Category Archives: Baseball Hall of Fame

Guest post: Comprehensive reform for the Veterans Committee

Editor’s note: Please welcome Daniel Greenia to the site. Daniel is a longtime reader and first-time author here. Today, Daniel weighs in on a subject he’s well-versed in, the Hall of Fame. He’s voted multiple years in my project on the 50 best players not in Cooperstown and authored a “Fixing the Hall of Fame” series for Dugout Central. It’s my pleasure to present Daniel’s debut effort here.

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Some of Graham Womack’s recent articles motivated me to put down some ideas I’ve had percolating in my mind regarding the election procedures for the Veterans Committee (VC). The primary aim is to have the VC elect players every year, to start cleaning up the backlog created from 14 years of neglect.

The first necessity is to separate the player from the non-players.  On this point, the old VC (1953-2001) got it right. Cramming them together on the same ballot creates a nightmare for comparative analysis of the candidates.

We start by adapting the three existing committees, making them for players only, while clarifying and equalizing the time periods covered by each one. In addition, the Hall should establish four committees for other candidates. That would give the HOF eight committees, the old BBWAA electorate along with seven specialized Veterans committees:

  1. BBWAA: considers players retiring from 6-15 seasons ago.  For 2016 that’s guys last playing 2001-2010. [Also Trammell and Lee Smith.]

Tweak the eras for the existing committees and make them for players only:

  1. Expansion Era: considers player retiring from 16-50 seasons ago. For the election in late 2016 that’s guys last playing 1966-2000. Also considers any living players retiring more than 50 years ago. Elects one player every two years.
  2. Golden Era: considers deceased players retiring 51-100 seasons ago. For the election in late 2017 that’s guys last playing 1917-1966. Elects one player every four years.
  3. Early Era: considers players retiring over 100 seasons ago. For the election in late 2015 that’s guys last playing 1871-1914. Elects one player every four years.

Create four committees for others, voting on a four-year rotating basis:

  1. Managers & Coaches Committee
  2. Black Baseball Players Committee: considers players from the pre- and early-integration era.
  3. Executives & Umpires Committee
  4. Pioneers & Contributors Committee

I’ll discuss more about each of these in turn, but start with a few general comments.

Historically, the BBWAA has enshrined about two players on average for every election it has held since 1936. The BBWAA has held close to this average over the past 14 years, voting in 24 players. Meanwhile, the VC elected just three MLB players: Joe Gordon, Ron Santo, and Deacon White. This stands in stark contrast to the previous 14 years, 1988-2001, when the VC elected 13 MLB players; or the 14 years prior, 1974-87, when the VC elected 20 MLB players. This dysfunction has created a swelling backlog of players who are fully deserving and qualified for the Hall. Most voters sense this, so they keep showing up and voting for players, but the results keep coming up short of electing anyone. The system has failed the voters– and not the other way around. There is no shortage of deserving candidates to elect and it is incumbent upon the HOF to create a system that elects someone.

This can’t be stressed enough: the various HOF committees exist to elect someone. They do not exist to “maintain high standards” or whatever BS rationale is employed– that is the job of the Nominating Committee. The people who decide who gets on the ballot– they have the most important job in the election process. This is where the HOF needs to recruit the top talent, the expert researchers and historians. If they include only the ten most deserving candidates on the ballot, players like Jack Morris and Steve Garvey will not make the Hall any time soon. So the HOF must present the VC voters with a 10-man ballot having only the best candidates on it. Then they must devise a system that ensures that someone is elected every time.

Of course, baseball has long employed a system ideal for the task: the MVP voting system. In those elections, every voter ranks ten players, sifting through every player in the league. We’ll make it even easier for the Veterans Committee: give them a 10-man ballot to rank. The winner gets inducted to the Hall. It should not be hard for the experts that comprise the HOF electorates to perform this task.

As mentioned earlier, this idea of mixing players and non-players on the same ballot is wrong and results have proven it a failure. Players are rarely elected; even worse, men deserving of a place in the Hall are getting old and dying before the Hall bothers to fix the system. The problem is, the expertise required of the voters is quite different for judging players and non-players, so the Hall should create focused electorates most suitable to one task or the other.

Second, the process would benefit from transparency. Voting in a Black Box leads to distrust of the process, giving an air of illegitimacy to the players elected. The HOF should not allow these issues to persist. Ballots should not only be made public, but voters should be required to explain their process. “The unjustified ballot is not worth casting”, to paraphrase Socrates.

Third, fixed eras are currently used by the veterans committees, meaning they have the same pool of candidates every election. A change to shifting eras allows for a gentle churning of candidates, creating public anticipation for each election as new candidates enter the purview of each electorate.

Let’s take a closer look at the player committees:

BBWAA: Leave them alone for now. The 75 percent requirement will not be easily struck down, given it’s been in place for nearly 80 years. When they revert back to a poor rate of elections [seven players elected 2008-13; five players elected 1993-98] there may be impetus for reform.

Their new 10-year eligibility rule is good, especially with the new VC setup proposed here. The reason it was put in is that it gets the unelectable steroid crowd off the ballot sooner. However, there are other benefits. It has been the case throughout the Hall’s history that the BBWAA’s main purpose is to wave all the no-brainers into the Hall. The harder task has been left to the various VC’s, to draw the HOF in/out line. So limiting candidates’ time on the BBWAA ballot, and getting them under the consideration of a carefully made VC election process is all to the good. As for Tim Raines, and many other less obvious candidates, the 10-year limit may actually get them in the Hall sooner, when the VC gets to make the call.

Expansion Era [retiring 16-50 years ago, or 1966-2000 for the election in December 2016]: This is the most overlooked era by the Hall of fame. The BBWAA elected 56 players retiring in those years. Likewise, in the 35 elections 1977-2011, when the BBWAA was considering mainly players from this era, they elected 56 players total.

How many “should” they have elected? Well, there are 158 HOF players born 1880-1940 [including Negro leaguers], an average of 2.6 per year. By that standard, in 35 years the HOF should elect 91 players. So we can say that the BBWAA left it up to the VC to elect 35 more players retiring 1966-2000 [91 minus 56.] So far they have elected four [Bunning, Mazeroski, Cepeda and Santo.] One could spin the numbers differently, but it should be clear that if the HOF is going to be fair to this era there is A LOT of work to be done. We need this committee to vote every other year, with the other two players committees voting once every four years.

This committee will also be tasked to consider the oldest living candidates, even players retiring more than 50 years ago. They will be reminded that this may be the final chance for induction while alive for players like Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce, to name two popular candidates who’ve died in the past year. Of course, voters will be left to determine how much weight to give to that fact.

Another thing we should strive to do is to place players in the era with their peers, by ignoring brief comeback appearances made after age 40. [This was seen much more often a hundred years ago.] It should be obvious that Minoso belongs with the Golden Age candidates, given his retirement in 1964. It only makes sense to ignore his play in 1976 and ‘80 for purposes of HOF eligibility.

Possible 2016 ballot: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Dwight Evans, Bobby Grich, Keith Hernandez, Tommy John, Billy Pierce, Ted Simmons, Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker.

Golden Era [deceased players retiring 51-100 years ago, or 1917-66 for the election in December 2017]: While this era is well-represented in the HOF, we can still find ten candidates who would not lower the standards of the Hall. Consideration of players whose careers were stunted by military service is especially in order.

Possible 2017 ballot: Wes Ferrell, Heinie Groh, Stan Hack, Gil Hodges, Bob Johnson, Charlie Keller, Sherry Magee, Minnie Minoso, Urban Shocker, Bucky Walters.

Early Era [retiring more than 100 years ago, or 1871-1914 for the election in December 2015]: For this committee a name change from Pre-Integration Era is clearly in order. The HOF has only recently begun, for the first time, a systematic study of 19th-century players. Indeed, there are many overlooked early greats deserving of a plaque in Cooperstown. Deacon White is just the first drop in this wave, hopefully.

