Friday, March 1, 2013

Latinos on the Hall of Fame Ballot

Now that the uproar of this past Hall of Fame election has died down, I want to focus on the Latino ballplayers that are currently eligible for the Hall.

The last Latino to get enshrined into Cooperstown was Roberto Alomar in 2011 in his second year of eligibility with 90.0% of the vote. So who is the next one to be inducted.

Before I go into who is next allow me to elaborate in who can get elected to the Hall of Fame. To be eligible for induction, players must have spent 10 years in MLB and must be five years removed from their playing das. If a player receives less than 5 percent of the vote, he is no longer eligible. In addition, if a player appears on the ballot 15 times and does not reach the necessary 75% then he is no longer eligible for enshrinement. Now that I got the rules out of the way, here is who I think will be the next Latino(s) to get in the Hall of Fame.

I would have to say that the next one to get in is Pedro Martinez who will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in the year 2015 with Vladimir Guerrero and Ivan Rodriguez in 2017. Vlad just announced that he will be attempting to make a comeback this season. If he happens to play one game for a MLB team then his first year for eligibility would be pushed back. I feel these three players are all first ballot caliber players. Manny Ramirez is also eligible for induction in 2017 but with his two positive tests and suspensions for violation of the MLB Drug Policy who can really say if he ever gets in. Talk of positive tests and suspensions brings me to Rafael Palmiero.

Palmiero is a member of a rare club of one of four players to reach BOTH the 500 Home Run and 3000 hit plateaus. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray are the other three and are members of the Hall of Fame. I believe that Palmiero will not be joining them since I feel that this will be his last year on the ballot. Look at his showing in the last three years:
11.0% in 2011
12.6% in 2012
8.8% in 2013
He lost ground in a year that saw first year eligible candidates Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio not get elected. Take into consideration that next year's first ballot eligibles include Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina among others. Next year will prove to be the deepest Hall of Fame ballot ever and the voters can vote for up to 10 players. I really have a hard time seeing Palmiero getting more than 8% let alone the necessary 5% to stay on the ballot.

The other Latino who is still on the ballot after multiple years is Edgar Martinez. Martinez is considered by many as being the best Designated Hitter of all time. He has been much more consistent when it comes to his standing on the Hall of Fame ballot. In his first year Martinez received:
36.2% in 2010
32.9% in 2011
36.5% in 2012
35.9% in 2013
Given the fact that next year is a stacked ballot, Martinez might drop a bit in terms of percentage but is in good shape to recoup his losses and even move up closer to the necessary 75% within the next five to ten years.

Sammy Sosa received 12.5% in his first year and who can tell where he'll rank in the next few years. Bernie Williams received 3.2% of the vote this year and is no longer on the ballot.

So what do you gals and guys think. Agree? Disagree? Leave me a comment and let me know what your thoughts are.

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