/On Baseball: Hall of Fame Ballot Has Bigger Stars, but a Closer Has Huge Numbers

On Baseball: Hall of Fame Ballot Has Bigger Stars, but a Closer Has Huge Numbers

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Billy Wagner in 2009. In 16 seasons, he had 422 saves (fifth on the career list) and a 2.31 E.R.A. He is eligible for the Hall of the Fame for the first time next year.

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Barton Silverman/The New York Times

If Billy Wagner had his way, he would not have pitched when he did, from 1995 through 2010. His grandparents loved baseball and taught him about the pioneers.

“I’m a traditionalist at heart,” Wagner said by phone the other day. “I would love to have played when you were wearing fedoras and suits, and there wasn’t a disconnect between fans and players — that golden age. That’s the era I wanted to play in. That’s what I wish.”

On Monday, at the winter meetings in Nashville, the Hall of Fame will announce the first part of its 2016 class. A panel of Hall of Famers, executives and writers is considering 10 candidates from the era before integration. Four were born before the Civil War. All of them are dead.

This is where candidates go…

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