The 2014 Expansion Era Ballot: Not What I Hoped For

Nov 7, 2013 by Adam Darowski

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article anticipating the 2014 Expansion Era Hall of Fame ballot. Earlier this week, the Baseball Hall of Fame made the official announcement.

The candidates are:

Dave Concepcion, Bobby Cox, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Tony LaRussa, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons, George Steinbrenner, Joe Torre

Harrumph.

The managers—Torre, Cox, and LaRussa—were a given. I’ll add two quick comments, though:

This is probably the year Marvin Miller finally makes it in, considering he died after his last attempt (where he came one vote shy) and inducting him now would go against his wishes (something the various Veterans Committees seem to enjoy doing to Miller). I worry about inducting Miller as an executive, though. I’d like to see the old “Pioneer” label revived for him (and others like Frank Jobe and Bill James). I don’t want every labor executive, surgeon, and sabermetrician to get into the Hall. But I’d like to see the pioneers honored.

As for the players… again, harrumph.

This was an opportunity to include worthy new candidates like Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Willie Randolph, and Rick Reuschel. It was an opportunity to right the wrongs of leaving Bobby Grich, Graig Nettles, Buddy Bell, Reggie Smith, and other deserving players off the last ballot.

None of that happened. Instead, we have six players on the ballot—four of whom were on the last one. There are two new candidates—Parker (fresh off his 15th year on the BBWAA ballot) and Quisenberry (while I don’t feel relievers of Quiz’s level are Hall-worthy, he’s no less qualified than HOFers Bruce Sutter and Rollie Fingers). While I wouldn’t mind either Parker or Quisenberry being elected, I think there are many better options.

Simmons and John are on the ballot again. I’m fine with that, as I feel both are deserving. Simmons never got a fair shake from the BBWAA and he deserves an extended look. I feel John is a better Vererans pick than a BBWAA pick because his worthiness goes beyond his borderline career.

But Garvey and Concepcion? Again? Haven’t the voters said enough times that these guys don’t belong? Can’t we give new players like Grich and Evans a chance instead? Garvey and Concepcion were great players. I just don’t feel (like many voters, obviously) that they were Hall of Fame material.

If you’re curious who picked the ballot:

The 11-member Historical Overview Committee is comprised of: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain/MLB.com); Glenn Schwarz (San Francisco Chronicle); Claire Smith (ESPN) and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

Who would I vote for? Torre, Cox, Miller, LaRussa, Simmons, John.

Who do I think will get in this year? Torre, Cox, Miller. Maybe LaRussa gets in—and I hope he does—but it will be tough to get three managers in on one ballot. Plus, the unpredictability of the steroid effect makes me wonder if LaRussa will have to wait a bit. Again, I don’t agree with it, I’m just trying to guess what will happen… which is really hard these days.

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