Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 Hall of Fame "Ballot", Part I

This year's Baseball Writers' Association of America Hall of Fame ballot is the most crowded in over 65 years, when 95 players received votes in 1945.

Before we get to this year's fun, here's a glimps at the 1945 ballot:

Rk YoB Votes %vote WAR
1 Frank Chance HOF 6th 179 72.5% 43.5
2 Rube Waddell HOF 6th 154 62.3% 55.3
3 Ed Walsh HOF 6th 137 55.5% 61.7
4 Johnny Evers HOF 6th 134 54.3% 45.2
5 Roger Bresnahan HOF 6th 133 53.8% 39.1
6 Miller Huggins HOF 5th 133 53.8% 33.8
7 Mickey Cochrane HOF 4th 125 50.6% 48.9
8 Jimmy Collins HOF 6th 121 49.0% 50.1
9 Ed Delahanty HOF 6th 111 44.9% 66.5
10 Clark Griffith HOF 5th 108 43.7% 58.1
11 Frankie Frisch HOF 4th 101 40.9% 68.0
12 Hughie Jennings HOF 5th 92 37.2% 39.7
13 Wilbert Robinson HOF 5th 81 32.8% 11.5
14 Pie Traynor HOF 5th 81 32.8% 33.8
15 Hugh Duffy HOF 5th 64 25.9% 40.1
16 Fred Clarke HOF 6th 53 21.5% 64.2
17 Rabbit Maranville HOF 5th 51 20.6% 39.4
18 Joe Tinker HOF 5th 49 19.8% 50.4
19 Mordecai Brown HOF 6th 46 18.6% 53.0
20 Herb Pennock HOF 5th 45 18.2% 39.8
21 Joe McGinnity HOF 5th 44 17.8% 54.7
22 Chief Bender HOF 6th 40 16.2% 46.6
23 Ray Schalk HOF 6th 33 13.4% 25.0
24 Eddie Plank HOF 5th 33 13.4% 85.3
25 Bill Terry HOF 5th 32 13.0% 52.1
26 Lefty Grove HOF 2nd 28 11.3% 97.4
27 Home Run Baker HOF 6th 26 10.5% 59.5
28 Carl Hubbell HOF 1st 24 9.7% 64.9
29 Addie Joss HOF 5th 23 9.3% 41.4
30 Ross Youngs HOF 6th 22 8.9% 30.9
31 Dazzy Vance HOF 6th 18 7.3% 58.0
32 Dizzy Dean HOF 1st 17 6.9% 43.4
33 Bill Dickey HOF 1st 17 6.9% 52.4
34 Johnny Kling 6th 12 4.9% 22.9
35 Charlie Gehringer HOF 2nd 10 4.0% 76.6
36 Nap Rucker 6th 10 4.0% 45.7
37 Babe Adams 5th 7 2.8% 50.5
38 Lefty Gomez HOF 1st 7 2.8% 34.6
39 Harry Heilmann HOF 5th 5 2.0% 67.3
40 Kid Nichols HOF 4th 5 2.0% 111.6
41 Edd Roush HOF 6th 5 2.0% 43.0
42 Sam Crawford HOF 6th 4 1.6% 69.9
43 Ted Lyons HOF 1st 4 1.6% 65.2
44 Hank Greenberg HOF 1st 3 1.2% 55.1
45 Bobby Wallace HOF 5th 3 1.2% 66.0
46 Bill Donovan 4th 3 1.2% 39.4
47 Hank Gowdy 5th 3 1.2% 17.1
48 Bill Carrigan 4th 3 1.2% 10.9
49 Eddie Grant 4th 2 0.8% 3.4
50 Branch Rickey HOF 2nd 2 0.8% 1.0
51 Jesse Burkett HOF 4th 2 0.8% 60.5
52 Bill McKechnie HOF 1st 2 0.8% 2.5
53 Zack Wheat HOF 5th 2 0.8% 56.9
54 Bobby Lowe 2nd 2 0.8% 16.8
55 Deacon Phillippe 3rd 2 0.8% 31.8
56 Kid Elberfeld 5th 2 0.8% 30.4
57 Casey Stengel HOF 3rd 2 0.8% 18.5
58 Gabby Hartnett HOF 2nd 2 0.8% 50.7
59 Bill Sweeney 1st 1 0.4% 12.0
60 Van Mungo 1st 1 0.4% 31.1
61 Amos Rusie HOF 5th 1 0.4% 65.6
62 Mike Donlin 4th 1 0.4% 28.6
63 Claude Ritchey 1st 1 0.4% 31.5
64 Tony Lazzeri HOF 1st 1 0.4% 46.2
65 Jesse Tannehill 1st 1 0.4% 45.8
66 Harry Davis 1st 1 0.4% 35.5
67 Danny Murphy 2nd 1 0.4% 32.8
68 Pepper Martin 2nd 1 0.4% 15.8
69 Eppa Rixey HOF 3rd 1 0.4% 51.7
70 Duffy Lewis 4th 1 0.4% 17.9
71 Kid Gleason 4th 1 0.4% 6.1
72 Cy Seymour 1st 1 0.4% 30.3
73 Charlie Grimm 2nd 1 0.4% 10.6
74 Donie Bush 4th 1 0.4% 36.7
75 Herman Long 4th 1 0.4% 33.4
76 Jimmy Sheckard 2nd 1 0.4% 46.7
77 Jack Dunn 2nd 1 0.4% -0.8
78 Heinie Groh 3rd 1 0.4% 46.3
79 Charlie Root 1st 1 0.4% 36.3
80 Howie Camnitz 1st 1 0.4% 13.0
81 Joe Gordon HOF 1st 1 0.4% 54.0
82 Ginger Beaumont 3rd 1 0.4% 28.3
83 Billy Southworth HOF 1st 1 0.4% 19.3
84 Earle Combs HOF 4th 1 0.4% 40.0
85 Bob Meusel 3rd 1 0.4% 24.2
86 Cy Williams 2nd 1 0.4% 34.7
87 Max Carey HOF 4th 1 0.4% 51.1
88 Joe DiMaggio HOF 1st 1 0.4% 75.1
89 Dickey Kerr 5th 1 0.4% 9.1
90 Wid Conroy 1st 1 0.4% 19.0
91 Pat Moran 4th 1 0.4% 5.6
92 Steve Yerkes 1st 1 0.4% 5.6
93 Sherry Magee 5th 1 0.4% 55.8
94 Johnny Vander Meer 1st 1 0.4% 23.8
95 Bill Dinneen 4th 1 0.4% 37.5
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/30/2012.

