Circle of Greats: 1967 Election

This post starts off the second round of voting for the Circle of Greats, which brings in players born in 1967. As before, your ballot must include three and only three eligible players. The one player who appears on the most ballots cast in this voting round is inducted into the Circle of Greats. Players who appear on half or more of the ballots cast win four future rounds of ballot eligibility. Any other player in the top 8 in votes (or who appears on at least 20% of the ballots) wins one additional round of ballot eligibility.

In the first round, the rule was that a voter cannot change his or her ballot once it’s been cast in the comments. Commenter Dr. Doom suggested that we amend that rule to allow changes in votes as the balloting proceeds, to reflect the give and take of the discussion. That works so long as it doesn’t create voting gamesmanship in the late stages of the round, so as a compromise I’ll say for this round we’ll allow vote changes for the first five days of voting, after that votes cast are fixed — those who haven’t voted yet can still vote, but those who have voted can’t change thereafter. So all voting closes at 11:59PM, Wednesday the 26th, while changes to previous votes are allowed until 11:59 Monday night, just as Christmas Eve becomes Christmas.

If you’d like to follow the vote tally, and/or check to make sure I’ve recorded your vote correctly, you can see my ballot-counting spreadsheet for this round here: 1967 COG Vote Tally . I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players:

Holdovers from the 1968 ballot:
Jeff Bagwell
Frank Thomas
Mike Mussina
Roberto Alomar
Jeff Kent
John Olerud
Sammy Sosa
Hideo Nomo
Matt Stairs

Position Players (born in 1967, and 10 years in the majors or 20 career WAR, b-ref version):
Alex Arias
Vinny Castilla
Gary Disarcina
John Flaherty
Carlos Garcia
Luis Gonzalez
Marquis Grissom
Carlos Hernandez
Gregg Jefferies
Brian Jordan
Eric Karros
Ray Lankford
Darren Lewis
Kenny Lofton
Al Martin
Tino Martinez
Brian McRae
Mike Mordecai
Todd Pratt
Henry Rodriguez
Rey Sanchez
Reggie Sanders
Scott Servais
Ed Sprague
Lee Stevens
John Valentin
Mo Vaughn
Robin Ventura
Omar Vizquel
John Wehner
Rick Wilkins
Eric Young

Pitchers (born in 1967, and 10 years in the majors or 20 career pitching WAR, b-ref version):
Paul Abbott
Jim Abbott
Kevin Appier
Andy Ashby
Andy Benes
Doug Brocail
Rheal Cormier
Cal Eldred
Tom Gordon
Jason Grimsley
Trevor Hoffman
Graeme Lloyd
Josias Manzanillo
Omar Olivares
Lance Painter
Pat Rapp
Scott Service
John Smoltz
Mike Stanton
Mike Trombley
Turk Wendell
Matt Whiteside
Tim Worrell

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John Autin
Editor
9 years ago

Mike Mussina, Jeff Bagwell, Frank Thomas.

(And the Summer of Love goes down on strikes!)

Timmy Pea
Timmy Pea
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

“Greg Jefferies will go on to challenge the all time hits hits record, he’s the next Pete Rose” I remember that being said by some in the press when he came up. Life lessons learned.

BryanM
BryanM
9 years ago

Mike Mussina, Jeff Bagwell, John Smoltz — one of the above is just placeholding until Joe Carter (1960) makes the ballot.

cubbies
cubbies
9 years ago

bagwell, thomas, and my good ol journeyman kenny lofton.

and on that note, how many other players are there that played 10 years (or more) on one team, and then played on 10 (or more) other teams?? seems pretty unique to me.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago
Reply to  cubbies

The following players played on 2 teams for 10 years each:
Eddie Collins, A’s and White Sox
Charlie Hough, Dodgers and Rangers
Carlton Fisk, Red Sox and White Sox

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago

Cubbies: Sorry I misunderstood your statement, I read it too quickly.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
9 years ago

Relevance aside, RC, that’s a pretty interesting list. Pujols would have to be an Angel at 41 (at least) to join that list. Halladay would have to be a Phillie at 42. Any other active candidates?

