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Vote in the second annual South Side Sox Veterans Committee Hall of Fame election!

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This polling pares the ballot down from 30 players to 10

Minnie Minoso obituary
Last year’s sole Veterans Committee winner at our inaugural vote at South Side Hit Pen was Minnie Miñoso.
Chicago Tribune archive photo/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Over many years at South Side Sox, we conducted our own yearly Hall of Fame voting, to see how the opinions of White Sox fans matched up vs. Hall of Fame voters (spoiler alert: We’re smarter).

Three years ago, we also created our own White Sox Hall of Fame, honoring not only the greatest players in White Sox history, but the most memorable games, teams, contributors, promotions, and so on.

When Harold Baines was elected to Cooperstown via the Veterans Committee ballot in 2018, largely creating furor among writers and fans, it sparked an idea for a third annual round of voting, to correct some of the many oversights Cooperstown has made over the years — and continues to make

There are dozens of worthy players who for one reason or another — oh, let’s just say it, baseball writer ignorance — have dropped off of the ballot. In 2019’s Veterans’ vote, the only once since Baines’, Ted Simmons was the only one on the ballot voted in, as Dick Allen and Tony Oliva fell a vote short.

Nearly mirroring the ballot of 32 players for the regular Cooperstown election, here are 30 players comprising our inaugural Veterans Committee ballot. Just like in the regular Hall of Fame election, you may vote for up to 10 players. And those candidates who don’t receive at least 5% of the vote will fall off of the ballot next year.

Last year, voting at South Side Hit Pen, just three players failed to earned enough support to remain on the ballot: Willie Davis, Darrell Evans and Chuck Finley.

Those three, plus Minnie Miñoso advancing into our Hall of Fame via that 2019 election, means four new names are on the ballot, for consideration: Ron Guidry, Orel Hershiser, Mickey Lolich and Sherry Magee.

All player bios can be found below, with some additional new information, like most comparable player. WAR figures tend to change a bit, but I’ve only updates WAR numbers I had compiled prior to 2019. And if you can bear it, check out the “closest HOF election” figure ... it is positively painful for every one of these players, whether you think they are Hall-worthy or not.

The ballot is right here, and also at the end of bios. Voting for this round ends on January 5.

Next week, we’ll vote on the Top 10 winners of this election, with 75% support needed for election. From there, we’ll have our regular Cooperstown vote, and our fourth annual South Side Sox White Sox Hall of Fame election.

note: bWAR = Baseball-Reference WAR fWAR = FanGraphs WAR WARP = Baseball Prospectus WAR aWAR = average WAR across the three measures; aaWAR = adjusted average WAR, accounting for time lost due to labor impasses or institutional racism JAWS = Jay Jaffe’s HOF measure of Top 7 seasons vs. Hall average Similar Player = Baseball-Reference/Bill James formula


Dick Allen

First Baseman/Third Baseman
Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s (1963-77)
bWAR: 58.8
fWAR: 61.3
WARP: 59.1
aWAR: 59.7
aaWAR: 60.2
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 161
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 17
Most Similar Player: Ryan Braun (93.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 18.9% (1996)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 58%
Core Stats 351 HR, .292/.378/.534, .912 OPS, 156 OPS+
Core Accolades 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, 1972 AL MVP, seven-time All-Star, two Top 5 MVP finishes

One of the all-time hardest hitters, Allen’s path to the Hall has been complicated by a number of “moody” tropes that defy his true role as a clubhouse force, at least proven by his White Sox days. Of course, Allen did also move to the beat of his own drum, which rarely endears.

Sal Bando

Third Baseman
Oakland/Kansas City A’s, Milwaukee Brewers (1966-81)
bWAR: 61.5
fWAR: 56.2
WARP: 51.3
aWAR: 56.3
aaWAR: 56.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 156
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 16
Most Similar Player: Todd Zeile (90.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 0.7% (1987)
Core Stats .254/.352/.408, .760 OPS, 119 OPS+
Core Accolades Four-time All-Star, three Top 5 MVP finishes

Key member of the threepeat Oakland A’s of the early 1970s, with a relatively brief but potent peak.

Buddy Bell

Third Baseman
Texas Rangers, Cleveland, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros (1972-89)
bWAR: 66.3
fWAR: 61.7
WARP: 62.5
aWAR: 63.5
aaWAR: 66.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 135
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 15
Most Similar Player: B.J. Surhoff (92.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.7% (1995)
Core Stats 2,514 hits, .279/.341/.406, .747 OPS, 109 OPS+, 23.8 dWAR
Core Accolades Five-time All-Star, six Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger

Chronically underrated given his defensive majesty, as almost no one regards Bell as Hall of Fame-caliber. But the numbers are there, even offensively, where he had enough lasting power and durability to pile up more than 2,500 hits.

