I first joined the Baseball Writers’ Affiliation of America 10 years in the past, after a 12 months of ready, as a result of the group’s board on the time declined my utility on spurious grounds. However even then, I appeared ahead eagerly to at the present time, when my hypothetical Hall of Fame ballot would grow to be an official one. The eagerness pale, as time rocked me to endurance, however a couple of 12 months in the past, when the ballot turned imminent, I started pondering in earnest about how I’d ultimately vote — and about my long-standing promise to readers that I’d reveal and clarify my picks.

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The logjam of certified candidates, exacerbated by moralizing voters who’re making an attempt to maintain the best hitter and pitcher of the final 30 years out of the Hall of Fame, meant that I had to select a subset of names to maintain my ballot throughout the restrict of 10. Had the restrict not existed, I’d have voted for not less than 13 gamers this 12 months, probably extra. I began with the 13 I assumed worthy, instantly checked off the seven no-doubters, after which labored my means via the rest to add one, then one other, after which, after two weeks with a ballot that had 9 names marked however not the one that will make the ballot closing, gave in and chosen the 10th identify — leaving, with regrets, just a few good males off of my checklist.

Right here, within the order through which I checked them off, are the 10 names I chosen for my first Hall of Fame ballot, with some explanations.

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