Sometime around Halloween, we discussed the idea of restocking the HoME ballot. Miller thought it was a great idea, and a necessary one. He was quite confident Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza, and Bill Dahlen would all get into the Hall this year. And he kind of though Wes Ferrell and Jeff Bagwell had a shot. Eric expected only Griffey and Piazza. Eric’s not always the smarter one. Still, there’s clearly no need to restock the Hall of Miller and Eric ballot since there are two legitimate candidates this year, two players we prefer to any players from our backlog.
This election is closer than many people would expect. One of the guys we’re electing today was pretty amazing at his first stop but not so good thereafter. Another was decent, though clearly not great, in the AL, but pretty spectacular once he switched leagues. Still, the former was greater than the latter, by a large enough margin that we don’t need in-depth analysis. Combined though, we’re looking at one of the twenty best position players ever. Individually, one is in league with Joe DiMaggio. The other likely had more value than Duke Snider.
With two more in, we have now elected 217 players to the Hall of Miller and Eric.
Here’s how we voted in 2016.
Miller Eric 1 Ken Griffey, Jr. Ken Griffey, Jr. 2 Jim Edmonds Jim Edmonds
The Class of 2016
One of the smartest people I’ve ever know called Ken Griffey, Jr. the best player we were ever going to have the pleasure of seeing. He said this maybe in 1998 or 1999, and while he clearly wasn’t right, his point is still well taken. Almost from the time Griffey reached Seattle as a 19-year-old in 1989, Griffey was a revelation. He was a true five-tool talent. He led the AL in homers four times in six seasons. He reached 40 dingers seven times. He won ten Gold Gloves, made a dozen All-Star teams, and took home the 1997 AL MVP. Beyond almost anything, he was he a joy to watch play. If he were only healthy. Recurring hamstring problems sabotaged the second half of his career, but he still competes with Joe DiMaggio for the title of fifth best center fielder ever to play the game.
If we ran Jim Edmonds’ career backwards he’d get a lot more love. But that’s not how things work. He came up at 23, had his first full-time gig at 25, and soon seemed like a very good player rather than a superstar. The truth is that from 25 he began to build a HoME-worthy career, even if most people weren’t aware it was happening. He became a superstar when he was traded from the Angels to the Cardinals right before the 2000 season. From that point, Edmonds put up six straight 6-win seasons. That’s something only Cobb, Mays, Speaker, Mantle, and DiMaggio can say among CF, not Griffey. He may no longer be on the Hall of Fame ballot, but as one of the 9-12 most valuable center fielders ever to play, he gets into the HoME on his first try.
Hey, we wish it would have been a more exciting election just as much as you do. There are now 217 players in the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Miller and Eric. Pending what the Expansion Era Committee does next year, it’s quite possible there’s not just going to be a backlog waiting to get into the Hall, but into the HoME as well. So sad. On a happier note, please remember to check out our Honorees page. We think you’ll enjoy.