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Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice were officially inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame representing the Class of 2009. Both players had distinguished and celebrated careers. Over 21,000 fans attended the induction ceremonies. Focus is now shifting towards players eligible for 2010.
The Baseball Writers Association of America decides who gets in and who does not. We're entering the era of how this group will handle the steroids generation of players eligible for consideration. My personal feelings is to keep each and everyone out. This is a subject to be debated intensely in years to come. In some cases, a handful of players have been suspected of doping without any concrete evidence. How the BBWAA handles suspected players remains to be seen. Observing how Mark McGwire receives only a few token votes then it's safe to say most suspected players will be on the outside looking in as those who played within the rules, or with stricter moral's, earn their stripes. Writers can select up to 10 players on their ballots. Players need to be named on 75% of ballots to get in. Any player receiving less than 5% is dropped from future ballots.
2010 class includes returning players and a few new one's for consideration. Here's the list:
(First time players on ballot) - Paul Abbott, Roberto Alomar, Kevin Appier, Andy Ashby, Danny Bautista, Brian Boehringer, Darren Bragg, Dave Burba, Ellis Burks, Greg Colbrunn, Mike Fetters, Brook Fordyce, Andrés Galarraga, Karim Garcia, Tom Goodwin, Ricky Gutierrez, Jimmy Haynes, Pat Hentgen, Sterling Hitchcock, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, Ray Lankford, Barry Larkin, Curt Leskanic, Josias Manzanillo, Edgar Martinez, Brent Mayne, Fred McGriff, Mark McLemore, Shane Reynolds, David Segui, Scott Service, Chris Stynes, Scott Sullivan, Todd Van Poppel, John Vander Wal, Robin Ventura, Fernando Viña, Turk Wendell and Todd Zeile.
(Returning players) - Harold Baines, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Tim Raines, Lee Smith and Alan Trammell.
As you can see 2010 is a loaded ballot. Plenty of deserving players on this ballot. Whether or not they gain entrance as first timer is yet to be seen. Here are my picks for the Class of 2010:
Official BBWAA results will be announced in November. Debates will soon start raging on blogs around the country.
Dawson (493 career HR) played hurt throughout his career. He was a class act on and off the field. His stats speak for themselves. Not sure what's holding up his nomination.
Blyleven has been a controversial nominee for years. He pitched admirably for many subpar teams and ranks 5th all time in strikeouts. He's eligibility has been denied for years. Many point to his 287 wins being less than the "auto" nomination of 300. Those nay-sayers fail to appreciate he pitched many years for poor teams.
Alomar was a tremendous talent who helped revolutionize how 2B was played. Outstanding fielder, clutch hitter and perrenial All Star. Might become one of the few 1st timers elected.
McGriff was steady as they come. His 493 home runs seem most impressive considering he played clean while others around him were juicing up. A true model of consistency. Deserving 1st timer will get many votes.
Martinez was DH extraordinaire. He may have to wait since DH became his primary position but there's little arguing with his hitting prowess. He'll probably have to wait a few years to get in. He's another 1st timer on my hypothetical ballot.
Let the debate begin. Who would get your vote from this 2010 ballot?
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