The 2011 SDMB Baseball HoF Poll

You’re off the ballot if you get less than 5 percent of the vote. Smith’s support slipped to 45.3 percent from 47.3 percent. Another saves leader did fall off the ballot - John Franco. And so did Harold Baines, who hung on there for a while.

Edgar Martinez got slightly fewer votes than last year, Jack Morris got slightly more. I think Morris has four years of eligibility left, so I don’t know if there is much chance he rises from 53.5 percent to 75 percent. Barry Larkin rose to 62.1 percent from 51.6 percent, so that looks good for him for next year. Raines’ support went to 37.5 percent from 30.9 percent, so maybe he’ll get there eventually.

I’d guess Morris will make it eventually. The ballot is really position player-heavy - just Morris and Smith staying on. Is that normal, historically speaking?

Well, I guess my reasons are (a) I’m from St. Louis so McGwire just seemed a “bigger” presence to me and (b) PED-realted stuff.

In particular, I put a slightly different weight on players who used steroids in an era where cheating was basically sanctioned (pre-testing) and ones who were caught cheating by a league-administered test.

I also believe that Palmeiro’s grandstanding at the Senate hearing was, in retrospect, much more shameful than McGwire’s behavior at the same hearing.

In the end, neither are particularly strong reasons, I’ll admit.

Only one player ever (Gil Hodges) has gotten over 50% and failed to make it into the Hall. I think Smith will top 50% next year.

I was always on the fence with Blyleven but that 60 shutouts is very impressive. With his induction, now all 20 players with 50+ shutouts are enshrined.

Brown has got a slight edge over Morris at best, while Morris was significantly more durable (600 more innings, nearly 100 more decisions in 1 fewer year), finished top 5 Cy Young 5 times as opposed to Brown’s 2, also his post season heroics don’t hurt his cause.

And furthermore, there really aren’t that many guys who Morris pitched with who are much better than him. Clemens overlapped somewhat; Blyleven; Nolan Ryan; but most of the high-peak guys in the 80s had very short or uneven careers (Orel Hershiser, Frank Viola, Bret Saberhagen, Dwight Gooden, Dave Stieb to some degree).

Whereas Brown was a contemporary of Clemens, Maddux, Pedro Martinez, and Randy Johnson, all of whom are obviously better than him, and several guys who most people would rank ahead of Brown (Schilling, Glavine, Smoltz, Mussina).

Who do we compare Edgar Martinez to? corner OF or 1B/3B?

I’d say Brown was more than a little bit better than Morris. Over half a run ERA is not an insignificant amount. I also, don’t get the best pitcher in the 80’s argument. Was pitching somehow more difficult in the 80’s? If there were 0 great pitchers in the 80’s and 8 great pitchers in the 90’s than so be it. Not that I think Morris was the best pitcher of the decade anyway.

It only means IMO, that every decade has a best player.

Dwight Gooden was the greatest pitcher in the 80’s, imho. His few years of dominance were more impressive than Morris’s decade of pretty good.

But so what? There has to be a best pitcher in every decade, and that pitcher should be in the hall because he was the pitcher of the decade?

Very glad Bert finally made it. He was by far the most qualified guy still waiting.

The most slighted player in this year’s crop was Bagwell, and I can live with that.

It is really unusual; if Morris isn’t Hall of Fame caliber (and I really don’t think he is), then there isn’t a hall of fame starting pitcher whose career started between Bert Blyleven’s (1970) and Roger Clemens’ (1984); a 13-year gap. I don’t know if there’s a gap like it in the history of the game.

Jack Morris was a pretty good pitcher who pitched between eras of All Time Greats. When he started his career Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, and Byleven were all pretty much in their prime. When he finished up Maddux, Clemens, and Johnson were on their way. He never was in the conversation of the best pitcher in baseball, like those guys. As far as Pitcher of the 80s, according to this article he gained that moniker in 86 during the owner’s collusion and it stuck.

This really interesting article about hall of fame choices by Jayson Stark makes me look at Morris (And Larry Walker!) in a more positive light. I probably still wouldn’t vote for him, but I can see his reasoning. And, it did push me over into the Larry Walker camp.

I’m not sure what this means. They both started playing in 1986. How are they in different eras? Palmerio played 3 extra years, that’s why he doesn’t make the cut?
Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind illogical reasoning, I already admitted that’s why I didn’t vote for McGwire. But, I am not getting the different era stuff at all.