Possible 2015 ballot: Ross Barnes, Pete Browning, Bob Caruthers, Bill Dahlen, Jack Glasscock, Paul Hines, Jim McCormick, Tony Mullane, Jimmy Sheckard, Harry Stovey.

My attitude towards non-players is very liberal: since standards are mainly subjective there are hundreds of people whom I would have no problem welcoming into the Hall.

Managers & Coaches Committee: Why just elect managers? There should also be consideration given to the unsung coaches who have greatly influenced the game.

Possible ballot: Dusty Baker, Ralph Houk, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Billy Martin, Gene Mauch, Leo Mazzone, Danny Murtaugh, Lou Piniella, Johnny Sain.

Black Baseball Players Committee: considers players from the pre- and early-integration era. Research into this area continues to lead to new discoveries. Despite the stampede a decade ago, that tried to induct every overlooked person from black baseball, we can see a few guys who got left behind.

There also needs to be focus towards black players from the 50’s and 60’s. It should be realized that it took until a generation after Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut for black players to have similar opportunities as white Americans. Even into the 1970’s some teams imposed quotas and restrictions on black players.

Most black players born in the 20’s and 30’s had stunted careers due to their color. Look at Elston Howard, born in 1929. If he had been born 15 years later he would not have begun his career with three years in the Negro Leagues. He likely would not have lost his age 22-23 seasons to military service. He likely would not have had to wait until age 28 to play 100 games in a MLB season.

Possible ballot: John Beckwith, Elston Howard, Home Run Johnson, Dick Lundy, Dobie Moore, Don Newcombe, Alejandro Oms, Buck O’Neil, Dick Redding, Quincy Trouppe.

Executives & Umpires Committee: The game has honored its own more than it has honored managers. Umpires are combined with executives here because they are part of the executive branch. Frankly, the HOF goofed when it started giving plaques to umpires. Umpires have no fans; nobody argues for their election. The best ones are invisible; while their presence enhances the show, they never become the show. It’s too late now, but umpires should have been treated like the writers and broadcasters, with place in a Cooperstown exhibit, but no induction or plaque. [Editor’s note: It’s a common misconception, regularly repeated in the media, but writers and broadcasters do not have a special wing in Cooperstown.]

Pioneers & Contributors Committee: This is the fun, wildcard category. It considers any persons who made meritorious contributions to our game. This can be hard to define, but the general idea is the HOF has been too limiting in who is considered for immortality. So we look for groundbreakers from every era, from Doc Adams to Bill James; multiple contributors such as Bob Ferguson, Lefty O’Doul and Bill White; player+ump combos like Bill Dinneen and Eddie Rommell; memorable characters who have enriched the game’s tapestry such as Chris von der Ahe and Max Patkin; lyricist Jack Norworth and poet Ernest Thayer; authors, scouts, college managers, and a hundred others who helped build the game we love.

Summarizing some of the many benefits brought by these reforms:

  • It restores the traditional role of the Veterans Committee by ensuring they elect a player every year.
  • It enhances the legitimacy of the elections through greater transparency.
  • Makes the electors more accountable to their main constituency, the fans of the game.
  • By using more unique classifications for candidates, electorates can be created with voters that have specialized knowledge of that particular area.
  • Recognizes a broader spectrum of meritorious contributors to the game.
  • Brings equitable treatment to the stars of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, whose numbers in the HOF are far below those of players from earlier eras.
  • Promotes the election of living honorees by giving priority to Expansion Era stars.
  • Brings more focus to electing stars from the game’s antiquity.

Naturally, none of the foregoing is meant to represent the best and only way to bring about a better system. Everything here is offered in the hopes of stimulating creativity and discussion, not defining it. This, it bears noting, is in sharp contrast to the Veterans Committee, which has met privately and operated with impunity since its founding. Such tenets have led to the present mess the Veterans Committee finds itself in. Summarily, we reject them.

 

Future Hall of Famers, as judged in 1986

I’ve been reading Zev Chafets’ book Cooperstown Confidential and just happened across a bit on Steve Garvey which talks about him being named as a future Hall of Famer in a 1986 poll of major league managers in The Sporting News. As a SABR member, I have access to full archives for The Sporting News free of charge so I decided to take a look at the poll.

These kinds of polls or predictions generally interest me. I enjoyed reading Bill James’ forecasts for 25 years of inductions in The Politics of Glory, and I made my own predictions here last year. I think it’s interesting to see how many of these pan out.

Here’s what the poll, printed May 26, 1986, looked like:

“Which players in your league– if they retired tomorrow– have already done enough to merit selection to the Hall of Fame?”

  1. Players listed who are now enshrined: Reggie Jackson, Phil Niekro, Tom Seaver, George Brett, Don Sutton, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Robin Yount, Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter, Gary Carter, Tony Perez
  2. Players listed who aren’t enshrined: Ron Guidry, Pete Rose, Steve Garvey, Dale Murphy

“Which players in your league have a chance to make the Hall of Fame if they continue to play at the level they are currently demonstrating?”

  1. Players listed who are now enshrined: Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Rickey Henderson, Ryne Sandberg
  2. Players listed who aren’t enshrined: Harold Baines, Kent Hrbek, Fernando Valenzuela, Willie McGee, Mike Marshall, Tim Raines

“Which players in your league with four years experience or less have demonstrated the potential to someday qualify for the Hall of Fame?”

  1. Players listed who are now enshrined: Tony Gwynn
  2. Players listed who aren’t enshrined: Don Mattingly, Tony Fernandez, Bret Saberhagen, Jose Canseco, George Bell, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Vince Coleman, Orel Hershiser

Don’t be surprised if some of the players here, particularly from the first group, are future Veterans Committee selections. The committee, after all, is comprised largely of the baseball establishment. I doubt their thinking on Hall of Fame worthiness has changed that much since 1986.

The hunt for more Veterans Committee ballots

“The Veterans Committee never reveals its vote. In fact, committee members are cautioned not to say anything about their meeting. But word gets out.”

-Jack Lang in The Sporting News, March 13, 1989

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The quest began for me when, in the course of Sporting News archive research,  I discovered lists of Veterans Committee candidates for the 1961-64 elections. Heretofore, such lists have been forgotten and thought not to exist. Baseball-Reference.com, which lists full voting results for every Hall of Fame election by the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1936, has only listed names of players inducted by the modern version of the Veterans Committee since its founding in 1953. This is because the Veterans Committee, for almost 50 years, was loathe to release any information.

Since the Veterans Committee reformed prior to the 2003 election, it’s gotten easier to find lists of candidates and voting results. [Baseball-Reference.com doesn’t list this information, though my friend Adam Darowski alerted me that Wikipedia does.] Still, that’s left 45 Veterans Committee elections between 1953 and 2001 unaccounted for. Recently, I decided to do something about this.

After discovering the 1961-64 Veterans Committee lists, I quickly ascertained three things:

  1. Robust lists of candidates were fairly easy to find in The Sporting News up until 1964. I think this is partly because Sporting News publisher J.G. Taylor Spink served as chairman of the Veterans Committee until 1959.
  2. For some reason that I’m still not sure of, the number of Veterans Committee candidate names made publicly available dropped dramatically after 1964. Spink’s death in 1962 may have had something to do with the flow of information slowing to The Sporting News.
  3. That said, at least a few names leaked out with the majority of Veterans Committee elections after 1964.

With the help of The Sporting News archives, newspapers.com and Baseball-Reference.com, I aggregated the names of every leaked Veterans Committee candidate I could find between 1953 and 2001. It’s a little crazy, I’ll grant, but with the proliferation in recent years of online archives, such research can easily be undertaken. I’m surprised that seemingly no one has done this before me. I imagine there are more candidate names out there for anyone who wants to look hard enough and that more names may become available as old newspapers continue to be digitized. Truly, we’re in the golden age of research.