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  Bryan O'Connor

Ichiro playing with the Yankees till he’s about 48! 🙂

Doug
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  cubbies

Cubbies, the answer to your question is none. Lofton is unique in having 10 years with one club, and also playing for 10 other clubs.

Only one other player (Octavio Dotel) has, like Lofton, played in no more than one season for each of 10 different teams. After Lofton, the most years with one team for a player playing for 11+ teams is 7 years for the Cardinals, by Todd Zeile. Paul Bako is the only 11-club player to play for no more than two seasons with any one team.

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
9 years ago
Reply to  cubbies

It’s not as extreme as Lofton, but Bobby Bonds played his first seven years with the Giants, then for seven other teams in the next seven years.

Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre
9 years ago

I pick Bagwell, Thomas and Smoltz. I was thinking about Mussina but he liked to rub my head.

Hartvig
Hartvig
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Mussina

This is NOT getting any easier- without putting a whole lot of thought into it I would continue:
Alomar, Lofton, Appier, Smoltz, Kent, Ventura, Olerud, Gonzalez, Vizquel with a special nod to Jim Abbott for all he had to overcome and John Valentin for my not understanding how good he was until he wasn’t that good anymore. Maybe I’m slighting somebody like Langford or Sanders or Jordan but screw ’em. Even if by some miracle they crack the top 8 they’ll last 1 year max so I’m not going to worry about it.

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
9 years ago
Reply to  Hartvig

Wait until we get to 1931 – Mays, Mantle, Banks, and Mathews. At least.

David Horwich
David Horwich
9 years ago

Alomar, Bagwell, Mussina.

Doug
Editor
9 years ago

Boy that 1968 class was stacked. Hard to find anyone in the 1967 group to compare with best from ’68 (perhaps just Smoltz, and maybe Hoffman).

I’m going with Bagwell, Thomas and Mussina.

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Wait till we get to the ’66 election and we add in Larry Walker, Maddux, Schilling and Glavine along with the holdovers from this year’s election.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

That ballot is gonna be STACKED. There’s absolutely zero chance I even consider Glavine (once you factor in the inevitable crop of holdovers), and that’s saying something!

Chris
Chris
9 years ago

Appearently I am a closet Indians fan. (Actually a mets)-
My picks:
Roberto Alomar
Omar Vizquel
Kenny Lofton

Hoffman maybe a popular choice but as far as I am concerned the SAVE is like a QUALITY START a good idea that needs to be redefined which is another discussion.

e pluribus munu
e pluribus munu
9 years ago

Bagwell, Mussina, Smoltz Same as BryanM, but not necessarily an expression of love for Joe Carter, despite the fact that he is such a consensus favorite around these parts. My reasoning on choosing Smoltz over Thomas is the issue of versatility: Smoltz was able to move from starter to the pen and be dominant in each mode, while Thomas’s unarguable greatness contracted into the DH. (I’ll always have trouble with the DH. Back in my day . . .) I was sorry to find that because I was preoccupied and away from the site when you began this good series,… Read more »

bells
bells
9 years ago

I like that there are already 8 names mentioned in 9 votes. I also like that this series is going to be of constant interest to me for the next, oh, two years.

I think I’ll take my week to look at the stats rather than vote with my gut now and maybe change it later…

Bells
Bells
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

pardon, it was a quick count and I probably counted someone twice. Never trust me on the internet late at night…

PP
PP
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

B, Is there a way to put the link at the top or bottom of the comment list? Easier to find when coming back…

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
9 years ago
Reply to  PP

Agreed. birtelcom, would you consider posting it to the article itself? Additionally, I don’t know how Andy would feel about this, but if we’re going to be doing this for two years, maybe it would be good to put a “Circle of Greats” link on the bar on top. I can imagine myself, when we’re looking at candidates born in 1915 or something, wanting to go back and review some of the old articles. In that case, I think it would be good to be able to quickly link to the whole series. So I think that would be good,… Read more »

Hartvig
Hartvig
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Just checking in on the vote totals a few minutes before the end of the world (at least in CST) and I’m seeing a few things I sort of expected to see (Bagwell & Thomas in a close race to get in and Mussina & Smoltz neck & neck for the 3rd spot and a 4 year extension. I’m also seeing a few things that surprise me a little: no support at all for Kevin Appier in spite of his having the 2 highest seasonal WAR numbers of the group with Mussina & Smoltz & 3 of the top 7.… Read more »

MikeD
MikeD
9 years ago

Alomar, Mussina, Thomas.

koma
koma
9 years ago

Mike Mussina, Trevor Hoffman, John Smoltz

Nick Pain
Nick Pain
9 years ago

Smoltz, Bagwell, Big Hurt

Dan McCloskey
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Nick Pain

It kinda figures that Nick Pain votes for the Big Hurt.

