1. The 2018 class could be a big one
As mentioned it the preceding slide, the baseball Hall of Fame is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world. It does seem, though, like some progress is being made to accept a wider range of players who have left a sizable impact on the game.
Looking ahead to the 2018 class, the Hall of Fame could be getting as many as six new members. Hoffman and Guerrero are locks. First-ballot candidates Chipper Jones and Jim Thome are also very strong candidates. Neither had ties to steroids. Jones was the best hitter on the dynastic Atlanta Braves teams of the 1990s and early 2000s. Thome is one of only nine players to hit 600 home runs, and was popular with everyone in the league. That’s four sure-fire candidates.
Next year could be the year for Edgar Martinez. There are three strong candidates coming off the ballot next year along with Lee Smith, who continued getting over a third of the vote up to his final year on the ballot. There will be plenty of free votes for the DH, and writers may hesitate to make him go all the way to his tenth time on the ballot. More gains for Bonds and Clemens could also follow. Same goes for the criminally underrated Mike Mussina.
It all adds up to a large class, which is a positive for baseball and its Hall of Fame.