As I write this, I’ve found 901 candidates, who I’ve listed in this Google spreadsheet. I organized the spreadsheet in order of name, with separate listings for each year a person was considered by the Veterans Committee and notes about how they fared in voting, where I could find it. There’s more of this information out there than I initially expected. Leo Durocher, Gil Hodges, and Bill Mazeroski all had years where they missed by one vote from the Veterans Committee. Vic Willis, Joe Gordon, and Nellie Fox each had years where they drew the necessary 75 percent of the vote but weren’t inducted due to limits on how many players the committee could enshrine.

I learned other interesting things in my research. For instance, Deadball Era pitcher Willis’s name came before the Veterans Committee at least 23 times over five– read this again: five– decades before his induction in 1995. Durocher, Gordon, Roger Connor, Billy Evans, Charlie Grimm, Ned Hanlon, Babe Herman, Rube Marquard, Carl Mays, Phil Rizzuto, Amos Rusie, and Glenn Wright all were Veterans Committee candidates at least 10 times as well. As then-chairman of the committee Charley Segar told The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, New York in 1994, “There are about 45 names on a rather permanent list for us to review each year.”

Unlike the BBWAA, which is now limited to considering players up until 15 years after retirement, there doesn’t seem to be any statute of limitations for the Veterans Committee. I don’t know if there should be a limit, as new information and ways of viewing players can always come to light, but I also don’t know what’s different about a candidate his 23rd time on the ballot. Of course, back in 1995 when online news archives weren’t much a thing, Vic Willis may have looked like a long-lost discovery, precisely the kind of candidate the Veterans Committee is tasked with finding.

It’s uncertain if the Hall of Fame still has voting information for the Veterans Committee between 1953 and 2001. I reached out to Hall of Fame librarian Jim Gates, who directed me to contact Bill Deane. Bill’s the former senior research associate at Cooperstown and has written a few times for this site. When I have a Hall of Fame question, Bill’s on a short list of people I email. Jim CC’ed Bill in his email to me. Bill replied to both of us:

Jim —
Thanks for the “vote” of confidence.  Graham has already been in touch with me.  However, my expertise is more on BBWAA voting, and the composition of the Veterans’ Committees.  He has already amassed more information about the Vets’ ballots than I have ever seen.
When I worked at the NBL, there were about 800 bankers’ boxes in remote storage; I never saw or knew what was in them.  I wondered if the mother lode of Hall of Fame ballots was among them, and you had since catalogued them.  Judging from your response, I guess not.
My second guess was that Bill Guilfoile, as the Vets’ liaison in the 1980s & ’90s, kept documents related to that committee in safekeeping somewhere, and that someone in the museum has continued that tradition.  If true, I guess the intent is not to make the information available to the public.
One wonders, if the Hall of Fame doesn’t have records on its own Veterans’ Committee proceedings, who does?

It seems unfortunate to me that full voting information for the Veterans Committee might be lost. It’s a little galling as well. Since its founding, the committee has put far more people in the Hall of Fame than the BBWAA. If there was one thing that came through resoundingly in my research, it’s that the Veterans Committee has been able to more or less operate with impunity and little transparency. Its process is far from democratic for fans, with select retired players and other appointed representatives acting as kingmakers. That’s kind of the American political tradition, but for the Veterans Committee, it’s occasionally led to some egregiously bad Hall of Fame selections.

More Veterans Committee ballots found

My research to make more Veterans Committee ballots available online continues.

I now have ballots for the eight Veterans Committee elections between 1953, when the modern version of the committee debuted, and 1964. Rather than post another long table that overlaps a bit with yesterday’s post, I’m just going to offer a link to a Google doc where I’m compiling my findings.

A few things:

  1. My source for all the ballots thus far has been archives for The Sporting News, accessible for all SABR members via the Paper of Record service listed at SABR.org/research. If anyone wants a quick crash course on how to use The Sporting News archives, I’m happy to offer it. I encountered a slight learning curve.
  2. I found 133 players, executives and umpires on Veterans Committee ballots between 1953 and 1964, with 59 now in the Hall of Fame.
  3. The ballots may be incomplete. I found ballots for the 1955 and 1957 elections when Hall of Fame secretary Paul Kerr said nominations would be accepted until the time of the Veterans Committee meetings.
  4. I haven’t found full voting results for any older ballot– they’re typically listed in news accounts for contemporary Veterans ballots, such as the most recent one— though I’ve seen top finishers listed. Forgotten candidates like Jack Coombs and Lefty O’Doul each came close to induction on at least one ballot.
  5. It amazed me to see some of the players on these ballots, long before Baseball-Reference.com or the 1969 publication of The Baseball Encyclopedia. Deacon White makes multiple appearances. So do Jack Glasscock, Jimmy Ryan and other 19th century stars who would seemingly be forgotten at this juncture in baseball history.

Anyhow, I’ll keep posting Veterans Committee ballots as I find them. If anyone wants to join in my efforts, I’m happy to give full credit.

Let’s get more of these ballots publicly accessible.

A repository for old Veterans Committee ballots

The last time I posted here, I mentioned I was working on a freelance piece, one which I now know will run April 13. Without giving anything away, I found something in the course of research I’d like to share a little sooner. I’m doing this in the hopes that what I found may spur more research from the kind of people who frequent this site.

Baseball-Reference.com has the voting results listed for every Hall of Fame election by the Baseball Writers Association of America since 1936. For some reason, however, Veterans Committee elections aren’t listed, perhaps because the committee typically meets in private. I don’t even know of a place online that publicly lists which players have been candidates.

It’s getting easier to find candidates and even voting results for recent Veterans Committee elections, which are often reported in the news and can be found archived via Google. Older Veterans Committee elections are trickier; but in heavily going through old Sporting News archives to research my freelance piece, I found lists of candidates for the 1961, 1962, 1963, and 1964 Veterans Committee elections.

I’ll withhold much comment at this time besides to say that it suggests to me that Frankie Frisch has maybe been maligned by Bill James and others for some of the worst Veterans Committee selections from the 1970s. A number of the players Frisch reputedly championed appeared on at least one Veterans Committee ballot before Frisch joined it in 1967.

Anyhow, here are the lists of Veterans Committee candidates from 1961 to 1964. A total of 79 people appeared on committee ballots during these years, with 44 now in Cooperstown:

