The On Deck Circle

Baseball History, Commentary and Analysis

My Inner-Circle Hall of Fame Choices

Over at Baseball Past and Present, Graham Womack is conducting a fun and interesting survey of who his readers believe are the best of the best, regarding baseball’s Hall of Fame.  He is calling it the Inner Circle project.  If you click on the link, you’ll find access to a ballot which includes players currently in the Hall of Fame.  Our challenge is to choose just 50 of them (and it has to be exactly 50) who theoretically make up the core of the Hall of Fame.

English: Original title: "Plenty of baseh...

English: Original title: “Plenty of basehits in these bats” Original description: Washington D.C., July 7. A million dollar base-ball flesh is represented in these sluggers of the two All- Star Teams which met in the 1937 game at Griffith Stadium today. Left to right: Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx, and Hank Greenberg, 7/7/37 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I submitted my ballot a couple of days ago, and decided to share it with all of you today.  I have to admit that I found it very challenging to restrict my list to just 50 players.  In my initial run through of the ballot, I checked off 65 names, and it was very difficult to decide which 15 players to knock off my list.

I suspect that somewhere around 30-40 players will appear on just about everyone’s ballot, but I anticipate some disagreement, perhaps a great deal, regarding the final 10 or so choices.

I decided to just list my choices without explanation, but I will be interested to hear which players you would have included or rejected compared to my ballot.

So here’s my list, as they appeared on the ballot:

1)  Al Kaline

2)  Babe Ruth

3)  Bob Feller

4)  Cal Ripkin

5)  Carl Yastrzemski

6)  Carlton Fisk

7)  Charlie Gehringer

8)  Christy Mathewson

9)  Cy Young

10) Duke Snider

11) Eddie Collins

12) Eddie Mathews

13) Eddie Murray

14) Frank Robinson

15) Gary Carter

16) George Brett

17) Hank Aaron

18) Harmon Killebrew

19) Honus Wagner

20) Jackie Robinson

21) Jimmie Foxx

22) Joe DiMaggio

23) Joe Morgan

24) Johnny Bench

25) Lefty Grove

26) Lou Gehrig

27) Mel Ott

28) Mickey Mantle

29) Mike Schmidt

30) Nap Lajoie

31) Paul Waner

32) Pete Alexander

33) Reggie Jackson

34) Rickey Henderson

35) Rod Carew

36) Rogers Hornsby

37) Sandy Koufax

38) Stan Musial

39) Steve Carlton

40) Ted Williams

41) Tom Seaver

42) Tony Gwynn

43) Tris Speaker

44) Ty Cobb

45) Wade Boggs

46) Walter Johnson

47) Warren Spahn

48) Willie Mays

49) Willie McCovey

50) Yogi Berra

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7 thoughts on “My Inner-Circle Hall of Fame Choices

  1. Pingback: The Sports PhD

  2. I submitted a list as well, and we have a pretty significant overlap. One guy we agree upon who I think a lot of people overlook is Willie McCovey. That stretch from ’68 to ’70 doesn’t have any holes in it.

    • And hell, they named a cove after him out in San Fran bay. How many guys can say that?
      Hitting 521 while playing the majority of your home games at Candlestick in an era favorable to pitchers ain’t too shabby either.

  3. Kevin Graham on said:

    What….no Rabbit Maranville?
    I voted as well but did not think to keep a list of who I picked. I would guess that at least 40 of our choices match. I do know that Al Kaline was not one of my choices.

    • I was on the fence with Kaline, but ultimately went with my gut. So many great players to choose from, but yeah, the top 40 will probably be pretty consistent across the board. Looking forward to the final results.

      • Kaline in but Clemente out?

      • I really don’t see all that much difference between the two: Kaline – WAR: 87.4, OPS+: 134, Hits: 3,007, Home Runs: 399, and a large bagful of Gold Gloves. Clemente – WAR: 89.8, OPS+: 130, Hits, 3,000, Home Runs: 240, and a similarly large bagful of Gold Gloves. Kaline drove in over 100 runs 3 times, and scored over a hundred twice. Clemente drove in over a hundred runs twice, and scored over a hundred three times.
        Clemente finished in the top ten in MVP voting eight times; Kaline finished in the top ten in MVP voting nine times. They were contemporaries of one another, and each played their entire careers with one team. They were each icons to their home-town fans.
        To me, it basically comes down to personal preference. I guess I’m just more of a Kaline guy than a Clemente guy. But I think either one is a defensible pick.

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