Again the debate rages on about who should be in the MLB Hall of Fame.
If I had a chance to cast a ballot only two players would receive my vote; Rafael Palmeiro and Barry Larkin.
I have seen multiple posts and articles with writers saying they would vote for Barry Larkin, Alan Trammel, and Jack Morris.
It seems like nowadays we are so enamoured with numbers, WAR, eqA, ERA+ that the focused is lost on what the Hall of Fame is. The numbers are important, but a decision can be made without creating a diagram.
The Hall of Fame is for the best baseball players in history. If there is any debate whether the player is good enough, he shouldn’t be inducted. In most cases you don’t need to see the numbers to figure out the calibre and worthiness of a player. Most baseball minds are aware of this. Around this time of year it’s almost as if we throw names out there for the sake of argument to see what reaction you can get.
A lot of baseball is about feel and in this case Barry Larking sounds like a Hall of Famer. So does Rafael Palmeiro. I say this because Larkin was, aside from Ozzie Smith, the best shortstop in the National League during his time, while Alan Trammell-whose numbers are comparable-was not the best shortstop in the American League.
Common sense says Robin Yount, Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Fernandez were on par or better than Trammell. If Trammell gets serious consideration, so does Fernandez.
It sounds like a contradict myself but its simple. Larkin was the best in the National League for almost 20 years with numbers that match up favourably with many inductees. Trammell was at a disadvantage playing in the American League with players who were better, plus it doesn’t help that Larkin’s numbers surpass his in many categories.
My vote for Palmeiro doesn’t go without knowing that I’ll take a lot of heat, but he played in an era that will forever be tainted. Players used enhancers, steroids, whatever else to gain an advantage over the competition. He cheated and was caught, however that era is full of players that were assumed to be cheating or were caught and are coming up for their shot at the Hall; Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Roger Clemens and the Barry Bonds. All of these players were the best of the best and will be in the Hall one day regardless of what they did or didn’t do.
Jack Morris was the best pitcher of his decade; but when compared to his Hall counterparts, his numbers are not up to snuff. The question to ask is was the 1980’s short on pitching? Larkin’s statistics are comparable to Luke Appling, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, and better than the likes of Ozzie Smith.
Palmeiro will not get enough votes (still taking his lumps) but Larking will. Trammell has been on the ballot for over ten years, and nothing has changed. His numbers have not gotten any better. Morris is pushing over a decade and has finally crept up into 50%.
We seem to make things more difficult than we should, when all it takes is hearing a name; it makes sense or it doesn’t.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective
Devon and is an Associate member of The Professional Writers Association of Canada, is a featured writer on Examiner.com and member of the Yarbarker Network,
Devon is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies, and is now an independent scout.
He is also and author for the Business of Sports Network, which includes the Biz of Baseball, the Biz of Football, the Biz of Basketball and the Biz of Hockey. He is also a contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network. He has continued to further his knowledge by completing Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class and interning with The Football Outsiders.
Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and facebook