2006 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
John Labombarda - Elias Sports Bureau
There was not one player that jumped off the page at me as a definite Hall of Famer when I eyeballed this year’s Hall of Fame
ballot. A couple of names caught my attention – Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Steve Garvey, Rich Gossage, Orel Hershiser,
Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Jim Rice and Bruce Sutter – to name a few. Here’s how I would vote on
the players mentioned above.
Bert Blyleven - He had only one 20-win season. He did not finish in the top 10 in any Cy Young voting in any of his 22 major
league seasons. His ranking in several major categories are impressive, but he reached those levels due, in major part, to
Andre Dawson - A “five-tool” player. Dawson could do it all. He hit for average (.300 five times), power (438 career homers), he
had speed (314 career SB), a powerful arm and he was a great defensive player (eight gold glove awards). His only
drawbacks were his performance in postseason (.186 career BA). Yes, I think Andre Dawson belongs in Cooperstown.
Steve Garvey - A pretty good player who did not do enough, in my opinion, to be in the Hall of Fame. He had a very good four-
year run from 1977-1980. Is a four-year run good enough? I don’t think so.
Rich Gossage - I love the goose, but he’s not a Hall of Famer.
Orel Hershiser - Orel was a very good pitcher but he really had only two dominant seasons. He was 42-11 in 1985 and 1988
combined, 162-139 in the rest of his career. Not good enough for me.
Don Mattingly - Donnie Baseball was another one of those players who had four dominant seasons. From 1984 to 1987
Mattingly batted .337, with 119 homers and 483 RBI. I’ll say it again, four or five seasons is not good enough to get to
Jack Morris - This was a tough one. He consistently won 15 to 20 games every season. He won 20 games three times. He
never won the Cy Young but he received votes seven times. And, who could forget one of the best pitched games in World
Series history. As a colleague of mine once said, “he belongs in the Hall of the very good”. I guess he does not belong in the
Hall of Fame.
Dale Murphy - Murphy had five dominant seasons and for a four-year-stretch he was the best player in the National League.
He won the NL MVP twice, he won five gold gloves, he was durable. Two MVPs and five gold gloves put me over the edge. I’ll
give him my vote.
Dave Parker - He won an MVP and three gold gloves. He did it all on the field, but just not enough.
Jim Rice - One note supplied by the Hall of Fame said he was the only player in major in major league history with three
straight seasons of 35+ HR and 200+ hits. Wow!! He was a great hitter for about 10 years in the majors. He had a .298 career
BA, .502 career slugging percentage and 382 career homers. I think Jim Rice belongs in the Hall.
Bruce Sutter - I have a problem voting for relief pitchers….until Mariano Rivera is eligible.