Lance Berkman

First Baseman/Left Fielder/Right Fielder
Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees (1999-2013)
bWAR: 52.1
fWAR: 55.9
WARP: 49.4
aWAR: 52.5
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 230
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF 20
Most Similar Player: Ryan Braun (91.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.2% (2019)
Core Stats 366 home runs, .293/.406/.537, .943 OPS, 144 OPS+
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, four Top 5 MVP finishes

Potent power bat, certainly not the strongest case here but worthy of a second look.

Bobby Bonds

Right Fielder
Giants, Angels, Cleveland, Yankees, Rangers, Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox (1968-81)
bWAR: 57.9
fWAR: 57.2
WARP: 63.6
aWAR: 59.6
aaWAR: 59.8
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 179
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF 22
Most Similar Player: Ron Gant (91.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 10.6% (1993)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 12%
Core Stats 332 home runs, 461 stolen bases, .268/.353/.471, .824 OPS, 129 OPS+
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, 1973 All-Star MVP, two Top 5 MVP finishes

It’s mind-boggling that while the Steve Garveys, Dale Murphys and Dave Parkers of baseball get studied consideration for the Hall, Bonds does not. A five-tool player, Bonds was derailed by personal issues off the field that helped keep him from all-time great status.

Ken Boyer

Third Baseman
St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox (1955-69)
bWAR: 62.8
fWAR: 54.8
WARP: 61.5
aWAR: 59.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 155
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 14
Most Similar Player: Bobby Bonilla (90.7%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 25.5% (1988)
Core Stats .287/.349/.462, .810 OPS, 116 OPS+, 10.7 dWAR
Core Accolades 1964 NL MVP, 11-time All-Star, five Gold Gloves, two Top 5 MVP finishes

Extremely strong two-way player, another devastatingly good third baseman who’s been well overlooked.

Kevin Brown

Starting Pitcher
Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles (1977-95)
bWAR: 67.8
fWAR: 76.0
WARP: 81.5
aWAR: 75.1
aaWAR: 76.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 91
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 50
Most Similar Player: Bob Welch (94.6%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 2.1% (2011)
Core Stats 3.28 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 127 ERA+, 3.33 FIP
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes

Perhaps akin to Allen, Brown’s carpetbagger status in the game sullies what is an absolutely potent Hall of Fame resume. Roy Halladay was elected on his first ballot, while Brown was kicked to the curb.

David Cone

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox (1986-2003)
bWAR: 62.3
fWAR: 56
WARP: 71.5
aWAR: 63.3
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 115
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 64
Most Similar Player: Dwight Gooden (94.6%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 3.9% (2009)
Core Stats 3.46 ERA, 1.256 WHIP, 121 ERA+, 3.57 FIP
Core Accolades 1994 Cy Young, five-time All-Star, three Top 5 Cy Young finishes

A dominant arm who perhaps didn’t quite stand out enough in a Roger Clemens-Pedro Martinez era, Cone was a consistently-elite money pitcher, period.

Jim Edmonds

Center Fielder
St. Louis Cardinals, Angels, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds (1993-2010)
bWAR: 60.4
fWAR: 64.5
WARP: 67.1
aWAR: 64
aaWAR: 64.9
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 144
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF 15
Most Similar Player: Lance Berkman (91.1%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 2.5% (2016)
Core Stats 393 home runs, .284/.376/.527, .903 OPS, 132 OPS+
Core Accolades Four-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, two Top 5 MVP finishes

A highlight-reel defender, with a potent power bat to boot.

Dwight Evans

Right Fielder
Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles (1972-91)
bWAR: 67.1
fWAR: 65.1
WARP: 69.2
aWAR: 67.1
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 138
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF 15
Most Similar Player: Luis González (90.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 10.4% (1998)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 19%
Core Stats 385 home runs, .272/.370/.470, .840 OPS, 127 OPS+
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, two Top 5 MVP finishes

Evans has managed to be underrated despite some high-profile postseason appearances and status as nearly a career Red Sox. A devastating all-around player.

