In just about two weeks, the BBWAA will announce the Class of 2019 for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While always exciting, this year is of special interest to Yankees fans. Mariano Rivera will sail in with overwhelming, if not unanimous, support. A few other former Yankees expect to perform well on the ballot, and Mike Mussina may even get inducted!
It’s a Pinstripe Alley tradition to survey the writing staff and ask them to cast fictional ballots for the Hall of Fame. The BBWAA rules apply, so each writer received 10 spots. Like the actual process, a player needs to receive 75% of the votes to earn virtual baseball immortality. That means a candidate needs 11 out of 14 writers to support them.
I now present to you the PSA Hall of Fame Class of 2019:
We also have a full breakdown of votes:
The staff was unanimous on six players: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez, Mussina, and of course Rivera. Their cases have been discussed exhaustively, and their credentials need no further repeating. Three stand out as inner-circle Hall of Famers, while the remaining three are more than deserving in their own right.
Manny Ramirez and Scott Rolen each received 12 votes. Ramirez struck fear into opposing pitchers for the better part of 14 years. Rolen, on the other hand, flew under the radar for most of his career. He played an elite third base, however, and finished with a lifetime 122 wRC+. Neither expect to receive enshrinement in the actual Hall of Fame this year, but for different reasons. Ramirez had two PED suspensions to his name, while Rolen received only 10.2% of the votes in 2018.
Lastly, Larry Walker punches his virtual ticket to Cooperstown. The longtime Rockies outfielder received only 34.1% of votes last winter, but he has a rock-solid case. In fact, Walker ranked among the best outfielders of his generation by WAR. He may get overlooked by the actual voters, but not by us.
*It’s also worth noting that Kento voted for Andruw Jones on the condition he wears a Rakuten Golden Eagles cap on his plaque. Tom also is a rebel and voted for Jorge Posada as a write-in candidate.
Now that you know our votes, it’s time for you to weigh in. Do you agree with our class? Or are you a proponent of a small Hall? Who would you get your votes? Let us know in the comment section below.