How will the Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2019 shakeup?
After one of the largest Baseball Hall of Fame classes in recent years learned of their election to Cooperstown, we take a look ahead at the class of 2019.
With only a couple first ballot names that’ll draw consideration, opportunities for those who have waited may finally arrive.
Here’s my early Baseball Hall of Fame 2019 ballot, featuring three first-time players.
- Roy Halladay, 1st year
- Mariano Rivera, 1st year
- Mike Mussina, 6th year
- Todd Helton, 1st year
- Curt Schilling, 7th year
- Edgar Martinez, 10th year
- Omar Vizquel, 2nd year
- Larry Walker, 9th year
- Fred McGriff, 10th year
Others I considered: Lance Berkman, Juan Pierre, Roy Oswalt, Billy Wagner, Michael Young, Jeff Kent
This is the first time I’ve ever put Mike Mussina on an unofficial Hall of Fame ballot, but he stands out after I looked at my final spot. That came down to Kent, Pierre, Berkman, and Mussina, who each brought something special to the table. Hopefully, Pierre gets the 5% thanks to his 614 stolen bases and a batting average just under .300, both better than Ozzie Smith.
If Smith can get into the Hall with those numbers and his defense leading the way, then Pierre should have a shot with similar offensive numbers and over 600 stolen bases.
The same argument that put Smith in Cooperstown will ultimately help Vizquel, who received a surprising 37% of the vote in his first year. It won’t be long until the 11-time Gold Glove winner gets a plaque in the Hall of Fame.
Berkman played on so many bad Astros teams but still put up strong numbers with 366 home runs, 422 doubles, and six All-Star appearances. Injuries limited his career and was limited to playing 155 games just 4four times in his 15-year career.
The Coors Field effect doesn’t hurt Walker or Helton for me, similar to how playing in smaller ballparks shouldn’t hurt MVP voting each year. Both are the faces of the expansion franchise and have posted incredible offensive numbers.
Mussina and Schilling both should have gotten in a couple of years ago, but they’re classic Hall of Fame arguments for various reasons.
McGriff and Martinez are in their final year on the ballot and both should have gotten in years ago. Martinez is a top-two designated hitter of all-time with David Ortiz, and McGriff was one of the best clean power hitters of his era.
Rivera and Halladay also got first ballot votes for me thanks to their long periods of dominance and humility. The all-time saves leader Rivera has five World Series rings and nine seasons with at least 40 saves.
Halladay’s tragic death could help his case, but ultimately he is a Hall of Famer, regardless of last years events. Throwing a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season, becoming, at the time, just the fifth player to win a Cy Young in both leagues. While his career wasn’t as long as it could have been thanks to arm injuries late in his career, Doc won 203 games and was the last workhorse pitcher of his kind, leading the league in innings pitched four times.
And just to go even crazier and further, the 2020 Hall of Fame ballot will likely feature Derek Jeter, Cliff Lee, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and Alfonso Soriano.