The BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot was released on Monday, and there are several notable former SF Giants on the list, including newcomers Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.
While former SF Giants, like Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Omar Vizquel, are once again up for Hall of Fame voting, a few former Giants are newcomers on the ballot Tim Hudson and Barry Zito may not have had the highest moments of their careers in San Francisco, but both had distinguished careers in Orange and Black. LaTroy Hawkins, a longtime reliever who had a short stint for the Giants, is also on the BBWAA’s ballot.
Hawkins was a well-traveled middle reliever that made his way to San Francisco following a trade from that Chicago Cubs that sent David Aardsma and Jerome Williams to Chicago. In his lone season with San Francisco, he registered a 4.10 ERA (3.82 FIP) with two saves across 37.1 frames before he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Steve Kline. Kline would later be traded to the Angels for Steve Finley. The Giants sure made a lot of MLB for MLB swaps back then!
Zito, of course, was the 2002 American Cy Young award winner to go along with three All-Star nods with the Oakland Athletics. He rolled his early-career success into a massive seven-year, $126 million contract with the Giants.
That contract immediately became an ill-fated move, but the Giants did win two World Series rings with Zito in the organization. While he was not on the playoff roster in 2010, he made multiple clutch performances in the 2012 playoffs against the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers.
In his entire MLB career, the southpaw posted a 165-143 overall record with a 4.04 ERA (4.39 FIP) while being worth 31.9 WAR across 15 seasons. Similar to Hawkins, Zito will not likely get much support on the ballots given that his career numbers do not stack up favorably against Hall of Fame pitchers.
Hudson, on the other hand, may see his name appear on more just than a few ballots. The veteran right-hander generated a 222-133 overall record with a 3.49 ERA (3.78 FIP) while being worth 57.9 WAR in 17 seasons.
His Hall of Fame credentials are on the fence of induction, but he is someone who should merit more consideration. The argument against him is that he was really never one of the best pitchers of his generation. With that being said, he was consistently one of the better pitchers for a very long time and a solid contributor for several playoff teams. That should not be overlooked.
Of course, SF Giants fans remember him for his role in helping the Giants win the 2014 World Series. He signed on with the Giants for the final two seasons of his career. In his first year, he posted a 3.57 ERA (3.54 FIP) while soaking up 189.1 innings and earning a National League All-Star nod to go along with a World Series ring.
He will appear on some ballots, but I fear that he will not qualify to be on future ballots if he does not meet the minimum five percent threshold.
The hope for SF Giants fans is that incumbents of Bonds, Kent, and Vizuqel continue to move in the right direction and that Tim Hudson and Barry Zito get some support for stringing together long and successful careers.