Sunday, December 3, 2017

My IBWAA Hall Of Fame Induction Votes For 2018

by Ernie Paicopolos, Editor-In-Chief

Once again this year, both myself and International Editor Mark Lawrence are honored to have a Hall of Fame vote via our membership in the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA). This year's IBWAA ballot does not include either Vladimir Guerrero or Edgar Martinez —since they have already been honored for induction by IBWAA (but not yet by the MLB HOF). While we can choose up to 15 players to vote for, I decided to limit my voting to six: Chipper Jones, Fred McGriff, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Jim Thome, and Omar Vizquel.

Jones is probably the only slam-dunk choice—likely making the Hall in his first year of eligibility. The switch-hitter's career numbers are indeed impressive: .303 average, 468 home runs, 1,512 walks, 1,623 RBI in over 19 seasons with the Braves.

McGriff, 'The Crime Dog', finished his career with 493 HRs—and led both leagues in dingers (AL in 1989, NL in 1992). The five-time All-Star ended with 2,490 hits and 1,550 RBIs.

Mussina, despite pitching 8 seasons for the Yankees, was the consummate professional hurler. His career .638 winning percentage tells you a lot about his value—as he finished with 270 wins. Six times he finished in the Top Five in Cy Young voting. In addition to his five All-Star selections, he won seven Gold Gloves fielding his position.

Schilling—do we really have to justify this? His arrival in Boston directly led to the end of Boston's 86-year championship drought. He is a three-time World Series champ (MVP in 2001) and a six-time All-Star. His career post-season marks tell it all—11-2 (.846 winning percentage).

Thome, one of the most feared hitters of his generation, clouted 612 HRs over his stellar 22-year career. He hit 40 or more HRs six times—and also had a career OPS of .956 (19th all-time).

Vizquel, who amazingly won 11 Gold Gloves at SS, is tied for the top all-time fielding percentage at his position (.985). In addition to his defense, he hit a more than respectable .272—with almost 3,000 hits (2,877).