Today will be the discussion of players who will be appearing on their first HOF ballot since their retirement. Gwynn and Ripken are sure to be elected on the first time. As much as I like the guy, the congressional testimony sure did seem to hurt Big Mac's chances.
Harold Baines - Baines came very close to 3,000 hits, finishing up with 2,866 hits in his career and 384 home runs. Baines went to 6 all-star games. It's going to be close. If he's not elected next year, he will be eventually.
Derek Bell - Very doubtful. He's likely to get a few votes but he'll get less than 5% needed to move on to 2008.
Dante Bichette - Despite four all-star selections, I don't like his chances of being elected.
Bobby Bonilla - He finished his career with over 2,000 hits and 287 home runs. Bonilla was selected for six all-star games but it's doubtful he'll enter baseball immortality.
Jeff Brantley - Nope, the current ESPN analyst does not get selected.
Jay Buhner - He just doesn't have the numbers. If he gets any votes, it will be for writers of teams that he played for and Kentucky writers as he was born in Louisville.
Ken Caminiti - It was announced post-humously that he used drugs during his career. Three all-star games and an MVP career won't get him elected.
Jose Canseco - Canseco is an unlikely candidate to get elected. He was less than forty home runs shy of 500 but he's admitted that he used steroids. The HOF has no steroid policy but a lot of writers are starting to put that in play. Nevertheless, he was the 1986 ROY and 1988 MVP, and went to several all-star games.
Eric Davis - Two all-star selections and 3 gold gloves just won't be enough.
Tony Fernandez - Finished with 2,276 hits, 4 gold gloves, and five all-star games. It's unlikely that he'll get elected.
Tony Gwynn - Gwynn is definitely going to be elected. He finished his San Diego Padres career with 3,141 hits and .338 batting average despite an abbreviated final two seasons. In 1994, before the strike, he was batting .394 through 110 games. Gwynn was selected to play in 15 all-star games.
Darryl Hamilton - Will get less than 5% of the votes.
Pete Harnisch - One all-star selection will not be enough.
Charlie Hayes - Won't get 5% of votes.
Glenallen Hill - Less than 5% of votes.
Ken Hill - Less than 5% of votes.
Stan Javier - Less than 5% of votes.
Wally Joyner - He'll get some votes due to his 2,000 hits but it's not going to be enough.
Ramon Martinez - Less than 5% of the votes.
Mark McGwire - McGwire and Sosa revitalized baseball in 1998 when they were both chasing Roger Maris for the single season record of 61 home runs. I like McGwire and I think he should be elected. He finished his two-team career with 583 home runs, including two seasons where he led the league. He finished his career with 12 selections to the all-star game, and was the recipient of the 1987 ROY in the AL. He has the numbers but his being associated with the steroid era hurts him. If he doesn't get in next year, he'll get inducted eventually.
Paul O’Neill - 2,105 hits and 281 home runs are unlikely to be enough. However, he was on five world series teams and went to five all-star games also.
Gregg Olson - He'll get less than 5% of the votes.
Cal Ripken Jr. - Like Gwynn, he'll be a lock. The Iron Man finished his career playing for the same team his whole life: The Baltimore Orioles. In 21 seasons, he hit 3,184 hits while batting .276. Ripken went to 19 consecutive all-star games. He played in over 2,600 consecutive games.
Bret Saberhagen - Three all-star games and two AL Cy Young's might get him in but it won't be on his first ballot.
Jeff Shaw - His 203 saves won't be enough.
Kevin Tapani - Less than 5% of the votes
Devon White - Three all-star selections and seven gold gloves might help him but I don't know. He'll get over five percent of the votes due to his defensive career.
Bobby Witt - Less than 5% of the votes.