Today, December 10th is BBA Day. Baseball Bloggers Alliance Day.
I have been a proud member since March 2010, so this is my first BBA Day as a member. Actually I think it the first BBA Day period.
So what does BBA Day mean? Well, it is a day to advertise our network, reflect on why we are members and encourage more to join the Alliance.
My first introduction to the BBA came from C70 at the Bat, a Cardinals blog. I was trying to get a take on how Jaime Garcia was going to factor into the Red Birds plans for 2010 and found that website after a bit of googling. While reading the blog I noticed that C70 was a member of the BBA. Actually it turns out he is the founder.
I sent him an email asking how I could join. I thought there would be a long approval process and some form of an interview, but there wasn’t. I was approved automatically and could remain a member as long as I participated in the BBA Awards voting. Turns out that is the best part.
How often have you complained about how the BBWA voted for MVP or Cy Young or for the Hall of Fame? For me it’s pretty constant. Well, with the BBA WE GET TO VOTE!!! We aren’t actually placing players in Cooperstown, but it’s a real voting process with votes coming from people who cover the game they love and are generally doing it for free.
Every year I make my picks for the All Star Game and put a lot of time into my selections. This year I was able to vote as part of a group to choose the starting line-up. Ditto that with postseason awards. I voted with the group for the Walter Johnson Award for top pitcher, the Goose Gossage Award for top reliever and the Stan Musial Award for best overall player.
Presently we are voting for Hall of Fame suggestions. I just voted and as soon as the ballot came up on my screen I was hit by a rush, some goose bumps, some anxiety and a generally crazy awesome feeling.
As a baseball fan, a sentimentalist and a writer, so many times I have written about so and so belongs in the Hall of Fame.
When I clicked on the ballot I was greeted by many of these names and instantly got a taste of the pressure that the Baseball Writers must feel when they get their ballot.
I pasted all of the names from the ballot below; it is quite a list…
Alomar, Roberto, Baerga, Carlos, Bagwell, Jeff, Baines, Harold, Boone, Bret, Brown, Kevin, Blyleven, Bert, Franco, John, Gonzalez, Juan, Grissom, Marquis, Higginson,Bobby, Johnson, Charles, Larkin, Barry, Leiter, Al, Martinez, Edgar, Martinez, Tino, Mattingly, Don, McGriff, Fred, McGwire, Mark, Mondesi, Raul,Morris, Jack, Murphy, Dale, Olerud, John,Palmerio, Rafael, Parker, Dave, Raines, Tim, Rueter, Kirk, Santiago, Benito, Smith, Lee, Surhoff, B.J., Trammell, Alan and Larry Walker.
Wow. That is a long list of names, some pretty big names, and some pretty HUGE numbers. The rules for BBA Hall of Fame Suggestion Voting state that you can vote for up to, but no more than 10 players. I could have picked 10 names but I didn’t. Take away Kirk Rueter, Bobby Higginson and Kevin Brown and you could make a case for nearly every one of these guys. I voted for 5. Bert Blyleven was a no-brainer and that was the first name I checked. I scanned through the list and on the next time through I selected Barry Larkin and Jeff Bagwell. Those 2 aren’t really no-brainers, but I think they are legit Hall of Famers. Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro and Larry Walker have Bagwell-like numbers, and I came close to checking Larry Walker, but I couldn’t this time. My third time through the list I came close to voting for Harold Baines, Dave Parker, Jack Morris and Lee Smith, but resisted for some reason. The last 2 I voted for were Tim Raines and Fred McGriff. I couldn’t think of a reason not to vote for those 5, the other players, well, I just couldn’t come up with enough reasons TO vote for them. Regardless of whether a player used steroids or not, the stats produced by steroid era players have to be taken with a grain of salt and it isn’t easy picking and choosing the best of the best from that time. It also makes the numbers put up by Dave Parker, Dale Murphy and Harold Baines that much more impressive… For my vote Bags and Larkin got extra credit for team loyalty. I thought long and hard about Allen Trammell for that same reason.
BBA Hall of Fame voting stays open till December 28th. I believe if you join now you could still vote for the HOF Suggestion.
I hope that everyone has a Happy BBA Day!!! I am VERY happy that I joined before last season. I was quiet with my baseball writing, but that is because I didn’t have much to complain about – my team had a GREAT regular season. This year I already have lots to gripe about, so you can look forward to hearing my voice much more this year.
I hope that some of you writers out there consider joining the BBA today and for the upcoming baseball season. It is a GREAT network of baseball bloggers. I have made friends and contacts that I value and it provides great exposure for your blog.
Thanks for reading! Oh, feel free to agree or disagree with my picks for the Hall. I am ready! Oh, speaking of ready… What are you waiting for? Go check out the BBA website and see if its something you would like to be a part of… Oh, as evidenced by my choice of images - the BBA WELCOMES baseball writers who blog about baseball cards... Go Rays! Troll out.