Nick Pain
Nick Pain
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

And I’ll probably vote for Old Aches and Pains as well. Gotta keep it in the family.

Dan McCloskey
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  Nick Pain

Only 60 more rounds until his name comes up. 🙂

Jason Z
9 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

Remember the homer at the 1982 Old Timers
game in RFK?

I cannot believe that was 30 years ago.

Ed
Ed
9 years ago

Bagwell, Alomar, Lofton

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  Ed

Okay, I’m going to be the first one to officially change my vote. My vote for Lofton was mostly a “shout-out” to a long-time Indian (my team) and borderline deserving HOFer. But since it appears he doesn’t need my support to advance for at least one more round, I’m going to vote for the far more deserving Mussina.

Of course, I’d really like to change my vote to Bagwell, Bagwell, Bagwell. I really don’t understand how it’s close between him and Thomas. Bagwell was a near equal with the bat and far superior in the field and on the bases.

Brandon
9 years ago

John Smoltz, Frank Thomas, Jeff Bagwell

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
9 years ago

I respectfully submit the identical ballot I did last round:

Jeff Bagwell
Mike Mussina
Frank Thomas

It’s KILLING me to leave some of these names off…

Jeff H (#1)
Jeff H (#1)
9 years ago

Bagwell, Frank Thomas, Smoltz

Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
9 years ago
Reply to  Jeff H (#1)

To make ballot tracking easier for Birtelcom, this is Jeff H(a) from the 1968 ballot.

Adam Darowski
9 years ago

Jeff Bagwell
Frank Thomas
Mike Mussina

Tough cuts on Alomar, Smoltz, and Lofton.

John
John
9 years ago

I still don’t get it Frank Thomas was to the 90’s what Prince Albert was to the first decade of the 21 century, but still fell to Piazza in the circles of greats, I guess he loses some credibility by being mostly a DH in the second half of his career? The only 3 new comers that I feel could and should stick around for another round would be Smoltz, Lofton and Vizquel. So with that said I will say good bye to my Mussina vote from my original ballot and vote this time for; Thomas, Bags and Smoltz. This… Read more »

Mike L
Mike L
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Mussina, but it’s starting to get a lot harder. I’m feeling guilt about Alomar and Smoltz. However, I like the trendline, since I will have some justification for leaving Schilling off the 1966 ballot.

Ed
Ed
9 years ago
Reply to  Mike L

I was thinking the same thing re:Schilling!

Gary Bateman
Gary Bateman
9 years ago

Same as “last year”–Alomar, Bagwell, Mussina

Nadig
Nadig
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Smoltz.

Dan McCloskey
Editor
9 years ago

I’m gonna stick with Bagwell and Alomar from the last round and add Mussina.

Obviously, toughest cuts were Thomas, Smoltz and Lofton, but they’ll all stick around.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
9 years ago

Forgive me if I’ve said this before, but:

Bagwell
Mussina
Thomas

Smoltz is interesting if we give him more credit than WAR/WAA does for his dominance in relief, but this exercise has cast Mussina in a new light for me and I’ll keep voting for him until, well, Maddux and Schilling hit the ballot in the next round.

Tom
Tom
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Mussina

The Diamond King
9 years ago

Bagwell, Smoltz, Thomas for me.

brp
brp
9 years ago

John Smoltz
Frank Thomas
Kenny Lofton

Apologies to Bagwell, Mussina, Ventura, Alomar, Kent, and Hoffmann (all reasonable choices IMO).

PP
PP
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Mussina (thought Smoltz would have a higher peak, but he doesn’t)

aweb
aweb
9 years ago

This looks like a fun project, I haven’t lurked here much lately, but I vote for:

Bagwell, Thomas, Lofton.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas and Smoltz

Lawrence Azrin
Lawrence Azrin
9 years ago

Thomas, Alomar, Bagwell, in that order.

