To many, our 45th election in 2005 was somewhat predictable. For others, it may not have been. Wade Boggs got in on his first ballot, and with over 3000 hits and five batting titles there no surprise at all in his honoring him. The other guy to get in this year is Bret Saberhagen. While I suppose this may surprise some, we did elect Dave Stieb, a very similar and similarly underrated pitcher, just a year ago. Yes, Saberhagen won only 167 games. And no, signing him to a long-term contract probably wasn’t ever that great an idea. But when looking at his whole career, we not only have a guy with a pair of 8-win seasons and another approaching 10 wins, we have a guy with more career WAR than 13 pitchers we’ve already elected. Like many of his era with low win totals, Saberhagen is painfully under-appreciated today.
Our two ballot rookies bring the Hall of Miller and Eric to 179 of the greatest players in history. We’re now down to only 36 spots remaining through our 2015 election. That means just over 35% of the remaining 102 players we’ll consider will one day reach the HoME.
Here’s how we voted in 2005.
Miller Eric 1 Wade Boggs Wade Boggs 2 Bret Saberhagen Bret Saberhagen 3 Pud Galvin 4 Sal Bando
The Class of 2005
Wade Boggs: Here’s a guy who liked chicken, Margo Adams, and the Green Monster. He was a consistently outstanding performer who won five batting titles, six OBP titles, a hit title, and two titles each in R, 2B, and BB. He also won two Gold Gloves was also the first player ever to homer for his 3000th hit. He and George Brett compete for the title of third best 3B ever after Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews. And Boggs is likely among the best three-dozen non-pitchers ever. It’s because of Boggs and an agreement the 12-time All-Star may or may not have had with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that players lost their right to choose the cap they’d wear on their Hall plaques for themselves. From us, a tip of our HoME cap to Wade Boggs.
Brett Saberhagen: Somehow this two-time Cy Young winner who also won a Gold Glove, a World Series MVP, and a Comeback Player trophy only made three All-Star teams. He pitched like an MVP candidate thrice and like an All-Star two more times. He supported those excellent seasons with seven more when he averaged over 3-WAR. He’s no inner circle guy, but as long at the HoME contains 60 pitchers, a guy in the company of Jim Bunning, Joe McGinnity, and Dave Stieb belongs – even with just 167 career wins and with only seven years when he topped 10 victories.
This makes six elections in a row with the same solo votes from Miller.
Pud Galvin: The 113th anniversary of his death passed earlier this month. The pro-Galvin arguments haven’t really changed.
Sal Bando: Is there something new to say? I don’t care how bad a GM he was. We was still a great player.
With our 2005 election now in the books, we ask you to visit our Honorees page to see the plaques of those elected and to see plenty more information about the HoME.