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 2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix

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PostSubject: 2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:24 pm

2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix
Dawson, Blyleven joined by newcomers Alomar, McGriff

By Tom Singer / MLB.com

11/27/09 2:00 PM EST

Andre Dawson will be on the alert, like a ... well, like a Hawk. It will be another flight of the Dutchman, and the first takeoff for such illustrious recent icons as Roberto Alomar, Robin Ventura and Barry Larkin.

Fred McGriff and Andres Galarraga will get an inkling as to whether round numbers indeed have magic in them. And Edgar Martinez will ride as the knight of a new baseball era.


The 2010 Hall of Fame ballot, formally released on Friday, is one of the most fascinating in years, an eclectic mix of long-detained deserving candidates and newcomers of both obvious and debatable merit.

The ballot, on its way to qualified voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, is headlined by Dawson, the outfielder who drove in nearly 1,600 runs across a 21-year career, and Bert Blyleven, the right-hander with the wicked curveball and 287 wins.

The two contemporaries are the only ones among 11 incumbent candidates to receive more than 50 percent of the votes a year ago, with Dawson scoring 67 percent in his eighth year of eligibility and Blyleven 62.7 percent in his 12th year.

A candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote from BBWAA members to gain election, with leadoff great Rickey Henderson and former Red Sox slugger Jim Rice reaching that threshold to gain entrance in 2009.

The 2010 ballot also heralds the arrival of 19 new eligibles -- veterans of 10-plus seasons retired for five years -- of whom Martinez is the most intriguing contender.

Originally a third baseman, he was a designated hitter in 1,412 of his 2,055 career games, making him the first primary DH up for Hall of Fame consideration, and hence a test case.

Hall of Fame traditionalists don't adapt easily. The bias against closers faded slowly, until three of them finally gained admittance the past six years.

Martinez, however, isn't an ordinary trailblazer. The award annually given to the game's top DH bears his name, after all.

Weighing in a few years ago, Commissioner Bud Selig called Martinez "the greatest DH since the rule was put in [in 1973]."

Looking ahead, the commissioner added, "I'll let the writers decide whether he is a Hall of Famer."

Martinez is the only one of 11 retired players to bat over .300 with a .400-plus on-base percentage and .500-plus slugging average in 2,000-plus games not yet in the Hall of Fame.

The other ballot newcomers comprise an in-crowd of infielders. In an oddity, 10 of the 12 position players were infielders, the exceptions being outfielders Ellis Burks and Ray Lankford.

Going around the horn, the marquee includes third baseman Ventura (294 homers and 1,182 RBIs in 16 seasons, six Gold Gloves), shortstop Larkin (.295 hitter with 2,340 hits in 19 seasons, a 12-time All-Star), second baseman Alomar (10 Gold Gloves, a 12-time All-Star, 474 steals and 1,134 RBIs in 17 seasons) and first baseman Erik Karros (1,027 RBIs in 14 seasons).

Former first basemen also include McGriff, who fell short of his 500-homer goal but had 1,550 RBIs to accompany 493 homers across 19 seasons, and Galarraga, who hit 399 homers in a 19-year career that saw him hit .300-plus eight times.

Other position players appearing on the ballot for the first time are David Segui and Todd Zeile.

Among the modest sextet of pitchers, the biggest winner was Kevin Appier, who won 169 games across a 16-year career he finished with a 3.74 ERA.

Right-hander Pat Hentgen won 131 games and the 1996 American League Cy Young Award. Mike Jackson, who had 142 saves and a 3.42 ERA in 17 seasons, is the bullpen fraternity's nominee. The other pitcher is Shane Reynolds.

The ballot rookies need to attract a minimum of 5 percent of the votes to remain on the ballot in 2011.

Dawson and Blyleven have already spent many years in that netherworld between 5 percent and 75 percent, as have the other returning candidates: Lee Smith (44.5 percent of the vote in 2009), Jack Morris (44), Tim Raines (22.6), Mark McGwire (21.9), Alan Trammell (17.4), Dave Parker (15), Don Mattingly (11.9), Dale Murphy (11.5) and Harold Baines (5.9).

The climb up the totem pole can be slow and gradual.

