St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak did what he does best on Monday. By acquiring right fielder Jason Heyward and reliever Jordan Walden from the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, Mozeliak directly filled one dire need while indirectly addressing several others at the same time. The trade may have cost the Cardinals some young pitching talent, but it will likely result in the team making fewer moves and taking on fewer risks to build a championship-caliber team for 2015.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America turned in their final ballots for the Hall of Fame Class of 2014 on Tuesday. Results will be announced January 8 with those receiving 75.0% or more of the votes heading to Cooperstown for enshrinement in July.
Although I don’t have an official vote (yet…), that can’t stop me from putting together my own ballot of Hall of Famers. Since these players put together some of the best baseball careers ever, I don’t want to limit myself too much in the numbers I present. So, this will be Part 1 of my HoF ballot, with just the shoo-ins listed today. But before I reveal my ballot, I feel I should go through my thought process on who belongs in the Hall of Fame.
I was watching the MLB Network count down the 25 greatest comebacks in MLB history earlier tonight (single-game or in a season), and the first thing that came to mind was the Cardinals’ miraculous run to a World Series title this past October. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see the top 7, but the Cardinals had not been named yet. I have periodically thought of the run that the Cardinals made since it happened, and every time I think about it, I still cannot believe that it happened. The simple facts of it are amazing by themselves: down 10.5 games in the NL Wild Card race in late August, making the playoffs on the last day, and then defeating the Phillies, Brewers, and Rangers to win the title. The story beyond the basics is even better.