The Baseball Hall of Fame continuously modifies its method of electing players from the Veteran’s Committee and this past year saw another foolish enterprise undertaken by the powers at Cooperstown. They split the Veteran’s ballot into two categories: players who debuted before WWII and players who debuted after the war. The two ballots consisted of ten players apiece, making a whopping total of twenty players for possible enshrinement. Of course, the names on the ballots were selected by “experts.” Of the many players in the game’s history with a claim on the Hall of Fame, only twenty were chosen for consideration and of the twenty many wouldn’t have made my final ballot.
The Pre-World War II ballot consisted of Bad Bill Dahlen (a legit Hall of Fame candidate), Wes Ferrell (vastly overrated former pitcher: he gave up more hits than innings worked and also walked more batters than he struck out. Only Ted Lyons has done this among Hall of Fame pitchers and Ted’s ERA was 40 points lower), Joe Gordon (another vastly overrated ballplayer who has the New York media to thank for his election), Sherry Magee (good but not Hall material), Carl Mays (the notorious headhunter who killed Indians shortstop Ray Chapman with a pitched ball), Allie Reynolds (whose short career hinders him),Vern Stephens (a power-hitting shortstop who was better than many of his Hall of Fame peers), Mickey Vernon (two-time AL batting champ), Bucky Walters (solid pitcher for the Reds) and Deacon White (Deadball Era catcher who wasn’t as good as Buck Ewing or King Kelly).
The Post WWII ballot consisted of Dick Allen (solid hitter but notorious hothead), Gil Hodges (Brooklyn’s run producing 1B), Jim Kaat (who pitched a million years – don’t let his numbers fool you, he is the Rusty Staub of pitching), Tony Oliva (another fellow with a short career – his HOF position peers all have monstrous stats), Al Oliver (a decent hitter who also played a long time), Vada Pinson (who should be in the Hall), Ron Santo (a great third baseman and legit Hall of Famer), Luis Tiant (a fringe-dweller, maybe he’s worthy, but I haven’t convinced myself yet), Joe Torre (who belongs in the Hall for his playing), Maury Wills (strictly singles hitter with wheels).
I have constructed my own ballot and it doesn’t mirror the “experts” ballot that well. From the pre-WWII roster, I selected: Tommy Bridges P-DET, Lave Cross 3B-PHI, Bill Dahlen SS-CHI, Jake Daubert 1B-BRO, Dom DiMaggio OF-BOS, Jim McCormick P-CLV, Buddy Myer 2B-WAS, Bob Shawkey P-NY, Cecil Travis SS-WAS, George Van Haltren OF-NY
The post-WWII roster consists of: Ken Boyer 3B-STL, Del Ennis OF-PHI, Ted Kluszewski 1B-CIN, Mickey Lolich P-DET, Billy Pierce P-CHI, Vada Pinson OF-CIN, Ron Santo 3B-CHI, Ted Simmons C-STL, Luis Tiant P-BOS, Joe Torre C-STL
* of the post WWII ballot, players still on the writers ballot (such as Bert Blyleven and Andre Dawson) can not be selected for the Veteran’s ballot.
Construct your own ballot and post it here under the comments section.