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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 Descriptive Hall of Fame Ballot 2011

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:

  • "Vote for him or I will physically harm you."
  • "He's not Babe Ruth, but that doesn't mean he wasn't great…"
  • "He's good, all right, but just how good?"
  • "O-VER-RATED!! Clap. Clap. Clap, Clap, Clap."
  • "I liked you, but we both know you're no Hall of Famer."
  • "How'd this guy get on the ballot?!"

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.

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pieman1121
1/06
Awesome, Larry!
Schere
1/06
Fun stuff. I feel I must point out that a player could be both overrated and a clear HOF'er. Like Tony Gwynn, maybe.
cdt719
2/01
Right. Tony Gwynn, Nolan Ryan, and Pete Rose probably all fall into that category.
Michael
1/06
Nolan Ryan is another example of both overrated and a clear HOFer. Some voters might want a 7th category for "May be qualified but steroid use clouds the issue." Obviously you don't agree with the premise behind that category, but I personally would put Raffy Palmeiro in that category.
devine
1/07
Beautiful ballot.
davinhbrown
1/07
Larry Walker? Rockies hitters have to get at least the same stigma as potential steriod users.
JosephC
1/08
I don't know about "stigma," but discounting, sure. By raw OPS Larry Walker beats out Willie Mays, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron. Nobody thinks he belongs there, so you discount for the era and his Rockieness, and he ends up maybe in Duke Snider/Eddie Murray/Willie McCovey territory. That's a huge gap - but still a Hall of Famer.
Timcarvin
1/07
This is one of my favorite Hall of Fame columns I've read. I love Larry's approach on this one.
crperry13
1/08
I can't say I disagree with your choices.
moonlightj
1/08
Tremendous
mshopoff
1/09
You need to physically harm 44% of the electorate.
Michael
1/10
More than that if you're a Tim Raines fan.