The Hall of Fame is a touchy subject for me. I love baseball and have a hard time coping with the fact that most of the great feats of recent history are 'Steroid Enhanced'. However one thing that means a lot to me is being a dominant player. Arguably the best at your position for a short stretch and one of the best for a long stretch. That to me is what being a 'Hall of Famer' is all about. That being said here are my opinions on the Hall of Fame class of 2010 in order of who I think is most deserving:
1) Roberto Alomar - The best 2nd baseman I've seen play in my lifetime. The off the field stuff doesn't matter to me. He was undoubtedly the best at what he did. Nobody else was close in my opinion. If he doesn't get in on the 1st Ballot I'll be surprised. If you saw him play you remember how great he was.
2) Andre Dawson - The Hawk was the guy you would want to build a team around in the early 1980's. There was nobody with better all around tools. He truely was a dominant force with his bat, glove, arm and speed. Injuries took away some of his luster, but when he was right, I can't think of a more complete outfielder from his generation. A definite Hall of Famer.
3) Jack Morris - The ACE of the 1980's. Nobody was better. He was a big game pitcher with big game stuff. People talk about his ERA being high, and it is, but that's his only knock. He was a horse, he was a winner and he was a big game pitcher. He was undoubtedly the best at what he did for a stretch and is overlooked bigtime in my opinion.
4) Dale Murphy - Why is this guy ignored? Is it the nice guys finish last thing. I know his numbers dropped off the table pretty fast, but boy was he great for a while. He put up ridiculous number from 1980 to 1987 playing for some pretty offensively challenged Atlanta Braves teams. He is a multiple MVP award winner. He hit over 35 homers 5 times in an era where that was enough to lead the league. I rate him as one of the best players of the 1980's so I think he deserves to go in.
5) Tim Raines - Let's imagine for a minute that Rickey Henderson never played. He'd be remembered as the best leadoff hitter of the last quarter century. Yes Tim Raines would be... who was better? His numbers dropped off too but boy was he scintilating at times. He hit .300 or better 7 times, stole over 70 bases 6 times. He's 5th alltime in steals behind Cobb, Henderson, Brock and Billy Hamilton. He was great and I think he deserves to go to Cooperstown.
6) Barry Larkin - 3 Gold Gloves, 9 Silver Slugger Awards and 12 All Star Teams. Impressive. It should be enough to get him in. He was much better than Ozzie Smith, a similar player to Alan Trammell, even though Trammell was slightly more durable. So I'll give him the nod on the basis he has an MVP award and he is the shortstop I think of as the best one in the NL throughout the decade of the 90's.
7) Bert Blyleven - He had a very good career. He was very good for a long time, but was he ever the 'Best' at what he did? He was a very good pitcher, but fell short in a lot of ways. I will say I've changed my mind in recent years and would vote him in. But he's one of those borderline guys, because he didnt have that dominant run. Kind of stayed under the radar.