We are in the midst of Hall of Fame season with all of the accompanying drama. My IBWAA ballot does not really carry such drama because our vote is largely ceremonial, but we take it seriously just the same. So here is my 2019 Hall of Fame ballot.
It should be noted Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina do not appear on our ballot because we have already honored them with 75% of our vote (I agree on the first two, not on the last two).
So without further ado, now here’s my ballot:
As far as the first-time guys, I obviously voted for Mariano Rivera, who will undoubtedly be unanimous in our vote, and might be in the real vote.
I also voted for Roy Halladay, which may be a surprise to some readers. After all, as recently as November 24, 2018, I wrote:
Halladay was an excellent pitcher but his career numbers do not necessarily scream “Cooperstown” to me.
I was ready to send my ballot away without him, but then I took another look and indeed, Halladay belongs in Cooperstown. His tragic passing almost ensures his first-ballot election, but he probably would have gotten in anyway; he was that dominant. Sorry for my earlier stance. I do make mistakes sometimes, but I guess I didn’t dig my heels in as deeply as the Jacob deGrom Cy Young thing. Those heels were in there deep!
The rest of my ballot included my annual vote for Fred McGriff. This is his last year on the ballot. I also voted for Bill Wagner again, as well as Curt Schilling, who dropped off my ballot last year but is now back.
I also voted for the remaining PED guys — Sammy Sosa and Gary Sheffield. If we voted Bonds and Clemens in, Sosa and Sheffield deserve it as well.
And that’s it — just seven players this year. Our ballot loosened up with Bonds and Clemens off, so the days of struggling to fit players in should be over.