With the Hall Of Fame election announcement coming on January 9, 2012, it is time to review the ballot, go over the names, and decide who belongs in the Hall Of Fame.
There are twenty seven men on the ballot this year and we will take a look at each one individually prior to official announcements. You can find all of the profiles in the I-70 Baseball Exclusives: Cooperstown Choices 2012 menu at the top of the page.
Tune in Saturday, January 7, 2012 as I-70 Baseball Radio will host a panel of writers discussing the Hall Of Fame Ballot in a 2-hour special.
In this article, we take a look at Bernie Williams.
Bernie patrolled center field in the Bronx for sixteen seasons, spending his entire career with the New York Yankees. A young man who made his debut in 1991 and played his final game in 2006, this will be the first year that Bernie appears on the ballot.
|162 Game Avg.||162||614||107||182||35||4||22||98||11||83||95||.297||.381||.477||.858||125|
Why He Should Get In
Bernie was one of the premier center fielders of his generation, hanging just behind the big names like Ken Griffey, Jr. His 2,300 hits, lifetime .297 batting average, 287 home runs and 1,200 runs batted in are all solid number for the voters to consider. His four consecutive Gold Glove awards (1997 – 2000), five straight All Star appearances (1997-2001), and 2002 Silver Slugger award display his abilities and place high above his peers in multiple facets of the game. He took home a batting title in 1998 and holds a lifetime .381 on base percentage and .858 OPS (On Base Plus Slugging Percentage). Baseball-Reference ranks him with a Hall Of Fame score of 48 where the average Hall Of Famer ranks a score of 50.
Why He Should Not Get In
Bernie Williams is a bubble Hall Of Famer that will find his way into Cooperstown at some point. However, being his first time on the ballot, no matter how weak the class, will hold him out this year due to many voters feeling that first ballot is not a place for such a player. His stats are just under the marks for most Hall Of Famers, but he played during a time that is tainted with steroids and has never been connected to them himself, which will allow some voters to tout his ability to play a clean game. He fell short of some of the milestones most players feel they need to hit for induction. It will take time for Bernie Williams.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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