Player Years on Vets Committee ballot Now in HOF?  Inducted
Al Reach 1963 No N/A
Amos Rusie 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1977
Babe Adams 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 No N/A
Bill Bradley 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Bill Dahlen 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Bill Dinneen 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 No N/A
Bill McKechnie 1961, 1962 Yes 1962
Billy Evans 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1973
Billy Hamilton 1961 Yes 1961
Burleigh Grimes 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1964
Charlie Grimm 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 No N/A
Chick Hafey 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1971
Dave Bancroft 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1971
Donie Bush 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 No N/A
Duffy Lewis 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Dummy Hoy 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Earl Averill 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1975
Earle Combs 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1970
Edd Roush 1962 Yes 1962
Eddie Grant 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Elmer Flick 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] Yes 1963
Eppa Rixey 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1963
Firpo Marberry 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] No N/A
Fred Fitzsimmons 1964 No N/A
Fred Lindstrom 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1976
Fred Tenney 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
George Mullin 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Glenn Wright 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] No N/A
Goose Goslin 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1968
Hack Wilson 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1979
Harry Hooper 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] Yes 1971
Heinie Manush 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1964
High Pockets Kelly 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1973
Hooks Wiltse 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Jack Coombs 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Jack Glasscock 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Jake Beckley 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1971
Jake Daubert 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 No N/A
Jesse Haines 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1970
Jesse Tannehill 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Jim Bottomley 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1974
Jimmie Wilson 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] No N/A
Jimmy Ryan 1963 No N/A
Joe Kelley 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] Yes 1971
Joe Sewell 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1977
John Clarkson 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] Yes 1963
John Kling 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
John Tobin 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Kiki Cuyler 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1968
Lave Cross 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Lefty Gomez 1964 Yes 1972
Lefty O’Doul 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 No N/A
Luke Sewell 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] No N/A
Max Carey 1961 Yes 1961
Mickey Welch 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1973
Miller Huggins 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1964
Monte Ward 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1964
Ned Hanlon 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1996
Pud Galvin 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1965
Red Faber 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1964
Red Rolfe 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 No N/A
Riggs Stephenson 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 No N/A
Roger Connor 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1976
Ross Youngs 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1972
Rube Marquard 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1971
Sam Rice 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1963
Sam Thompson 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1974
Stan Coveleski 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1969
Thomas Lynch 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Tim Keefe 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate], 1964 Yes 1964
Tom Corcoran 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Tony Lazzeri 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1991
Travis Jackson 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] Yes 1982
Urban Shocker 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
Vic Willis 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] Yes 1995
Waite Hoyt 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943], 1964 Yes 1969
Wes Ferrell 1963 [automatically on ballot because he appeared in 1962 BBWAA election but retired before 1943] No N/A
Wilbur Cooper 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A
William McGunnigle 1961, 1962, 1963 [on ballot as holdover candidate] No N/A

If anyone knows of places I can find other Veterans Committee ballots, particularly anything before 1961, please let me know. I’d like to make more of this information easily accessible.

Lee Allen’s standards for automatic HOF induction

My apologies to everyone for not posting here in awhile. I moved to Sacramento on January 31 to be with the woman I love and have been settling in at a new job. What writing time I’ve had has gone to paid obligations, though that brings us to what I’m writing about here today.

In researching a Hall of Fame-related freelance piece that will run sometime this spring, I came across an interesting note in a February 1961 edition of The Sporting News. In it, former Hall of Fame historian Lee Allen proposed automatic induction for the following statistical milestones: 300 wins; 2,500 hits or games; having more runs scored than games in a 10-year period.

Just for fun, with the help of Baseball-Reference.com’s Play Index tool, I thought I’d see who’d be enshrined now who isn’t had Allen’s suggestion been acted upon:

300 wins: Roger Clemens.

2,500 hits: Harold Baines, Buddy Bell, Barry Bonds, Bill Buckner, Doc Cramer, Lave Cross, Willie Davis, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Steve Garvey, Luis Gonzalez, Al Oliver, Rafael Palmeiro, Dave Parker, Vada Pinson, Tim Raines, Jimmy Ryan, Gary Sheffield, Rusty Staub, and George Van Haltren.

2,500 games: Darrell Evans, Dwight Evans, Gary Gaetti, Graig Nettles. Some of the players in the 2,500-hit club above would also qualify here, though I figured I’d just list them once.

More runs scored than games played in a 10-year period: Harry Stovey and George Gore. Only three Hall of Famers have done this, all from the 19th century: Billy Hamilton, Willie Keeler, and King Kelly. I suspect Allen at least had an inkling of this when he proposed the rule and that it was another tool to get 19th century players enshrined. A number of them got in on his watch during the early 1960s.

Bill James’ classic Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? notes that Allen did a lot of good for Cooperstown, pushing for some of the best Veterans Committee selections in the early 1960s. That said, I’m glad that this change was never picked up on.

How BBWAA voting predicts future Hall of Famers

Around Hall of Fame voting time every year, I hear baseball fans exclaim that a certain player is never going in Cooperstown because they’ve fallen far short of the 75 percent of votes needed through the Baseball Writers Association of America for enshrinement.

I’m here to say that based on some recent research I undertook, these fans by and large don’t know what they’re talking about.

Using Baseball-Reference.com, I recently went through every BBWAA vote since 1936, making a list of the 884 players who’ve received at least one vote and 221 more players who’ve appeared on the ballot and not gotten any votes. What I found: If a player gets even 20 percent of the writers vote, there’s a better than 50 percent chance they’re eventually going in. If they top 45 percent, their bid is more or less guaranteed. Not counting players currently on the ballot, 136 of the 139 players who’ve received at least 45 percent of the Hall of Fame vote from the writers are now enshrined.

There’s a question of causation or correlation between the BBWAA and Veterans Committee results that I don’t know I can answer here. There’s no proof, so far as I know at least, that the Veterans Committee cribs off the BBWAA to build its ballots. My gut is that the writers are a tough electorate and that any player who rises above 20 percent in the vote is a fairly popular candidate. I think the Veterans Committee would look to these players first even if the BBWAA wasn’t voting.

A more conclusive breakdown of my findings is as follows:

I. Enshrined by the BBWAA

Not counting Lou Gehrig or Roberto Clemente, who each were enshrined through special elections called for by the Hall of Fame, I count 117 people enshrined by the BBWAA. That leaves another 193 Hall of Famers, 96 of whom received at least one vote from the BBWAA at some point. Most of the remaining 97 Hall of Famers are executives and Negro League selections who fall outside the purview of the BBWAA. I’ll list the 17 Hall of Fame players who never appeared on a BBWAA ballot at the bottom of this.

I. Peaked between 70 and 74.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot 

A. The four people who peaked in this range: Jim Bunning, 74.2 percent in 1988; Orlando Cepeda, 73.5 percent in 1994; Frank Chance, 72.5 percent in 1945; Nellie Fox, 74.7 percent in 1985.

B. Since enshrined: 4/4

  1. How they got in: Nellie Fox by Veterans Committee in 1997; Jim Bunning by Veterans Committee in 1996; Orlando Cepeda by Veterans Committee; Frank Chance by Old Timers Committee in 1946.

C. Not enshrined: None

II. Peaked between 65 and 69.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The three people who peaked in this range: Jack Morris, 67.7 percent in 2013; Enos Slaughter, 68.9 percent in 1978; Rube Waddell, 65.3 percent in 1939.

B. Since enshrined: 2/3

  1. How they got in: Enos Slaughter by Veterans Committee in 1985; Rube Waddell by Old Timers Committee in 1946.

C. Not enshrined: Jack Morris

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Mike Piazza, 69.9 percent in 2015.

III. Peaked between 60 and 64.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The three people who peaked in this range: Johnny Evers, 64.4 percent in 1946; Gil Hodges, 63.4 percent in 1983; Miller Huggins, 63.9 percent in 1946.

B. Since enshrined: 2/3

  1. How they got in: Johnny Evers by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Miller Huggins by Veterans Committee in 1964.

C. Not enshrined: Gil Hodges

IV. Peaked between 55 and 59.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The person who peaked in this range: Ed Walsh, 56.9 percent in 1946.

B. Since enshrined: 1/1

  1. How they got in: Ed Walsh by Old Timers Committee in 1946.

C. Not enshrined: None.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Jeff Bagwell, 59.6 percent in 2013; Tim Raines, 55 percent in 2015.

V. Peaked between 50 and 54.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The six people who peaked in this range: Roger Bresnahan, 53.8 percent in 1945; Max Carey, 51.1 percent in 1958; Ed Delahanty, 52.9 percent in 1939; Edd Roush, 54.3 percent in 1960; Sam Rice, 53.2 percent in 1960; Eppa Rixey, 52.8 percent in 1960.

B. Since enshrined: 6/6

  1. How they got in: Roger Bresnahan by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Max Carey by Veterans Committee in 1961; Ed Delahanty by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Edd Roush by Veterans Committee in 1962; Sam Rice by Veterans Committee in 1963; Eppa Rixey by Veterans Committee in 1963.

