Shamrock Thoughts: James’ 2020 Baseball Hall Of Fame Ballot

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It’s that time of the year again as the debate about whom should be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Outside of the season, this is a very exciting time to be a baseball fan. Now, I am not a voter, but if I was ever given the chance, this is how my ballot would look. Here was my ballot from last year and this column that I wrote two years ago explaining the process of how it works. Here is my ballot for 2020.

Roger Clemens

Clemens might be one of the best pitchers during his time, if not the best of all time. While the second part of that last sentence is debatable, there is no doubt that he was a great player. The accusations of doing performance enhancing drugs have hurt his chances, but there is no denying how great he is.

Barry Bonds

The all-time home run king has also been accused for doing PEDs, but Bonds is one of the greatest hitters I ever saw. Some of his numbers were like as if he was playing in a video game as they were ridiculously good. Watching him hit the ball was just amazing as what he did was absolute mastery. There is conversation as to whether he is the greatest hitter ever, but in the last 20 years he most certainly was.

Larry Walker

Walker was always seen as a great player by many, but when digging a little deeper his numbers suggest that he is most definitely worthy of making the Hall of Fame. Problem with his candidacy was playing for the Colorado Rockies as playing in that climate tends to help hitters a lot as the air tends to inflate numbers. That being said, Walker was a fantastic athlete as his all-round game was great. He was a fun player to watch.

Omar Vizquel

Vizquel is arguably the greatest shortstop to ever play, but he certainly was the best I ever saw. Vizquel shouldn’t get in based on his defense, but he was certainly valuable to the Cleveland Indians during the 1990s and his numbers show that. Sure, he played well into his 40s, but he was a great player during his tenure in Cleveland.

Jeff Kent

Kent is arguably the best second baseman of all-time, but Kent was such a good player that he was an MVP candidate every year he played. During his time in San Francisco, he and Bonds formed one of the best 3-4 combos in the game as they each complimented one another. His advanced numbers suggest he should be in the Hall of Fame, but honestly, even without looking at his advanced numbers, people wouldn’t even blink an eye at his candidacy.

Billy Wagner

How Wagner is not in the Hall of Fame is beyond my comprehension as he was one of the best closers the game has ever seen. The fact that a reliever would even be in the running for the Cy Young or even MVP voting speaks volume about Wagner. His numbers were eye popping and even when he got older, they were still incredible.

Todd Helton

Helton has a similar problem as Walker for his candidacy having played in Colorado, but he was always one of the best first basemen in the game especially with his glove. His numbers took a dip when he got into his 30s, but he was always a valuable player to the Rockies. While he may not make it in this round, he certainly should make it at some point.

Paul Konerko

Some will find this controversial and call me biased because of my fandom for the Chicago White Sox, but Konerko really should be considered for the Hall of Fame as his numbers were so good. If it wasn’t for injuries towards the end of his career, he most likely would’ve hit 500 home runs. He was so valuable to the White Sox during his tenure there that when he got hot, he could carry a team. Konerko never got the type of recognition that he deserved because of playing for the White Sox, but Pale Hose fans knew what he was about and would try to push hard for him to get in the Hall of Fame. That being said, he might get in through the Veterans Committee vote.

Andy Pettitte

Pettitte was one of the most dominant southpaws in the game during his time with the New York Yankees, but he was just masterful to watch. Oh, and he might as well have had the best pickoff move ever as he was so deceptive. Pettitte was a big reason why the Yankees won five world series championships during his career.

Derek Jeter

Now, there are some baseball fans who will be mad at me for making this vote as some feel like he should not be unanimous despite being a first ballot hall of famer. That being said, I can’t not vote for him as he was such a good player. He was instrumental in making the Yankees as good as they were during his career, but he was one of the best shortstops to play the game. He was also a great leader on the field. He is a first-ballot hall of famer in my book as he was one of the best I ever saw and voting against him is absurd. Oh yeah, he also has over 3,000 hits.

Notable Omissions

Gary Sheffield

Sheffield was a potent hitter with 500 home runs in his career. The accusations of PEDs hurts his case.

Sammy Sosa

Similar to Sheffield with the accusations, but he hit 600 home runs instead. That’s a lot of home runs.

Manny Ramirez

Ramirez was one of the best right handed hitters I ever saw as he hit over 500 home runs. However, he was actually caught for taking PEDs. That will always hurt him.

Curt Schilling

Despite his politics and his personality, Schilling makes a great case for being a hall of famer. I just think there were more deserving players than him this time around.

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