Dawson rose into pole position from a first-year score of 43.5 percent. Blyleven's pace has been even steadier.

Each has hope of breaking through -- as had Rice, elected in his 15th and final year on the ballot.

For one thing, Dawson has the ultimate respect and support of the peers who beat him to Cooperstown.

"Talk to any player who saw him play or played with him or against him, and they don't understand why he isn't in the Hall of Fame," said former Reds first baseman Tony Perez, a 2000 inductee.

Former Cubs teammate Ryne Sandberg lobbied for Dawson's election during his own induction speech, in 2005.

Dawson also has the platform of numbers: the only one of six career 300-300 (homers and stolen bases) men not yet in the Hall, a guy who topped 20 homers in 13 seasons and 100 RBIs in four on his way to final tallies of 438 and 1,591.

Dawson also is the only eligible player with 1,000-plus extra-base hits not yet in the Hall.

Blyleven belongs to a similar exclusion club: His 287 wins are the most of any modern (post-1900) pitcher not in Cooperstown, with the exception of 288-game winner Tommy John, whose ballot shelf life ran out last year.

Yet it is hard to argue that the Dutchman has been the victim of any ballot bias. The truth is, it has been a surprisingly arid era for starting pitchers, with only four elected by the BBWAA since their first year of eligibility, all of them 300-game winners: Nolan Ryan, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Steve Carlton.

For Dawson and Blyleven, hope does not spring eternal. There is a time limit. We will know soon whether their time has come.

Results of the election will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Induction of the Hall of Fame's Class of 2010 will be on July 25, in Cooperstown.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Change for a Nickel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix   Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:30 pm

Hall could call for unheralded candidates
Karros, Ventura, Appier among solid players on ballot

By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com

11/27/09 2:00 PM EST

They're not the headliners.

They're the ones who may have been overlooked because of the teams they played on, the markets they represented or the roles they had. The ones who might have missed a few more good years because of injuries. Or the ones who were simply beaten out on hardware by premier players in their respective leagues.

They're solid corner infielders like Eric Karros, David Segui, Todd Zeile and Robin Ventura; steady right-handers like Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson,, Kevin Appier and Shane Reynolds; and five-tool outfielders like Ellis Burks and Ray Lankford.



And the National Baseball Hall of Fame can come calling for them, too.

A candidate must receive 75 percent of the vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America members to gain election to the Hall in Cooperstown, N.Y., with leadoff great Rickey Henderson and former Red Sox slugger Jim Rice reaching that threshold to gain entrance in 2009.

Results of the election will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Former Expos and Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson (67.0 percent) and former Twins ace Bert Blyleven (62.7 percent) had the highest totals among those not elected in the 2009 voting and remain eligible for '10. They're joined on the ballot this year by a group of newcomers that includes former All-Star second baseman Roberto Alomar, Reds superstar shortstop Barry Larkin and Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez.

But while those guys will garner most of the attention, here are some of the others who will receive consideration:

Kevin Appier: Through his 16-year career, the right-hander won 169 games and posted a 3.74 ERA, but only made the All-Star team once -- in 1995, when he finished 15-10 with a 3.89 ERA. But that wasn't his best season. Appier's finest campaign probably came in '93, when he finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting after going 18-8 with a league-leading 2.56 ERA.

Ellis Burks:
A five-tool player when healthy, Burks compiled a .291 batting average, 352 home runs and 1,206 home runs while spending 12 of his 18 seasons with the Red Sox and Rockies. A two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger, Burks' best season came with Colorado in 1996, when he hit .344 with 40 homers, 128 RBIs, 142 runs and 32 stolen bases while finishing third in National League Most Valuable Player voting. The right-handed hitter also won a Rawlings Gold Glove in center field in '90.

Pat Hentgen: The right-hander certainly had some rough years -- especially towards the end -- but he had some great ones, too. Hentgen's finest campaign came in 1996, when he won the AL Cy Young Award as a member of the Blue Jays -- for whom he pitched 10 years for -- after going 20-10 with a 3.22 ERA, 10 complete games and three shutouts in 265 2/3 innings. The three-time All-Star finished his 14-year career 131-112 with a 4.32 ERA.

