Time for some Hall of Fame blogging, in advance of the old timers ballot, which has ten names: Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, Luis Tiant, Minnie Minoso, Charles Finley, Tony Oliva, Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Allie Reynolds, and Jim Kaat.
Where to start? With Santo, I think, since he's an easy call. Longtime sabermetric fave, and a terrific hitter and fielder; the only knock is a short career, but he's a very comfortable fit with other HOF 3Bs.
I'll get rid of Hodges, Oliva, and Boyer together; I don't think any of them are close. Boyer isn't totally out of the question, but he's a solid step down from Santo with the bat, and I don't see him making that up with the glove. Oliva and Hodges both have undeserved reputations for being underrated, and both are significantly below HOF level for their positions. Actually, Reynolds fits in here too; he and Hodges would be forgotten if they had different teammates.
I don't know of any reason to put Bavazi in. As far as Finley, certainly not. Yes, there are some reasons to remember him well, but overall? No thanks.
That leaves Kaat, Tiant, and Minoro. Here are the three SPs on the list:
Kaat 4530 108
Tiant 3486 115
Reynolds 2492 110
Truth is, I wouldn't be that upset with either Kaat or Tiant in the Hall. Kaat, of course, pitched for a long time, which is a lot of his value. He was never a great pitcher, though; he had a handful of years where he was a legit All Star, but that's about it -- in other words, if everything went right he would be a legit Cy also-ran. That, plus 25th all time in IP...is that a HOFer? Tiant, on the other hand, had the makings of a solid peak, but alas had a three year break at ages 28-30 with injuries and ineffectiveness that really cuts a hole out of his HOF case. The problem is that there are lots of guys like that -- for example, Rick Reuschel is almost a perfect comp, with 3548 IP and a 114 ERA+, and a vaguely similar career hole (ages 33-35, in his case). Granted, there are some guys like that in the HOF -- Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning -- but as much as I'm a big HOF person I don't want everyone in that group to go in.
Minnie Minoso, however, is a HOFer, and should really get in. It's funny...on the surface, he and Oliva have a lot in common. But Minoso is just a bit better across the board, and it all adds up...baseball-reference credits him with 53 WAR, compared to 42 for Olivo. That's the difference between a solid player and a fringe HOFer, and if Minoso is a fringe case then he gets my vote.
So I would support Santo and Minoso, bother fairly easy cases for me, and none of the others, with only Kaat really a tough call at all. I don't know; maybe Boyer is a tough call, but at any rate I'd just go with two.