Who’s next? With former White Sox left fielder Tim Raines safely in the Baseball Hall of Fame after getting 86 percent of the vote Wednesday, why not look ahead?
Among the White Sox alumni appearing for the first time on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot are Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Scott Podsednik, Carlos Lee, Orlando Hudson and Andruw Jones.
Thome and his never-questioned 612 home runs and Vizquel and his 11 Gold Gloves and matched-only-by-Ozzie-Smith defensive prowess at shortstop are locks.
Jones is a longshot and Hudson won’t get the necessary 5 percent of the vote to stay on the ballot.
As for Podsednik and Lee, no chance for Cooperstown but FIRST BALLOT WHITE SOX HALL OF FAMERS, BABY!
FYI: Paul Konerko’s first year on the ballot is 2020 while Buehrle will most likely debut the following year.
Catching on: Ivan Rodriguez, who earned induction into the Hall on Wednesday with 76 percent of the vote, made his big- league debut against the White Sox at what was then known as New Comiskey Park.
On June 20, 1991 (after getting married earlier in the day in Tulsa, OK), the 19-year-old Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with an RBI single off Melido Perez and threw out Joey Cora and Warren Newson trying to steal in Texas’ win.
I worked this game and I could tell ASAP Rodriguez was unique. I had this same feeling when I saw Frank Thomas make his Major League debut in 1990.
Ballot report: Manny Ramirez, who hit the last of his 555 home runs for the 2010 Sox, received 23.8 percent of the vote in his first year on the ballot. … Sammy Sosa, who played for the Sox from 1989 to 1991, got 8,6 percent of the vote in his fifth year of eligibility. … Sox alumni Maggio Ordonez (0.7), Orlando Cabrera (0) and Mike Cameron (0) were dropped from the ballot because they did not get at least five percent of the vote. All were on the ballot for the first time.
Star gazing: Raines’ election brings the number of the Hall of Famers who played in the 1983 All-Star Game at Comiskey Park to 14.
Hall of Famers joining Raines in that game were George Brett, Mike Schmidt, Carl Yastrzemski, Johnny Bench, Ozzie Smith, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., Rod Carew, Andre Dawson, Gary Carter, Dave Winfield, Robin Yount, Jim Rice and Rickey Henderson.
Memories: “Hall of Famer” will never be the first thing I think of when I hear Jeff Bagwell’s name.
Bagwell joined Raines and Rodriguez in earning induction into the Hall on Wednesday.
Nope, most enduring memory of Bagwell will always be Bobby Jenks blowing him away with two on and the Sox holding a one-run lead to end the eighth in Game 1 of the World Series.
NEVER EVER STOP BELIEVIN’!