Diner Question: Which veterans deserve to get into the Hall of Fame? - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Diner Question: Which veterans deserve to get into the Hall of Fame?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Earlier, this week, the Hall of Fame announced 10 finalists for consideration in the “Today’s Game” era. Seven of the 10 have played for the Orioles, and one, Davey Johnson, played and managed the team.

Harold Baines, Albert Belle, Joe Carter, Will Clark, Lou Piniella and Lee Smith are the others who’ve played for the Orioles.

Orel Hershiser, Charlie Manuel and George Steinbrenner are the non-Oriole candidates.

Smith, who played only for the Orioles in the strike-shortened 1994 season, seems to have the best chance to gain election. For enshrinement, support of 12 of the 16 Veterans committee members is needed.

In his 15 years on the Baseball Writers of America Association ballot, Smith attracted 50.6 percent of the vote in 2012. Seventy-five percent is needed for election.

Johnson and Piniella are up for consideration as managers and Steinbrenner is the only owner on the ballot.

Besides Smith, who had 478 career saves, Piniella, who’s 16th on the all-time managers win list and Steinbrenner seem to have the best chance.

This isn’t the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot, which we’ll talk about in further detail when it’s released in a few weeks.

This Week’s Diner Question:  Which candidates for the Hall of Fame among these 10 would you vote for?


Make sure to look for a special letter to Orioles fans from Buck Showalter on BaltimoreBaseball.com on Friday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    November 8, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Rich, I’m sure that everyone around here will disagree with me, but frankly, I have a hard time putting ANY of these guys into the same conversation as Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Red Ruffing.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Boog, most times the Veterans Committees don’t elect anyone. Last year was an exception with Jack Morris and Alan Trammell. I think Smith has the best chance because of his previous strong showings in the BBWAA vote.

    • whiterose

      November 13, 2018 at 4:23 pm

      Ruffing not in that class

  2. Biff Pocoroba

    November 8, 2018 at 8:41 am

    “Make sure and look …”
    It’s “to look.” Just like it’s “try to,” not “try and,” which you frequently use.
    You’re welcome.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      November 8, 2018 at 9:35 am

      Is Biff short for Richard?

      • jkneps63

        November 8, 2018 at 4:54 pm

        I get it!

      • Biff Pocoroba

        November 8, 2018 at 4:58 pm

        Were you born a suck up or did it just start?

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          November 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

          Be nice Biff. Nobody likes the grammer police.

  3. TxBirdFan

    November 8, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Rich – do players now have 3 ways to get into the Hall – the annual BBWAA ballot, the “Today’s Era” ballot and the Veterans Committee? I agree Smith might be the best of this group, but if he couldn’t muster more than 50% on the regular ballot why is he deserving here? And Steinbrenner??? – he was kicked out of baseball for a year and used his wealth and power to minimize competition. He might belong in the Hall of Shame, but not in the Hall of Fame. I’m with Boog – nobody on this list should make it.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 9:33 am

      Tx, there are two ways, the BBWAA and four Veterans Committees. There are committees not only for “Today’s Game,” which considers players from 1988 to the present, “Modern Baseball” from 1970-87, “Golden Days” from 1950-69 and “Early Baseball,” prior to 1950.

      Last year, the Modern Baseball committee elected Jack Morris and Alan Trammell.

      It’s entirely possible that none make it, but it’s a system the Hall of Fame set up so that players overlooked by the writers can be reconsidered.

  4. boss61

    November 8, 2018 at 10:50 am

    i agree with you Rich. Lee Smith. No one else though.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      Mark, not endorsing Smith. He’s the most likely to get in.

  5. DevoTion

    November 8, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Harold baines had some very good career numbers, I am pretty sure that if he played in the field most of his career he would be knocking on the door to the Hall
    I think Lee Smith should get in, I think he was the all time saves leader for a while.
    And why isn’t Mike Devereaux on this list?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 12:16 pm

      Devo, your namesake has just about 1,900 fewer lifetime hits than Baines does.

      Smith was the all-time saves leader, but he was surpassed by Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera.