C. Not enshrined: None.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Lee Smith, 50.6 percent in 2012.

VI. Peaked between 45 and 49.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The five people who peaked in this range: Jimmy Collins, 49 percent in 1945; Lefty Gomez, 46.1 percent in 1956; Tony Oliva, 47.3 percent in 1988; Pee Wee Reese, 47.9 percent in 1976; Ray Schalk, 45 percent in 1955.

B. Since enshrined: 4/5

  1. How they got in: Jimmy Collins by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Lefty Gomez by Veterans Committee in 1972; Pee Wee Reese by Veterans Committee in 1984; Ray Schalk by Veterans Committee in 1964.

C. Not enshrined: Tony Oliva.

VII. Peaked between 40 and 44.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

 A. The 12 people who peaked in this range: Richie Ashburn, 41.7 percent in 1978; Chief Bender, 44.7 percent in 1947; Steve Garvey, 42.6 percent in 1995; Clark Griffith, 43.7 percent in 1945; Marty Marion, 40 percent in 1970; Roger Maris, 43.1 percent in 1988; Bill Mazeroski, 42.3 percent in 1992; Johnny Mize, 43.6 percent in 1971; Hal Newhouser, 42.8 percent in 1975; Ron Santo, 43.1 percent in 1998; Red Schoendienst, 42.6 percent in 1980; Maury Wills, 40.6 percent in 1981.

B. Since enshrined: 8/12

  1. How they got in: Richie Ashburn by Veterans Committee in 1995; Chief Bender by Veterans Committee in 1953; Clark Griffith by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Bill Mazeroski by Veterans Committee in 2001; Johnny Mize by Veterans Committee in 1981; Hal Newhouser by Veterans Committee in 1992; Ron Santo by Veterans Committee in 2012.

C. Not enshrined: Steve Garvey, Marty Marion, Roger Maris, Maury Wills.

VIII. Peaked between 35 and 39.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

 A. The nine people who peaked in this range: Phil Cavarretta, 35.6 percent in 1975; Hank Gowdy, 35.9 percent in 1955; Harvey Kuenn, 39.3 percent in 1988; Hughie Jennings, 37.2 percent in 1945; George Kell, 36.8 percent in 1977; Al Lopez, 39 percent in 1967; Phil Rizzuto, 38.4 percent in 1976; Wilbert Robinson, 38.2 percent in 1942; Hack Wilson, 38.3 percent in 1956

B. Since enshrined: 6/9

  1. How they got in: Hughie Jennings by Old Timers Committee in 1945; George Kell by Veterans Committee in 1983; Al Lopez by Veterans Committee in 1977; Phil Rizzuto by Veterans Committee in 1994; Wilbert Robinson by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Hack Wilson by Veterans Committee in 1979.

C. Not enshrined: Phil Cavarretta, Hank Gowdy, Harvey Kuenn.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Barry Bonds, 36.8 percent in 2015; Roger Clemens, 37.6 percent in 2013; Edgar Martinez, 36.5 percent in 2015; Curt Schilling, 39.2 percent in 2015; Alan Trammell, 36.8 percent in 2012.

IX. Peaked between 30 and 34.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 11 people who peaked in this range: Home Run Baker, 30.4 percent in 1947; Jim Bottomley, 33.1 percent in 1960; Kiki Cuyler, 33.8 percent in 1958; Hugh Duffy, 33 percent in 1942; Red Faber, 30.9 percent in 1960; Burleigh Grimes, 34.2 percent in 1960; Tommy John, 31.7 percent in 2009; Tony Lazzeri, 33.2 percent in 1956; Allie Reynolds, 33.6 percent in 1968; Johnny Sain, 34 percent in 1975; Luis Tiant, 30.9 percent in 1988.

B. Since enshrined: 7/11

  1. How they got in: Home Run Baker by Veterans Committee in 1955; Jim Bottomley by Veterans Committee in 1974; Kiki Cuyler by Veterans Committee in 1968; Hugh Duffy by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Red Faber by Veterans Committee in 1964; Burleigh Grimes by Veterans Committee in 1964; Tony Lazzeri by Veterans Committee in 1991.

C. Not enshrined: Tommy John, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Sain, Luis Tiant.

X. Peaked between 25 and 29.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 14 people who peaked in this range: Ken Boyer, 25.5 percent in 1988; Mordecai Brown, 27.7 percent in 1946; Bobby Doerr, 25 percent in 1970; Joe Gordon, 28.5 percent in 1969; Mel Harder, 25.4 percent in 1964; Jim Kaat, 29.6 percent in 1993; Chuck Klein, 27.9 percent in 1964; Mickey Lolich, 25.5 percent in 1988; Don Mattingly, 28.2 percent in 2001; Joe McGinnity, 26.2 percent in 1946; Eddie Plank, 27 percent in 1942; Joe Tinker, 27.2 percent in 1946; Johnny Vander Meer, 29.8 percent in 1967; Arky Vaughan, 29 percent in 1968.

B. Since enshrined: 8/14

  1. How they got in: Mordecai Brown by Old Timers Committee in 1949; Bobby Doerr by Veterans Committee in 1986; Joe Gordon by Veterans Committee in 2009; Chuck Klein by Veterans Committee in 1980; Joe McGinnity by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Eddie Plank by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Joe Tinker by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Arky Vaughan by Veterans Committee in 1985.

C. Not enshrined: Ken Boyer, Mel Harder, Jim Kaat, Mickey Lolich, Don Mattingly, Johnny Vander Meer.

XI. Peaked between 20 and 24.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 16 people who peaked in this range: Lew Burdette, 24.1 percent in 1984; Fred Clarke, 24.9 percent in 1942; Lou Gehrig, 22.6 percent in 1936; Tommy Henrich, 20.7 percent in 1970; Billy Herman, 20.2 percent in 1967; Elston Howard, 20.7 percent in 1981; Minnie Minoso, 21.1 percent in 1988; Dale Murphy, 23.4 percent in 2000; Dave Parker, 24.5 percent in 1998; Casey Stengel, 23.1 percent in 1953; Joe Torre, 22.2 percent in 1997; Mickey Vernon, 24.9 percent in 1980; Bucky Walters, 23.7 percent in 1968; Lloyd Waner, 23.4 in 1964, Zack Wheat, 23 percent in 1947; Ross Youngs, 22.4 percent in 1947.

B. Since enshrined: 8/16

  1. How they got in: Fred Clarke by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Lou Gehrig in a special election in 1939; Billy Herman by Veterans Committee in 1975; Casey Stengel by Veterans Committee in 1966; Joe Torre by Veterans Committee in 2014; Lloyd Waner by Veterans Committee in 1967; Zack Wheat by Veterans Committee in 1959; Ross Youngs by Veterans Committee in 1972.

C. Not enshrined: Lew Burdette, Tommy Henrich, Elston Howard, Minnie Minoso, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker, Mickey Vernon, Bucky Walters.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Fred McGriff, 23.9 percent in 2012; Mark McGwire, 23.7 percent in 2010; Mike Mussina, 24.6 percent in 2015; Larry Walker, 22.9 percent in 2015.

XII. Peaked between 15 and 19.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 16 people who peaked in this range: Dick Allen, 18.9 percent in 1996; Dave Bancroft, 16.2 percent in 1958; Earle Combs, 16 percent in 1960; Dave Concepcion, 16.9 percent in 1998; Al Dark, 18.5 percent in 1979; Roy Face, 18.9 percent in 1987; Curt Flood, 15.1 percent in 1996; Bucky Harris, 16.9 percent in 1958; Waite Hoyt, 19.2 percent in 1956; Ernie Lombardi, 16.4 percent in 1964; Pepper Martin, 17.3 percent in 1958; Thurman Munson, 15.5 percent in 1981; Don Newcombe, 15.3 percent in 1980; Lefty O’Doul, 16.7 percent in 1960; Vada Pinson, 15.7 percent in 1988; Smoky Joe Wood, 18 percent in 1947.

