The Word's Julian Spivey and Eric Fulton share their Baseball Hall of Fame ballots if they had a vote. Each contributor had the opportunity to vote for up to 10 players. Julian used up his entire ballot. Eric voted for seven players to be inducted.
Ken Griffey Jr.
Julian Spivey: Ken Griffey Jr. is the gold standard for Major League Baseball. He did things the right way in an era where most of the stars seemed to do the exact opposite. His career numbers would be even better had it not been for injuries hurting most of his last decade in the game. Some people are speculating whether or not Griffey might be the first ever unanimous Hall of Fame inductee (but, I don’t believe that’ll ever happen).
Eric Fulton: The best baseball player in my generation. He is perhaps the definition of a five tool player.
Julian: Mike Piazza should’ve been a first ballot hall of famer, bar none. But, here he is on his fourth year on the ballot and has been the very worst victim of the era he played in. Writers have been reluctant to vote Piazza into the hall simply because they can’t be sure he never used performance enhancing drugs despite no evidence he ever did. I’m all for keeping PEDs users out of the hall, but I need some evidence.
Eric: He is the best offensive catcher ever. Another person who deserves better credit.
Julian: Jeff Bagwell is another victim of the era he played in. Simply because some writers think there is a chance he may have used steroids they are keeping one of the biggest power hitting first baseman out of the hall. It’s a shame.
Eric: Great first baseman with Houston. Power hitter with a great swing.
Julian: Jeff Kent hit more home runs than any second baseman in the history of baseball – that alone should almost get him into the Hall of Fame. But, for some reason (likely the era he played in, also hurting Bagwell and Piazza) voters don’t seem very interested in voting him in.
Eric: He was the greatest offensive second baseman ever. Definitely a player you would hate to play against no matter what.
Julian: Those who don’t vote for Mike Mussina often throw out the fact that he never won a Cy Young Award, but there are a handful of pitchers in the hall who also never won that award and a dirty Roger Clemens was stealing some of those honors, as well. Mussina’s 270 wins and being one of the most dominant pitchers of his era should be enough to garner induction. I just narrowly chose him over Curt Schilling (who I believe is a hall of famer, I just ran out of ballot spots) due to more wins and a higher WAR (wins above replacement).
Eric: His 270 wins should get him in. He was one of the better pitchers in the American League for a decade.
Julian: We’ve seen enough from hall of fame voters thus far to realize that Fred McGriff is never going to be voted into the hall of fame and that’s a damn shame. I believe wholeheartedly that McGriff is the most screwed player in baseball history. He’s screwed because of the era he played in. Those who don’t vote for him state that he wasn’t good enough in an era of power numbers (despite hitting 493 homers), but he didn’t put up similar numbers to his fellow players because he was doing it clean and they weren’t. In any other era, McGriff would’ve been a lock for the HOF, no clean player has ever been kept out with that many homers.
Eric: Very close hitting 500 home runs. He was very gifted, talented, and CLEAN baseball players who is very under the radar to get in the Hall of Fame.
Julian: Tim Raines is arguably the best the second greatest base stealer in the history of baseball behind only Rickey Henderson, who has often overshadowed Raines’ career because the two played in the same era. Raines also has likely had his hall candidacy affected due to hanging on too long. His peak years say he’s a hall of famer. If I’m not mistaken this is his second-to-last year on the ballot with the new hall changes. Maybe that will help his case.
Eric: He was one of the greatest base stealers ever in baseball. No doubt he was a smart baseball player and ideal leadoff guy.
Julian: Trevor Hoffman was the all-time MLB saves leader until Mariano Rivera broke the record toward the end of his career. That alone should be enough to get Hoffman into the Hall of Fame, in my opinion, but some voters don’t seem interested because they don’t think he was dominant enough nor do some people believe most closers even belong in Cooperstown.
Julian: Lee Smith was the all-time MLB leader in saves until Trevor Hoffman broke his record toward the end of his career and that alone makes him worthy of induction into Cooperstown, in my opinion, despite the fact that he has a losing record and an ERA higher than Trevor Hoffman’s. Smith is in his second-to-last year on the ballot and likely won’t be inducted.
Julian: This is Alan Trammell’s final year on the ballot and he’s not going to make the cut. I used to be one of those folks who didn’t believe Trammell was a hall of famer, until I started seeing how many people who are bigger experts on the game of baseball than I am think he is – that turned me around. Trammell was the second best shortstop in the American League during his era behind on Cal Ripken Jr. He was also part of one of the greatest double-play combinations ever with Lou Whitaker (also underrated). I don’t believe Trammell is more deserving than someone like Curt Schilling, but because it’s his final year on the ballot he gets my vote this year.