Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New York Yankees on the 2016 Hall of Fame Ballot

The New York Yankees have sent a total of 53 players, managers and executives to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and have seen another six broadcasters receive the Ford C. Frick Award from Cooperstown in the franchise's storied history. Could New York send another former player to the Hall of Fame and the shrine that is Cooperstown, New York in 2016?

The latest former Yankees player, although he went into the Hall wearing a Arizona Diamondbacks hat, was Randy Johnson breaking a drought that had been around since 2009 when former Yankee Rickey Henderson, who went in as a member of the Oakland Athletics, got elected into Cooperstown. Three former Yankees are on the ballot for the 2016 and while two of them will forever be linked to steroids and PED's one player has a true shot at immortality. Those three players are of course Roger Clemens, Mike Mussina and Gary Sheffield.

We won't spend too much time here on Clemens but what about Sheffield and Mussina? Mussina pitched eight of his 18 season career with the Yankees and narrowly missed winning 300 games and striking out 3,000 batters in his career. Mussina got within four outs of a perfect game three different times and missed a perfect game inside Fenway Park by just one strike, eff you Carl Everett, during his career for one of his four one-hitters in his career. Mussina was on the ballot in 2015 and earned 24.6% of the vote on a ballot loaded down with talent, expect that number to sky rocket in 2016. Will it be 75% next season? That's unlikely in my opinion but he could be there by 2017 or 2018 at the latest when more people look at his numbers in the height of the steroid and PED era that is keeping so many hitters out of the Hall.

Gary Sheffield played in Yankees pinstripes for three of his 22 seasons in Major League Baseball as New York was one of the eight professional teams he played for in his career. In three seasons Sheffield belted 76 home runs and hit .291 adding to his hit totals that were above 2,600 hits and 500 home runs when he finally decided to hang it up. Sheffield was named in the 2007 Mitchell Report that accused him of using steroids though likely erasing his "500 home runs is an automatic ticket into the Hall of Fame" card.

I'm not sure any of the three former Yankees will get into the Hall this winter but if one player does it's likely to be Mussina. That Mitchell Report is just too damning for offensive players and Sheffield will suffer from it.

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