Mike Jackson: Through 17 years in the big leagues from 1986-2004 - not counting '00 and '02, which he missed entirely -- the right-handed relief pitcher posted a 3.42 ERA. Jackson's finest season came with the Indians in '98 -- his first as a full-time closer -- when he posted a 1.55 ERA and converted 40 of 45 saves. The following year, he converted 39 of 43 save chances. Jackson pitched for a total of eight teams, with his most time -- five seasons -- being spent with the Mariners.

Eric Karros: The longtime Dodger got off to a good start when he was named NL Rookie of the Year in 1992, and he wasn't too shabby thereafter. In his 14-year career, Karros hit .268 with 284 home runs and 1,027 RBIs while winning a Silver Slugger in 1995. That year, Karros batted .298 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs. And from 1995-97, he compiled 97 homers and drove in 320 runs. Karros put up pretty consistent numbers in 12 years in Los Angeles, with his finest season coming in '99, when he hit a career-high .304 with 34 homers and a career-high 112 RBIs.

Ray Lankford: In one muscular 5-foot-11 frame, Lankford could do it all on the baseball field. It showed when he finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 1993, when he led the league with 15 triples while adding 44 stolen bases, 69 RBIs and 83 runs scored. And when he notched five seasons with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases -- in '92, '95, '96, '97 and '98. And also when he made just one error in 144 games in center field in '96 to post a .997 fielding percentage. Lankford, an All-Star in '97, hit .272 with 238 home runs and 258 stolen bases in 14 seasons in the big leagues, with the better part of 13 years coming with the Cardinals.

Shane Reynolds:
A 13-year Major Leaguer who spent 11 of those seasons in Houston, Reynolds finished with a career record of 114-96 and a 4.09 ERA. The right-hander struggled late in his career, but he had a great run from 1995-99, when he averaged 14 wins and a 3.73 ERA. His best season came in '98, when he went 19-8 with a 3.51 ERA. He made his only All-Star Game appearance in 2000.

David Segui: He didn't have the power of a prototypical first baseman, but Segui could still hit, as evidenced by his .291 career batting average in 15 seasons in the big leagues. Segui hit for .300-plus clips several times in his career and had a very productive stretch from 1995-2001, when he hit .307 while averaging 15 homers and 68 RBIs a season. During that span, he played for the Mets, Expos, Mariners, Blue Jays, Rangers, Indians and Orioles. Segui, however, was also named on the Mitchell Report for alleged use of performance-enhancing substances in 2007.

Robin Ventura:
A great defensive third baseman with an impact bat, Ventura compiled six Gold Glove Awards and was named to two All-Star Games in his 16-year career. The left-handed hitter spent his first 10 years with the White Sox and finished his career with a .267 batting average, 294 homers and 1,182 RBIs. Ventura had nine 20-homer seasons, three with triple-digit RBIs and six campaigns that saw him hit for at least a .280 batting average. His best season came in the first of three with the Mets in '99, when he hit .301 with 32 homers and 120 RBIs, while finishing sixth in NL MVP voting and winning his final Gold Glove.

Todd Zeile: The journeyman corner infielder played for 11 teams throughout the course of a 16-year career, compiling a .265 batting average and 253 home runs. Originally drafted as a catcher, Zeile hit more than 20 homers in four different seasons, topping out at 31 in 1997 with the Dodgers. In 29 career postseason games, he hit .292 with four home runs and 14 RBIs.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix   Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:57 pm

Let the debate over Tram and Lou resume
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on November 30, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Back from Thanksgiving break to find that the Hall of Fame ballot is out, and the debate over who deserves to get in. If you're among the many Tiger fans who see Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker as deserving Hall of Famers who haven't gotten a fair shake -- or in Whitaker's case, didn't get a good look at all in his lone year on the ballot -- you have company.

Joe Posnanski blogged over the weekend about a small group of players who received 15-20 votes in their only year on the ballot -- enough to claim a group of support, but not enough to make it to next year's voting. Lou Whitaker not only leads Posnanski's list, but draws comparisons to Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg. Fittingly, if you go to Whitaker's page on baseball-reference.com, it lists Ryne Sandberg as his most similar player. It's a good read, and not just for the Whitaker discussion.

