2017 IBWAA Hall of Fame Ballot

A week or so ago I released a ballot for a hypothetical tiered Baseball Hall of Fame

But that still leaves by IBWAA official vote. So now, with delay, my votes for the 2017 IBWAA Hall of Fame.

For reference here’s the eligible IBWAA players.

Notes:

  1. Each name is linked to that particular player’s Baseball-Reference.com page.
  2. Asterisk (*) for first-time candidates
  3. You may vote for up to 15 candidates.
  4. 75% required for election.
  5. Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez and Tim Raines have already been honored in previous IBWAA elections, which is why you don’t see their names listed here.

Casey BlakeBarry Bonds Pat BurrellOrlando CabreraMike CameronRoger Clemens J.D DrewVladimir GuerreroCarlos GuillenTrevor Hoffman Jeff Kent Derrick LeeFred McGriff Melvin MoraMike Mussina Magglio OrdonezJorge PosadaManny RamirezEdgar RenteriaArthur RhoadesIvan RodriguezFreddie SanchezCurt Schilling Gary Sheffield Lee Smith Sammy Sosa Matt StairsJason VaritekBilly Wagner Tim WakefieldLarry Walker

I voted for 15 again, and my rule on players who were caught and punished for a performance enhancing infraction (corked bat, PED, scuffed ball) is that they get shuffled to the bottom of the list and get added if there are not enough deserving candidates. This year Sammy Sosa shuffled onto the bottom of my list. Manny Ramirez will have to wait.

With those rules established, I’ll list out the names below with any notes on new players, view here for last year’s ballot, and here for the 2015 ballot for more info on the others. (2014 link for posterity)

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Roger Clemens
  3. Valdimir Guerrero
  4. Trevor Hoffman
  5. Jeff Kent
  6. Mike Mussina
  7. Jorge Posada
  8. Edgar Renteria
  9. Ivan Rodriguez
  10. Curt Schilling
  11. Gary Sheffield
  12. Lee Smith
  13. Sammy Sosa
  14. Billy Wagner
  15. Larry Walker

Vlad was excellent and did things that fall into that non-traditional stat category. There was no such thing as a bad pitch for him. He’d hit a dinger off his shoe-tops if he had to.

Hoffman, Smith and Wagner were all the best or one of the best closers at one point. Wagner is second to John Franco (who sadly fell off the ballot with little consideration) in lefty saves. Smith and Hoffman were all-time save leaders (with Smith doing it when saves were a little less prolific, I mean Francisco Rodriguez will likely pass him in the next few years for 3rd all time).

Posada was a top 5 hitting catcher and knew his job behind the plate well enough to shepherd some pitching staffs to rings. He’s overlooked in that Core 4 in terms of his contributions to the team’s success.

Of course he wasn’t as good as “Pudge” Rodriguez, who is likely a Top 5 all around catcher.

And with Edgar Renteria, wherever he went, success followed. There are less accomplished shortstops in the Hall and Rent should get paid.

A few I left off, Fred McGriff: I’ve always thought not making a magical HR plateau shouldn’t be held against the Crime Dog, but if you’re going to hold Mark McGwire out on stats, you have to hold McGriff out too. Cabrera: He was sneaky good and almost took Renteria’s spot. Wakefield and Varitek: More important to those World Series teams than we give them credit for. Wakefield is a Top 5 knuckler, but that may not top enough for the Hall. There were a bunch of others who were great big hitters, including Freddy Sanchez who hit at was was a lighter hitting potion at 2B. Emphasis is on was, however, as numbers ballooned in his era to a number of contributing factors (smaller parks, rapid expansion, improved healthcare and legal and illegal supplements).

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