OK, a few idiots left him off their ballot because of the spitting incident. Now there is no excuse. One of the greatest second baseman of all time and best all around players of the 1990 (and a 2 time World Champion to boot) deserves to be in.
Maybe this is even more of an emotional pick than even Jack Morris, but man the Cobra was great. His first peak, in the late 1970s, he was arguably THE best hitter in the National League. And he had a cannon for an arm to boot. Then after his drug problems nearly won the MVP again. When you have two stretches about a decade apart of being among the elite, that should count for something.
PREDICTION: Sorry Cobra. Your support isn't strong enough.
I think he was oddly underrated during his career even though he was an MVP and a Gold Glove winner. And he will be strung along a la Andre Dawson and Jim Rice and Bert Blyleven in his Hall of Fame candidacy no doubt. Why do that to the classy Larkin? Vote him in!
A complicated candidacy. An MVP and frequent MVP contender and someone who put up big eye popping numbers. But he also did it in an era when he wasn't alone in eye popping numbers. It isn't fair, but he is a victim of "suspicion by his era." And he did get really really big and then got really really hurt.
PREDICTION: He falls short.
WOULD I VOTE FOR HIM: Not sure. I can be convinced either way.
At one point he sure looked like a lock for the Hall. But he seemed to be a classic compiler instead of a superstar. Now it will help his candidacy that his home run totals didn't balloon up and nor did he.
He was a steady producer, but was he an MVP? Or even in the conversation as one of the elites? It seems harsh, but this is the Hall of Fame we're talking about here.
PREDICTION: He comes up short but his defenders become more vocal.
WOULD I VOTE FOR HIM: Right now no. But I will listen, defenders. I changed my tune on Blyleven.
This is brutal for me because I was a big Lee Smith fan. I loved him on the Red Sox and elsewhere and thought he was a terrific pitcher.
But I am harsh on relievers. They are specialists and their job is to lock down big wins. He had two post season opportunities and came up short both times, losing critical games for the 1984 Cubs and the 1988 Red Sox.
Yeah, I am being mean. But what exactly is his great Hall of Fame moment?
PREDICTION: Doesn't come close to being elected.
WOULD I VOTE FOR HIM: I wish I could, but I can't.
He had the worst luck of any Yankee legend ever. Read it and weep. For people my age, Mattingly WAS the Yankees. He was arguably the most loved Yankee to never win a World Series ring as a player. (Bobby Murcer would be up there too.)
He had a 5 year peak where he was THE best player in the American League.
Is 5 years enough for Cooperstown?
PREDICTION: His support is fading.
WOULD I VOTE FOR HIM: No, but not because I am a Red Sox fan.
I was a big Edgar Martinez fan and felt he was as fearsome a hitter as you can expect in the clutch. But as a hitter specialist in a hitter crazed era, he needed to have awesome career numbers to justify the Hall of Fame. And sadly, he didn't reach any of them.
PREDICTION: No election for Edgar. WOULD I VOTE FOR HIM: I couldn't pull the trigger.