The 2020 Modern Era ballot has been announced for the Hall of Fame. Ten names will be considered by the Eras Committee for inclusion in the 2020 induction class. Several players have been inducted by the Eras Committees over the past few seasons, including Jack Morris and Alan Trammell in 2018 and Lee Smith and Harold Baines in 2019.
Of the ten names, nine are former players and the tenth, Marvin Miller, being an executive. The names are: Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Lou Whitaker, and Miller. Miller and Munson are the only two men on this Hall of Fame Ballot who are not currently alive.
The Hall of Fame’s 2020 Modern Baseball Era ballot features Dwight Evans, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Marvin Miller, Thurman Munson, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons and Lou Whitaker. Results to be announced Dec. 8 on @MLBNetwork #HOF2020 https://t.co/xlF1wuPg15 pic.twitter.com/jCrDFWqyMP
— National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ⚾ (@baseballhall) November 4, 2019
The National Baseball Hall of Fame, above all things, is a museum that tells the story of the history of baseball. However, it is extremely difficult to tell the story of baseball history without mentioning Miller’s name.
Miller was elected as the head of the MLB Player’s Association in 1966, and he is the reason that players have the ability to enter free agency. This transformed the structure of the game. Because of this transformation, players were making ten times the money they were making when he took over.
Evans played for 20 seasons with 19 of them for the Boston Red Sox. He was a three-time All Star, and he won eight Gold Glove awards. Evans more home runs (256) and extra base hits (605) then any AL player in the 1980s.
He compiled overall totals of 2,446 hits, 385 home runs, and 1,385 RBI. His slash line was .272/.270/.470. He led the league in OPS twice, walks thrice, and home runs, on baase percentage, runs scored, and total bases once each.
Garvey was a ten-time All Star in 19 seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. He won the 1974 NL MVP while finishing second in 1978. He also won four Gold Glove awards while compiling 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, and 1,308 RBI and a .294 average. Also, Garvey holds the NL record for most consecutive games played with 1,207 ranging from September 3rd, 1975 to July 29th, 1983.
Garvey played on five pennant-winning teams, including the 1981 World Series champion Dodgers. He had a slash line of .338/.361/.550 in 55 postseason games over 11 series.
John played for six teams over 26 seasons. He compiled 288 wins, a 3.34 ERA, and a 1.283 WHIP in 4,710.1 innings pitched.
John’s is most notable for his contributions to the medical side of the game. He was the first player to undergo the surgery that now bares his name. John underwent the ground-breaking procedure after a runner-up finish in the 1974 Cy Young award, replacing a torn ulnar collateral ligament with a tendon. John would return in the 1976 season and pitch for 14 more seasons after that, winning 20 games three times in that span.
Mattingly’s inclusion on this Hall of Fame ballot is warranted, but whether he deserves induction is highly debated. Overall, he accumulated 2,153 hits, 222 home runs, and 1,099 RBI with a .307/.358/.471 slash line. He also won nine Gold Glove awards in 14 seasons, and he played his entire career with the New York Yankees.
The argument for Mattingly comes from his six-year peak from 1984-1989. In that span, he was an All Star every season with a .323/.372/.530 slash line. He averaged 43 doubles, 27 home runs, 114 RBI with only 36 strikeouts in that time. He won the 1984 Batting Crown and the 1985 AL MVP. Additionally, he led the league in hits twice, doubles thrice, total bases twice, and RBI, slugging percentage, OPS, and OPS+ once each. In 1987, Mattingly tied the MLB record by homering in eight-straight games.
Munson was tragically killed in an airplane crash in 1979 at the age of 32. What gets overshadowed by the tragedy of his death is how good of a catcher he was. He played 11 seasons, all of which were with the Yankees, and he was the 1970 AL Rookie of the Year and 1976 AL MVP.
Munson was a seven-time All Star with three Gold Glove awards, and he is one of only two catchers with consecutive seasons of a .300 average, 180 hits, and 100 RBI,, which he accomplished in three consecutive years. He also led the Yankees to three consecutive AL pennants from 1976-1978, winning back-to-back titles in 1977 and 1978. In 1976, he was named the first Yankee captain since 1939.
Murphy played for 18 seasons, 15 of which were with the Atlanta Braves. He totaled 2,111 hits, 398 home runs, and 1,266 RBI for his career. He won back-to-back NL MVP awards in 1982 and 1983. Murphy was a seven-time All Star, winning five Gold Glove awards.
Similar to Mattingly, Murphy’s candidacy lies in a six-year peak, from 1982-1987, when he was an All Star every year. He played in at least 159 games in all of those season, including four consecutive seasons playing in all 162 games. In that time, he slashed .289/.382/.531 while averaging 36 home runs and 105 RBI. He joined the 30-home-run-30-steal club in 1983, and he led the league in runs scored, OPS, and walks once, and home runs, RBI, and slugging percentage twice.
Parker was a five-tool player who played for 19 seasons, including 11 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had four, top-five finishes in the MVP and he won the award in 1978. Parker recorded 2,712 hits and a .290 average with 339 home runs, and 1,493 RBI. He played on two World Series winning teams with the 1979 Pirates and the 1989 Oakland Athletics.
Parker won two Batting Crowns in 1977 and 1978. He also led the league in total bases three times, slugging percentage and doubles twice, and hits, RBI, OPS, and OPS+ once. Parker was a seven time All Star with three Gold Glove awards.
A switch-hitting catcher, Simmons played for 21 seasons, including 13 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was an All Star eight times, and he garnered MVP votes seven times. He has a career .285 batting average with 2,472 hits, and he has 483 doubles, 248 home runs, and 1,389 RBI.
Simmons finished in the top-ten in the league for batting average six times. He has the first-and-second-most hits in a single season for a player who caught 150+ games during the year. Among players with 50% of their game as a catcher, Simmons is second in hits, doubles, and RBI all time and fifth in runs scored.
Whitaker played his entire 19-year-career with the Detroit Tigers, winning a World Series in 1984. He hopes to join Morris and Trammell, his teammates from that team, in the Hall of Fame. Having never played a game in the field at any position other than second base, Whitaker was a five-time All Star, winning four Silver Slugger and three Gold Glove awards.
Whitaker recorded 2,369 hits and 1,197 walks for a .276/.363/.426 slash line. He was also the 1978 AL Rookie of the Year.
The Eras Committee will discuss the candidacy of each of these players, and an announcement will be broadcast on MLB Network on Sunday, December 8th.
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