B. Since enshrined: 5/16

  1. How they got in: Dave Bancroft by Veterans Committee in 1971; Earle Combs by Veterans Committee in 1970; Bucky Harris by Veterans Committee in 1975; Waite Hoyt by Veterans Committee in 1969; Ernie Lombardi by Veterans Committee in 1986.

C. Not enshrined: Dick Allen, Dave Concepcion, Al Dark, Roy Face, Curt Flood, Pepper Martin, Thurman Munson, Don Newcombe, Lefty O’Doul, Vada Pinson, Smoky Joe Wood.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Jeff Kent, 15.2 percent in 2014.

XIII. Peaked between 10 and 14.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 23 people who peaked in this range: Babe Adams, 13.7 percent in 1947; Bobby Bonds, 10.6 percent in 1993; Walker Cooper, 14.4 percent in 1976; Stan Coveleski, 12.8 percent in 1958; Dom DiMaggio, 11.3 percent in 1973; Leo Durocher, 10.5 percent in 1958; Jimmie Dykes, 10 percent in 1960; Dwight Evans, 10.4 percent in 1998; Goose Goslin, 13.5 percent in 1956; Chick Hafey, 10.8 percent in 1960; Keith Hernandez, 10.8 percent in 1998; Orel Hershiser, 11.2 percent in 2006; Addie Joss, 14.2 percent in 1942; Dickey Kerr, 10 percent in 1955; Johnny Kling, 10 percent in 1937; Ted Kluszewski, 14.4 percent in 1977; Don Larsen, 12.3 percent in 1979; Duffy Lewis, 13.5 percent in 1955; Sparky Lyle, 13.1 percent in 1988; Rube Marquard, 13.9 percent in 1955; Terry Moore, 11.7 percent in 1968; Rafael Palmeiro, 12.6 percent in 2012; Vic Raschi, 10.2 percent in 1975.

B. Since enshrined: 6/23

  1. How they got in: Leo Durocher by Veterans Committee in 1994; Stan Coveleski by Veterans Committee in 1969; Goose Goslin by Veterans Committee in 1968; Chick Hafey by Veterans Committee in 1971; Addie Joss by Veterans Committee in 1978; Rube Marquard by Veterans Committee in 1971.

C. Not enshrined: Babe Adams, Bobby Bonds, Walker Cooper, Dom DiMaggio, Jimmie Dykes, Dwight Evans, Keith Hernandez, Orel Hershiser, Dickey Kerr, Johnny Kling, Ted Kluszewski, Don Larsen, Duffy Lewis, Sparky Lyle, Rafael Palmeiro, Terry Moore, Vic Raschi.

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Sammy Sosa, 12.5 percent in 2013; Gary Sheffield, 11.7 percent in 2015.

XIV. Peaked between 5 and 9.9 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. The 50 people who peaked in this range: Nick Altrock, Earl Averill, Harold Baines, Hank Bauer, Albert Belle, Vida Blue, Bob Boone, Tommy Bridges, Hal Chase, Doc Cramer, Lou Criger, Frankie Crosetti, Paul Derringer, George Foster, Charlie Grimm, Freddie Fitzsimmons, Juan Gonzalez, Ron Guidry, Jesse Haines, Babe Herman, Fred Hutchinson, Travis Jackson, Joe Judge, Charlie Keller, Dolf Luque, Fred Lynn, Sal Maglie, Heinie Manush, Willie McGee, Stuffy McInnis, Bob Meusel, Graig Nettles, Bobo Newsom, Pete Rose, Schoolboy Rowe, Nap Rucker, Muddy Ruel, Hal Schumacher, Joe Sewell, Billy Southworth, Rusty Staub, Dave Stewart, Fernando Valenzuela, Lon Warneke, Bernie Williams, Cy Williams, Jimmie Wilson, Wilbur Wood, Glenn Wright, Rudy York

B. Since enshrined: 6/50

  1. How they got in: Earl Averill by Veterans Committee in 1975; Jesse Haines by Veterans Committee in 1970; Travis Jackson by Veterans Committee in 1982; Joe Sewell by Veterans Committee in 1977; Heinie Manush by Veterans Committee in 1964; Billy Southworth by Veterans Committee in 2008.

C. Not enshrined: I’m not listing all those names again

D. Holdover candidates on BBWAA ballot who are currently peaking in this range: Nomar Garciaparra, 5.5 percent in 2015

XV. Peaked under 5 percent on the BBWAA ballot

A. Peaked in this range: 697 people, including 221 who appeared on the ballot and never got a vote. [A handful of players got zero votes one year and at least a vote in one or more other BBWAA elections. The rule that says a player must receive at least 5 percent of votes to remain on the ballot for the next year came about in the early 1980s.]

B. Since enshrined: 23/697

  1. How they got in: Jake Beckley by the Veterans Committee in 1971; Jesse Burkett by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Jack Chesbro by Old Timers Committee in 1946; John Clarkson by Veterans Committee in 1963; Sam Crawford by Veterans Committee in 1957; Larry Doby by Veterans Committee in 1998; Buck Ewing by Old Timers Committee in 1939; Rick Ferrell by Veterans Committee in 1984; Elmer Flick by the Veterans Committee in 1963; Billy Hamilton by Veterans Committee in 1961; Harry Hooper by Veterans Committee in 1971; Joe Kelley by the Veterans Committee in 1971; High Pockets Kelly by Veterans Committee in 1973; Freddie Lindstrom by Veterans Committee in 1976; Connie Mack by the Centennial Commission in 1937; Joe McCarthy by Veterans Committee in 1957; John McGraw by Veterans Committee in 1937; Bill McKechnie by Veterans Committee in 1962; Kid Nichols by Old Timers Committee in 1949; Satchel Paige by the Negro League Committee in 1971; Branch Rickey by Veterans Committee in 1967; Amos Rusie by Veterans Committee in 1977; Bobby Wallace by Veterans Committee in 1953.

XVI. Hall of Famers who were never appeared on a BBWAA ballot

I count 17 people who played in the majors at least 10 years and thus could have been considered by the BBWAA but, for various reasons, never were.

Who these Hall of Famers are and how they got in: Cap Anson by Old Timers Committee in 1939; Dan Brouthers by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Roberto Clemente in a special election following his death; Roger Connor by Veterans Committee in 1976; George Davis by Veterans Committee in 1998; Pud Galvin by Veterans Committee in 1965; Tim Keefe by Veterans Committee in 1964; King Kelly by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Tommy McCarthy by Old Timers Committee in 1946; Bid McPhee by Veterans Committee in 2000; Old Hoss Radbourn by Old Timers Committee in 1939; Jim O’Rourke by Old Timers Committee in 1945; Sam Thompson by Veterans Committee in 1974; Monte Ward by Veterans Committee in 1964; Mickey Welch by Veterans Committee in 1973; Deacon White by Veterans Committee in 2013; Vic Willis by Veterans Committee in 1995.

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It will be interesting to see if the Steroid Era is a game-changer for this data. My hunch? Nothing much will change with the historical trend. I see most– if not all– of the players who’ve come as far as they have in voting eventually being enshrined.

Revising the 10-player Hall of Fame voting limit

A lot has been made in recent years about the rule that limits members of the Baseball Writers Association of America to voting for no more than 10 players for the Hall of Fame each year. Many people would like this rule changed including Buster Olney of ESPN, who’s refusing to vote this year in protest. His colleague Jayson Stark wrote a fine piece today about having to leave players off the ballot he’d vote for with no restriction, lamenting:

All the Hall should want me to do, as a voter who takes this responsibility as seriously as every player on this ballot took his career, is to answer one question:

Was this player a Hall of Famer or not?

