The 2010 Hall of Fame Ballot and Veteran's Committee Ballots are out there now. Obviously, I do not have a vote in these, but I wanted to look at the players that have played part of their Major League careers with the Red Sox.
Here's the Veteran's Committee Ballot:
No Red Sox. I hope to see Ted Simmons get in from these names.
And the main ballot:
First the Red Sox:
I touched on Baerga a little bit earlier on this blog. After his first six seasons, Baerga looked like a potential Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, his career fell off of a cliff after that and so did his Hall chances. If he had not declined so dramatically he might have had a shot. I think he will disappear off of the ballot in this, his first year.
John Olerud is a potential sneaky candidate. His 17 year career was not filled with excellent seasons, although he did have a few. He quietly went about his business, which was mostly spent getting on base however he needed. His career OBP was .398, pretty impressive. Olerud was also a very good defensive first baseman. I think his career could get lost based on the fact that his power numbers were nowhere close to typical first base numbers. He played only part of one season with the Red Sox, but he still had a lot left and played very well for the Sox. He could go either way. He could drop off after this year, or he could build in voters minds to eventual enshrinement. Time will tell.
I planned to devote a whole post to Smith, but this will do. I think Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame. What has kept him out has been the fact that the Hall voters are not sure what to do with closers yet. The only closers in are Goose Gossage, Dennis Eckersley, Hoyt Wilhelm, Bruce Sutter, and Rollie Fingers, all of whom offered more than just one inning a game saves.
Smith was at the forefront of the revolution of closers and held the saves record for years. He was an absolutely dominating closer. He racked up nearly a strikeout per inning for his career, had a 3.03 career ERA, and saved 478 games. Of course that number has been dwarfed by both Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera since, so his case suffers in comparison.
I would like to see Smith in, and I think he could get in eventually. But it may take until the Veterans Committee.
-I predict Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Jeff Bagwell will get in this year.
-Bagwell, Juan Gonzalez, and Charles Johnson all spent a brief time period as Boston Red Sox, though none made it into any games.
-I think Alan Trammell, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, and Larry Walker will all make it eventually.
-Kirk Reuter and Lenny Harris will not get a single vote.