutely horrid human being, which is why he’s not voting for him. This is kind of the definition of the character clause.
Ehhh, I think it's more subtle than that

He's saying the character clause as usually used is a bad idea, because it's based on trying to judge someone's 'character' through rumors like 'all the sports writers think Jeff Kent was an asshole'

With Schilling, you're not trying to figure out 'character', you're judging his actual public actions and statements. So while you could say it's his 'character', it's more about what he provably said and did as opposed to inferences based on reporting / rumors /etc

I don't really think threading that distinction in terms of defining the character clause is a hill to die on, but I think the underlying argument (that implicating people based on rumors and innuendo is inappropriate, whereas doing so based on their twitter account and public actions is) is a solid one
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
10,342
Maybe. At the end of the day he’s disqualifying Schilling based on his awful character though, isn’t he? Or is he saying that because Schilling publicizes his awful character, THAT is what disqualifies him?
 

Gdiguy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
3,912
San Diego, CA
Maybe. At the end of the day he’s disqualifying Schilling based on his awful character though, isn’t he? Or is he saying that because Schilling publicizes his awful character, THAT is what disqualifies him?
It's not written that clearly, so I'm obviously trying to interpret a bit, but I *think* it's the latter - and that it's less about him publicizing his character, rather it's that he's out there publicizing awful and racist (and in the case of like the MI governor, actively dangerous) positions and encouraging at least racist behavior if not violence.

Like that's the subtlety I think he's trying to get at - if Schilling had the same positions but was just shouting the N-word at the tv with a couple of his friends, it's about his 'character'. But Schilling uses his status as an MLB player of some renown to promote what's at best borderline hate speech. That's past 'character' and into 'actions'

Maybe if some of the racist players in the 40s and 50s had twitter they would've done the same thing; but I do think there's a distinction there that does make sense (people above already discussed the same distinction between Mariano, who's clearly a Trump supporter and might privately hold many of the same positions, but isn't out there using his twitter account to promote garbage)
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,988
Waltham, MA
Is Manny really just never going to get in? It breaks my heart.

I know it didn't end well, but there's no one I loved to watch hit more than him. Would love to know the real story of what went on with him and when he started roiding up. It never made sense to me.
I honestly don't even care about the HOF anymore. It has nothing to do with Baines. The Hall has basically lost any relevancy to me due to the backlog of all time greats who aren't and may never be inducted. It's really dumb.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
I honestly don't even care about the HOF anymore. It has nothing to do with Baines. The Hall has basically lost any relevancy to me due to the backlog of all time greats who aren't and may never be inducted. It's really dumb.
I'll give you Bonds and Clemens - if you're making any allowances for the PED era at all, it's gotta be those two, that's how you tell the story of that era - but I really can't think of that many others who are undeservedly excluded. Can you lay out this backlog for me? A few years ago, yeah, sure, we could all name it, but now they're mostly in from what I can tell.
 

djbayko

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
13,988
Waltham, MA
I'll give you Bonds and Clemens - if you're making any allowances for the PED era at all, it's gotta be those two, that's how you tell the story of that era - but I really can't think of that many others who are undeservedly excluded. Can you lay out this backlog for me? A few years ago, yeah, sure, we could all name it, but now they're mostly in from what I can tell.
Those two aren't enough? Leaving them out makes a mockery out of the HOF. Manny should be in too. Maybe others, including players who have already fallen off the list.

Edit: I probably could have chosen a better word. I didn't mean "backlog" in the sense that it was an overwhelming number which couldn't be addressed in a single year.
 
Last edited:

GrandSlamPozo

lurker
May 16, 2017
36
I'll give you Bonds and Clemens - if you're making any allowances for the PED era at all, it's gotta be those two, that's how you tell the story of that era - but I really can't think of that many others who are undeservedly excluded. Can you lay out this backlog for me? A few years ago, yeah, sure, we could all name it, but now they're mostly in from what I can tell.
If your stance on PED users is "I don't care at all, players should be inducted solely on their performance" then Manny, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro should all clearly be in the Hall and Sheffield probably should as well.
 

sean1562

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 17, 2011
2,938
I used to be firmly against allowing the steroid guys in but have steadily cared less and less with every passing year. It really is just a history museum and it is impossible for the history of baseball to be accurately told without letting those guys in. The MLB YouTube account continuously reposts old Bonds highlights and continues to use all of these steroid abusers in their marketing. To exclude some of these guys as if they commited some great moral crime against the holy game of baseball just seems silly when league management was widely complicit in the abuses of the era. I would also like to see Manny in the HoF so I will admit I am biased. The man did give this team some all time great moments. I don't see how you can watch him highfiving a fan in the stands after making a catch, cutting off Damon's throw in ridiculous fashion, or his walk off HR in game 2 of the 2007 ALDS and not love the guy.
 