Philosophically, I agree with Jayson, though I don’t see a major change in the voting limit happening anytime soon beyond the BBWAA’s recommendation in December to raise the limit to 12 players. The current HOF voting system still gets players in, even with Steroid Era candidates glutting the ballot. Tomorrow, results of the BBWAA’s 2015 voting for Cooperstown will be announced, with anywhere from 3-5 players expected to go in. It will be similar to last year when Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas were voted in.

If anything, rates of induction are trending up historically. Consider that in the 70 years the BBWAA voted between 1936 and 2014, it enshrined 113 players at an average of 1.61 players per year. It’s rare that even three players are enshrined through the writers vote in one year. Checking Baseball-Reference.com, I determined the following:

  • Number of times the BBWAA has enshrined five players in one year: Once, 1936
  • Four players: Twice, 1947 and 1955
  • Three players: Eight times, most recently in 2014
  • Two players: 25 times, most recently in 2011
  • One player: 26 times, most recently in 2012
  • No players: Eight times, most recently in 2013

The writers are notoriously stingy with the vote, and I’m actually more okay with that now than I’ve been in past years at this time. For one thing, the writers aren’t the last line of voters. Other committees have enshrined 193 people in Cooperstown and will probably continue to outflank the BBWAA. Also, while I favor a large Hall of Fame, honoring and acknowledging all of baseball’s history, I generally am against mass inductions. To me, they cheapen the honor. And some of the worst players in Cooperstown have gotten in en masse, via committee in the 1940s and 1970s.

I don’t see pandemonium ensuing if the 10-player voting limit were adjusted or removed altogether, as I think people would still take voting for Cooperstown seriously. That said, the rate of inductions would likely rise. For the past few years, I’ve run a regular project having people vote on the 50 best players not in the Hall of Fame. The last two times I’ve done this project, I’ve had voters signify whether each player they voted for belongs in Cooperstown. Using my system, voters would have enshrined seven players last year and three in 2013. Perhaps seven BBWAA inductions last year would have been too many.

But as I said, I agree with Jayson Stark that I’d like Hall of Fame voters to be able to select as many players as they’d like. It seems less ethically murky for voters than forcing some to strategically omit players from their ballots. It’d keep players like Kenny Lofton on the ballot longer, too, allowing them to receive the consideration they deserve instead of being shunted off the ballot in impacted years.

In addition, the number of votes a player receives from the BBWAA also matters for when they eventually get considered by the Veterans Committee. I looked at it a few years ago, and of the 104 players who received at least 30 percent of the BBWAA vote between 1936 and 1980, 97 are now enshrined. [The seven who aren’t: Phil Cavarretta, Gil Hodges, Marty Marion, Hank Gowdy, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Sain, and Maury Wills.]

So I’m for removing the voting limit, but against mass inductions. To me, a good compromise would be allowing Hall of Fame voters to select as many players as they’d like on their ballots but capping the number of inductions from the BBWAA each year. Judging by historical standards, this cap could be 3-5 players, and I doubt it’d often be a significant issue. Of course, a player would still need to receive 75 percent of the vote to get in through the writers, and that remains a far greater barrier to induction than any voting limit that could be proposed.

Guest post: Bill Deane’s third annual Hall of Fame forecast

Editor’s note: For the third consecutive year, I’m honored to feature Hall of Fame predictions from Bill Deane, former senior research associate at Cooperstown. Historically, Bill has been highly accurate, nearly calling the ballot in 2013. He finally stumbled a bit last year, though it was an unusual election, one that could have thrown even the most experienced of Hall forecasters for a loop. In a post-mortem, Bill vowed to return, and I’m glad he’s done so. I’m curious to see how Bill’s predictions, compiled in November, fare this year. He has a place at this website as long as he wants it.

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I’ve been predicting Baseball Hall of Fame elections for 34 years now, with an 80% success rate (51-13) in guessing who would or would not make it among candidates receiving between 65-85% of the vote. If there has been one thing predictable about Hall voters, it is how many names each one will check. Though they are permitted ten selections apiece, the typical voter uses considerably fewer than that: six, to be exact. For 27 straight years, 1987-2013, the average number of votes per voter was more than five, but less than seven. Now, that’s consistency.

Then came 2014: the average leaped up to 8.39, some 40% above average. That shattered my crystal baseball, leading to my worst forecast ever. Yes, there was a bumper crop of newcomers on the 2014 ballot, including Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas, but that’s not the first time that was the case. In 1999, for example, ballot rookies Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, and Carlton Fisk joined holdovers Tony Perez, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Bruce Sutter, and Bert Blyleven, among others, on the slate – yet writers used an average of just 6.74 votes per ballot.

So the question for me is, was the 2014 voting a fluke, or the start of a new trend? I believe the average will remain well above the 1987-2013 standard, but below the 2014 level – I’m guessing about 7.7 votes per voter in 2015. That should allow for two more Cooperstown inductees.

A review of the voting process: Members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) do the voting. Late each fall, ballots are distributed to active and retired beat-writers who have been BBWAA members for ten years or more. The ballots, which are to be returned by the end of the year, list candidates in alphabetical order, instructing voters to choose up to ten players. Eligible candidates include men who played in at least ten seasons in the majors, the last of which was not less than five nor more than 15 (reduced from 20 this year) years prior to the election. Any candidate being named on at least 75% of the ballots is elected to the Hall; anyone receiving less than 5% of the vote is dropped from further consideration. The BBWAA honors an average of about two players per year. The 2015 results will be announced on January 6 at 2 PM EST.

More than half of the 35 players who were listed on the 2014 ballot are not on the 2015 version: Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas, who were elected; Jack Morris, who failed in his final attempt; and 14 others (Rafael Palmeiro, Moises Alou, Hideo Nomo, Luis Gonzalez, Eric Gagne, J. T. Snow, Armando Benitez, Jacques Jones, Kenny Rogers, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Todd Jones, Paul LoDuca, and Richie Sexson) who were dropped for failing to reach the 5%-cutoff. These men collected a whopping 1,958 votes in 2014, which conceivably could be redistributed to the new and returning candidates this year. The solid 2015 rookie class – led by three pitchers who combined for nine Cy Young Awards – figures to get the bulk of those, but the 17 returnees are likely to move up in the voting.

Most first-time eligibles are destined for just one try on the writers’ ballot, the consequence of receiving less than 5% of the vote. These include Rich Aurilia (186 homers, .275 average), Aaron Boone (126 HR, .263, plus the 2003 AL pennant-winning homer), Tony Clark (251 HR, .262), Carlos Delgado (473 HR, including four in a game, 1512 RBI, .546 slugging percentage), Jermaine Dye (325 HR, .274, plus a Gold Glove and the 2005 World Series MVP), Darin Erstad (124 HR, .282, and a monster 2000 season, in which he amassed 240 hits and became the first leadoff man ever to knock in 100 runs) , Cliff Floyd (233 HR, .278), Nomar Garciaparra (1997 AL Rookie of the Year Award and two batting titles en route to a .313 career average), Brian Giles (287 HR, .291), Tom Gordon (138-126, 158 saves), Eddie Guardado (187 saves), Troy Percival (358 saves), and Jason Schmidt (130-96, ERA title). Though many of these will get votes, only Delgado, Garciaparra, Percival, Giles, and Dye have even outside chances of making the cut.

Here’s the way I foresee the rest of the election shaping up, with newcomers in bold and predicted percentages in parentheses:
Randy Johnson (94) – A late bloomer who won five Cy Young Awards after his 32nd birthday, The Big Unit finished with a 303-166 won-lost record, 4875 strikeouts (second behind only Nolan Ryan), four ERA titles, a perfect game, and a 20-K performance. Making it easily on his first try, Johnson will stand tall in Cooperstown.

Craig Biggio (79) – An excellent but not dominant player who amassed 3060 hits, 1844 runs, 668 doubles, and 414 stolen bases. He missed election by just two votes in 2014, and should get over the hump on his third try.

