2014 IAL Hall of Fame ballot

From vice-president Rob Moore:

“This year, we have six new candidates: Jon Garland and Mariano Rivera on the pitching side, joining Mike Mussina and Andy Pettite who carried over from last year, and Lance Berkman, Vladimir Guerrero, Magglio Ordonez, and Miguel Tejada joining Gary Sheffield and Ivan Rodriguez who carried over from last year.

I’d love to hear what everyone thinks about the candidates, and get some discussion going, either over e-mail or on the APBA Blog.  I’d like to get ballots back by the draft weekend, but I’d also like to see some discussion first!  Here are my thoughts.

On the pitching side, Mike Mussina has been knocking on the door for a while, just missing the cut off to make the Hall, which is 7 out of 10 votes.  Both he and Pettitte (who had less support last year, in his first year on the ballot) have a similar profile, with Mussina having a few more wins and K’s, but Pettite having the better winning percentage and ERA.  However, both have ERA’s well over 4, and the only pitchers in the Hall with an ERA over 4 are Dennis Eckersley (who also has 208 saves) and Tom Glavine, who has 44 more wins and around 800 more career innings than Mussina.

Jon Garland has 130 wins, threw a no-hitter, and won 20 games once (21-5 in 2005 with my team, the Chicago Highlanders), but falls well short of Hall-worthy for me.  Mariano Rivera on the other hand is a slam-dunk for me; 461 saves and a 2.90 ERA are impressive – even more impressive is that in a league where relievers often get knocked around regardless of grade, his worst season ERA was 4.42 in his second season, and his second worst was 4.02 in his second to last.

On the hitting side, Gary Sheffield and Ivan Rodriguez both missed the cut by the slimmest margin last year; Sheffield ranks 7th in career runs, 14th in RBI, and 13th in HR.  Rodriguez is the leader for catchers in most counting stats other than HR, with more than 500 more hits than Mike Piazza to go along with gold-glove defense for his entire 20 year career (all with my team; you may notice a theme this year). He’s also 4th in career doubles, which is impressive for a catcher.

Among the new guys, I can’t quite get behind Lance Berkman, despite his being on of my favorites (and also a former Highlander, along with Garland, Sheffield, and Rodriguez).  His counting stats and power numbers aren’t what I’d like to see from a slugging first baseman/outfielder.  320 career homers and 1,511 hits doesn’t cut it.  Magglio Ordonez falls into the same category – unquestionably great in some of his best years, and a .295 average in this league is very impressive, but the lack of durability cut into his career totals – over the last 8 years of his career he only managed to stay on the field over 90 games three times (and one of those was only 115 games).

I imagine Vladimir Guerrero will get a good amount of support – he had nearly the same career average as Magglio (.293) and also added over 600 more hits, 150 more homers, and 700 combined runs and RBI.  Miguel Tejada’s numbers seem relatively pedestrian in comparison until you look at them in the context of IAL middle infielders – he has fewer hits than the other middle infielders in the Hall (Ripken, Larkin, Alomar and Whitaker, but he has better power numbers than all of them but Ripken.  He’s also a career-long Highlander.  I’m thinking there might be a reason I had a six year playoff drought after all these guys retired…”

Click here to see our entire ballot including current Illowa APBA League Hall of Famers and their stats.

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