Monday, December 10, 2018

When more borderline HOF guys get their call

As a baseball fan, I'd probably be more of a big hall kind of guy - but I thought it was a joke when I found out through scrolling through a social media post that apparently Smith and Baines were elected to the Hall of Fame through the 2019 Today's Game Era Ballot.

Baines' election to the Hall of Fame will probably cause just about every numbers oriented analysts' heads to explode - I won't begrudge or bemoan his induction to the Hall since there are too many writers messing around with someone's actual accomplishments in the guise of being objective.

Personally, I consider Baines in the middle of the pack as far as a Hall of Very Good guy, but in a roundabout way - Baines probably got some extra consideration for the 134 hits he didn't get towards that 3,000th hit club he missed out on.

The last card I touched featuring Baines was his 1991 Upper Deck [#562] - it went in my awesome action collection as a game face card; I like the image of him on the on-deck circle, about to swing while doing his high leg kick.

As far as Smith, though he once held the all-time saves record, I've always thought of him as mostly a junk wax era journeyman reliever - however, with Trevor Hoffman getting into the Hall of Fame recently and with Mariano Rivera on the way, someone had to fit Smith in-between the two in order to have a little run of modern era closers.

Maybe an obvious non-Rivera candidate in the next several years will likely be Billy Wagner - depending on who is on the ballot.

My favorite Smith card was his 1996 Upper Deck card [#266] because while it obviously shows him with the Angels - it was also a seemingly more elaborate image setup compared to a typical baseball card picture.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I had the same reaction to the announcement, especially re:Baines. What? Harold Baines?!? Hopefully the backlash isn't too loud and angry, it shouldn't ruin the honor for Baines or Smith (or Jack Morris, or Jim Rice, or..) just because fans like us disagree with it. He did have a lot of hits and a lot of RBI.

Also, Billy Wagner will surely get a boost now that Lee Smith is in.