This is it. Today you see the results of our final election to catch us up to the present, and you see our final four members of the Hall of Miller and Eric, at least until the Hall of Fame adds more players.
This was a somewhat trying election for both of us. See, we both love Pedro, but neither of us could choose him over Randy Johnson. The Big Unit’s peak, impossibly, was nearly as good, and Johnson just did it for longer. Folks, we’ve had a real golden age of pitching over the last 30 years with Clemens, Maddux, Johnson, Pedro, Schilling, Mussina, Glavine, Smoltz, Brown, Halladay, Mariano, and others. That group certainly rivals and likely tops Seaver, Carlton, Niekro, Blyleven, Perry, Jenkins, Ryan, Palmer, Reuschel, and Gossage.
Since this is it, we have now elected all 215 members of the Hall of Miller and Eric.
Here’s how we voted in 2015.
Miller Eric 1 Randy Johnson Randy Johnson 2 Pedro Martinez Pedro Martinez 3 John Smoltz John Smoltz 4 Gary Sheffield Gary Sheffield
The Class of 2015
Randy Johnson: Around 1993, when the Big Unit began to harness control of his fastball, hitters were in trouble. He led the league in strikeouts nine times and whiffed 300+ on six occasions, making him the second most prolific strikeout pitcher of all time. He also holds career and single-season records for strikeouts per nine. He had signature games of 20 Ks and perfection. He made ten All-Star teams, two for every year he won the Cy Young Award. He finished second three more times and third once in the Cy voting. Even at 6’10”, a guy pitching in the same era as Clemens, Maddux, and Pedro could get a little lost. But Johnson had his time on the top of the heap, possibly the game’s best pitcher from 1998-2004. Only Walter Johnson, Cy Young, and maybe Roger Clemens had as many 8-WAR seasons. And we think Randy Johnson is one of the ten best pitchers ever to take to the mound.
Pedro Martinez: At his peak, he’s the best pitcher in Red Sox history – better than Cy Young and better than Roger Clemens. Actually, his peak is what everyone thinks that Koufax’s is, but Pedro has shoulder seasons that make it clear how great he was because he could win with his arm falling off and his talent in decline. Pedro won three Cy Young Awards. He also led his league in strikeouts three times, ERA five times, and won the pitching triple crown in 1999. In 1999 and 2000, his K/BB rate was 8.65/1. He never lost more than ten games in a season. He probably ranks somewhere from 12-15 all-time, just not pitching enough innings to crack the top ten. He’s Eric’s favorite pitcher ever. He shutout the Yankees in Miller’s favorite May game ever. He pitched the best game Miller ever watched, the game Tom Boswell called the best ever in Yankee Stadium. And he offered the best relief performance Miller ever saw too. Welcome HoME, Pedro.
John Smoltz: Smoltzie had a career unlike any other. The 21 seasons is impressive enough, but the righty started as a superstar starter, became a superstar closer, and then returned to the rotation to become a (super)star starter again. The reason for the move to the pen was that TJ surgery in 2000 that caused him to miss the season and then not be healthy enough for regular starting duties. At whatever he did, he excelled. He is the evidence of what happens when you take a Hall-level starting pitcher’s arm and put it in the bullpen. The flipside is that we missed out on Mariano Rivera’s brilliant career as a starter. Smoltz led the NL in wins and strikeouts twice and saves once. He was the Cy Young Award winner in 1996, and he made eight All-Star teams. In the playoffs, he was outstanding. He put in an extra season of work, going 15-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 27 starts and 14 relief appearances.
Gary Sheffield: Steroids? Yeah. Made errors on purpose? That too. Defense? Awful. But Gary Sheffield produced and produced and produced. And oh that bat speed. The only players ever with more HR, RBI, R, and BB are Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Mel Ott. His record shows nine All-Star teams, a batting title, and an OBP title. For his career, he looks a lot like Dave Winfield. And he’s a bit better than Sammy Sosa and Reggie Smith. While his peak wasn’t that high, he had 16 seasons worth at least two wins. Among RF, it’s him along with Ruth, Aaron, Ott, Robinson, Clemente, and Kaline who can say that. On the trivial side, the much traveled Sheffield represented five teams as an All-Star, homered 25+ times for six teams, and joins Fred McGriff as the only players with 30+ for five teams.
That’s it. We have now elected 215 players to the Hall of Miller and Eric. Want to know all of them? Check out our Honorees page. It’s a more impressive group than those in the Hall of Fame, that’s for sure.