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Hall of Fame Polls: David Ortiz

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

I’m going to skip the next three on the ballot.

Tim Lincecum had a nice ten-year career (nine of them with the Giants). He had a 110-89 record, 3.74 ERA in 278 games, 270 starts. Tim led the NL in strikeouts for three straight seasons (he also led the league in wild pitches three times), 2008-2010. He had four consecutive seasons of more than 200 innings. Won two Cy Young Awards, made four All-Star teams and got MVP votes twice.

Unfortunately, he may have had the peak of a Hall of Famer, but the peak was too short. He had two seasons of bWARs above 7, adding up to 15.2 bWAR, but the rest of his career only added 4.7 WAR to that, giving him 19.9 Career WAR. However, he does have three World Series rings. I don’t imagine many would think he deserves to go in.

Justin Morneau played in the MLB for 14 years, most of them with the Twins. He hit .281/.348/.481 with 247 home runs. Justin won an MVP award (how come I don’t remember that), finished second in MVP voting, and got votes twice. In addition, he made four All-Star teams (though he didn’t make the All-Star team the year he won MVP) and had two Silver Slugger awards (not easy to do when you play first base).

But he topped out at 4.7 bWAR and had three seasons with bWAR in the 4s. In total, 27.0 bWAR. As much as I’d like to see another Canadian in the Hall, I don’t think Justin is the man.

Joe Nathan had a 16-year MLB career. He came up as a starter in 1999 and made 29 starts over two seasons. Back to the minors, Joe got into 4 games in 2002 and then 78 in 2003. The following year he took over as Twins’ closer and would be an MLB closer for ten seasons (missing the 2010 season with injuries).

He had 377 career saves, putting him eighth all-time in saves. Joe went to six All-Star games, won the AL Reliever of the Year Award once, got MVP, and Cy Youngs votes twice. He played in 787 games (57th all-time) and had a 3.09 career ERA.

His career 26.4 bWAR is pretty good for a reliever. It is hard to rack up the numbers throwing less than 80 innings a season, so it is tough to judge whether a reliever deserves the Hall, but, to me, Nathan falls some short.

That brings us to David Ortiz.

Ortiz played 20 seasons in the MLB. He hit .286/.380/.552 with 541 home runs, 1319 walks and 1750 strikeouts. He had a career 55.3 bWAR.

He got MVP votes eight times, finishing second, third, fourth (two times), fifth, sixth, tenth and 28th. He made ten All-Star games and had seven Silver Slugger awards. He also won a Home Run Derby. He has three World Series rings (and was World Series MVP once).

On the downside, Ortiz was a DH. He played 2028 games at DH, 278 at first base.

And there was a positive PED test.

I don’t think PEDs should keep someone out of the Hall, but if the player is on the borderline? Maybe that could tip the balance.

But, Big Pappy was bigger than life. A leader on the Red Sox team that, finally, got a World Series win. He was one of those guys that everyone seemed to like. And he will have the full-out push of the Boston media.

It is his first time on the ballot. I’m guessing he doesn’t get in the first time, but maybe his numbers will build over the next ten years.

How much will the PEDs hurt his chances? There is a good question. I don’t see him as being grouped with Bonds, Clemens and Sosa (maybe in part because everyone seemed to like him).

I’m interested in seeing how Ortiz does in the voting. He isn’t a sure thing, by the numbers, but it would be hard to tell the tale of baseball in the ‘oughts’ without talking about Ortiz, but then the Hall of Fame’s museum does tell the story of players who didn’t make the ‘Hall.’


Would you vote David Ortiz into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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  • 68%
    (330 votes)
  • 31%
    (151 votes)
481 votes total Vote Now