The 2017 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame ballot was released by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) on Monday afternoon. The ballot consists of 34 former players. Nineteen players are up for election for the first time, and 15 nominees return from the 2016 ballot. The Detroit Tigers, and particularly the 2006 World Series squad, will be well represented with six former players on the ballot. Those players are Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Edgar Renteria, Gary Sheffield, and Matt Stairs.
Rodriguez had a career that spanned 21 seasons, and he spent five of those in the Olde English D. He hit .298/.328./.449 in his career as a Tiger and was a big reason the Detroit made it to the World Series in 2006, as he deftly led a young pitching staff in need of guidance and experience. Overall, Rodriguez had a solid career in which he batted .296/.334/.464 and had a career fielding percentage of .991 as a catcher. Among his career highlights are a World Series ring with the then-Florida Marlins in 2003, an American League Most Valuable Player award, 13 Gold Gloves, seven Silver Sluggers, and 14 All-Star team selections (12 as the starting catcher).
Magglio Ordonez played in the MLB for 15 seasons, seven of those with Detroit. He spent his first eight MLB seasons in Chicago before signing with the Tigers as a free agent before the 2005 season. Ordonez is best known to Tigers fans for his epic walk-off home run in the 2006 ALCS to send Detroit to their first World Series appearance since 1984.
While that was definitely Ordonez’s most memorable contribution to the Tigers, he was a staple in Detroit’s lineup from 2005 to 2011 when he retired. During that time he hit .312/.373/.476 and, like Pudge, was a leader on a young Tigers team. Ordonez hit nearly 300 home runs and drove in over 1,200 runs in his MLB career. The Venezuelan born right-fielder was selected to six All-Star teams, won three Silver Sluggers, and finished second in the AL MVP voting in 2007.
Carlos Guillen had a 14-year career; eight of those seasons were with Detroit. Guillen spent six years with the Seattle Mariners before they traded him to the Tigers in a deal that sent Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez (not that Juan Gonzalez) to Seattle prior to the 2004 season. Guillen batted .297/.366/.476 in total with the Tigers. His best season was 2006 when he hit 19 home runs, scored 100 runs, and batted .320 en route to finishing 10th in the American League MVP voting. Guillen was selected to three All-Star teams with Detroit: 2004, 2007, and 2008.
Edgar Renteria’s MLB career spanned 16 seasons and seven teams. Renteria was traded to Detroit after the 2007 season in a deal that sent Gorkys Hernandez and Jair Jurrjens to the Atlanta Braves. Tigers fans may remember Renteria with contempt because the Tigers traded two decent prospects for an infielder that declined significantly from the previous year. Renteria batted only .270 with 69 runs in 2008 after batting .332 with 87 runs the year before. Career accolades for Renteria include finishing second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1996, five career All-Star team selections and three Silver Sluggers.
Gary Sheffield had a 22-year career in which he played for eight teams. He spent 2007 and 2008 with Detroit. During his time in the Motor City, Sheffield batted .247/.354/.433 and hit 44 home runs total. His accomplishments include winning the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997, being selected to nine All-Star teams, winning five Silver Slugger awards, and finishing in the top five in MVP voting three times in his career.
Matt Stairs is the last former Tiger on the ballot. He played for 12 teams in his 19 year career. He played only 14 games with the Tigers at the end of the 2006 regular season. He was claimed off waivers by Detroit on the September 15 and was not eligible to be on the playoff roster. He had a batting average of .244 in 41 at-bats with Detroit. Stairs’ best season was 1999 with the Oakland Athletics when he finished 17th in the AL MVP voting. He batted .258/.356/.533 that season, and hit 38 home runs. He won the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and holds the record for most career pinch-hit home runs with 23.
To be selected to the MLB Hall of Fame, candidates must receive votes on a minimum of 75 percent of ballots. Players that don’t get inducted will stay on the ballot for up to ten years as long as they receive votes on at least five percent of voters ballots. Ken Griffey, Jr., and Mike Piazza were the sole 2016 inductees. The results of the voting will be announced on January 18, 2017.
Other notable players
Jeff Bagwell narrowly missed induction in 2016 when he garnered 71 of the vote, just shy of the necessary 75 percent. He could make it this year. His career highlights include winning the NL Rookie of the Year, the NL MVP, finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting six times, getting selected to four All-Star teams, and winning four Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove.
Vladimir Guerrero is on the ballot for the first time and could potentially be elected in the years to come. Guerrero had a 16 year career in which he received MVP votes 12 times (he won the AL MVP in 2004), was selected to nine All-Star teams, and won eight Silver Sluggers.
This is Manny Ramirez’s first time on the ballot and his career numbers are good enough to warrant some votes. He had a 19-year career and was selected to the All-Star team in 12 of those seasons. He finished in the top ten in the MVP voting nine times, and he won nine Silver Sluggers. He won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007.
Jorge Posada is on the ballot for the first time as well. He was a New York Yankee for his entire 17-year career. He won five World Series rings, was selected to the All-Star team five times, won five Silver Slugger awards, and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice.
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Click here for the full article from the BBWAA.