The Hall of Fame announced Monday who the eight candidates are.
While the MLB offseason begins, there is other news in the baseball world Monday with the Hall of Fame Contemporary Era ballot.
In baseball, we have two different polls for electing players to the Hall of Fame. The most traditional is the BBWAA Hall of Fame voting which happens every year. Voters can select up to ten players that should be elected to Cooperstown. The players on the ballot must have 75% or more to achieve that milestone or 5%+ to appear in the next year’s ballot. Every player has 10 ballots to reach the necessary 75%.
If they don’t achieve that in the traditional way, they have a second chance through the Committee voting. Every three years, the Era Committee can select players who made the greatest impact on the game since 1980. The other years rotate with the Classic Baseball Era and Contemporary Baseball alongside managers, executives, and umpires.
In 2023, eight former players have another chance for immortality. Some of them are former Orioles players. Firstly, we’ll talk about them.
Schillling’s MLB debut was in an Orioles uniform in 1988. He was drafted by Boston in 1986 and came to Charm City in a trade with Brady Anderson for Mike Boddicker two years later. He played for Baltimore until 1990 until be traded to Houston alongside Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch in a trade that should be considered the worst in Orioles history.
Outside Baltimore, he had a successful career. His glory days were in Arizona and Boston, where he won three World Series (’01, ’04 and ’07). He played until 2008.
His numbers were pretty good: 3.46 ERA, 3261.0 IP, 3116 strikeouts, 127 ERA+, 3.23 FIP and 6x All-Star (5 in NL). His problem is his mouth and maybe we wouldn’t be talking about him here otherwise.
Raffy was the most successful player from this Committee ballot who put on an Orioles jersey. His career consisted in two Orioles stints (1994-98, 2004-05) and he entered the 3000-hit club playing for Baltimore.
But the second and last tenure with the O’s ended with a suspension after he failed a PED test in 2005. The former first baseman/designated hitter had great numbers: .288/.371/.555, 569 Home Runs, 1835 RBI, 1663 runs scored, 3020 hits, 132 OPS+, 4x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove and 2x Silver Slugger.
Regarding his suspension, check this post about him on ‘Call to the Pen’.
One of the most explosive players from the 90’s, Belle played most of his career in Cleveland. He spent his last two seasons in Baltimore and retired after the 2000 season. The outfielder played for 12 seasons and had a great MLB career by the numbers: .295/.369/.564, 381 Home Runs, 1239 RBI, 974 runs scored, 1726 hits, 144 OPS+, 5x All-Star and 5x Silver Slugger.
He’s a longshot to go to Cooperstown.
The other players
Barry Bonds: arguably the best hitter who ever played baseball, Bonds was marked by being considered a cheater. He possesses the all-time Home Run record (762) and hit 73 in a single season in 2001 and has other accolades like 7x MVP, 14x All-Star, 8x Gold Glove, 12x Silver Slugger… His name remained on the ballot for 10 years and nearly entered in the BBWAA voting (66.0% his best result in 2022).
Roger Clemens: arguably the best pitcher who ever played baseball, Clemens played for 24 seasons and had a masterful career (2x World Series, 7x Cy Young, 2x Triple Crown, 11x All-Star and 7x ERA title). Like Bonds, he’s marked by PED’s too.
Dale Murphy: a Braves legend, Murphy was the NL MVP in back-to-back seasons (’82 and ’83) and had a great career. He spent 15 years in HoF ballots, and his best result was in 2000, when he received 23.2%.
Don Mattlingly: another great player from the 80’s, Mattingly spent all his career with the Yankees (in dark years) and played only one playoff series in 1995. Jim Palmer said that Mattlingly should be in the HoF. The 1985 AL MVP had similarities with Murphy, and his best voting was in his first year of eligibility, with 28.2% in 2001.
Fred McGriff: ‘Crime Dog’ played until he was 40 years old. His best days were in Atlanta, playing for the 1995 World Series Champions. The former 1B was an excellent hitter and almost hit 500 Home Runs (493 in total). He spent 10 years on ballots, and his last appearance was his best result: 39.8%.
In your opinion, which of them should be elected to the Hall of Fame? The results will be announced on December 4th during the Winter Meetings.