While Keith Law doesn't yet have a Hall of Fame vote, he has his opinions on who's deserving. He points to Wins Above Replacement as one stat to consider among hitters, and notes that Whitaker is high on the list. In fact, at No. 54, he's the highest-ranking position player to have been eligible for the Hall and not get in. Among players who are eligible, Law makes his case for Trammell, who isn't far off on that Wins Above Replacement list at 67th. He sees the situation much like a lot of Tigers fans, that Trammell gets penalized for being in Ripken's shadow.


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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Hall of Fame ballot an eclectic mix   Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:12 pm

My ballot:

1. Bert Blyleven
2. Andre Dawson
3. Alan Trammell
4. Roberto Alomar
5-10. Nobody


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PostSubject: Dawson earns long-awaited Hall call   Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:52 pm

Dawson earns long-awaited Hall call
Alomar, Larkin, Blyleven fall short in BBWAA voting

By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com

01/06/10 4:48 PM EST

NEW YORK -- On the sixth day of the new decade, "The Hawk" took flight.

After waiting eight long years to make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Andre Dawson is this year's sole electee, it was announced on Wednesday. Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, who came oh so close, will have to wait another year.

Dawson, an outfielder with power, who played most of his career on injured and fragile knees, made it on his ninth try, earning 77.9 percent of the votes cast by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, with his name included on 420 of the 539 ballots. Last year, he missed the cut with 67 percent of the vote.

"If you're a Hall of Famer you're eventually going to get in," said Dawson, whose first 16 of 21 seasons were played with the old Montreal Expos and the Cubs. "It was well worth the wait. I can't really describe the elation when my family and I got the call."

Dawson will be inducted on July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with manager Whitey Herzog and umpire Doug Harvey, who were elected in December by the Veterans Committee.

Forging the tightest vote in Hall of Fame history, Blyleven finished just five short with 74.2 percent, and Alomar, considered one of the top second basemen of his era, registered the most votes ever for a first-year candidate without getting elected. He had 73.7 percent and his 397 votes were eight shy of the necessary 75 percent level.

"As I sit here, it's awful to think about five votes," Dawson said about Blyleven, the right-handed pitcher whose career overlapped with "The Hawk." "I feel for him that he has to wait another year. Five votes are very hard to swallow."

Blyleven was shut out in his 13th opportunity on the ballot. Alomar, a second baseman, was among 13 players on the ballot for the first time. Barry Larkin, the former Reds shortstop, had the next-highest percentage among first-timers with 51.6 percent. Edgar Martinez, the Mariners designated hitter, finished at 36.2 percent. They are the only three of the 13 first-timers on the ballot who will be back next year.

Since no candidate measuring above the 70 percent mark has missed election, Alomar and Blyleven seem certain to make it in 2011.

Players have 15 years of eligibility on the BBWAA ballot, after a five-year waiting period upon retirement. It's the third time in the past five years that the BBWAA has elected just one player -- Bruce Sutter was chosen in 2006, and his fellow reliever Rich "Goose" Gossage followed him in '08.

It's also the third time since Ryne Sandberg was elected in 2005 that an inductee has had ties with the Cubs. Sutter was the other.

Dawson said he had an emotionally wrenching day, first visiting the graves of his grandmother, aunt and mother before waiting around the house in Miami for the call from the Hall.

"Well, I shed some tears today. I was nervous today and I was happy before the announcement," he said. "I was optimistic. For some reason I slept better last night than I have in the last eight years. I probably won't feel the magnitude of it for a couple of days. I'm still kind of light in the stomach. My daughter and my wife showed a lot of emotion when I got the phone call. Of course, I tried to keep myself contained."

Dawson had 438 homers and 1,591 RBIs for four teams. He played his first 11 seasons with the Expos on the harsh artificial turf of Olympic Stadium and his next six with the Cubs in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, but never was a member of a team that went to the World Series.

Dawson could very well be the second player in history to don an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. Catcher Gary Carter was the first when he was elected in 2003. Carter, like Dawson, played his first 11 years of a 19-year career in Montreal. Carter then moved to New York, where he played his next five years with the Mets.

The cap decision will be made in the days ahead by officials of the Hall of Fame in concert with Dawson, said Brad Horn, a spokesman for the museum. The Hall took that decision in-house after the 2001 elections.