Also, I would like to pat myself on the back for correctly predicting who would get voted in in this very thread.

Although not necessarily the most classy.

The good thing about the Hall of Fame is that few remember how long it took you to get elected or how gracious you were about it.*
*with the exception of someone like Ty Cobb, who couldn’t be bothered to show up on time for the first Hall of Fame induction ceremony and missed the group photo.

Yeah - Walker has a very interesting case. The park effects make many dismiss his case out of hand, but he was a very, very good hitter outside of Coors as well. Add in some plus defense and he really probably deserves a bit more support than he will get.

It also makes me wonder what type of response Jim Edmonds might get when he’s up.

It really does come down to those 3 years, yes. Or, put differently, if Palmeiro had stopped juicing when the new rules came down (and thus never got caught by MLB testing) I’d likely vote for him as well.

To me there is a subtle distinction between admitting to using PEDs when they were tacitly sanctioned and getting caught using them when they were explicitly banned. It’s nitpicky, and doesn’t really stand up, and if pressed (or if I actually had a vote) I would probably include both of them.

I could also point out the hypocrisy of writers demanding admissions and apologies from PED users before voting for them, and then giving fewer votes to a player that did exactly that.

And I should apologize for missing Larkin in this poll - he’s pretty obviously a HoFer as well, IMO.

The difference is that Palmerio failed a drug test after baseball decided to care about steroids, and Mcgwire didn’t… When Mcgwire took them they were, at best, vaguely against the rules, with no guidelines, testing, or punishment.

So I thought I’d check on this, and the longest 20th century gap before the Blyleven-to-Clemens gap is between Dizzy Dean and Lefty Gomez (1930) and Bob Feller (1936) - and that’s if you don’t count the three Negro Leaguers whose debuts fall in that period. There’s a five year gap between Waite Hoyt and Jesse Haines (1918) and Ted Lyons (1923).

Even going back to the 19th century, the longest gap I could find was 7 years (twice) - John Clarkson to Amos Rusie and Cy Young to Rube Waddell.


Galvin 1875
keefe 1880
hoss 1881
clarkson 1882
Rusie 1889
young 1890
nichols 1890
waddell 1897
Willis 1898
chesbro 1899
mcginnity 1899
mathewson 1900
plank 1901
Joss 1902
brown 1903
bender 1903
walsh 1904
johnson 1907
marquard 1908
Mendez 1908 a
Williams 1910 a
alex 1911
pennock 1912
coveleski 1912
Rixey 1912
Faber 1914
vance 1915
Grimes 1916
Rogan 1917 a
Hoyt 1918
Haines 1918
Foster 1923 a
lyons 1923
Ruffing 1924
grove 1925
Paige 1927 (MLB debut 1948)
Hubbell 1928
Dean 1930
Gomez 1930
Brown 1931 a
Smith 1932 a
Day 1934 a
Feller 1936
Wynn 1939
Newhouser 1939
Spahn 1942
Lemon 1946
Roberts 1948
Ford 1950
Wilhelm 1952 b
Koufax 1955
Bunning 1955
Drysdale 1956
Gibson 1959
Marichal 1960
Perry 1962
Niekro 1964
Hunter 1965
Palmer 1965
Jenkins 1965
Carlton 1965
Sutton 1966
Ryan 1966
Blyleven 1970
Gossage 1972 b
Eck 1975 b
Sutter 1976 b

a - Negro Leaguer
b - relief pitcher

Dates from the wikipedia list of hall of famers

The guys born from 1950-1962 who had HoF arms all blew them out fairly quickly: Gary Nolan/Don Gullett of the Reds, Fernando of course, Frank Tanana, several others. What they all have in common was that they were overworked in their early 20’s. Note I don’t include Fidyrich, as unlike his teammate Tanana he had no strikeout pitch and thus was unlikely to last long enough to get consideration even if his kindly manager (Ralph Houk) didn’t make him throw 24 complete games.

I don’t know how you can say Jack Morris was never in the conversation of best pitcher in baseball when the article you linked said writers referred to him as the best pitcher of the 80’s in 1986 and have continued to do so ever since. That would indicate that he sure must have been thought of as being in the conversation as best pitcher in baseball for that time.