I’ve already done a brilliant and award-winning (not really) analysis of the 2021 Hall of Fame ballot. Now I will reveal my votes for the IBWAA Hall of Fame balloting. It really doesn’t count for anything, but it is an exercise I take reasonably seriously. Our ballot is the same as that inferior writers group except it does not include players we have already inducted. This year that is Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds (we are often ahead of those other guys). So here is my ballot:
He might be a dimwit and a blockhead, but I voted for Curt Schilling. If it weren’t for his Twitter feed, he would be in already. But Schilling was one of the best postseason pitchers ever. And his regular season stats are pretty good, too. With no worthy first-timers, he is almost certain to get in this year.
As always, I voted for the steroid fellows Gary Sheffield and Sammy Sosa. Again, I draw the line at if a player was ever suspended for PEDs. Sheffield and Sosa were not, so they deserve induction in my book. Neither actually will, though.
And then I voted for Billy Wagner, one of the most dominant relievers ever. Most people agree he was a better pitcher than Trevor Hoffman, who is in the Hall because he had 601 saves. His career ERA is 2.87, which is very good but pales in comparison to Wagner’s 2.31. In contrast, Mariano Rivera’s is 2.21. Wagner’s vote total has been building, so he might eventually get in.
After ignoring him for the past few years, I almost voted for Todd Helton. He has a compelling case — a .316 career average and several huge seasons. However, those seasons came at the end of the steroid era when such monster seasons were not uncommon. And they came in Colorado, which many voters (but not me) hold against him. His career also fell off a cliff after age 30. That’s a lot of minuses. I will revisit him next year, when I could see myself voting for him.
So that’s my ballot — just four guys.