Bobby Grich

Second Baseman
California Angels, Baltimore Orioles (1970-86)
bWAR: 71.1
fWAR: 69.1
WARP: 53.1
aWAR: 64.4
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 83
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B 8
Most Similar Player: Toby Harrah (90.9%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 2.6% (1992)
Core Stats .266/.371/.424, .794 OPS, 125 OPS+
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, one Gold Glove

One of several poster children for both the tendency of writers to miss Hall-worthiness in front of their own eyes and the redemption of hallowed careers thanks to the advance of sabermetrics. The same case made to pave Ted Simmons’ way into the Hall will one day work for Grich.

Ron Guidry

Starting Pitcher
New York Yankees (1975-88)
bWAR: 47.8
fWAR: 49.3
WARP: 51.5
aWAR: 49.5
aaWAR: 51.3
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 120
Most Similar Player: Adam Wainwright (94.8%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 8.8% (2000)
Core Stats 170 wins, 3.29 ERA, 1.184 WHIP, 119 ERA+, 3.27 FIP
Core Accolades 1978 AL Cy Young, four-time All-Star, four Top 5 Cy Young finishes, top five MVP finish, five Gold Gloves, two ERA titles

Louisiana Lightning did not have a long career, and had just three seasons of 32 or more starts. But when he was on, he was the best lefthander in the game. At the end of the 1970s, he was ludicrously dominant, leading the AL twice in a row in ERA, with his 1.74 in 1978 registering as an astounding 208 ERA+; that’s peak Pedro or Gibson stuff.

Keith Hernandez

First Baseman
St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cleveland (1974-90)
bWAR: 60.4
fWAR: 59.4
WARP: 45.8
aWAR: 55.2
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 162
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B 19
Most Similar Player: Wally Joyner (91.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 10.8% (1998)
Core Stats .292/.384/.436, .821 OPS, 128 OPS+
Core Accolades 1979 NL co-MVP, five-time All-Star, 11 Gold Gloves, two-time Silver Slugger, 1979 batting title, two Top 5 MVP finishes

Hernandez had a sneaky-great career that included a very strong second act in New York, after an initial run in St. Louis.

Orel Hershiser

Starting Pitcher
Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets (1983-2000)
bWAR: 56.0
fWAR: 52.6
WARP: 69.8
aWAR: 59.4
aaWAR: 62.2
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 225
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 83
Most Similar Player: Bob Welch (97.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 11.2% (2006)
Core Stats 204 wins, 3.48 ERA, 1.261 WHIP, 112 ERA+, 3.69 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, 1988 NL Cy Young, NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, 1995 ALCS MVP, Gold Glove, four Top 5 Cy Young finishes

While Hershiser may have somewhat pedestrian regular season stats overall, it was in October he shined, with a career 2.59 ERA and 1.106 WHIP over 132 innings.

Tommy John

Starting Pitcher
Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland, Oakland A’s (1963-89)
bWAR: 61.6
fWAR: 79.1
WARP: 45.9
aWAR: 62.2
aaWAR: 63.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 201
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 85
Most Similar Player: Jim Kaat (92.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 31.7% (2009)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 51%
Core Stats 288 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 3.38 FIP
Core Accolades Four-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes

John is Exhibit A for the Jamie Moyer-type pitcher who simply never stopped pitching and thus piled up Hall-worthy numbers. That John was effective, even dominant, after the surgery that now bears his name adds an impressive wrinkle to his mere “piling up.”

Chet Lemon

Center Fielder
Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox (1975-90)
bWAR: 55.6
fWAR: 52
WARP: 45.8
aWAR: 51.1
aaWAR: 53.2
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 186
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF 20
Most Similar Player: Johnny Callison (92.8%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 0.2% (1996)
Core Stats .273/.355/.442, .797 OPS, 121 OPS+
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star

Like Bell, a double-take candidate who gets close to no consideration among voters, even among the veterans committees of baseball. Legendary range in the outfield. a consistent bat, and a mysterious illness that truncated his career all combine to make Lemon an intriguing Hall case.

Kenny Lofton

Center Fielder
Cleveland, Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Astros (1991-2007)
bWAR: 68.3
fWAR: 62.4
WARP: 50.6
aWAR: 60.4
aaWAR: 63.8
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 100
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF 10
Most Similar Player: Jimmy Ryan (87.6%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 3.2% (2013)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 22%
Core Stats 622 stolen bases, .299/.372/.423, .794 OPS, 107 OPS+, 15.5 dWAR
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish

An elite defender who roamed the challenging turf of center field for a long time. Like Brown, Lofton’s mercenary status hopping cities after Cleveland likely dinged his status among voters.

