List the players I selected on my Hall of Fame ballot? Are you kidding me?
After what happened last year when a well-known national baseball voice used the three writers on this web site as one example of what’s wrong with the Hall of Fame electorate?
He wrote that system is clearly broken when three GOLF writers are allowed to vote on baseball’s highest honor. He didn’t question our votes, only the injustice that golf writers are allowed to vote for baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Had he done a slight bit of research (like reading the bios of the three writers on this site) and some simple math, he’d have seen that we have a combined 126 years of sportswriting experience, 63 of those years covering major league baseball. Every minute of it loving, honoring and immersing ourselves into the game.
And yet we get slammed for being “golf” writers. (If anyone has a gripe, it would be golfers wondering why they’re being covered by three baseball writers.)
I will say this: My stance on PED users has not changed from my previous ballots. If a player has tested positive or admitted to PED use, he didn’t get my vote. And if the cloud of PED suspicion surrounding a player is so great that it casts a considerable cloud over his career, even without absolute proof, I’m not yet prepared to vote for him.
With that, I did not vote this year for Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa.
I’ll also say that this was another difficult ballot for me, with more than 10 solid candidates even after I ruled out the PED group.
So yes, I voted for 10. And that includes two Martinezes– Edgar Martinez and Pedro Martinez. Edgar is among five who I also voted for last year, along with Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling.
Oh, and when someone looks at the voting results and wonders who refused to vote for Randy Johnson, don’t look at me. Best left-handed pitcher I’d ever witnessed, and an automatic vote.
I don’t believe in the first-ballot theory — withholding a vote for a first-timer on the ballot unless he’s an elite of the elite. If he’s a Hall of Famer to me, it doesn’t matter if it’s his first year or 15th year, I’m going to vote for him as long as he’s one of the 10 best on the ballot.
That’s why John Smoltz, a first-timer this year, got my vote. Same for a couple who’ve been on the ballot a few years, Lee Smith and Larry Walker.
So there you have it, the Hall of Fame choices of a “golf” writer. A golf writer, that is, who happened to cover baseball a big part of his 42-year newspaper career, including the final 13 years covering the Seattle Mariners on a daily basis.