As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance I was honored to be asked to vote for the best big league ball players not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
There were 300 former ball players on the ballot, all who have been over looked by either the Baseball Writers Association of America( BBWAA) or the Veteran's Committee.
On his blog, Baseball Past and Present Graham Womack asked the members of the BBA to chose the 50 players on the ballot that we felt deserved recognition as worthy of enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Only 292 players have been inducted in Cooperstown, an elite list in the glorious 141 years since the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stocking began playing professional baseball/
The player receiving the most votes was Bert Blyleven, who won 287 games in his 22 years career.
Here are the 50 players that I put on my ballot...
As you can tell by my first vote, I selected Detroit Tigers catcher Bill Freehan.
I believe he belongs in the HOF, and even though I know he won't be selected, I know that from 1963-72 he was the best catcher in the American League.
I was also very excited to see that Freehan finished 48th, and that 19 of my fellow baseball fans selected Freehan on their ballot.
To me, that's verification enough that my hero deserves to be mentioned among the greatest catchers of All-Time.
As for the Hall of Fame, I still don't see how the BBWAA can keep out players like Blyleven, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, and Ron Santo.
In a previous post on the passing of Santo I wrote that I hoped the writers get together and select the Cubs 3rd baseman on this years ballot. He deserves it.
The BBWAA isn't always on my list of favorite people, because I believe they just don't know the history of baseball, and they get caught up in their own agendas.
It's easy to vote for Aaron, Ruth, Seaver, Ryan, Brett, etc., but it takes a true baseball man to do the homework and recognize that not every player will be Ruth, or Gehrig, or Bench.
If that's the criteria, then how can someone vote for another hitter. Ty Cobb had 4191 hits, and won 12 batting titles.
No one will ever play defense like Willie Mays, so how could you compare a players outfield play when voting for the HOF?
The answer is simple.
It's not the Hall of Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Young, and Mays.
It's the National Baseball Hall of Fame.