Hey baseball fans!
Hall of Fame elections are tomorrow, which means it's time for me to share my opinions on who should get into Cooperstown in 2018. I've done this type of post in the past and for this edition of "If I Had a Hall of Fame Ballot 20XX," I'm going to list the players who I think should get in this year along with the key reason for why they should get in. As much as I love the new advanced metrics revolution going on in baseball right now, it's time to get back to basics.
Name: Chipper Jones
# Time on Ballot: 1st
Main Reason for Election: King of Atlanta
Explanation: From 1993-2012, Chipper Jones was the cornerstone of the Atlanta Braves lineup. Sure, their dynastic years of the '90s was more pitching-centered and Atlanta had plenty of other formidable hitters on their teams to go along with Jones, but Chipper became a Braves fan favorite because he stayed down south for his entire career, and boy what a career it was: a .303 lifetime batting average as a switch hitter, 2,726 career hits, 468 career home runs, and eight All Star Games. He's first-ballot talent for sure.
Name: Jim Thome
# Time on Ballot: 1st
Main Reason for Election: Crazy power
Explanation: First-ballot Hall of Fame criteria for me in terms of power hitters is 500+ home runs and 1,500+ RBIs. Well, guess what? Thome hit 612 career long balls (which is good for eighth on the all-time list) and drove in 1,699 career runs (which is good for 26th on the all-time list). Enough said.
# Time on Ballot: 3rd
Main Reason for Election: Saves machine
Explanation: Hoffman is the all-time NL leader in saves with 601 and is second in the category in MLB history only to Mariano Rivera. On top of this, the best reliever in the NL every year gets the "Trevor Hoffman NL Reliever of the Year Award." The fact that he wasn't a first-ballot Hall of Famer is seriously a travesty.
# Time on Ballot: 2nd
Main Reason for Election: One of the best all-around hitters of his generation
Explanation: Guerrero misses the first-ballot threshold in several typical categories of judgement, like hits and home runs, but then you realize he only played 16 seasons and you're just like "Wow." The nine-time All Star averaged 162 hits, 28 homers, and 94 RBIs a season. Oh, and did I mention he batted .318 lifetime, which makes him one of the top ten contact hitters in baseball since 1950?
# Time on Ballot: 9th
Main Reason for Election: The first great DH
Explanation: This is the guy for who I am the absolute strongest Hall of Fame advocate. Yes, he batted .312 lifetime and yes, he was a seven-time All Star. Both of those facts should already put him in Cooperstown, but sports analysts love to point out the fact that defensive statistics are important as well in Hall of Fame consideration and Martinez doesn't have those stats because he never played the field. But that's the thing: he was the first great DH, so the fact that anyone would even consider his fielding statistics to be an important piece of criteria for him getting into the Hall is straight up unfair. Much like Hoffman, the best DH in the MLB every year gets the "Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award" and the only hitter who's won the award more times than Martinez himself has (five times) is David Ortiz (seven times). If all of this isn't enough, Martinez, much like Chipper Jones, stayed with the Seattle Mariners for his entire career, becoming a shiny emerald in the Emerald City.
Who else should be in Cooperstown who's on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, quick shout out to my dad who is celebrating his birthday today. He's been checking over my blog posts and helping me grow Baseball with Matt ever since I started blogging, so happy birthday, Dad, and thank you for everything. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."