The BBWAA released this year's edition of their Hall of Fame ballot yesterday and once again, my name is conspicuously absent. It's typical of the writers to black list a guy like me. That whole organization is crippled by politics. Well, that, and I meet exactly none of the criteria for consideration. And the politics. It's all politics.
I'll do my best though to set my personal venom aside and present to you the list of eligible inductees. Here goes, in order of importance to me...
career rWAR - 68.8
I don't think I have to say much about this fella. He should have a statue on Crosley Terrace by the end of this decade.
Even though he played for the rival Astros, he was always one of my favorites. He was one of the best hitters in the league in spite of playing in the Astrodome. I'll always remember him for something I heard Craig Biggio say about him in Sports Illustrated or on TWIB or something like that. Biggio said of his unique batting stance, "He's the only guy in the league who can practice his swing while sitting on the toilet."
Many compare him to Jay Bruce, which I kinda like. Some criticize him as a product of Coors Field and the 90's, but he was nevertheless an incredible ballplayer. I'll always remember him for the AB he had in the All-Star Game against Randy Johnson when the Unit threw one over his head. Larry responded by turning his helmet around and moving to the right-handed batter's box.
He's considered to be the first big test case for the DH. He spent the majority of his years toiling away in near-obscurity in the Pacific northwest, in the combined shadows of the Space Needle and The Kid. And Detlef Schrempf.
A rare breed indeed. He was a 1B who never struck out and hit relatively few home runs during the Steroid Era. He certainly could hit the snot out of the ball though, twice batting over .350. I always liked him because he was the antithesis of hulking, glamorous sluggers of the day. He was very unassuming, looking like a dork and wearing a safety helmet in the field. That .398 career OBP though really gets my calculator multiplying.
I never liked him all that much. He always had a big wad of chaw in his mouth and it made him look like he had the mumps.
The White American League Barry Larkin. If Barry's in, he is too.
I loved those mid-90's Indians teams, and Baggy was probably the least among them. He looked like my aunt's first husband Jeff, so Baggy will always be known as "Uncle Jeffy" to me.
The Yankees didn't start winning until he finally left. So heh. And I thought I told you to trim those sideburns!
He seems like the most inconspicuous fella on this list, but I'll never forget the day I watched him pitch for the Expos against the Pirates in that hole Three Rivers Stadium. The lady sitting behind us kept shouting, "Let's goooooo, Rueter!" She probably shouted it 100 times by the end of the game. My brother and I just snickered, elbowing each other and whispering, "It's pronounced "Rooter", dummy!"
Uh, yeah. That's a negative 0.9. This guy was sub-replacement level for his career and he's up for consideration for the Hall of Fame. Of course, he's not being considered for his playing ability, but rather his pinch-hitting ability. My friend Joe Inglett led the NL in pinch hits this past season, so I want to give him a shout out for that one. Good work, Joe!
And the rest of them: