In addition to the six mentioned the last time, there are two dozen other players on the Hall of Fame ballot:
Returning candidates are Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, Andy Pettite, Tim Hudson, Billy Wagner, Jeff Kent, Mark Buehrle, Todd Helton, Manny Ramirez, Torii Hunter, Scott Rolen, Gary Sheffield, and Bobby Abreu.
The other newcomers are Carl Crawford, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Tim Lincecum, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Jake Peavy, A.J. Pierzynski, Jimmy Rollins and Mark Teixeira.
All deserving of the nomination, but it’s hard to see anyone who clearly is a Hall of Famer.
Carl Crawford was one of the best base stealers in the majors during his 15-year career. The four-time all-star led the American League in stolen bases four times and finished with 480 steals overall.
Prince Fielder led the Brewers to the playoffs in 2008 and 2011. The six-time all-star was one of the best power hitters of his era, hitting 319 home runs in 12 seasons with the Brewers, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers, and finishing in the top four of MVP voting three times.
Ryan Howard was the 2005 NL rookie of the year and the 2006 NL MVP, and led the Phillies to the World Series in 2008 and 2009. Over his career, Howard hit 382 home runs and led the majors in that category twice.
Tim Lincecum led the NL in strikeouts in three straight seasons from 2008 to 2010 and won consecutive Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009. He was a key part of the Giants’ championship teams in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Justin Morneau was the 2006 AL MVP and made four consecutive All-Star Games from 2007 to 2010.
Joe Nathan pitched in Minnesota for seven seasons and became a shutdown reliever, racking up 260 of his 377 career saves over that stretch with just a 2.16 ERA. That’s good enough to make him the team’s all-time saves leader.
Jonathan Papelbon made four all-star appearances in seven seasons with the Red Sox, then two more after signing with the Phillies before the 2012 season. His 368 career saves rank 10th all-time.
Jake Peavy ranks in the Padres’ top 10 in ERA (3.29), wins (92) and games started (212). In 2007, he won the NL Cy Young Award, leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts.
A.J. Pierzynski was one of baseball’s more durable catchers during a 19-year career with seven clubs. He played 2,059 games and made two all-star appearances, winning a Silver Slugger along the way. In 2005, his first year with the White Sox, he guided their pitching staff to a World Series win.
Jimmy Rollins was the 2007 NL MVP, and won four Gold Gloves over his 17-year career. Like teammate Ryan Howard, he was a key part of the Phillies pennant-winning teams in 2008 and 2009.
Mark Teixera hit a total of 409 home runs over his 14 seasons. He finished second in the AL MVP voting in 2009, when his 39 home runs led the league.
I suppose if I have votes to give out, they’d go to A-Rod, Ortiz, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, Ryan Howard, and Tim Lincecum. Maybe Jeff Kent and Gary Sheffield. It’s just not an exciting group this year. They may have to settle for the Hall of the Very Good.
The real interest is in the two Veteran’s Committee ballots….