The 2019 Hall of Fame ballot will bring another wave of supremely talented players into the fold. Returners who received over 50% this year include Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling.
They will be joined by one surefire first ballot Hall of Famer in Mariano Rivera, as well as four other players who have a solid Hall of Fame case. Those players include:
Halladay was an ace pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies from 1998-2013. He recently passed away in a tragic plane crash at age 40. A toxicology report indicated high levels of amphetamines, morphine and ambien in his system, a sad revelation that could tarnish his reputation heading into his first year on the Hall ballot.
A lifelong Rockie, Helton finished his career with 2,519 hits, 369 home runs, a 133 OPS+ and a 61.2 bWAR. He slashed .316/.414/.539 and made five All-Star games. Coors Field has hurt the candidacy of fellow Rockie Larry Walker, so it will be interesting to see how the voters treat Helton’s case.
Pettitte spent 15 of his 18 seasons in the Bronx, with three seasons in Houston sandwiched in between. He finished his career with 256 wins, a 3.85 ERA and 2,448 strikeouts. He made three All-Star appearances and won 19 postseason games. While his career was very solid, he is behind Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling and seems unlikely to get enough support for the Hall of Fame.
Despite his short career, Oswalt accomplished a lot in his 13 years. He finished in the top-six in Cy Young voting six times and was a three time All-Star. He finished his career with a 3.36 ERA and a 49.9 bWAR. Oswalt’s lack of longevity will likely keep him out of the Hall.
In addition to those five newcomers the ballot will also include Lance Berkman, Miguel Tejada and Michael Young. Former Tigers Placido Polanco and Freddy Garcia will be on the ballot for the first time as well.
Advanced stats, steroid allegations and the outdated “rule of 10” are just a few of the controversies surrounding the Hall of Fame voting in recent years. Still, another solid class of Hall of Famers joins Cooperstown. They will be joined by two Detroit legends, righting a couple of wrongs that have been plaguing the Tigers for years. While it may be a while until the next Tiger is inducted into Cooperstown, at least the fans will have something to celebrate in July when the induction ceremony takes place.