Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro made their debuts on the Baseball Writers' Association of America's 2011 Hall of Fame ballot -- and didn't even come close to finishing near the Top 10 vote-getters. Raffy, poor Raffy, came closest with 64 votes; Juando trailed just behind Palmeiro with 30, two ahead of Harold Baines. But those were good enough for 15th and 16th, respectively, as Roberto Alomar (with 523 votes) and Bert Blyleven (463) crossed home plate standing. But Gonzalez and Palmeiro aren't done yet: Their 2011 talllies were good enough to qualify 'em for this year's go-round.
And they're joined by one of my favorite Rangers of all time: Ruben Sierra, who makes his debut on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot alongside the likes of Bernie Williams, Bill Mueller, Terry Mulholland, Tim Salmon and a bunch of other guys who ain't gettin' in their first swims through baseball immortality. As Deadspin notes, the whole heads-up from the Hall and the BBWAA reads like one long shrug. Here's all the space Ruben gets:
Outfielder Ruben Sierra led the AL in RBI with 109 in 1989 with the Texas Rangers when he ran second to the Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount for the AL Most Valuable Player Award. Sierra drove in 1,322 runs over a 20-season career with nine clubs.
Last time I saw Sierra was at the Ballpark on September 25, when the Rangers closed out the regular season against Seattle. He was out in the walkway, signing balls and whanots if you bought a memory card. Almost bought one. Almost.
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