La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Hall of Fame thoughts....and my ballot

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 8, 2014 - 2:21 PM

Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas for being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and too bad for Craig Biggio, who fell just two votes shy of getting his trip to Cooperstown.

This heavily-scrutinized vote pretty much went as expected. Unfortunately, that means St. Paul's own Jack Morris fell short in his 15th and final year on the ballot.  Morris' Hall of Fame fate now rests in the hands of the Veterans Committee in three years. He's now the first player to receive 67 percent of the vote (as he did last year) and not eventually make it into the Hall.

As I wrote on Sunday, I was in a tough spot this year because I wanted to vote for more than the maximum ten candidates. So I didn't vote for Jeff Bagwell, confident that he would still be on the ballot next year. Hopefully, having three players voted in this year will help break up the logjam we're in now.

It was very disappointing to learn the identity of the person who sold his ballot to a certain website. As president of the Baseball Writer's Association of America, we are examining our options concerning this development. Other than that, we will have no comment.

As for the. `Rule of 10,'  the BBWAA is looking into expanding the maximum number of candidates a voter can select. There already are indications that Biggio, who fell short of election by two votes, would have been the 11th player on a couple of ballots. My concern was that he should have been ranked higher than 11th on ballots since he was so close last year (which is why I dropped Bagwell off of mine), but each voter has the right to fill out his or her ballot as they wish.

Here is my Hall of Fame ballot:

Craig Biggio

Tom Glavine

Greg Maddux

Jack Morris

Mike Piazza

Tim Raines

Curt Schilling

Lee Smith

Frank Thomas

Alan Trammell

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Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
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