Fun ballot this year, though tinged with sadness (RIP Mike Flanagan). There’s the Pujols (character) Assassin, Jack Clark. Pedro Guerrero who couldn’t find a position and who later pled in court to being too stupid to know what illegalities he’d gotten into. Carney Lansford who was stupid enough to go snowmobiling during his playing career. And Willie Randolph who is among the most underrated players in the game’s history.
But there are four guys to quickly make note of.
Here’s a shout-out to Gary Carter (RIP, too). Turns out that Miller and Eric know a guy who became friends with Carter and said he was a nice person and generous.
Then there’s Jesse Barfield whose wrist injury derailed a career that had some HoME potential. But whose arm was beyond amazing. Here, see for yourself.
Of course, Bert Blyleven, whose Hall of Fame campaign from Rich Lederer helped inspire this project in many, many ways. Watching Blyleven’s support rise on the backs of a community of fans was, in a slow-drip kind of way, amazing.
Finally, Brian Downing. Downing is one of Miller’s all-time favorite players. In fact, one thing that cemented our friendship was when Eric called him the Brian Downing of fantasy baseball: The talented, tough-minded guy who would do anything to win. If for nothing else, we’ll always remember Downing fondly for that.
F= Hall of Fame member
M = Hall of Merit member
S = Hall of Stats member
NEW FOR 1998
Bert Blyleven (F,M,S)
Gary Carter (F,M,S)
Willie Randolph (M,S)