The following is my ballot listed from most obvious to least obvious worthy of the Hall: Roger Clemens, Chipper Jones, Jeff Kent, Billy Wagner, Vladimir Guerro, Omar Vizquel, Trevor Hoffman, Manny Ramirez, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez.
Like many years prior the ballot is stock full of talent that entertained the baseball world to the fullest at the height of their careers. However, due to the long list of possible deserving candidates some cuts had to be made. The Hall is for players, coaches, executives who have made a difference in baseball throughout history in their own ways that will be remembered forever. Some players clearly have better career statistics than others and therefore are obvious candidates under the qualifying category of “one of the best players of their time.” However, if a player’s career numbers or milestones don’t match the label of “superior” other factors should be considered before dismissing them from the potential of being inducted. For example, Edgar Martinez may not have the career milestones and numbers like an Ortiz has, but he is a deserving Hall of Fame candidate because he revolutionized the DH role and had a few MVP caliber seasons. Others like Chipper Jones, are clear cut future Hall of Famers because he put up one MVP caliber season after another over a long career. The different categories go on and on, and because of that the factor of “time left on the ballot” has to be taken into count. With that said, the following are other deserving of the Hall, but didn’t make the cut this year for my ballot.
Mike Mussina: due to his consistency of being the best #2 caliber starter in the league during his era
Curt Schilling: steroids may have been rumored for his late career success, but one can’t argue with his postseason results
Sammy Sosa: may have been one of the biggest steroid users, but he had all 5 tools and his stats show that
Jim Thome: without him the Indians of the 90’s would not have had the success they had, his career numbers such as 500 homers are there, and he had exceptional plate discipline
Scott Rolen: his consistency over a number of years and underrated gold glove defense
Johnny Damon: on the edge of the Hall because without his career numbers such as 2700 hits, 400+ SB and 500+ doubles he would not be a candidate