Hall of Fame Poll: Lee Smith

Lee Smith - Getty Images

Would you vote Lee Smith into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Next on the ballot is Aaron Sele, who was a perfectly decent starting pitcher, has a 148-112 record with a 4.61 ERA in 15 seasons in the majors. He pitched in 2 All-Star games and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting, back in 1993. But not a Hall of Fame type.

Lee Smith was one of the best closers of all-time. He has 478 saves, 3rd on the career list. No matter what you think of saves, that's a good number. And he was a closer back before the closer just pitched one inning. He would pitch 2 or 3 innings, at least early in his career, if it was needed.

He was an intimidating guy out on the mound. 6'5" and 220, maybe not as scary looking as Jon Rauch but a great pitcher. He played on 7 All-Star teams, won 3 reliever of the year awards and came in second in the 1991 Cy Young voting.

Right now there are only 5 relief pitchers in the Hall: Goose Gossage, Hoyt Wilhelm, Rollie Fingers, Bruce Sutter and Dennis Eckersley. Smith might not be quite as good as those 5 but he's close.

This is Lee's 11th time on the ballot, he was on 50.6% of the Writers' ballots last year, so he's got a little ways to get to get to the magic 75% before his name leaves the ballot after his 15 chance.

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