The National Baseball Hall of Fame will soon make the announcement of their 2018 class. The following is another bite at the apple with respect to our take on who would be on our ballots this year.
If you’re a card-carrying member of the Baseball Writers of America, you simply cannot compose a statistical argument against including Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa on your Hall of Fame ballot. Every time you leaf through the stats sheet, the heft of their combined 1,371 regular season home runs, 3,663 RBIs, 3,702 runs scored, 220.8 career WAR and eight MVP awards smacks you squarely in the face. There’s a couple of wheelbarrows filled with other honors, awards and accolades to rummage through as well.
They aren’t alone. Manny Ramirez posted numbers worthy of the Hall, as did Roger Clemens.
Good thing I’m not a member of the BBWAA, because I’m not including any of them on my fictional ballot this year. Babe Ruth may have been a sloppy, hot dog gulping, womanizing drunk, but those were fundamental personal issues and/or character flaws. Bonds, Sosa, Ramirez and Clemens were purposely and willfully deceptive, so I’ll take a pass. Known cheaters need not apply.
I’m in opposite corners on this issue with my colleague Colby Patnode, who wrote a good piece detailing who he’d vote for — and why — were he given the chance. Although we disagree on Bonds, Sosa, and Clemens, we intersect on a number of worthy candidates.
With that said, let’s start with my top choice, which not-so-coincidentally happens to be the same for both of us.