Ale Xander

Lacks black ink
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
33,284
I used to be firmly against allowing the steroid guys in but have steadily cared less and less with every passing year. It really is just a history museum and it is impossible for the history of baseball to be accurately told without letting those guys in. The MLB YouTube account continuously reposts old Bonds highlights and continues to use all of these steroid abusers in their marketing. To exclude some of these guys as if they commited some great moral crime against the holy game of baseball just seems silly when league management was widely complicit in the abuses of the era. I would also like to see Manny in the HoF so I will admit I am biased. The man did give this team some all time great moments. I don't see how you can watch him highfiving a fan in the stands after making a catch, cutting off Damon's throw in ridiculous fashion, or his walk off HR in game 2 of the 2007 ALDS and not love the guy.
Don't forget about the WS MVP in the year that will always be mentioned.
 

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
If your stance on PED users is "I don't care at all, players should be inducted solely on their performance" then Manny, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro should all clearly be in the Hall and Sheffield probably should as well.
I don't care about PED usage at all on this issue, and if I had a vote I don't think I'd cast one for any of those guys except Manny and maybe McGwire. All 5 were middle of the order bats whose case was made on hitting, they weren't expected to be anything more than "not an embarrassment" in the field. So on that count:

Career WAR, WAR7, JAWS:
Palmeiro 71.9, 38.9, 55.4 (20 yrs)
Ramirez: 69.3, 39.9, 54.6 (19 yrs)
McGwire 62.2, 41.9, 52.0 (16 yrs)
Sosa 58.6, 43.8, 51.2 (18 yrs)
Sheffield 60.5, 38.0, 49.3 (22 yrs)

Sheffield and Sosa's JAWS are meaningfully below their Jpos (57.2), McGwire slightly below his (54.8), Ramirez and Palmeiro narrowly above theirs.

Bill James HOF Monitor (likely HOFer = 100) and HOF Standards (average HOFer = 50):
Ramirez 226 (#34), 69 (#17)
Sosa 202 (#44), 52 (#77)
Palmeiro 178 (#59), 57 (#47)
McGwire 170 (#69), 42 (#142)
Sheffield 158 (#80), 61 (#30)

All 5 are considered "likely", but Manny clearly stands out on these measures. If he had just thrown in the towel in 2009* rather than trying to cheat to come back, I think he'd be inducted this year if not perhaps previously. On the other hand, leaving baseball is clearly not something Manny has ever contemplated - he's still trying to play, at age 48, having been signed as player-coach of a team in Auckland NZ earlier this year.

Career OPS+:
McGwire: 163
Ramirez 154
Sheffield 140
Palmeiro 132
Sosa 128

Career Home Runs: (why not, chicks dig the long ball)
Sosa 609 (#9 all-time)
McGwire 583 (#11)
Palmeiro 569 (#13)
Ramirez 555 (#15)
Sheffield 509 (#26)

The only eligible people above Sheffield on the career HR list who aren't in the HOF, besides these 5, is Bonds. Everyone else is either not yet eligible (A-Rod, Pujols, Ortiz) or in the HOF. Below Sheffield you've got McGriff (#28), Delgado (#34), and Canseco and Adam Dunn (tied #37); everyone else in the career top 40 is either in or not yet eligible. I don't have a strong point to make about their candidacy with that, just that historically putting up those kind of HRs marked you a shoo-in and now it seems the opposite is true.

