Insider: 2013 MLB Hall Of Fame Ballot

Barry Bonds leads a class on newcomers on the ballot.

Cooperstown, NY. For non-sports fans it’s just another town, for those that have even heard of it. For the rest of us sports breathing die-hards, it ‘s home to one of the greatest monuments in the United States – The Baseball Hall of Fame.

Wednesday afternoon we find out the newest members of the baseball world heading to Cooperstown. Voters have their hands full this year; the 2013 ballot may be the most compelling, ever.

Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, and Lee Smith are several of the names heading the class of returning nominees. It’s the class of newcomers that has the baseball world abuzz. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mike Piazza are all looking to become first-ballot hall-of-famers.

I don’t have a vote for the Hall of Fame but if I did, you can be sure it would look something like this…

List of Nominees (# years on ballot)

1. Dale Murphy (15)

2. Jack Morris (14)

3. Don Mattingly (13)

4. Alan Trammell (12)

5. Lee Smith (11)

6. Mark McGwire (7)

7. Tim Raines (6)

8. Edgar Martinez (4)

9. Fred McGriff (4)

10. Jeff Bagwell (3)

11. Larry Walker (3)

12. Raphael Palmeiro (3)

13. Bernie Williams (2)

14. Barry Bonds (1)

15. Roger Clemens (1)

16. Mike Piazza (1)

17. Curt Schilling (1)

18. Kenny Lofton (1)

19. Craig Biggio (1)

20. Sammy Sosa (1)

21. Steve Finley (1)

22. David Wells (1)

23. Reggie Sanders (1)

24. Julio Franco (1)

25. Shawn Green (1)

26. Jeff Cirillo (1)

27. Woody Williams (1)

28. Rondell White (1)

29. Ryan Klesko (1)

30. Aaron Sele (1)

31. Roberto Hernandez (1)

32. Royce Clayton (1)

33. Jeff Conine (1)

34. Mike Stanton (1)

35. Sandy Alomar (1)

36. Todd Walker (1)

37. Jose Mesa (1)

Now if you’re anything like me you may have noticed something once you were done reading the list of nominees; some of these players  are a longshot to ever reach the Hall of Fame. I’m not going to go into great lengths about it but you know who you are; Royce Clayton.

While many of these players have put up great numbers, only 10 players are allowed to be selected per ballot. While I don’t agree with that rule, it’s not in my control, so I will simply abide by it for the sake of this list.

Many people are going to automatically rule out players like McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, Bonds, and Clemens because their names are, and forever will be, linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs. I’m a firm believer that we’ll never know the truth; if that’s the case we should be rewarding the players for what they accomplished, period. For all we know there were as many pitchers that took PED’s as there were batters – baseball is a game of cat-and-mouse between the pitcher and the batter. Why are the batters taking most of the blame?  The debate may go on forever but if I had a vote, many of the players in question would be inducted.

Here are my 10 selections for the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

Jack Morris – Lee Smith – Jeff Bagwell – Edgar Martinez – Mark McGwire – Raphael Palmeiro – Sammy Sosa – Roger Clemens – Craig Biggio – Barry Bonds

It’s worth mentioning that since 1947,  the Baseball Writers Association of America has never voted in more than two players in a single year. I believe that many of the first ballot nominees are going to compete so closely for votes it will ultimately prevent them from reaching the 75% of the votes needed; similar to when two players from the same team are nominated for the MVP award.

When the announcements are finally made I expect just one player to be elected into the Hall of Fame – Jack Morris.