A few months back when the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot was released, I thought it would be a good idea for Sports Media 101's baseball writers to have our own Hall of Fame vote using the exact same ballot and same criteria to be elected. This two part series will highlight the players that Sports Media 101's baseball writers elected into the Hall of Fame in part one, followed tomorrow by part two that will comment on those players that fell short.
The ballots have been calculated and our baseball writers elected two players into the Hall of Fame, Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. Both Piazza and Biggio were selected on all but two ballots that were submitted and I will not shy away in that they were both on my ballot.
Craig Biggio – He was a baseball player's baseball player as he always gave his all on the baseball field. Biggio amassed 3,060 hits in his 20 year career where he played as a second baseman, outfielder and catcher. He had a .281 career average with 291 home runs, 1,175 RBI, and 414 stolen bases. In playing five positions throughout his career (RF, LF, CF, C, 2B), although he was primarily a second baseman, he was still able to put up an impressive .985 career fielding percentage. Biggio was a seven time All-Star, four time Gold Glove winner, five time Silver Slugger winner, and impressively made the '91 All-Star team as a catcher, then in '92 made the All-Star team as a second baseman. He was the definition of a baseball player.
Here are some comments from some of our writers on Biggio:
3,000 hits, 1100+ RBI, 7-time All-Star and not a sniff of steroid talk in his career, all with the Astros. Cleanest, most deserving on the ballot.
The slam dunk of this group, Craig Biggio earned his way onto this list. Biggio compiled over 3,000 hits while playing multiple defensive positions very well. Biggio also did it clean in an era where a lot of players were using steroids, which has to count for something.
Multiple All-Star appearances, 4x Gold Glove, 5x Silver Slugger, 3,000 Hit Club, off-the-field as classy as they come.
Mike Piazza – The greatest offensive catcher of all-time and initially gained fame by being an All-Star even though he was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB Draft. Piazza amassed 427 career home runs, 396 of which came as a catcher which is the most all time by a player for that position. He finished with a career average of .308 with 2127 hits, 1,335 RBI and a .989 fielding percentage. Piazza was a 12 time All-Star, a ten time Silver Slugger winner, the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year, and finished second in MVP voting twice.
Here are some comments from some of our writers on Piazza:
Best hitting catcher of all time, carried the Mets.
This one should be a no brainer, but I fear that Piazza will get denied the first time due to steroid whispers. Piazza was one of (if not) the greatest hitting catchers who ever lived, and his 427 home runs would have been a lot closer to 500 if he played a traditional position. Piazza is also a rare catcher to have a career batting average above .300 (.308), and made the All Star Game 12 times. Piazza may get left out this year due to whispers that he used steroids because someone saw he had back acne, but his name was never implicated by any major steroid source, including Brian McNamee, Kirk Radomski (who worked in the Mets clubhouse), Jose Canseco, and the Mitchell Report.
The best offensive catcher I have ever seen. He holds the record for most home runs by a catcher, with 427. He is a career .308 hitter, the 1993 rookie-of-the-year, a 12-time All Star, and 10 time silver slugger. Yes, there is suspicions about Piazza, but he never was on any positive list, not in the Mitchell report, and no personal accusations ever surfaced. He's a Hall of Famer in my book.
Like I mentioned before, I voted for both of these guys on my ballot because I approached the ballot answering the only question that anyone voting on the Hall of Fame in any sport should answer: "Is X player a Hall of Famer?" That's it! Now yes, in answering that question you must ask yourself, did he cheat? Was he a dominant player in his era? Is he one of the best to ever play the position? All of these underlying questions go into whether or not X player is a Hall of Famer or not, but doing things such as speculating that a player cheated should not be considered, that is just my opinion and if a voter does ask himself that question that is their choice, but I do not agree. Both Biggio and Piazza are more than deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, and according to Sports Media 101's baseball writers, they are!
Tomorrow, in part two of Sports Media 101's baseball writers Hall of Fame vote series I will unveil the full results and comments from our writers on those players who did not get in. I will leave you with one interesting note, one player fell just one vote short of being elected into the Hall of Fame by our writers. Who is it? You will have to come back tomorrow to find out.
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