Dan's Dugout: Hall of Fame Gallery Should Grow Soon • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Hall of Fame Gallery Should Grow Soon

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As baseball editor of Latino Sports, I look forward to my chance to participate in the virtual Hall of Fame election of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America [IBWAA].

It is merely a ceremonial vote, since the official balloting is conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America, made up mainly of beat writers who cover the 30 clubs – or at least spent 10 years doing so.

The two elections rarely agree, though both require candidates to get at least 75 per cent of the vote.

Vladimir Guerrero is almost certain to reach the Hall of Fame in 2018

Vladimir Guerrero is almost certain to reach the Hall of Fame in 2018

For example, both Vladimir Guerrero and Edgar Martinez, two of the game’s greatest Latino stars, have already been chosen by the internet writers. Guerrero missed by a smidgeon last year in the regular vote and will probably vault over the 75 per cent hurdle in January, along with fellow just-miss candidate Trevor Hoffman.

The regular vote will be announced January 24, with the Manhattan Media Meet & Greet slated for the following day.

The internet writers will reveal their choices much earlier.

Under IBWAA rules, voters can choose up to 15 candidates. I picked ten, the same number electors in the regular election can choose, but carefully omitted alleged steroids abusers Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Like Pete Rose, barred for violating prohibitions on gambling, they cheated the fans for years by using enhanced performance substances. Now it’s payback time.

That being said, here’s an alphabetical list of those who got my vote: Trevor Hoffman, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Gary Sheffield, Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, and Larry Walker.

Chipper Jones head the baseball writers ballot

Chipper Jones head the baseball writers ballot

Of those, Hoffman, Thome, and Chipper Jones are widely expected to win the regular election, along with Guerrero, and be enshrined on Sunday, July 29, at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Thome and Jones are on the ballot for the first time.

In addition, the Modern Era Veterans Committee will make its choices known a week from Sunday, when the Baseball Winter Meetings begin at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

That 16-man committee is considering a 10-man ballot that features nine former players plus the controversial first executive director of the players association, Marvin Miller. Pugnacious and confrontational, Miller was responsible for raising player salaries and benefits through endless labor stoppages that continued after he yielded his post to Donald Fehr. Although he made a definite impact on the game, which was forced to find more and more revenue-raising gimmicks that would allow teams to meet runaway payrolls, many consider him an outsider who does not belong in the hallowed hall.

Stronger cases can be made for all nine of the former players, who failed to win election by the baseball writers but now get another chance. The best of that group are Dale Murphy, who won consecutive MVP awards while garnering the most total bases of any player in the ‘80s, and Jack Morris, a big-game peformer who posted the most wins of any pitcher during the same decade.

Two-time MVP Dale Murphy could be the Veterans Committee choice for Cooperstown

Two-time MVP Dale Murphy could be the Veterans Committee choice for Cooperstown

Also likely to get long looks are former MVPs Dave Parker, Larry Walker, and Don Mattingly, long-time Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell, and former Yankee righthander Luis Tiant, a Cuban refugee who had a much better career earned run average than Morris.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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  • Jon Klinkel

    I think Dale Murphy is at least as deserving of a spot in the Hall of Fame as Sandy Koufax. 2 more Hall-worthy seasons and a much longer career, even though his knees went. Had Koufax continued to pitch his career stats wouldn’t look so good. Should Murphy be penalized for continuing to play? His overall stats (all-inclusive) rank him middle-of-the-pack of current Hall of Fame outfielders. I think that, alone, makes his case for him.