Mickey Lolich

Starting Pitcher
Detroit Tigers, San Diego Padres, New York Mets (1963-79)
bWAR: 48.0
fWAR: 64.6
WARP: 61.9
aWAR: 58.2
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 119
Most Similar Player: Jim Bunning (94.2%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 25.5% (1988)
Core Stats 217 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 104 ERA+, 3.20 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, 1968 World Series MVP, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes, one Top 5 MVP finish

In the Year of the Pitcher (1968), Lolich didn’t pile up more than 30 wins or a microscopic ERA — he was merely the World Series MVP for the Detroit Tigers, defeating the great Bob Gibson in a classic Game 7. The lefty was an unbelievable workhorse, with career seasons in 1971-72 that were part of a five consecutive-season stretch where he made no fewer than 39 starts a season, topping off with 376 innings in 1971.

Sherry Magee

Left Fielder
Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds (1904-19)
bWAR: 59.4
fWAR: 63.4
aWAR: 61.4
aaWAR: 62.0
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 178
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF 14
Most Similar Player: Wally Moses (89.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.0% (1937)
Core Stats 83 home runs, .291/.364/.427, .790 OPS, 137 OPS+
Core Accolades 1910 NL batting title, 1910 top batting WAR, probable two-time MVP (no award at the time)

A true five-tool player, Magee’s fiery temper and early death (succumbing to pneumonia in 1929, a mere 10 years after his playing career ended, at 44) doubtlessly impeded any serious shot he had at the Hall, although garnering just 1% in his best of eight ballot showings is nothing short of galling.

Mark McGwire

First Baseman
Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals (1986-2001)
bWAR: 62.2
fWAR: 66.3
WARP: 58.8
aWAR: 62.4
aaWAR: 63.6
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 137
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B 18
Most Similar Player: José Canseco (80.1%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 23.7% (2009)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 14%
Core Stats 583 home runs, .263/.394/.588, .982 OPS, 163 OPS+
Core Accolades 1987 AL Rookie of the Year, 12-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, three Top 5 MVP finishes

PED controversies aside, McGwire put up numbers. There likely remain enough steroid purists out there to keep him far off of the ballot for years to come, but the production and rankings merit inclusion here.

Graig Nettles

Third Baseman
New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Cleveland, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos (1967-88)
bWAR: 68.0
fWAR: 65.7
WARP: 64.6
aWAR: 66.1
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 126
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 12
Most Similar Player: Darrell Evans (90.5%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 8.3% (1994)
Core Stats 390 home runs, .248/.329/.421, .750 OPS, 110 OPS+, 21.4 dWAR
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish, 1981 ALCS MVP

Yet another incredible bat that doubled as a killer defender, Nettles might even have an advantage over Bell and Boyer due to successive, high-profile defensive highlights with the Yankees in the postseason.

Rafael Palmeiro

First Baseman
Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs (1985-2005)
bWAR: 71.9
fWAR: 70
WARP: 64.4
aWAR: 68.8
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 131
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B 12
Most Similar Player: Frank Robinson (88.8%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 12.6% (2012)
Core Stats 3,020 hits, 569 home runs, .288/.371/.515, .885 OPS, 132 OPS+
Core Accolades Four-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, one Top 5 MVP finish

More PED taint, yes, but Palmeiro has an even more compelling case for the Hall than McGwire. An elite bat, solid glove, and great longevity.

Willie Randolph

Second Baseman
New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates (1975-92)
bWAR: 65.9
fWAR: 62.1
WARP: 52.8
aWAR: 60.3
aaWAR: 61.3
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 136
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B 17
Most Similar Player: Tony Taylor (87.0%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.1% (1998)
Core Stats .276/.373/.351, .724 OPS, 104 OPS+, 20.2 dWAR
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, Silver Slugger

Another easily-overlooked player, which is somewhat shocking given a career largely played in the Bronx.

Rick Reuschel

Starting Pitcher
Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees (1972-91)
bWAR: 69.5
fWAR: 68.2
WARP: 42.3
aWAR: 60
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 93
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 49
Most Similar Player: Jim Perry (92.7%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 0.4% (1997)
Core Stats 3.37 ERA, 1.275 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.22 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, three Top 5 Cy Young finishes

Perhaps the consummate overlooked candidate. The only area Reuschel can be dinged is “elite status,” because he rarely reached such air despite three Top 5 Cy Youngs.

