My weekly opinions, observations and rants about some Canadian baseball stories:
Just so that I’m on the record prior to the announcement of the National Baseball Hall Fame inductees on January 5, my prediction is that Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar will be the only two candidates elected by the baseball writers in 2011.
Highly respected baseball scribe, Peter Gammons, made a convincing Hall of Fame case for former Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell on MLB.com yesterday. And when Gammons writes, people tend to listen. Here’s a link to his article: http://is.gd/jDUiL
Jack Morris and Fred McGriff are two former Jays that won’t be elected this year but deserve to be honoured in Cooperstown in the future.
Tim Raines, Larry Walker and Lee Smith are three former Expos that are Hall of Fame worthy, but are unlikely to be elected in 2011.
John Olerud, Al Leiter, Raul Mondesi and Benito Santiago are the other ex-Jays being considered. They had fine careers, but are unlikely to be named on the requisite five per cent of writers’ ballots, and their names will likely be dropped from the ballot after this year. Marquis Grissom and Kirk Rueter are two former Expos that are likely to suffer the same fate.
If I had a vote, here’s the ballot I would cast (Rules stipulate that you can name up to 10 candidates on your ballot): Blyleven, Alomar, Barry Larkin, Bagwell, Walker, McGriff, Raines, Morris, Edgar Martinez and Olerud.
Do I really think Olerud is a Hall of Famer? No, but this would be my way of honouring Johnny O for his perseverance, productivity and pleasantness.
It kills me not to vote for Dale Murphy, whom I idolized throughout my childhood, but if I look at his statistics objectively, he falls just short of Hall of Fame credentials.
I was disappointed to learn that Port Hope, Ont., native Paul Quantrill was eligible to be included on the 2011 ballot but was left off. The rubber-armed right-hander holds the Canadian record for games pitched (841), led the big leagues in appearances for four consecutive seasons (2001 to 2004) and was an all-star in 2001. He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this past summer. If Kirk Rueter, Lenny Harris, Bobby Higginson and Charles Johnson deserve to be on the ballot, so does Quantrill.