The history above, lends me to believe we could see a sort of similar result this year, with no-one receiving the required 75% of the vote for enshrinement. With a maximum of ten players one may vote for, and somewhere between 11 and 15 viable candidates, we may not see 3/4's of the voters agree on anyone.

Like a radio station one of our parents may listen to, this year's ballot has a collection of stars from the 80's, 90's, and today.

In alphabetic order, and without numbers, here are the players on this year's ballot:

Sandy Alomar Jr.
If anyone has a chance to make it
this time around, it's Craig Biggio.
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Barry Bonds
Jeff Cirillo
Royce Clayton
Roger Clemens
Jeff Conine
Steve Finley
Julio Franco
Shawn Green
Roberto Hernandez
Ryan Klesko
Kenny Lofton
Edgar Martinez
Don Mattingly
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Jose Mesa
Jack Morris
Dale Murphy
Schilling's W%, ERA, and K/BB ratio give
him an outstanding case for Cooperstown.
Rafael Palmeiro
Mike Piazza
Tim Raines
Reggie Sanders
Curt Schilling
Aaron Sele
Lee Smith
Sammy Sosa
Mike Stanton
Alan Trammell
Larry Walker
Todd Walker
David Wells
Rondell White
Bernie Williams
Woody Williams

I've been looking forward to this ballot for so long, that I envisioned writing up an obscenely long post for why we should or should not vote for each player on the list. Instead, we are going to try to keep this as short as possible, while hopefully providing one or two facts and opinions you may not find elsewhere. Over the past several weeks, however, I've noticed that you, dear reader, have greater choices for earnest Hall of Fame analysis.

Some of the best options include: Buster Olney's blog, Jay Jaffe's Hit and Run, Joe Posnanski's blog, Joe's twitter, or Joe's day job. Of course, we can also check in on any of the 575 writers who actually have a ballot to see how they voted, and why. Darren Viola has been doing an outstanding job of keeping records of writer's ballots as they are posted online. Darren shares his findings on his twitter: @RRepoz.

Barry Larking was a
considerate and classy
inductee last June.
Last year, we would have voted for Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, and Larry Walker. Larkin was elected last year. With this year's ballot being so crowded, there's no guarantee that the other five guys will be on our "ballot" this year.

Let's quickly take a closer look.

The "It's an honor to be on the ballot, but it's a relatively easy No" group includes: Todd Walker, Jose Mesa, Sandy Alomar Jr, Mike Stanton, Jeff Conine, Royce Clayton, Roberto Hernandez, Aaron Sele, Ryan Klesko, Rondell White, Woody Williams, Shawn Green, and Jeff Cirillo.

We are left with 24 on the ballot with room to vote for 10.

A few other players who have a relatively interesting story to tell, but will ultimately fall short of a vote from us include: Lee Smith (478 Saves), Steve Finley (304 HR's, 320 SB's), Reggie Sanders (also over 300 steals an homers, not to mention a 115 OPS+, which is higher than Biggio, Trammell, and Lofton), and Julio Franco, who played until he was 48 and ranks 21st on this ballot by bWAR, between Don Mattingly and Jack Morris.

This leaves us with 20 players for a maximum of 10 votes.

You know what? We're about to get to the more controversial players and have some tough choices to make. This is going to take us a little too long for a "quick" post. Let's get to this in the next day or two...

TO BE CONTINUED...

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