The only serious candidates from the birth year of 1967 are Lofton and Smoltz. 1967 looks like it might be one of the weaker years overall. Though on the plus side, it gives us a chance to catch upon the candidates we passed over from 1968.

ProfessorLarry
ProfessorLarry
9 years ago

Alomar, Thomas, and Bagwell

Scott
Scott
9 years ago

Roberto Alomar, Frank Thomas, John Smoltz

Abbott
Abbott
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Smoltz

JEV
JEV
9 years ago

Thomas, Smoltz, Lofton.

Matthew C
Matthew C
9 years ago

Thomas, Smoltz, and Hoffman. A DH, a hybrid, and a closer. My how baseball has changed in my lifetime. And I think it is wonderful. Forty-odd years ago Thomas would have had to play first full time, probably breaks down, and falls short of doing what few ever have with a bat. If Smoltz doesn’t get credit for beng an ace reliever he doesn’t make it because his starting career doesn’t measure on its own. And forty-odd years ago how many teams would have kept a guy, even one like Hoffman, on staff just to throw 60+ innings a year?… Read more »

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago

Kenny Lofton

As a speed guy/defensive outfielder, he had an elite peak.
(and played exactly one season (or parts of) with 10 different teams – that is not a Circle of Great fact, it’s just interesting)

John Smoltz

Showed an ability to make adjustments over a long career.
One of the great post-season pitchers.

Roberto Alomar

So many great 68′ holdovers.
I’ll go with the guy without the homeruns.

Voomo Zanzibar
Voomo Zanzibar
9 years ago
Reply to  Voomo Zanzibar

-Didn’t read the above comments before mentioning Lofton’s teams.

Jason Z
9 years ago

This is so difficult. Do I vote to insure deserving candidates
remain on the ballot for the future? Knowing that I am leaving
more deserving candidates off now?

I guess not…

Mike Mussina (John A-you convinced me @62 in the 68 discussion).
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell

Apologies to John Smoltz and Roberto Alomar. In my humble
opinion, you two are barely a notch below the top three.

GrandyMan
GrandyMan
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, Mussina. (Sorry, Kenny Lofton.)

Bryan O'Connor
Editor
9 years ago
Reply to  birtelcom

Of the next 11 ballots cast after this update, five listed Thomas but not Bagwell, while only one listed Bagwell but not Thomas. Only one admitted to tactically omitting Bagwell.

qx
qx
9 years ago

Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent, Trevor Hoffman

Hub Kid
Hub Kid
9 years ago

Frank Thomas
Mike Mussina
John Smoltz

This is a tactical vote- I like Bagwell as much as I did in the previous election, but I want Thomas to win this round even more…

matt taylor
matt taylor
9 years ago

Jeff bagwell
Frank Thomas
Mike mussina

Artie Z.
Artie Z.
9 years ago

Bagwell, Thomas, and Alomar

JamesS
JamesS
9 years ago

Frank Thomas, John Smoltz, Kenny Lofton.

A few players I haven’t seen mentioned yet: Robin Ventura, Kevin Appier, Luis Gonzalez.

The sick Mets fan in me wants to vote for Gregg Jefferies. I think the sick mets fan is going to want to vote for a lot of odd players. Luckily most of them (Pete Falcone, Rusty Tilman, Charlie Puleo etc.) will probably not qualify.

Go Mookie and John Stearns!

Jeff Hill
Jeff Hill
9 years ago

After voting in the ’68 ballot for Thomas, Piazza and Kent.

Piazza won the ballot so I can’t vote for him and Kent has now been dropped.

I now vote for:

Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
John Smoltz

Tough to not vote for Mussina but the post season record gave Smoltz the edge I needed there. Kent and Alomar plus Lofton were the others considered for me.

bstar
bstar
9 years ago

It wasn’t as easy as the first vote but not too much harder:

1. Jeff Bagwell
2. Frank Thomas
3. Mike Mussina

Phil
9 years ago

Alomar, Thomas, Smoltz–I’m changing my third ’68 pick (can’t remember who it was) to Smoltz.