"Right now I'm just content to take this all in," Dawson said, "and worry about that later."


2010 Results
Player_________Total Votes__Percentage
Andre Dawson42077.9%
Bert Blyleven40074.2%
Roberto Alomar39773.7%
Jack Morris28252.3%
Barry Larkin27851.6%
Lee Smith25547.3%
Edgar Martinez19536.2%
Tim Raines16430.4%
Mark McGwire12823.7%
Alan Trammell12122.4%
Fred McGriff11621.5%
Don Mattingly8716.1%
Dave Parker8215.2%
Dale Murphy6311.7%
Harold Baines336.1%
Andres Galarraga224.1%
Robin Ventura71.3%
Ellis Burks20.4%
Eric Karros20.4%
Kevin Appier10.2%
Pat Hentgen10.2%
David Segui10.2%
Mike Jackson00%
Ray Lankford00%
Shane Reynolds00%
Todd Zeile00%

Dawson finished his career in Florida with the Marlins in 1996, missing their first World Series championship by a year. He later became an executive in that organization.

Dawson, who was born and raised in Miami, was praised by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

"On behalf of the entire Florida Marlins organization, I would like to congratulate Andre on his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Loria said in a statement. "His many years of hard work and dedication have earned him his rightful place in Cooperstown.

"Andre's stats over the years tell only part of his story. He was a great teammate and played the game hard, including playing through many difficult knee injuries. His many accomplishments on the field during his long, successful career now place him among the elite of our national pastime.

"Since 2000, Andre has been a valuable member of our front office, lending his expertise, knowledge and insight to our Major and Minor League players and staff. We greatly value his friendship and loyalty."

Alomar was a 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove second baseman, who batted .300 with 2,724 hits during a 17-year career for seven teams. He came up in San Diego with the Padres in 1988 and played three seasons there before being traded to the Blue Jays, where he played another five, winning the World Series in 1992 and '93.

Roberto is the son of former big league infielder and coach Sandy Alomar Sr. His brother, Sandy Alomar Jr., is a six-time All-Star catcher, who returned to the Indians during the offseason as a coach.

"I do feel that Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Famer," Dawson said. "What remained to be seen was whether the writers would put him in on his first ballot. He's one of the greatest second baseman I ever saw play the game."

Blyleven also missed the cut last year with 62.7 percent of the vote. He won 287 games and recorded 3,701 strikeouts (fifth highest all-time) for five big league teams in 22 seasons. He had two stints with the Twins, coming up in that organization, where he played his first six seasons. Blyleven later returned for a little longer than three more. During that second stint, he was a member of Minnesota's 1987 World Series-winning team.

"I hit against him, and if there was a finer pitcher than he was then I don't know who it was," Hank Aaron said about Blyleven on Wednesday on Sirius Radio. "I only went to bat maybe 10 or 15 times [against him]. I don't think I ever got a hit off him. But he was quite a pitcher. I know that he didn't win 20 games [every year] but sometimes you don't need to win 20.

"I think it's just a matter of how you carried yourself and what you did for your other teammates. Just to have him in that rotation for that many years with Minnesota, [he] was somebody that you didn't look forward to hitting against."

Larkin fell far short of the mark. Like Alomar, he also was a 12-time All-Star, who played on the Reds' 1990 World Series-winning team. He batted .295 and had 2,340 hits. Comparatively on offense, Ozzie Smith, the last pure shortstop elected (on the first ballot in 2002), batted .267 with 2,460 hits in 19 seasons for the Padres and Cardinals. Smith got in so quickly because of his defensive ability.

Cal Ripken Jr. was also an All-Star shortstop, but finished his career at third base.

A player has to garner at least 5 percent of the vote to be carried over from year to year. He has 15 years of eligibility on the BBWAA ballot, beginning five years after he retires. BBWAA members with at least 10 consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. The last time the BBWAA did not elect anybody was 1996.

Eleven of the first-timers didn't make the cut and will not be on the ballot again next year.

That list includes Andres Galarraga, Robin Ventura, Ellis Burks, Eric Karros, Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen and David Segui. Mike Jackson, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds and Todd Zeile didn't get any votes.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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