Over many years at South Side Sox, we conducted our own yearly Hall of Fame voting, to see how the opinions of White Sox fans matched up vs. Hall of Fame voters (spoiler alert: We’re smarter).
Two years ago, we also created our own White Sox Hall of Fame, honoring not only the greatest players in White Sox history, but the most memorable games, teams, contributors, promotions, and so on.
When Harold Baines was elected to Cooperstown via a Veteran’s Committee ballot in 2018, it sparked an idea for a third round of voting, now hosted here at South Side Hit Pen: our own Veteran’s Committee ballot.
There are dozens of worthy players who for one reason or another — oh, let’s just say it, baseball writer ignorance — have dropped off of the ballot. We seek to remedy that, on the heels of the latest BBWAA election that saw only Ted Simmons among former players voted into Cooperstown last Sunday.
Nearly mirroring the ballot of 32 players for the regular election, here are 30 players comprising our inaugural Veteran’s Committee ballot. Just like in the regular Hall of Fame election, you may vote for up to 10 players. And those candidates who don’t receive at least 5% of the vote will fall off of this balloting next year.
note: aWAR = average WAR across the three measures; aaWAR = adjusted average WAR, accounting for time lost due to labor impasses or institutional racism
First Baseman/Third Baseman
Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A’s
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 161st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 17th
Core Stats: 351 HR, .292/.378/.534, .912 OPS, 156 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1964 NL Rookie of the Year, 1972 AL MVP, seven-time All-Star, two Top 5 MVP finishes
One of the all-time hardest-hitters, Allen’s path to the Hall has been complicated by a number of “moody” tropes that defy his true role as a clubhouse force, at least proven by his White Sox days. Of course, Allen did also move to the beat of his own drum, which rarely endears.
Oakland/Kansas City A’s, Milwaukee Brewers
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 156th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 16th
Core Stats: .254/.352/.408, .760 OPS, 119 OPS+
Core Accolades: Four-time All-Star, three Top 5 MVP finishes
Core member of the threepeat Oakland A’s of the early 1970s, with a relatively brief but potent peak.
Texas Rangers, Cleveland, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 135th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 15th
Core Stats: 2,514 hits, .279/.341/.406, .747 OPS, 109 OPS+, 23.8 dWAR
Core Accolades: Five-time All-Star, six Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger
Chronically underrated given his defensive majesty, almost no one regards Bell as Hall of Fame-caliber. But the numbers are there, even offensively, where he had enough lasting power and durability to pile up more than 2,500 hits.
First Baseman/Left Fielder/Right Fielder
Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 230th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF: 20th
Core Stats: 366 home runs, .293/.406/.537, .943 OPS, 144 OPS+
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, four Top 5 MVP finishes
Potent power bat, certainly not the strongest case here but worthy of a second look.
Giants, Angels, Cleveland, Yankees, Rangers, Cardinals, Cubs, White Sox
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 179th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF: 22nd
Core Stats: 332 home runs, 461 stolen bases, .268/.353/.471, .824 OPS, 129 OPS+
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, 1973 All-Star MVP, two Top 5 MVP finishes
It’s mind-boggling that while the Steve Garveys, Dale Murphys and Dave Parkers of baseball get studied consideration for the Hall, Bonds does not. A five-tool player, Bonds was derailed by personal issues off the field that helped keep him from all-time great status.
St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 155th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 14th
Core Stats: .287/.349/.462, .810 OPS, 116 OPS+, 10.7 dWAR
Core Accolades: 1964 NL MVP, 11-time All-Star, five Gold Gloves, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Extremely strong two-way player, another devastatingly good third baseman who’s been well overlooked.
Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 91st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 50th
Core Stats: 3.28 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 127 ERA+, 3.33 FIP
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes
Perhaps akin to Allen, Brown’s carpetbagger status in the game sullies what is an absolutely potent Hall of Fame resume. Roy Halladay was elected on his first ballot, while Brown was kicked to the curb.
New York Mets, New York Yankees, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 115th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 64th
Core Stats: 3.46 ERA, 1.256 WHIP, 121 ERA+, 3.57 FIP
Core Accolades: 1994 Cy Young, five-time All-Star, three Top 5 Cy Young finishes
A dominant arm who perhaps didn’t quite stand out enough in a Roger Clemens-Pedro Martinez era, Cone was a consistently-elite money pitcher, period.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Montreal Expos, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, California Angels
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 211th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF: 16th
Core Stats: 2.561 hits, 398 stolen bases, .279/.311/.412, .723 OPS, 106 OPS+, 11.1 dWAR
Core Accolades: Two-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves
A speed and defense merchant who is almost alone on this ballot as such. Davis had longevity and legit status as a glue member of perennial contending teams.
