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There Are Too Many Hall Of Famers On The Hall-Of-Fame Ballot

Illustration for article titled There Are Too Many Hall Of Famers On The Hall-Of-Fame Ballot

There are so damn many Hall of Famers on this year's Cooperstown ballot, you should probably start getting angry now over the ones who aren't going to make it in this time. (And after that, you can go back to being sad over the ones who are never going to make it in.)

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Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and John Smoltz are newcomers to this year's ballot. They join holdovers Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, and Mike Mussina as players who should absolutely, no question be in the Hall of Fame.

Then there are those players who would likely be Cooperstown material if not for the glut ahead of them: newcomer Gary Sheffield and holdovers Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Jeff Kent, Mark McGwire, Larry Walker, and Sammy Sosa.

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That's 18 worthy names for 10 spots! And that doesn't even count zero-chance holdovers Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Lee Smith or newcomers Nomar Garciaparra and Carlos Delgado, all of whom have decent cases. Even if a decent-sized bloc of voters weren't bent on using the ballot to litigate Clinton-era controversies, the dumb voting structure would still make it impossible for the electorate to honor everyone worth honoring. This is a goddamned mess, and the Baseball Writers' Association of America and the Hall of Fame need to get together and figure out what they're going to do about it.

Those eligible for the first time also include Tony Clark, Darin Erstad, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Jermaine Dye, Brian Giles, and Cliff Floyd.

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