Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame: The Fan Vote

Hall of FameAll this month, Reds fans can cast their ballots on who should be included in the team’s Hall of Fame Class of 2014. Five names are on the ballot, and each fan can vote once daily through the end of August. The players on the ballot are (alphabetically): Jeff Brantley, John Franco, Danny Graves, Ken Griffey Jr, and Reggie Sanders.

So who should get your support? I asked Nachos Grande‘s Chris and TWJ contributor Patrick to weigh in on this year’s ballot.

Chris responded:

Jeff Brantley: It’d be nice for Brantley to be inducted since he’s still so active with the Reds. However, there’s no way he deserves the nod over Franco (88 saves vs. 148 saves) or Graves (182 saves). Easiest player to eliminate from the ballot.

Jeff Franco: Franco excelled for the Reds during a time when the Reds were particularly putrid. He’s a bit before my time in terms of remembering him pitching so he’s harder for me to judge. Even so, I can’t put him in over Graves.

Danny Graves: If you go by the numbers (which I did while eliminating Franco from contention), then Graves seems like an automatic shoo-in. However, he suffers from personal memory – most notably his meltdown against the Cardinals. Graves may have racked up a boat load of saves but he was no more automatic than David Weathers (aka Stormy). Graves was decent, but not Hall worthy.

Reggie Sanders: Sanders was a solid player for a decent length of time. Unfortunately, it never rose above the “solid” level for any stretch of time. If I had to guess, I’d say Sanders gets the least amount of votes but if I could have two votes (rather than the allowed one vote), I’d case one for Sanders and the other for Griffey.

Ken Griffey Jr: Yep, Griffey gets my Hall vote. It’s easy to argue why he shouldn’t be in the Reds’ Hall of Fame, mostly because he was hurt all the time, didn’t live up to expectations, etc. While that’s true, it wasn’t his fault. Griffey, according to pretty much everyone, played the game of baseball clean while everyone else was juicing. Despite the pharmaceutical disadvantages, Griffey still produced 600 home runs (210 as a Red). Griffey was also the first move for the Reds in a slow march back to contender status (even if he didn’t get to play as a Red long enough to see the Reds reach the playoffs).

Patrick wrote:

At first glance it would appear to be an easy choice. To quote my 13 year old,” Well Duh Dad, Ken Griffey Jr. of course” I laughed and realized I am getting old as he didn’t know who the others were. He was confused when I told him about Brantley, ” You mean the announcer was a pitcher? He doesn’t sound like a baseball player” He asked me my choice and I told him I had to look at the numbers.

It was easy, in theory, to break it down to two choices. Select a pitcher, select an outfielder and put them head to head. I couldn’t be more wrong as they all seem worthy of selection.
Taking into consideration Jr’s injury plagued years, I still couldn’t select Sanders. Besides, I am still pained by Reggie’s playoff performance in 1995 (.138). Not very objective but it is my vote.

So Griffey gets the edge for the outfielder side of my “bracket”

Now onto the relievers….holy cow, how to break them down.

I will say that had the Reds kept Franco a couple of more years (2) he would be the overall hands down choice without question, at least from me. He would have over 200 saves and a world series ring. But alas things just are not that simple. Good thing Jeff Shaw didn’t have enough time to qualify as he would be in the mix. I think Shaw was the reason Brantley was edged out and Graves may have been one of a couple that prompted the Reds to trade their all star Selection (Shaw) before the all star game.

Back to the task at hand. Looking at just their summary on the Reds site I think they are very evenly matched. Except for save total which can be attributed to how many years they were with Reds. That is a variable that needs to be considered. However, longevity can get you high numbers without being more than average. So further exploration was required for me to decide this bracket.

Reds requirement is three years but I looked at their four best years since Brantley had four years and the others more. I didn’t crunch all of the numbers just the ones I thought I would need to cast my vote, very subjective but again it is my vote.

4 year Comp. G Sv Sv Opp Sv % K IP W-L
Brantley Total 185 88 105 .834 211 217 11-11
Avg 46.25 22 26.25. 52.75 54.1
Franco Total 272 132 160 .825 251 350 24-25
Avg 68 33 40 62.75 87.1
Graves Total 268 135 165 .834 200 338.2 24-19
Avg 67 33.75 41.25 50 84.2

This allowed me to eliminate Brantley. (I did look at just their 3 best years but it did not improve Brantley’s position) However, Franco and Graves are very evenly matched in my opinion. Do I extend it to 6 years? That is how many years Franco pitched. Fair? Perhaps not, as many players don’t get much time their first year. But Franco more or less hit the ground running so I think it is fair.

6 year Comp. G Sv Sv Opp Sv % K IP ERA W-L
Franco Total 393 148 184 .804 367 528.1 2.49 42-30
Avg 65.5 24.6 30.6 61.2 88.1
Graves Total 363 172 213 .808 277 468 3.48 33.27
Avg 60.5 28.6 35.5 46.1 78

Clear separation? Not exactly but I do see some light coming through.

So what did Graves do in his other 3 years? First year 1997 he came over from Cleveland and appeared in 10 games. There was the disastrous lets turn him into a starter (2003) and the next year 41 saves. His last year (2005) saved 10 of 12 before going to the Mets to finish out 2005. Incidentally, Franco left the Mets after 2004 and went to Houston for 2005.

So where does this leave me? I think I have to lean towards Graves. I have to consider all time team saves leader, the return to a solid closer after the starter debacle and, he did hit two home runs as a reliever, ok not very relevant but cool anyway.

After all of that I will say that at first glance I thought Franco was going to be the clear choice.

So now Graves or Griffey Jr.? They did play together for 5+ seasons. I am not sure I can really compare the two and decide who is more deserving. I will say the easy choice and most likely the popular choice is to follow my 13 year old and say well duh Griffey Jr.

So I will cast my vote for Danny Graves.

And now, my (much shorter) take (because I simply can’t top what Chris and Patrick have already written):

Seriously? The clear winner here is Ken Griffey Jr, with John Franco a distant second. I really wish I could vote for Franco, but I simply can’t do it with Junior on the ballot. Graves and Brantley don’t even register on the radar and it is somewhat a mystery to me how they are mentioned on the same ballot.

The voting procedure has changed from years past, when fans could vote for three players. Franco and Sanders got my vote two years ago when such was the case, along with Paul O’Neill. Sean Casey was the fan-voted inductee in 2012.

Now it’s up to you. Who gets your vote? Vote here and let us know who you selected!

About JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on August 18, 2013, in baseball and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. John Franco for sure….Griffey Jr next year!

This is where you talk...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: