In December of each year, the baseball Hall of Fame announces their inductees, with fans and players alike waiting with baited breath for the voting results.
In recent years, Hall of Fame voting has been somewhat skewed due to several players who were knownto have used performance enhancing drugs who have been effectively blackballed by voters.
For instance, Rafael Palmeiro, who is only one of four players who have collected 3,000 hits and 500 home runs in their careers, only received 11 percent of votes in his first year of eligibility. Slugger Mark McGwire only received 19.8 percent in his fifth year of eligibility.
Since both Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds have both been linked to performance enhancing drugs, it’s highly unlikely that voters will give them any shot at Hall of Fame glory when they are both eligible within the next couple of years.
With that in mind, we will take a shot at who we believe will be the next 5 players who will be voted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Last year, in just his second year of eligibility, long-time Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin received 62.1 percent of the vote, just 12.9 percent shy of induction. This year, Larkin will likely gain enough votes for induction.
Larkin was a 12-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner and won the National League’s Most Valuable Player award in 1995.
Have to say I’m not quite sure why Jack Morris hasn’t been voted in as of yet, but he will not be denied. Gaining 53.5 percent last year in his 12th year of eligibility, Morris has steadily climbed in voting percentage in recent years. With no clear cut inductees that are eligible for the first time, Morris could
gain additional votes this coming December.
Morris was a 20-game three times during his career, and helped lead three different teams to World Series victories (1984 Detroit Tigers, 1991 Minnesota Twins, 1992 Toronto Blue Jays).
While the Hall of Fame class of 2012 does not boast sure-fire inductees in their first year of eligibility, the 2013 class more than makes up for it.
While Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are likely to be snubbed in their first year of eligibility, Houston Astros’ favorite son Craig Biggio will be hard to keep out in his first year on the ballot.
One of only 28 players to amass 3,000 hits during his career, Biggio was only the ninth player in history to do it with the same team. Biggio also switched positions twice during his career—moving from catcher to second base to center field, and winning four Gold Glove awards along the way.
Originally a 62nd round draft choice by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988, and selected more as a favor to manager Tommy Lasorda, catcher Mike Piazza quickly rose to prominence among the ranks of catchers, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1993, being selected to the All-Star team 12 times, and becoming the greatest hitting catcher in history, with 427 home runs and a .308 lifetime average.
Piazza hit over 30 home runs in a season nine times, and twice reached the 40 home run plateau.
Lee Smith has been on the ballot for the past nine years, never gaining more than 47.3 percent of the vote.
However, it will be difficult to keep Smith out of the Hall forever. With 478 career saves, Smith ranks third all-time, behind Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. Five other relief pitchers have been voted into the Hall of Fame with far fewer saves than Smith (Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Rich Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Hoyt Wilhelm), and Smith led the league in saves four times with three different teams.
Do you agree with these predictions? Who do you think the next 5 Hall of Fame inductees will be?
Jeff Herbst has had a passion for sports ever since he could first walk and enjoys writing in his spare time. He works with Phoenix Bats, a company that creates world-class wood baseball bats and other fungo bats for amateur and professional ball players around the world.