Casey Blake begins preparing future Hall of Fame speech

CLEVELAND — Jaws were dropped across the country Sunday evening when the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Today’s Game Era Committee selected relief pitcher Lee Smith and right fielder/designated hitter Harold Baines to the 2019 induction class.
Baines’ selection in particular received lots of criticism, as he was never really considered a star player at any point of his two-decade career.
However, that fact spurred a celebration from another former Cleveland Indians hitter who was never a star.
“If Harold can get in, then it’s only a matter of time before my name is selected,” said former third baseman Casey Blake, who played for the Indians from 2003-2008.
Blake, who retired after the 2011 season, fell off the 2017 ballot without receiving a single vote. However, that didn’t discourage him after seeing that Baines never received more than 6.1 percent of the vote in any of the five years he was on the ballot.
“Baines only hit 28 homers in a season once; so did I,” Blake said. “Baines never finished in the top eight of MVP voting; neither did I.
“We’re basically the same player, so if he’s getting in, then I’m getting in.”
Blake said he already has 15 minutes of his planned 25-minute speech written and he is still trying to decide if his plaque will feature a Chief Wahoo or Block C on the hat. He added that he spoke to former infield-mate Jhonny Peralta, who now believes he would also be a lock for the Hall if he hadn’t used performance-enhancing drugs, which have been determined to be much more damaging to your candidacy than not being that good.