As I've mentioned several times this week, Eric Young extended a long streak when he appeared on one Hall of Fame ballot on Monday. Young was the only former Brewer to receive a Hall of Fame vote this season, but there's been at least one (and sometimes more) every year since Don Sutton's first appearance on the ballot in 1994.
But, as you may have heard, the ballot is going to have a massive influx of talent next season and the Brewers' streak is in definite jeopardy. On top of the 13 candidates that received more than 5 but less than 75% of the vote in 2013, all of these players (and more) will appear on their first ballot next year:
Hall of Fame voters are allowed to list ten players on their ballot. Next year, for the first time I can remember, we're going to have a lot of writers sending in their ballot with a complaint about not being able to vote for more.
This means it's going to be harder than ever for one of the former Brewers down the ballot to get a "token vote" and keep the streak alive. Here are the five Brewers who will be eligible for the first time and could be on the ballot, listed in order of likelihood to draw notice:
Julio Franco. Franco was only in Milwaukee for a couple of months in 1997, (appearing in 42 games), but he's probably the only former Brewer with a legit chance of staying on the ballot for more than one season. Largely based on the fact that he played into his late 40's, Franco actually has more career rWAR (40.6) than ballot mainstays Don Mattingly (39.8), Jack Morris (39.3) and Lee Smith (29.7). He'll probably draw some attention just based on novelty: It's not everyday you see a guy who played in 636 games after his 42nd birthday.
Bob Wickman. There's almost nothing Hall of Fame-worthy about Wickman's actual numbers: He was a two time All Star and ranks 27th all time with 267 career saves, but that's about the best one can do in his defense. He was never spectacular but served as the primary closer at one point or another for the Brewers, Indians and Braves.
Jeff Cirillo. Cirillo was absolutely, without question a better player than Wickman, but aside from a possible "good guy" vote it's hard to imagine anyone making room on their ballot for a guy who never led the league in anything and finished his career with under 1600 hits and low power numbers. Cirillo was a very good player, but if he appears on the ballot and gets no votes it shouldn't be a surprise.
Damian Miller. Now we've reached the "technically eligible" portion of this list. Miller played eleven major league seasons so he's technically eligible for Hall of Fame consideration, but there were only two less valuable players in terms of wins above replacement (rWAR) on the 2012 ballot, and only one in 2011.
Mike Myers. Myers was fun to watch, appeared in 883 career games and led the AL in appearances in 1996 and '97. But his 4.29 career ERA, if nothing else, will prevent him from being the game's first Hall of Fame LOOGY.