Earlier today we talked about the IBWAA and its conducting its own Shadow Hall of Fame vote. There are a lot of others too. The Hall of Merit. The Baseball Reliquary. Probably others I’ve forgotten.
For the fourth straight year friend of the blog Graham Womack of Baseball: Past and Present has compiled a list of the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. It’s a reader/voter-driven thing, with 208 ballots cast this year. Seven players gained virtual election this year. Click through to see who. And yes, I have given you a hint with the picture already.
As always, good stuff.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.