St. Louis Cardinals, Angels, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 144th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF: 15th
Core Stats: 393 home runs, .284/.376/.527, .903 OPS, 132 OPS+
Core Accolades: Four-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, two Top 5 MVP finishes
A highlight-reel defender with a potent power bat to boot.
Third Baseman/First Baseman
San Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 199th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 18th
Core Stats: 414 home runs, .248/.361/.431, .792 OPS, 119 OPS+
Core Accolades: Two-time All-Star
Another slight oddball on the list here, as primarily a power bat. Evans was overlooked during his career, and in retirement as well.
Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 138th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF: 15th
Core Stats: 385 home runs, .272/.370/.470, .840 OPS, 127 OPS+
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Evans has managed to be underrated despite some high-profile postseason appearances and status as nearly a career Red Sox player. A devastating all-around player.
California Angels, Cleveland, St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 190th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 79th
Core Stats: 3.85 ERA 2,610 K, 1.376 WHIP, 115 ERA+, 3.91 FIP
Core Accolades: Five-time All-Star
While certainly not the most imposing candidate on this ballot, Finley was a legitimate force and a premier southpaw for more than a decade.
California Angels, Baltimore Orioles
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 83rd
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B: 8th
Core Stats: .266/.371/.424, .794 OPS, 125 OPS+
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, one Gold Glove
One of several poster children for both the tendency of writers to miss Hall-worthiness in front of their own eyes and the redemption of hallowed careers thanks to the advance of sabermetrics. The same case made to get Ted Simmons into the Hall will one day work for Grich.
St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Cleveland
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 162nd
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B: 19th
Core Stats: .292/.384/.436, .821 OPS, 128 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1979 NL co-MVP, five-time All-Star, 11 Gold Gloves, two-time Silver Slugger, 1979 batting title, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Hernandez had a sneaky-great career that included a very strong second act in New York, after an initial run in St. Louis.
Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland, Oakland A’s
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 201st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 85th
Core Stats: 288 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 3.38 FIP
Core Accolades: Four-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes
John is Exhibit A for the Jamie Moyer-type pitcher who simply never stopped pitching and piled up Hall-worthy numbers. That John was effective, even dominant, after the surgery that now bears his name adds an impressive wrinkle to his “piling up.”
Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 186th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF: 20th
Core Stats: .273/.355/.442, .797 OPS, 121 OPS+
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star
Like Bell, a double-take candidate who gets close to no consideration among voters, even among the veteran’s committees of baseball. Legendary range in the outfield. a consistent bat, and a mysterious illness that truncated his career all combine to make Lemon an intriguing Hall case.
Cleveland, Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Astros
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 100th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF: 10th
Core Stats: 622 stolen bases, .299/.372/.423, .794 OPS, 107 OPS+, 15.5 dWAR
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish
An elite center fielder who played center for a long time. Like Brown, his mercenary status hopping cities after Cleveland likely dinged his status among voters.
Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 137th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B: 18th
Core Stats: 583 home runs, .263/.394/.588, .982 OPS, 163 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1987 AL Rookie of the Year, 12-time All-Star, three-time Silver Slugger, Gold Glove, three Top 5 MVP finishes
PED controversies aside, McGwire put up numbers. There likely remain enough steroid purists out there to keep him far off of the ballot for years to come, but the numbers and rankings merit inclusion here.
Chicago White Sox, Cleveland, Washington Senators, St. Louis Cardinals
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 229th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF: 22nd
Core Stats: .298/.389/.459, .848 OPS, 130 OPS+
Core Accolades: Nine-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, four Top 5 MVP finishes
Beyond his role as Mr. White Sox and trailbreaking status as the first great black Latino player in the majors, Miñoso has the numbers to merit induction. Institutional racism prevented Minnie from a full major league career, as he missed at least one All-Star level season in the majors while sequestered into the Negro Leagues.
New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Cleveland, Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Montreal Expos
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 126th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B: 12th
Core Stats: 390 home runs, .248/.329/.421, .750 OPS, 110 OPS+, 21.4 dWAR
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish, 1981 ALCS MVP
Yet another incredible bat that doubled as a killer defender, Nettles has an advantage over Bell and Boyer due to successive, high-profile defensive highlights with the Yankees in the postseason.
Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 131st
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B: 12th
Core Stats: 3,020 hits, 569 home runs, .288/.371/.515, .885 OPS, 132 OPS+
Core Accolades: Four-time All-Star, three Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, one Top 5 MVP finish
More PED taint, yes, but Palmeiro has an even more compelling case for the Hall than McGwire. An elite bat, solid glove, and great longevity.
New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 136th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B: 17th
Core Stats: .276/.373/.351, .724 OPS, 104 OPS+, 20.2 dWAR
Core Accolades: Six-time All-Star, Silver Slugger
Another easily-overlooked player, which is somewhat shocking given a career largely in the Bronx.
Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 93rd
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 49th
Core Stats: 3.37 ERA, 1.275 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.22 FIP
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, three Top 5 Cy Young finishes
Perhaps the consummate overlooked candidate. The only area Reuschel can be dinged is “elite status,” because he rarely reached such air despite three Top 5 Cy Youngs.
First Baseman/Left Fielder/Third Baseman/Second Baseman/Right Fielder
Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF: 5th
Core Stats: 3,562 games, 4,256 hits, 2.165 runs, .303/.375/.409, .784 OPS, 118 OPS+
Core Accolades: All-time games and hits leader, 1973 NL MVP, 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, 17-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, four Top 5 MVP finishes, 1975 World Series MVP
Obviously Rose has the numbers to be in the Hall, as an all-time great, so his inclusion here is more a referendum on whether unsavory and/or banned actions off the field should affect enshrinement status on it. If not elected, Rose will be joined on the ballot next year by Joe Jackson, in a similar test.
Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 142nd
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 70th
Core Stats: 3.34 ERA, 1.141 WHIP, 126 ERA+, 3.27 FIP
Core Accolades: 1985 and 1989 AL Cy Young, three-time All-Star, Gold Glove, one Top 5 Cy Young finish, 1985 World Series MVP
Perhaps the anti-Reuschel candidate, as Saberhagen had runs of elite pitching but a touch less longevity and overall dominance.
Right Fielder/Center Fielder
Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 129th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF: 16th
Core Stats: .287/.366/.489, .855 OPS, 137 OPS+
Core Accolades: Seven-time All-Star, Gold Glove, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Another consummate glue guy and elite power bat. Again, his own teammates Steve Garvey and Ron Cey seem to merit more consideration for the Hall in spite of less-worthy resumes.
Boston Red Sox, Cleveland, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 111th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP: 57th
Core Stats: 3.30 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.47 FIP
Core Accolades: Three-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finish, one Top 5 MVP finish
Tiant’s case is bolstered (though not a determination for his inclusion here) by some heroic postseason pitching and extremely colorful personality.
Catcher/First Baseman/Third Baseman
Atlanta Braves, St.Louis Cardinals, New York Mets
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 176th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 1B: 24th
Core Stats: 2.342 hits, .297/.365/.452, .817 OPS, 129 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1971 NL MVP, nine-time All-Star, Gold Glove, one Top 5 MVP finish, Hall of Fame Manager
Yes, Torre is already in the Hall as a manager, but he has an even stronger case as a player. His ability to dominate at a grueling position like catcher, then shift into a second elite career at another position(s) should not be taken lightly.
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank: 76th
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B: 13th
Core Stats: 2.369 hits, .276/.363/.426, .789 OPS, 117 OPS+
Core Accolades: 1978 Rookie of the Year, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove
While not the biggest lock of a candidate on this list necessarily, his idiotic bypassing by the Veteran’s Committee just last week helps fuel votes like this. You’d think almost no one thinks Whitaker is not a Hall-of-Famer at this point, certainly not if Alan Trammell is. But just enough folks on a solitary, punch-dunk Vet Committee just did, so labor on we must.
The ballot: Keep in mind that you can vote for up to 10 players, but review your selections before clicking [VOTE], because you can’t edit after the fact.
Who should be in the Hall of Fame (vote for up to 10 candidates)?
- Minnie Miñoso (10%, 74 Votes)
- Dick Allen (9%, 65 Votes)
- Pete Rose (9%, 64 Votes)
- Tommy John (8%, 57 Votes)
- Lou Whitaker (8%, 56 Votes)
- Kenny Lofton (6%, 42 Votes)
- Dwight Evans (5%, 35 Votes)
- Luis Tiant (4%, 33 Votes)
- Bobby Bonds (4%, 28 Votes)
- Mark McGwire (4%, 26 Votes)
- Jim Edmonds (3%, 22 Votes)
- Joe Torre (3%, 22 Votes)
- Bobby Grich (3%, 20 Votes)
- Ken Boyer (2%, 18 Votes)
- Kevin Brown (2%, 17 Votes)
- Rafael Palmeiro (2%, 17 Votes)
- Graig Nettles (2%, 17 Votes)
- Lance Berkman (2%, 17 Votes)
- David Cone (2%, 16 Votes)
- Chet Lemon (2%, 15 Votes)
- Buddy Bell (2%, 14 Votes)
- Keith Hernandez (2%, 14 Votes)
- Bret Saberhagen (1%, 10 Votes)
- Rick Reuschel (1%, 8 Votes)
- Willie Randolph (1%, 7 Votes)
- Sal Bando (1%, 6 Votes)
- Reggie Smith (1%, 6 Votes)
- Willie Davis (1%, 4 Votes)
- Darrell Evans (0%, 3 Votes)
- Chuck Finley (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 101