Six former Cleveland Indians players appear on the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot, which was publicly released Wednesday afternoon.
Topping the list is Jack Morris, who is in his 14th year of eligibility after receiving 67 percent (two thirds) of the vote in 2012, just short of the 75 percent required for induction; he is the only returning candidate who ever played for the Tribe. Morris went 254-186 with a 3.90 ERA and 39.3 wins above replacement (per Baseball-Reference) in 18 MLB seasons from 1977-94. He spent the final year of his career with the Indians, going 10-6 with a 5.60 ERA.
Leading the first-time eligibles is Kenny Lofton. The speedy center fielder hit .299 and racked up 622 stolen bases, 1,528 runs scored, and 64.9 WAR in 17 seasons. In three separate stints with the Tribe (1992-96, 1998-2001, and 2007) he hit .300 and set club records for stolen bases both for a single season (75) and a career (450).
The next-most recognizable Indian on the ballot is bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. Alomar’s MLB career spanned 20 seasons and saw him win the 1990 AL Rookie of the Year award plus six All-Star appearances and a Gold Glove. All of his accolades came during his 11 years with Cleveland (1990-2000), during which he accumulated 11.6 WAR.
Julio Franco also spent quite a bit of time in a Cleveland uniform. Franco’s legendary long MLB career spanned 26 years (including three seasons in which he did not play), during which time he accumulated 2,586 hits and 39.7 WAR. In two stints and eight seasons with the Indians (1983-88 and 1996-97), Franco racked up 1,272 hits and 15.5 WAR.
Also appearing on the ballot is Roberto Hernandez—no, not that Roberto Hernandez. Back when Fausto Carmona was still Fausto Carmona, a different Roberto Hernandez notched a 3.45 ERA across 17 seasons and over 1,000 innings as a relief pitcher. That included 26 innings for the Tribe in 2007 when he went 3-1 with a 6.23 ERA.
Finally, there’s the man who was blamed for the 1997 World Series: Jose Mesa. Mesa accumulated 321 saves in his 19-season, 21-year MLB career. The journeyman’s longest stop was in Cleveland, where he spent seven years (1992-98) picking up 104 saves. Of course, most of Northeast Ohio remembers him only for Game 7.
What are the odds someone makes it? They’re decent. Morris (unfortunately) seems likely to get voted in, though with such an incredible class of first-time eligibles (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Mike Piazza, Sammy Sosa, and Craig Biggio, just to name a few) he’s far from guaranteed a spot. Lofton has a good case, though he may have trouble getting in as long as Tim Raines is out. Beyond them, the Indians don’t have much chance of being represented—unless Sandy Alomar gets in as a manager.
Which former Indians deserve spots in Cooperstown?
- Kenny Lofton (86%, 12 Votes)
- Sandy Alomar (29%, 4 Votes)
- Jack Morris (21%, 3 Votes)
- Julio Franco (7%, 1 Votes)
- None of the above (7%, 1 Votes)
- Roberto Hernandez (0%, 0 Votes)
- Jose Mesa (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 14