At any rate, let's begin with my top ten. By the way, all cards were scans from Trading Card Database, if you've never been, it is really worth checking out.
1. Ken Griffey Jr.
The Kid! I really can't say anything that won't be said or hasn't been said already, but he should definitely be inducted first ballot, and I don't see why he wouldn't. His later years were a bit lacking, but overall he still was a great player over most of his career.
2. Mike Piazza
The only question for Piazza this year should be how many votes he will gain, or which team he will be inducted as- I hope its the Dodgers. If I say there is two locks this year it is these two. It's hard to not allow either in.
3. Jeff Bagwell
If the Hall elects three in which is very possible, Bagwell will be that third person. I have no problem with that either. If I did, he wouldn't be on my ballot. As a National League player, I didn't see him play as much as I should have so my appreciation for him may not be as high as other people's, but I still know he had a knockout career, one most players would die to have.If he doesn't make it this year, I still think he gets in within the next 3 years. Though I bet this will be the year he gets it.
4. Alan Trammell
Its a longshot at this point, but in his final year, I hope Trammell gets a lot of votes, even if its not enough to get in. Maybe it is more hype for me at this point but I really don't see why he isn't getting votes. He was one of the best in his position at the time, and the teams he was on were really good teams.
5. Curt Schilling
I think I made my case for him last year, and this year nothing has really changed. On the field I can think of few pitchers I'd rather have on the mound. When you think about it, for being the long ball era, there sure were a lot of great pitchers.
6. Barry Bonds
STEROIDS! Sure he took them either on purpose or not (hmm?) but as I mentioned last year, the same reason the media loved McGwire was the reason Bonds was hated. Bonds was not really a happy guy when it came to media. Look at it like this. Bonds wanted to be the best, he went in to work everyday and tried to do his job the best he could. He didn't want to be bothered every day answering questions. He wanted to play. So the media treated him the same way he treated them. I don't have a problem with that, Bonds never seemed phony to me. Maybe he lied, but he never seemed phony.
I've moved past the steroids issue long ago (sports = entertainment) and like McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, and others who may or may not have taken steroids, they entertained. Yes you can call his home run records bogus, but he still went out there and did his job. I also think like Clemens, Bonds would have been a Hall of Famer without the steroids, so there is that. He had a nice career before he bulked up.
7. Lee Smith
I always liked Lee Smith, and to be honest its a shame he's not in the Hall of Fame yet. Much like Dan Quisenberry who isn't in the Hall either, Lee Smith's job was to come in and shut down the game. He did his job, so why shouldn't he be rewarded? Much like the DH talk, closers seem to get the shaft for Hall nominations, but it has been getting better lately. The problem is though, that is could be too late for Smith before they welcome all these closers into the Hall. Some are getting in now and will soon, but until Smith gets elected, the closers wing will be incomplete (which it already is without Quiz).
8. Trevor Hoffman
So here is a closer that will have a much better chance of getting in. What bothers me is that Hoffman's stats are about the same as Smith's. Sure Hoffman has many more saves, but Smith has more innings pitched in less game, so in my eyes I feel Smith had to work harder for his saves.
Saves- 478 Wins-71 ERA- 3.03 IP 1289.1 SO-1251 ERA+ 132 WHIP 1.256
Saves- 601 Wins-61 ERA- 2.87 IP 1089.1 SO-1133 ERA+ 141 WHIP 1.058
I just don't see how one is that much more deserving than the other. By the way, I don't know (or care) what ERA+ is but figured I'd include it. I know what WHIP is but don't really care for the stat either.
9. Jim Edmonds
I'll be honest, the more I think about it, I might not have put him on my list. I think seeing him in St. Louis clouded my judgement a bit, but I do think he should be considered. He may not be one of the best ever, but he was still a very solid player. Nowhere on Griffey's level, but then again, who was?
10. Mike Sweeney
Yes, I'm a homer, yes, he may not deserve it, yes, I like being controversial.
Having said that, I think a lot of people discount Sweeney for a few reasons. First he played on some really bad teams. Teams so bad that a lot of Royals fans don't even remember them. Because of that, he got a lack of exposure that many people missed out on. However, he was the best player on the team for quite a long time. Some may say so what, but if he was on another team, I think he would have still been one of the better players on those teams. That would have given him more exposure and more of a chance to make it.
I've seen many Royals blogs in the last week or two talking about how Sweeney should be elected into the Hall. All I'm asking for is for him to get the votes to stay nominated so voters will take a bit more time to consider him. I've heard many people say Billy Butler is/was the next Mike Sweeney. At his best, Butler is a poor man's Sweeney. That isn't trying to take away from Billy, but Sweeney was more versatile and a better player. I seriously believe he should get consideration. He also had a fairly consistent career. Just think if Sweeney and Nomar switched teams, would Nomar be considered if he was a Royals player? I doubt it, his career petered out. Sweeney if he had been on a team like the Red Sox, he would have got more attention, and his consistently solid years would have given him much more of a chance. As it looks, he will likely be an afterthought.
So there you have it, my ballot if I was allowed to vote. I know not everyone will agree with the choices, and that's fine. I had fun doing this again this year, and thought it was a bit easier to come up with the 10 this year. I've already gotten feedback on the last post, and I thank you for all the comments and discussions. I will have to take some of that into consideration next year when I plan to do this again. We will find out the results of the real voting tomorrow, and judging by the looks so far, Griffey and Piazza should book hotels in Cooperstown. Bagwell may want to also, but be sure to include a cancellation just in case. I am surprised some voters haven't made use of the ten spots. One guy only voted for two! Griffey and Jeff Kent! I mean its his vote, but come on. I think a lot of voters still try to vote off the greatness of Mantle and Cobb instead of realizing this is a different era, and these are different players. You might get 2-3 of those type of players a decade, that doesn't mean we should only vote for 2-3 per decade.
As for next year, here is a list of players who has the potential to be nominated, besides the ones I've mentioned the last two days.
If more than 5 make more than 5% I would be shocked. Really only 2 I would consider at all to be inducted maybe 3. Besides Pudge, I think if Raines and some of the others hang on a year, they will have a much better chance next year. My ballot next year could really be interesting. C'mon voters, give SWEENEY the 5%!
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.