January 5, 2012
The Descriptive HOF Ballot, 2011
If you've read any baseball-related news over the past couple of weeks, then you know that it is Hall of Fame season. Writers, voters, and fans alike have been talking about the upcoming election all month, telling who they feel belongs in the Hall, who they voted for, why the other voters are idiots, how the Hall is overrated these days, why steroids have ruined baseball, why people are idiots for thinking steroids ruined baseball, and why Jack Morris is the key to the universe. It's exhausting.
I've avoided talking about the Hall of Fame vote here mostly because there isn't much new I can say. Yes, there are many, many terrible ballots from actual voters being published everyday and yes, the moralizing, justifying, and sanctifying is ear-achingly painful. But that's how the voting is every year and a few more impassioned (and brilliantly-written) pieces would just be whispers in the wind. It's sad to see Hall of Famers get yanked around by the morality police or just get ignored altogether, but at least there are plenty of writers out there calling the voters on it.
Still, the 2012 Hall of Fame inductees will be announced on Monday (if any), so it seemed important to get my vote in while I still had a chance. To do this, I'm falling back to the Descriptive Hall of Fame Ballot I devised last year.
The ballot is divided into six fairly obvious categories (listed below). From there, the voter is told to place each of the 27 candidates into his appropriate category. A checkbox is provided to mark whether or not that player is being voted into the Hall. The categories are:
I can't think of a more fun, honest way of describing your Hall of Fame voting than with this ballot. Where else do you get to put Juan Gonzalez and Jack Morris in the "O-VER-RATED!!" category? Or Tony Womack in the "How'd this guy get on the ballot?!" category? You can't get much more honest than that.
You can also see my choices for the Hall of Fame on the ballot. I stayed consistent with my ballot from last year (no rookie candidates jump out at me), though I did expand it to include Rafael Palmeiro, who I wavered on at the last second before. I also moved Jeff Bagwell into the "Vote for him or I will physically harm you" section because - well, you get the idea. The Palmeiro, Larry Walker, and Mark McGwire choices can all go in either of the two categories. They are each very much on the edge for me there.
Feel free to give us your descriptive Hall of Fame ballot below. I think you'll like it.