Anyway, the 2014 ballot is instructive: Frank Thomas got elected with 83.7%, in a year when McGwire got 11%, Sosa 7%, and Palmeiro fell off with 4.4%. That is a VAST gap in perceived worthiness, and given Bonds / Clemens' support in the 60s, I don't think we can chalk the difference up solely to strongly-held beliefs about PEDs. Say what you will about Manny, he's been well ahead of those support numbers, in the 20s every year, with last year jumping to 28%.


* No, I'm not still bitter at all about Theo unloading him for Jason Bay in 2008. We did just fine without him, it's not like we could've used him in a very close 7-game series against the Rays or anything.
 

Danny_Darwin

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,784
This one baseball site has compiled several ex-players' hypothetical HoF ballots (EDIT whoops, this is apparently the third time they've done this and I just never knew about it!), and the results are somewhat interesting. Some pretty big names have participated, including a truly bonkers ballot from Carlton Fisk, and a ballot from Curt Schilling, just out there talkin' ball like it's the most normal thing in the world (he didn't vote for himself). Not sure it means anything, but it's still... fun is maybe a strong word, but it's something.
 
Last edited:

InstaFace

MDLzera
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Sep 27, 2016
15,012
Pittsburgh, PA
Nifty page. Kevin Youkilis makes an appearance.

“Scott Rolen will always be the fringe player that I believe should be in the Hall of Fame. Idolized his play at third base!”
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
I'll give you Bonds and Clemens - if you're making any allowances for the PED era at all, it's gotta be those two, that's how you tell the story of that era - but I really can't think of that many others who are undeservedly excluded. Can you lay out this backlog for me? A few years ago, yeah, sure, we could all name it, but now they're mostly in from what I can tell.
Schilling and Rolen are the big ones, both among the best of all time at their position, they should have been years ago and have no on field reason to keep them out. Vizquel having more support than Rolen is complete insanity. And if we're going by the standard of players that have recently been put in then there are about 15 guys on the ballot better than any of Lee Smith, Jack Mcdowell, and Harold Baines.

Edit: As already pointed out, it should be Jack Morris not Mcdowell
 
Last edited:

Zedia

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 17, 2005
4,455
Pasadena, CA
Schilling and Rolen are the big ones, both among the best of all time at their position, they should have been years ago and have no on field reason to keep them out. Vizquel having more support than Rolen is complete insanity. And if we're going by the standard of players that have recently been put in then there are about 15 guys on the ballot better than any of Lee Smith, Jack Mcdowell, and Harold Baines.
My brain literally broke at the thought that Jack McDowell was somehow elected to the HOF and I missed it. Then I realized you meant Jack Morris and my brain is only slightly less broken.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
My brain literally broke at the thought that Jack McDowell was somehow elected to the HOF and I missed it. Then I realized you meant Jack Morris and my brain is only slightly less broken.
You're right, I brain farted my bad.

The scary part, is I just looked up Blackjack, 27.8 career war in 12 years, which makes him better than Baines, not as good as Morris but not that far behind, and probably better than Smith, though hard to compare starters to relievers.

That's how bad those 3 guys as hall of fame selections
 

Danny_Darwin

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
1,784
McDowell shouldn’t even have that Cy. Kevin Appier (another “Guy I hope the Sox get someday” All-Star) got robbed.
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
4,661
Seacoast NH
This one baseball site has compiled several ex-players' hypothetical HoF ballots (EDIT whoops, this is apparently the third time they've done this and I just never knew about it!), and the results are somewhat interesting. Some pretty big names have participated, including a truly bonkers ballot from Carlton Fisk, and a ballot from Curt Schilling, just out there talkin' ball like it's the most normal thing in the world (he didn't vote for himself). Not sure it means anything, but it's still... fun is maybe a strong word, but it's something.
Just read through this, thanks for the link. Do you think Fisk meant Manny and not Aramis and just screwed it up because otherwise his ballot looks reasonable. Maybe he does mean Aramis because he pretty clearly left off PED guys in which case, yeah, bonkers.

