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2010 Baseball HOF class

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[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1]As Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are getting settled in as the 2009 Baseball HOF class, letís look ahead to whatís in store for the 2010 ballot.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1]The 12-time All-Star Roberto Alomar is considered by some to be one of the greatest second basemen to ever play the game. Alomar was an excellent hitter, who finished his career as a .300 hitter with 2,724 hits to go along with his 1,134 RBIís. He also belted an impressive 210 homers and stole 474 bases during his career. However remarkable his offensive numbers may seem, it was his defense that made him famous. Alomar captured 10 Gold Gloves at 2B, which are most all time among second basemen. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] It would be a shock if Alomar wasnít a first ballot Hall of Famer, although stranger things have happened. I say Alomar gets in with at least 85% of the vote. His offensive number are way too impressive, especially as a second basemen, to make him wait an extra year or so.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] Barry Larkin on the other hand may need several voting years before he gets in, if he even makes it. Although the sure-handed shortstop also was a 12-time All-Star, his offensive numbers are too similar to non-HOF shortstops Alan Trammell and Dave Concepcion to make me believe heíll be a first ballot HOFer, let alone a HOFer at all. It just seems like Larkinís 2,340 hits, 960 RBIís and 198 homers are just not enough, especially when Trammell (2,365/1003/185) and Concepcion (2,326/950/101) have similar numbers and have yet to even pass the 50% voting barrier. I just donít see Larkin getting enough votes in 2010, although he will remain on the ballot for a very long time.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] Edgar Martinez and Andres Galarraga also join the newcomers, however I donít feel either one will ever make the HOF through the writers ballot. Although Martinez was a .312 hitter with 2,247 hits and 1,261 RBIís, most was done as a DH so he offered nothing defensively. And even though Galarraga finished his career with 2,333 hits and 399 homers, I doubt his numbers would have been so inflated had he not played all those years in Colorado. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] And finally, Fred ďThe Hit DogĒ McGriff is eligible. With 493 homers and 2,490 hits on his resume, look for McGriff to grab a stadium full of votes. The thing working against McGriff is that he was a quiet guy, a player who did his job and went home. Kinda like Harold Baines, who had similar numbers (2,866 hits, 384 homers and 1,628 RBIís). And like Harold Baines, I donít see McGriff making a huge splash right out of the gate. Consider this: Even with his gaudy offensive numbers, Baines only received 6% of the vote in 2009. This does not bide well for McGriff and I just donít see him making it, at least in 2010.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] With this in mind, I can see Andre Dawson finally making the HOF in 2010, as he narrowly missed in the cut in 2009 with 67% of the vote. The Hawk has 2,774 hits, 438 homers and 1591 RBIís, and even though his numbers are similar to McGriff and Baines, he has been on the ballot long enough that the writers will finally vote him in. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] The same could happen to Bert Blyleven, who received 62% of the vote in 2009. Although his 3,701 strikeouts and 242 complete games are impressive, his 287-250 win-loss record isnít. It is my opinion that Blyleven was an average pitcher, and average should not be celebrated with an induction into the HOF, but the writers may see things differently. It could go either way, as Robin Roberts eventually made the HOF with a 286-245 record but Jim Kaatís record of 283-237 and Tommy Johnís record of 288-231 has hindered both their chances. You just never know while the writers.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] I see it going down like this:[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] Roberto Alomar will be voted in with Andre Dawson, but Blyleven and the rest donít get in. The biggest gainer will be Tim Raines, who received 23% of the vote in 2009 but will skyrocket up towards the 60% mark. The induction of Rickey Henderson in 2009 will help Raines and his 808 stolen bases. Baines will also make a considerable jump up the charts, especially considering the incoming class, besides McGriff, Galarraga, Martinez and Larkin is weak. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] So your 2010 HOF inductees are Alomar and Dawson.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1]Also, Bruce Froemming will make the HOF as an umpire, in case you were wondering![/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1]So why is this important? Because all of us who collect autographs should be getting our requests in to these players before they become elected. Because once that happens, the volume of mail for those players almost becomes unbearable. Plus, donít be surprised if they start charging once they get inducted.[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] As of now, Alomar signs for free. His address is in the TTM Database, so get your balls and pictures out this summer. Iíve heard that Dawson sometimes signs the first one for free but sends his pricelist, but Iím sure if you send a few bucks with your request heíd sign it. Iíve also heard that Larkin and McGriff are decent signers also, while I know for a fact that Blyleven charges. [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][FONT=Georgia][SIZE=1] So get your Alomar, Dawson, Larkin and McGriff requests in soon. And while your at it, why not send one to Baines and Raines. Iíd like to think theyíll get in eventually. All of these addresses can be found in the TTM Database.[/SIZE][/FONT] [/FONT]


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