Tomorrow is a big day for baseball geeks and talking head pundits alike, as we get to see who will comprise the 2016 Hall of Fame class, as voted on by baseball writers across the land. It's also a banner day in the sports world because it inevitably kicks off a firestorm of hot takes and argumentative tweets, all designed to show each other up and let people know what a REAL HOF ballot should look like. Baseball and bickering go hand in hand, sometimes, and all it takes is a little ballot and a way to blast your thoughts across the interwebz to light the perpetual fire of staunch disagreement.
I'm probably more immune to this than other baseball fiends out there, mainly because I don't have an endless fascination with the Hall of Fame, to begin with. Perhaps it's the contrarian in me, or I was brought up watching too many Dances With Wolves-type movies cement their legacy with Oscars while more substantial movies are left by the wayside, but I have always made an effort not to put too much stock into which player is in the HOF, and who's left out. There are always the laundry list of players that you can name who unequivocally should be in the HOF, while there are the go-to guys you spout off who have (in your mind) no business being there in the first place. For all of the emphasis on numbers, stats and the quantification of talent in MLB these days, it's just too frustrating to think about how the HOF voting can come down to parameters and requisites that move and change more than an Angel Hernandez strikezone. (The same can be said for other professional sports and their own HOFs, to be fair to MLB)
With that said, I do get excited when seeing former Angels on the HOF ballot, and this year, we have FOUR of them: David Eckstein, Garret Anderson, Troy Glaus and Jim Edmonds. Not too shabby, but do any of them stand a chance? Probably not(and that's putting it lightly). There's probably good reason while I will never be asked to vote on the HOF, and that's because i'm an unabashed homer when it comes to the Halos, and if I had my druthers, I'd cast votes for each of the former Angels with no remorse.
But out of these four former Angels, who has the best shot at actually getting into the Hall of Fame? Here's how my list pans out, starting from the person least likely to get HOF votes to the person most likely to get any precious nods of HOF approval.
4. David Eckstein
If it were the Hall of Hustle/Grit/Moxie, then Eck would be a first ballot inductee. Unfortunately, baseball guys want to see more from a player to get into Cooperstown. Still, David Eckstein was a dude you wanted on your team in the post-season. He was a two time all star, and also was an Ecks factor(ha...get it?!?!?!?!?!) on two different championship teams(2002 Angels, 2006 Cardinals), the latter of which he also won the WS MVP award. Not too shabby for a great player and even better human being. Humble, hardworking...not much more you could ask for out of a ball player(besides, you know, on-field results and stats and stuff).
Eckstein's chances of getting into HOF: to quote Vince McMahon's amazing theme song,"No chance, that's what ya got!"
3. Troy Glaus
Glaus was a near household name when it came to power hitters in the early aughts. He would go on to four All Star Game appearances, and in 2000 was the AL home run king. The crown jewel in his career, at least in the eyes of Angels fans, was his stellar post-season in 2002, culminating in an Angels championship and him being named World Series MVP. None of these accomplishments will get him into the HOF, but they will forever make him a favorite in the eyes of the Halos faithful.
Glaus' chances of getting into the HOF: To quote Dean Wormer, "Zero. Point. Zero."
2. Garret Anderson
I'm too GA to look up GA's numbers, but I can tell you this: the guy is easily a top 3 all time Angels player for me, personally, and I'd be over the moon if he got elected to the HOF. He doesn't stand a chance in Hell of doing so, but he's got plenty of impressive accolades to give credence to the thought. Anderson currently holds a few Angels team records, was a three time All Star, two time Silver Slugger winner, runner up in rookie of the year voting his inaugural season, and also had some of the biggest and most clutch hits of the 2002 post-season that culminated in him getting a ring. The guy is also pure class. What more could you want? Oh yeah, those pesky numbers again.
Anderson's chances of getting into the HOF: probably one in a million. As a GA fan, I feel like Lloyd Christmas right about now.
1. Jim Edmonds
Edmonds was truly a great player in MLB over a long stretch of time(roughly 1995-2005), although a good chunk of that was NOT with the Angels. Still, he was a badass on the field, and pulled off one of the all-time great MLB catches(while wearing that sweet, 90's Angels uni, naturally). He was an All Star four times, seven time Gold Glove winner, had enough tasty numbers to please the more Saber-minded baseball fiends out there, and also had the requisite clutch post-season appearances. Out of all of the former Angels appearing on the 2016 HOF ballot, Edmonds has the best shot at getting in. Still, it's a solid class that he's going up against, and at this point, just getting enough votes to make it onto next year's ballot would be considered a victory.
Edmonds' chances of getting into the HOF: To quote my dad, Immortan Joe, "Mediocre!"
While the rest of the baseball world is arguing about the Jeff Kents vs. Fred McGriff, or how to handle HOF candidates who were roided out of the eyeballs, i'm focused on our ex-Halos and how they'll fare. The grim reality is that, most likely, these guys may have seen their one and only HOF ballot (they'll need to show up on 5% or more to get on future ballots). Jim Edmonds may have the best shot at staying on there, though, but if it were up to me, we'd see Glaus, Eckstein, Edmonds, and my main man Garret Anderson in HOF discussions for years to come.
Do any of these guys stand a chance? We will find out soon enough.