Love the line from Elliot Johnson - “Schilling an arrogant prick to a lot people, but this isn’t a popularity contest – it’s a merit contest otherwise let’s get Munenori Kawasaki on the ballot." I then had to go to BBref and look up Elliot Johnson because I had no clue who he was.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
Just read through this, thanks for the link. Do you think Fisk meant Manny and not Aramis and just screwed it up because otherwise his ballot looks reasonable. Maybe he does mean Aramis because he pretty clearly left off PED guys in which case, yeah, bonkers.
No ballot that has vizquel as an "easy yes" and leaves off rolen is reasonable
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

Red-headed Skrub child
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
4,661
Seacoast NH
No ballot that has vizquel as an "easy yes" and leaves off rolen is reasonable
Yeah, I should have clarified that better. In the context of the votes on that page his ballot doesn't seem that out of the ordinary (although on second look having Buehrle on there is a bit of an outlier with only two others having him).
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
Yeah, I should have clarified that better. In the context of the votes on that page his ballot doesn't seem that out of the ordinary (although on second look having Buehrle on there is a bit of an outlier with only two others having him).
Yeah, I think that page really shows that players are really really bad about knowing how good their contemporaries are in context.

Though I suppose we kind of already knew that when we look at the quality of players the veteran's committee puts in vs the ones that the writers put in.
 

David Laurila

Barbara Walters' Illegitimate Son
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
I wrote about my Hall of Fame picks yesterday, and predictably have received a fair amount of criticism for my choices. (Comes with the territory for any ballot, so I'm cool with that.) Some difficult decisions for what I think are fairly-obvious reasons, and this is what I settled on: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/sunday-notes-a-hall-of-fame-ballot-explained/
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
404
I respect the reasoning behind the the Vizquel pick - the Hall of Fame shouldn't be the Hall of Stats and Vizquel was maybe the best defensive baseball player of my lifetime so far. I wouldn't give my imaginary vote to a player who only got MVP votes in one season, but everyone has different ( albeit imaginary, in my case) criteria. If he got in that would probably be a good thing for the game.

However, I can't imagine voting for PED users and then invoking the character clause for Schilling. As reprehensible as he is as a human, he's a worthy baseball player and the hall is full of reprehensible humans. I would be in favor of policing the hall based on character and removing some players and historical figures who stain the sport with their hatred, but as it stands Schilling fits right in. Tris Speaker fixed games and was in the KKK, Ty Cobb attempted to murder an African American man, and the MVP award is literally named after a segregationist. All of that crap should be cleaned up, and if stonewalling Schilling led to some kind of meaningful dialogue about the character of the HOF, great. But it hasn't so far; it's just given Schilling more of a platform to spew his crap in public recently.
 

Max Power

thai good. you like shirt?
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
4,394
Boston, MA
Are you saying if Speaker is not removed, then Schilling should get in? Or that the Hall of Fame has decided that being in the KKK is okay? Because I can't imagine someone who we found out was in the Klan coming up for election today would ever get a single vote.
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
404
If you think the Hall of Fame hasn't already decided that it's fine with racism and racists, you're being dishonest to try to call me out because I'm assuming you know baseball history as well as I do.

And maybe Schilling shouldn't be in, but he gains from this annual conversation and he does fit right into the HOF as currently constituted. If character is a component of HOF candidacy, why do we live with the enshrinement of a Speaker or a Cobb? How can we enshrine people who fixed games or knowingly took steroids or espoused racial hatred?

I have no problem explaining to my son that the some of the best statistical players of all time are left out of the Hall because they chose to cheat and use steroids. I would love to be able to explain to my son that an all-time great Red Sox player is excluded because of his hate speech - and that it lead to a cleaning up of baseball history. I stopped watching the Red Sox because of comments from Kevin Pillar and Ryan Brasier this summer. I'm constantly ashamed of my favorite sport and my favorite team. I think many writers are missing an opportunity to turn the character clause on Schilling into a larger issue about the Hall. If he gets in, is it a moment to celebrate a player or voice shame in an institution that is supposed to enshrine all-time greats for the sake of fans? If he doesn't get in will that make young fans of color or LGBTQ fans more likely to visit Cooperstown or care about the HOF? Including PED users isn't making the Hall any better, excluding one bigot and giving him an annual platform to whine isn't ideal either. Own the character clause, use it to clean up the HOF.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
10,342
I respect the reasoning behind the the Vizquel pick - the Hall of Fame shouldn't be the Hall of Stats and Vizquel was maybe the best defensive baseball player of my lifetime so far. I wouldn't give my imaginary vote to a player who only got MVP votes in one season, but everyone has different ( albeit imaginary, in my case) criteria. If he got in that would probably be a good thing for the game.

