Well, the ballots are in and as expected, both Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice made the cut. Rickey was a no-brainer (despite the fact that 28 people left him off of their ballot) and he’s one of the best players to lace them up. Jim Rice comes with some controversy, but you can find as many reasons for him to get inducted as you can to keep him out.
Andre Dawson came in third place and the Hawk may have set himself up for a 2010 or 2011 induction. Ditto for Bert Blyleven, who came in fourth place. Jack Morris was sixth on the list with 44% but, as I’ve said before, it’s hard to think of Morris getting in until Blyleven does. Alan Trammell continued to flounder with 17.4% as his chances look more and more bleak every year.
2010 has a few interesting names. Roberto Alomar is probably a first ballot Hall of Famer but with that, I’m sure I’ll start bringing out my Lou Whitaker arguments. Barry Larkin is probably also destined for the HOF, but my bet is, he doesn’t get in on the first try because his career, while exceptional, wasn’t on par with guys like Rickey and Robbie. Andres Galarraga would probably be a fringe candidate (did you know he’s fourth all time in strikeouts, because I didn’t). I wonder if Fernando Vina will get any votes.
With that, the window will be open for Dawson and Blyleven to get in next year with Alomar. Then that will free up those top spots so guys like Jack Morris and Tim Raines can make their move over the ensuing years.