Pete Rose

First Baseman/Left Fielder/Third Baseman/Second Baseman/Right Fielder
Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos (1963-86)
bWAR: 79.7
fWAR: 80.1
WARP: 73.2
aWAR: 77.7
aaWAR: 79
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF 5
Most Similar Player: Paul Molitor (67.9%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 9.5% (1992)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 48%
Core Stats 3,562 games, 4,256 hits, 2.165 runs, .303/.375/.409, .784 OPS, 118 OPS+
Core Accolades All-time games and hits leader, 1973 NL MVP, 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, 17-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, four Top 5 MVP finishes, 1975 World Series MVP

Obviously Rose has the numbers to be in the Hall as an all-time great, so his inclusion here is more a referendum on whether unsavory and/or banned actions off the field should affect enshrinement status on it.

Bret Saberhagen

Starting Pitcher
Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies (1984-2001)
bWAR: 58.8
fWAR: 55.3
WARP: 54.4
aWAR: 56.2
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 142
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 70
Most Similar Player: Roy Oswalt (94.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.3% (2007)
Core Stats 3.34 ERA, 1.141 WHIP, 126 ERA+, 3.27 FIP
Core Accolades 1985 and 1989 AL Cy Young, three-time All-Star, Gold Glove, one Top 5 Cy Young finish, 1985 World Series MVP

Perhaps the anti-Reuschel candidate, as Saberhagen had runs of elite pitching but a touch less longevity and overall dominance.

Reggie Smith

Right Fielder/Center Fielder
Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants (1966-82)
bWAR: 64.6
fWAR: 64.6
WARP: 68.1
aWAR: 65.8
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 129
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF 16
Most Similar Player: Fred Lynn (95.9%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 0.7% (1988)
Core Stats .287/.366/.489, .855 OPS, 137 OPS+
Core Accolades Seven-time All-Star, Gold Glove, two Top 5 MVP finishes

Another consummate glue guy and elite power bat. Again, his own L.A. teammates Steve Garvey and Ron Cey seem to merit more consideration for the Hall in spite of less-worthy resumes.

Luis Tiant

Starting Pitcher
Boston Red Sox, Cleveland, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels (1964-82)
bWAR: 66
fWAR: 54.8
WARP: 41.5
aWAR: 54.1
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 111
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 57
Most Similar Player: Catfish Hunter (94.2%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 30.9% (1988)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 17%
Core Stats 3.30 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.47 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finish, one Top 5 MVP finish

Tiant’s case is bolstered (though not a determination for his inclusion here) by some heroic postseason pitching and extremely colorful personality.

Joe Torre

Catcher/First Baseman/Third Baseman
Atlanta Braves, St.Louis Cardinals, New York Mets (1960-77)
bWAR: 57.6
fWAR: 62.3
WARP: 51.9
aWAR: 57.3
aaWAR: 57.4
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 176
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B 24
Most Similar Player: Victor Martinez (90.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 22.2% (1997)
Core Stats 2.342 hits, .297/.365/.452, .817 OPS, 129 OPS+
Core Accolades 1971 NL MVP, nine-time All-Star, Gold Glove, one Top 5 MVP finish, Hall of Fame Manager

Yes, Torre is already in the Hall as a manager, but he has an even stronger case as a player. His ability to dominate at a grueling position like catcher, then shift into a second elite career at another position(s) should not be taken lightly.

Lou Whitaker

Second Baseman
Detroit Tigers (1977-95)
bWAR: 75.1
fWAR: 68.1
WARP: 48.5
aWAR: 63.9
aaWAR: 66.7
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 76
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B 13
Most Similar Player: Ryne Sandberg (90.1%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 2.9% (2001)
2019 SSHP Veterans Ballot Result 58%
Core Stats 2.369 hits, .276/.363/.426, .789 OPS, 117 OPS+
Core Accolades 1978 Rookie of the Year, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove

While not the biggest lock of a candidate on this list necessarily, his idiotic bypassing by the Veterans Committee in 2019 helped to create this SSS vote. You’d think almost no one thinks Whitaker is not a Hall-of-Famer at this point, certainly not if Alan Trammell is. But just enough folks on a solitary, punch-dunk Vet Committee did in their last gathering, so labor on we must.


If you didn’t click on the link before the list of player bios, here’s your chance to access the ballot again without scrolling up.

Vote for up to 10 players. The Top 10 will advance to our final Veterans ballot next week. Players who receive less than 5% of the vote will be taken off of the ballot for the next five years.