However, I can't imagine voting for PED users and then invoking the character clause for Schilling. As reprehensible as he is as a human, he's a worthy baseball player and the hall is full of reprehensible humans. I would be in favor of policing the hall based on character and removing some players and historical figures who stain the sport with their hatred, but as it stands Schilling fits right in. Tris Speaker fixed games and was in the KKK, Ty Cobb attempted to murder an African American man, and the MVP award is literally named after a segregationist. All of that crap should be cleaned up, and if stonewalling Schilling led to some kind of meaningful dialogue about the character of the HOF, great. But it hasn't so far; it's just given Schilling more of a platform to spew his crap in public recently.
Just curious... when you say that the HOF should be "cleaned up", do you mean removing certain people from the HOF? Or do you just mean that moving forward, people of despicable/dubious character just shouldn't be allowed in?
 

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
7,520
However, I can't imagine voting for PED users and then invoking the character clause for Schilling. As reprehensible as he is as a human, he's a worthy baseball player and the hall is full of reprehensible humans. I would be in favor of policing the hall based on character and removing some players and historical figures who stain the sport with their hatred, but as it stands Schilling fits right in. Tris Speaker fixed games and was in the KKK, Ty Cobb attempted to murder an African American man, and the MVP award is literally named after a segregationist. All of that crap should be cleaned up, and if stonewalling Schilling led to some kind of meaningful dialogue about the character of the HOF, great. But it hasn't so far; it's just given Schilling more of a platform to spew his crap in public recently.
Your casual assertion that Tris Speaker fixed games is not supported by any evidence other than the word of a disgruntled Dutch Leonard. Joe Posnanski writes about this at length here. Posnanski's conclusion about Speaker is "When it comes to Speaker, there is no evidence of his involvement, other than the word of Leonard, which we cannot take at anything close to face value." I'm not familiar with Cobb attempting to murder an African American, although the story that his ghost writer included in Cobb's "autobiography" about him killing a man who tried to rob him in 1912 has also been widely debunked.

These two guys weren't choir boys, but let's at least stay grounded in reality if we're going to throw them out of the Hall of Fame.
 
Last edited:

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
404
I think asserting Ty Cobb and Speaker as proven racists has me well grounded in reality, thanks. Rush to defend them if you want, but I don't get it.

And yes, I clearly think you either induct Schilling and shame the institution or remove racist figures from the Hall and make it something all fans can respect. "Tradition is the albatross around the neck of progress."

I'm getting the feeling picking on old racist MLB players isn't a good thing to do here? I'll stop but that's what I think about it. It's a controversial subject and I get that tradition is important in baseball and people care about old enshrined greats like I used to care about the HR record. I don't mean to spit on old players and if Speaker wasn't in the KKK or something then I would be off base, I just think that the old boys club inside baseball could stand to be distanced from.
 
Last edited:

Philip Jeff Frye

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 23, 2001
7,520
There's plenty of evidence of Ty Cobb's racial beliefs without making up a story about him trying to kill somebody. If you're going to argue that he should be removed from the Hall of Fame, you should stick to accepted facts, not exaggerate or make up stories. Not sure why pointing that out makes me an old fogey who supports racists because of tradition.
 
Last edited:

GrandSlamPozo

lurker
May 16, 2017
36
I thought the stories about Cobb being a hardcore racist were made up by his autobiographer and in reality he supported integration and funded the creation of a hospital system that mostly benefitted underserved minority communities?

EDIT: This article goes into a lot of detail about Cobb's many philanthropic acts and gives anecdotes about his opinions of and interactions with minorities throughout his life.
 
Last edited:

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
6,973
I respect the reasoning behind the the Vizquel pick - the Hall of Fame shouldn't be the Hall of Stats and Vizquel was maybe the best defensive baseball player of my lifetime so far. I wouldn't give my imaginary vote to a player who only got MVP votes in one season, but everyone has different ( albeit imaginary, in my case) criteria. If he got in that would probably be a good thing for the game.
If Vizquel gets in then Andrelton Simmons should basically already be a hall of famer, better with both the bat and the glove.