The Baseball HOF Class of 2009 thread

The 2009 candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame were announced today. The final selections will be announced on January 12, 2009. Rickey Henderson is considered a near mortal lock to get in.

Is there anybody else who should be selected? Let’s discuss.

First impressions

• Harold Baines - NO
• Jay Bell - Hell No
• Bert Blyleven - No
• David Cone - No
• Andre Dawson - No
• Ron Gant - Hell No
• Mark Grace - Hell No
• Rickey Henderson - YES!
• Tommy John - Yes, it is time
• Don Mattingly - No
• Mark McGwire - No (Cheaters exemption, must wait!)
• Jack Morris - No
• Dale Murphy - No
• Jesse Orosco - Hell No
• Dave Parker - No
• Dan Plesac - Hell No
• Tim Raines - No (But I would not be upset if he made it)
• Jim Rice - No (But I would not be upset if he made it)
• Lee Smith - No
• Alan Trammell - No
• Greg Vaughn - Hell No
• Mo Vaughn - No
• Matt Williams - Hell No

Rickey Henderson should near 100% votes I hope.
Tommy John should be in for body of work and being the pioneer of baseballs most famous surgery.

How do you say no to Don Mattingly? Do you mean no ever or just no this year?

Not only is Rickey a mortal lock, but I await the verbal gymnastics that the writers who don’t vote for him will spew. Should be good for pinpointing the current jackasses on in the BBWA.

As for the rest of the list, I honestly don’t think anybody else gets in this year. However, McGwire will surely get in in the future and I would love it if Donnie Baseball gets his due for being the “baseball card hero” to a whole generation of kids.

Die hard Yankee fan here and I know Donnie Baseball falls short of the standards of the Hall. He is as good as a few other undeserving Hall of Famers* but he really does not qualify.

  • Kirby Puckett comes to mind.

Henderson and Raines.

Bert Blyleven. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be in.

I mean, I know the reasons he isn’t in, and I find them dumb. So I prefer to feign ignorance about them, and say, hey! Blyleven! as though we’re all considering it for the first time, because I’m an optimist.


Blyleven, Henderson, Raines, si!

McGwire, over my dead body. And you could just as well argue that Canseco, Clemens, Bonds et al belong in because they donated their bodies to medical science as you could argue that John deserves election because he pioneered a new type of surgery. I’d rather elect the doctor who performed the surgery, and the pusher who sold the steroids.

He is seriously overated by the handful that think he is worthy. Before he goes is worthier pitchers like Jim Kaat should be in. He was never anything special and Tommy John was.

How can you pick Blyleven over John? John was better in peaks and had better lifetime numbers.

I mean, OK. I believe that none of that is true, and some or all of it is very silly. How would you like me to persuade you?

Present your case for him. Tell me how he is more deserving than John to start.

• Harold Baines - No
• Jay Bell - No
• Bert Blyleven - Yes
• David Cone - No
• Andre Dawson - No
• Ron Gant - No
• Mark Grace - No
• Rickey Henderson - Yes
• Tommy John - No
• Don Mattingly - No
• Mark McGwire - No
• Jack Morris - Yes
• Dale Murphy - No
• Jesse Orosco - No
• Dave Parker - No
• Dan Plesac - No
• Tim Raines - Maybe next year
• Jim Rice - Yes
• Lee Smith - No
• Alan Trammell - No
• Greg Vaughn - No
• Mo Vaughn - No
• Matt Williams - No

In a way baseball owes a debt to McGwire. When he said he was using andro it was legal and practically unknown. I had him pegged as a steroid user,but andro was not against the rules. He brought it to the front . Baseball was happy to cover up use.
His performance in front of congress is my problem. He refused to do the right thing. His career however has hall of fame numbers. His home run fights with Sosa helped save the game. I suppose he deserves better treatment.
I thought Morris dominated for a long time. He has the numbers for me.
Henderson was an arrogant jerk. He deserves to be in the hall though.

Ah, missed this.


John’s 5 highest ERA+ full seasons:


Highest strikeout seasons: John 138, 138, 131 (never in top 10); Blyleven 258, 249, 233 (13 seasons in top 5).

Best 3 overall seasons arbitrarily selected by me:

1968: 10-5 25 games 5 CG 1 Shutout 177.3 Inn. 49 BB/117 K 1.98 ERA 161 ERA+ 1.038 WHIP
1977: 20-7 31 G 11 CG 3 SO 220.3 50/123 2.78 138 1.248
1979: 21-9 37 g 17 CG 3 SO 276.3 65/111 2.96 137 1.205

1973: 20-17 40 G 25 CG 9 SO 325.0 67/ 258 2.52 158 1.117
1974: 17-17 37 G 19 CG 3 SO 281.0 77/249 2.66 142 1.142
1977: 14-12 30 G 15 CG 5 SO 234.7 69/182 2.72 151 1.065

Also note that Blyleven continued to be at that peak for pretty much that entire period.


Career ERA: John 3.34, Blyleven 3.31
Career ERA+: John 110, Blyleven 118
Career Innings: John 4710, Blyleven 4970
Career K: John 2245, Blyleven 3701
Career BB: John 1259, Blyleven 1322
Career Wins: John 288, Blyleven 287
Career CG: John 162, Blyleven 242
Career Shutouts: John 46, Blyleven 60
Career WHIP: John 1.283, Blyleven 1.198

I think the comparison speaks for itself without my even emphasizing certain numbers or putting them in a favorable order or anything at all.

Ricky will sail in.

This is the last shot for Jim Rice and Tommy John in their likely lifetimes. They have been on the ballot for 15 years and that’s all the chances you get until the Veterans Committee looks at your record years later. After getting some well deserved criticism for some of their selections, some rules were changed and the VC hasn’t approved a player in their last three chances (every two years).

I think that voters will take this into account, look at the thin group of candidates and put Rice in since he was so close last year. I don’t think Tommy John will get the same result.

John played on better teams, got more run support, had better luck than Blyleven but he wasn’t a better pitcher. I’d love to link you to Bill James Online, but it’s a subscription-only site (well worth the 3 bucks per month, tho!) so I’ll try to excerpt judiciously from his intro and his conclusion and omit the supporting stats (which are the best part of course):

James then proceeds to look, in nine densely documented sections, each studying an area like bullpen support, performance in one-run games, offensive support, etc, and each of which is longer than the excerpt from the Intro I just quoted, at the conclusion of which he gives the following illustration from a typical Blyleven month to show Blyleven’s problem over the course of his career:

James’ case comes down to this: Blyleven pitched as well or better than the guys who won over 300 games, but he didn’t happen to accumulate that magic number, so people (who tend to focus on the W-L record to the exclusion of ten chapters of dense statistics) conclude he wrongly that he wasn’t quite as good a pitcher–the problem being, he was.

Besides which, he’s got the best Chris Berman name: “Be Home” Blyleven.

I think Blyleven’s case hinges on the fact that he’s the poor man’s Nolan Ryan. They both played for pretty poor teams, but Ryan managed to put up better career numbers in nearly every “baseball card” category.

Ryan’s flashiness (7 no-hitters, single season strikeout record and bulldog toughness to hang on for 27 seasons) also overshadow Blyleven in these kinds of discussions.


Henderson definitely, Raines solidly (but won’t get in), Blyleven probably (but won’t get in), Rice close but probably not (but will get in), no one else particularly close.

How is Tim Raines not a mortal lock? He’s even more underrated than Blyleven.