There are two more players on the Hall Of Fame ballot (in addition to Ken Griffey Jr – see previous post  I think should be elected making it a trio of inductees as we saw last year (see the full list of candidates here). The first is a relief pitcher who held the record for career saves until someone named Rivera came along and the second is a catcher who hit the most home runs ever for a player at that position.

Trevor Hoffman recorded his final save at the age of 42. images (19)A dominant right handed closer, he appeared in seven All Star Games, won two Rolaids Relief Awards, images (20)and recorded 603 saves. You can’t dismiss someone who’s been replaced by a player of the stature of Rivera who is destined to be a unanimous electee when he is eligible. Relief pitching is still in a state of flux in terms of its ever increasing role in today’s game. I just hope that some of the old time writers recognize that it’s a part of the game that’s here to stay – good or bad.

My second and final choice this year is a bit more complicated.images (16) Whether valid or not, Mike Piazza has been drawn into the steroid era of baseball. Currently, he sits at 69.5% which is just shy of the 75% minimum to get elected. When innuendo is in play (there’s no proof that he was a user), images (18)we need to be fair and let it go. Piazza’s numbers, while not overwhelming, are outstanding – especially given the challenges of the position he played. A brief recap: 427 home runs (a record), .308 career batting average, .377 on base percentage, and a 12 time All Star. According to Baseball Reference, his numbers compare to Hall members such as Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra. 

All in all, Griffey Jr, Hoffman, and Piazza combined make a decent showing for this year’s selections. We’ll see what the writers think soon.

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