Former Cardinals dot Hall of Fame ballot
You might have heard/read already (and if not, you likely will soon) that the 2013 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released earlier today — and with it was released a bevy of arguments about how to properly consider players suspected (or proven) of using performance-enhancing drugs during their careers. That’s because players like Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are among the ballot first-timers this year.
A total of 37 candidates are on the 2013 ballot; the list includes 13 holdovers from last year and 24 new additions. A player must receive 75 percent of the vote for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Votes are cast by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
To see a full list of candidates and to read more about the hopefuls, take a look at this story on MLB.com.
Of the 37 eligible players, six have ties to the Cardinals. Three of those have been on the ballot before:
- For Mark McGwire, this will be his seventh year on the ballot. Last year, he received only 19.5 percent of the vote, marking the lowest total of all his years of eligibility. Click here for a full story about McGwire’s candidacy and the role that PEDs have played in his standing with voters.
- Lee Smith, who spent four of his 18 Major League seasons with the Cardinals, also returns to the ballot. He’s inching closer to being inducted, too. For the first time in 10 tries, Smith eclipsed the 50 percent voting mark last year. Click here for a full story on Smith’s chances at moving toward the needed 75 percent support.
- Though Larry Walker spent the majority of his Major League career with the Expos and Rockies, he did close it out with the Cardinals. Now he’s on the Hall of Fame ballot for the third time after receiving 22.9 percent of the vote last year. Click here for a full story on Walker’s credentials.
The other three players with Cardinal ties are first-time candidates. Included below is commentary on each from Cash Kruth and Zack Meisel, who wrote this ballot story for MLB.com:
- Royce Clayton: Widely recognized as a slick-fielding shortstop with speed, Clayton ranked in the top 10 in fielding percentage among players at his position in each season from 2000-05. He twice led his league in assists and putouts among shortstops. Clayton earned a bid to the All-Star Game in 1997, one of five seasons in which he stole more than 20 bases. The California native also tallied 20 or more
doubles in a season on 12 occasions.
- Reggie Sanders: For 15 consecutive years, 1992-2006, Reggie Sanders totaled double digit home runs and stolen bases. In four of those seasons, the journeyman outfielder compiled a 20-20 campaign. A consistent force at the plate for the better part of two decades, Sanders slugged 305 homers and swiped 304 bases while donning the uniform of eight different Major League teams. He’s one of six players in history with at least 300 homers and steals. The South Carolina native earned an All-Star nod in 1995, and he finished that season with a .306 average, 28 homers, 99 RBIs and 36 steals. For the World Series champion D-backs in 2001, Sanders socked a career-high 33 homers and drove in 90 runs.
- Woody Williams: The best years of Williams’ 15-year career came in St. Louis, where the right-hander earned his lone All-Star nod in 2003. Williams was impressive in the early 2000s, going 63-38 with a 3.80 ERA from 2000-04. He began his career in Toronto as a reliever before shifting to the rotation in 1996 and eventually being traded to the Padres before the 1999 season. After San Diego traded him to St. Louis, he returned to the Padres in 2005 before finishing his career with one season in Houston.
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