BOSTON - The 2019 MLB season awards wrapped up last week by providing the MVP trophies to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in the National League and the Anaheim Angels’ Mike Trout in the American League. It seemed like the Boston Red Sox, save for a Gold Glove and a pair of Silver Sluggers, were going to leave awards season largely empty handed. But one particularly astonishing moment provided the Boston fanbase with one last feeling of reflective joy. Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s astonishing home run robbing catch from earlier this year was named the best baseball play of the season. You can relive its glory here:
But that was not the only moment of honor for the Red Sox this week. There is a chance that some of the most iconic players to ever head to Fenway Park could be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year.
Yes, that’s right, the official ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2020 was released and Boston is very well-represented, as shared by MLB.com. Obviously, there are the perennial candidates that are on the ballot once again. But there are also some newcomers (like Johnny Damon was last year) to help pad out the inclusion of players to vote on.
All-time Red Sox greats Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez, and Curt Schilling return to the ballot this year with the hopes of continuing to steadily increase their percentages for inclusion in the Hall. They are each mired in controversy, however. Clemens and Ramirez were both embroiled in the steroids scandals that plagued baseball for much of the 2000s. Schilling has made a number of horrible comments about journalists in the past. Since journalists are the ones who vote, this makes it challenging for Schilling to garner support.
Based on statistics, each of these three definitely deserve to be in the Hall. Not only were they elite talents, but they changed the game forever. I think it’s a mistake to pretend the steroids era didn’t happen. It should be a part of the Hall, just like it’s a part of history. Don’t hide from it, explain it. Put it on their plaques if you have to.
Newcomers to the ballot who once played for the Red Sox include pitcher Brad Penny, who had a short stint in Boston, and pitcher Josh Beckett, who was dominant for much of his tenure in Boston, including a 2007 season that lifted him up as an elite player and a winner of the ALCS MVP award. The 2007 World Series title doesn’t happen without Beckett.
I’m not sure either of them did enough to make it into the Hall, but many newcomers will certainly make the cut, including Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, who is on the ballot for the first time.
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