  6. chico salmon

    November 8, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I am in agreement that none of these candidates is HOF worthy. My personal favorite, though, is Harold Baines, fellow Marylander. His numbers fell short (2868 hits, 386 hrs, .289) and his WAR was only 38 (Cal was 96, Eddie 66), which surprised me a bit. He hit .301 as an Oriole, the highest of his 5 teams. He was a great hitter, and right fielder for the Chisox, before knee injuries.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Chico, it will be interesting to see how much support Baines gets here.

  7. Olney Ogre

    November 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    Steinbrenner is the only one of the ten who should be voted to the HOF. He significantly changed the level of competition among teams and significantly increased the value of franchises .

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm

      Olney, his investment into the Yankees was small and the return enormous. But, it’s not owners voting.

  8. Bancells Moustache

    November 8, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    The fact that I am from Harold Baines hometown and he is still a revered figure there mandates I demand his inclusion. Talbot county loyalties aside, I don’t see a Hall of Famer on this list.

    Was anyone else surprised at Joe Carter not being a stronger candidate? Growing up, it just seemed like he was a superstar when he was with Toronto and Cleveland, then looking back not so much. Not that it matters, they’ll be replaying “Touch ’em all Joe” for 100 years, so Carter is in the Hall even if he isn’t in the Hall (same thing with Hersheiser).

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 3:17 pm

      Bancells, I’ll think of you the next time I’m at the “Crab Claw” in St. Michael’s.

      Carter’s career WAR was just 19.6, his batting average .259 and on-base percentage just .306. None of those numbers is Hall-worthy.

      Yes, he hit one of the most famous home runs in postseason history, but that’s not good enough.

      An excellent player, but not a Hall of Famer.

      Hershiser has a much better case. His WAR is 56.3, and his stats are similar to Catfish Hunter, another Hall of Famer.

  9. BirdsCaps

    November 8, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    Since this is the veterans committee, the standards to get in the hall are lowered just a little. I see multiple people getting in and a few toss ups. As much as we all hate him, I see the Boss going in. He was just too big of a figure not to be in the hall. Also, I see both managers making it. Both had good win percentages (548 Manuel and 517 Pinella). Also, Manuel has a ring and Pinella has three. One could make a decent case for Clark and baines. Clark’s +300 lifetime average make him more likely than Baines who doesn’t have one of those “magic” stats. As for Herscheiser and smith, neither will make it. Herscheiser’s 3.5 era and the fact that smith was a reliever will keep them both out.

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm

      BirdsCaps, both Charlie Manuel and Lou Piniella have a ring. Davey Johnson is also under consideration as a manager, and he has one, too.

      Will Clark’s WAR is 56.5, which is pretty good. His .384 OBP is quite good, but he seems to fall a little short.

      Smith’s chance comes because he had real support from the BBWAA, unlike the others.

      The committee is comprised of writers, former players and executives.

      • BirdsCaps

        November 8, 2018 at 8:28 pm

        Thanks for the stats. This might be a huge ceremony this year.

  10. jkneps63

    November 8, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    Man you are digging the bottom of the barrel for content here IMO.

    How about an article on the pro’s and con’s or advancing players through the minors and up to the MLB faster than normal?

    • Rich Dubroff

      November 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      jkneps, thank you for your comment. We are all waiting for the Orioles to name a new baseball management team, and when they do, there will be lots of different things to write about.

      I’ve always found the Hall of Fame, especially when it involves former Orioles to be of interest to many fans.

      I’ll keep your suggestion in mind.

      • jkneps63

        November 9, 2018 at 7:50 pm

        Thanks Rick for keeping the suggestion in mind! Seems like a thorough discussion of benefits and drawbacks of progressing minor league players at normal and accelerated rates would be very pertinent.

        I’ve been to Cooperstown three times and love the Hall of Fame, just not too enthused about players getting in via the various veterans committees, ex-Oriole or not.

  11. whiterose

    November 13, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Doc Adams needs to go in next early baseball
    vote. Real father of baseball.

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