Mike Piazza (69) – The best offensive catcher of all time (419 homers, .308 average), Piazza managed to survive steroids rumors and a poor defensive reputation. He’ll get near the doorstep of election this year but fall a bit short.

Jeff Bagwell (60) – Batted .297 with 449 homers and 1529 RBI in just 15 seasons, winning the 1994 NL MVP Award.

Pedro Martinez (57) – Finished 219-100 with 3154 strikeouts against just 760 walks, winning five ERA crowns and three Cy Young Awards.

Tim Raines (52) – Rock was an outstanding player whose credentials (including an 808-146 stolen base record) are starting to be appreciated by voters.

John Smoltz (46) – Despite a modest 213-155 career record and credentials very similar to two-time also-ran Curt Schilling, Smoltzie is getting a lot of buzz as a “future Hall of Famer,” with many expecting him to go in on his first try. I see him making a strong showing, but far short of election. Smoltz had 3084 strikeouts, 154 saves, the 1996 NL Cy Young Award, and a 15-4 record in post-season play.

Roger Clemens (38) – The most-accomplished pitcher of the past century, if not any century, Clemens won a record seven Cy Young Awards and seven ERA crowns while going 354-184 with 4672 strikeouts. His reputation has been skewered by well-documented accusations of steroids and HGH use, though he was acquitted of perjury on the subject.

Barry Bonds (38) – The most accomplished non-pitcher with the possible exception of Babe Ruth, Bonds won a record seven MVP Awards and set all-time marks for career homers (762, including a record 73 in 2001) and walks (2558, a record 668 of them intentional). For good measure, he added 514 stolen bases and eight Gold Glove Awards. But, like Clemens, accusations of his using performance enhancers in the second half of his career, along with his surly relationship with the media, will keep him out of Cooperstown for the foreseeable future.

Curt Schilling (36) – His won-lost record (216-146) is modest by Hall of Fame standards, but he had three second-place Cy Young Award finishes and 3116 strikeouts with a record 4.38 SO:BB ratio. Moreover, he starred for three different World Series teams, the 1993 Phillies, the 2001 D’backs (for whom he shared Series MVP honors), and the 2004 Red Sox (for whom he authored the gutsy “bloody sock” performance).

Lee Smith (32) – Lost his all-time saves record (and his only persuasive Hall of Fame argument) in 2006 to Trevor Hoffman, who in turn lost it to Mariano Rivera in 2011.

Edgar Martinez (28) – Though he didn’t become a big league regular until he was 27, the DH wound up with 2247 hits, 514 doubles, 309 homers, and a .312 average.

Mike Mussina (27) – Moose went 20-9 in his final season to finish at 270-153. Since the current pitching distance was established in 1893, only 12 pitchers have more wins over .500, and just three have a higher career strikeout-to-walk ratio. Mussina made a respectable 20% showing in his first try in 2014.

Alan Trammell (25) – A fine shortstop, overshadowed throughout his career by Cal Ripken and Robin Yount.

Jeff Kent (17) – Kent set the record for most career home runs by a second baseman and won the 2000 NL MVP Award. He finished with 377 homers and a .290 average, and received a decent 15% of the votes in his first attempt.

Fred McGriff (14) – Crime Dog had 493 home runs and 1550 RBI, winning homer titles in each league.

Mark McGwire (13) – Had 583 home runs, a .588 slugging average, and the highest homer percentage of all time, but became the voters’ poster boy for players accused of using PEs. With the new rule cutting eligibility from 15 to ten years, this is Big Mac’s next-to-last try.

Larry Walker (12) – Hit 383 homers and batted .313, winning three batting titles and the 1997 NL MVP Award, though most of his damage was done a mile above sea level.

Don Mattingly (11) – After a half-dozen years as one of the game’s most productive hitters, Mattingly was reduced to mediocrity by back problems. Still, he wound up with credentials eerily similar to 2001 first-ballot inductee Kirby Puckett’s. Mattingly received 28% that same year, but has gone steadily downhill since then; this is his last try on the BBWAA ballot.

Sammy Sosa (8) – Slammed 609 home runs, including three 60-homer seasons and an MVP Award, in a career also tainted by performance-enhancer accusations.

Gary Sheffield (5) – Blasted 509 homers with 1676 RBI and a batting crown. But as an admitted steroids user, he’ll be lucky to make the 5% cut.

Looking ahead toward upcoming elections, in 2016 the leading newcomers will be Ken Griffey, Jr., Trevor Hoffman, and Billy Wagner. The following year, Manny Ramirez, Ivan Rodriguez, and Vlad Guerrero will top the rookie list. The 2018 ballot will include Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Omar Vizquel, Johnny Damon, and Jamie Moyer.

Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, Andy Pettitte, and Todd Helton are among those who will become eligible in 2019. And any ten-year veteran who played in 2014, but does not return next season – Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko, Bobby Abreu, and Adam Dunn, to name four – will join the 2020 ballot.

Herman Long and the 1936 Veterans Committee vote

The past few Hall of Fame votes by the Baseball Writers Association of America have looked a bit chaotic, with steroid users and a number of other holdover candidates glutting the ballot. By historical standards for Cooperstown, though, the present chaos pales in comparison to some of the early votes when few if any players had been inducted and everyone in baseball history was eligible. Out of this time comes one of the more unusual stories of Hall of Fame voting.

Most modern fans are probably not familiar with Herman Long, who played shortstop in the majors from 1889 to 1904 and died of tuberculosis in 1909. Statistically, there isn’t much to support a Hall of Fame case for Long today, though he was held in high esteem by a number of his contemporaries. Their esteem may have been the reason Long finished eighth in the first Veterans Committee election in 1936, drawing nearly 20 percent of the vote. More unusually, Long never again received even one percent of the Hall of Fame vote.

I read of Long’s unusual showing in the votes a few years ago when Keith Olbermann wrote a blog post on it. Olbermann’s piece, while interesting, didn’t delve too deeply into how Long got as much support as he did without ever receiving it again, so I recently decided to do some more digging. What I found isn’t conclusive, but it sheds a bit more light.

Before we get too far into Long’s story, some background is in order. There were two Hall of Fame votes held in 1936, the first year for elections. A BBWAA vote on players since 1900 resulted in Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner being honored. A special committee of 78 members was set up to vote on players from before 1900, and while Baseball-Reference.com refers to it as the Veterans Committee, it was a one-off meeting that bore little relation to the continuing committee that came into existence in 1953.

The Sporting News noted on January 2, 1936 of the Veterans Committee:

Writers, managers, officials and players who are qualified by first-hand information and personal observations will choose the five who will represent that early period at Cooperstown. The maturity of this committee’s personnel assures careful consideration of all eligibles [sic] and there should be little criticism of their choices.

The initial plan was for the committee to select five pioneers for Cooperstown. But a wide dispersal of votes and some confusion over voting resulted in no players receiving the necessary 75 percent of votes from the committee for induction. Part of the confusion lay in the fact that several players who’d played in the 19th and 20th centuries received votes in both elections. Voters were also requested to vote for five players, but some voted for 10, leading to half points being awarded for the players on those ballots. [There was confusion among the BBWAA, too: Some voters mailed in All Star-style ballots, with one player at each position. These ballots were returned.]

Out of this confusion, Long received 15.5 votes. The election wound up being treated as a nominating vote, with the top 12 finishers advancing for more consideration. All but Long have since been enshrined, with 10 of the 12 getting in Cooperstown within the decade. Here’s a list of the top 12 finishers in the 1936 Veterans Committee election that breaks it down:

  1. Cap Anson: Enshrined in 1939 through the Old Timers Committee
  2. Buck Ewing: Enshrined in 1939 through the Old Timers Committee
  3. Wee Willie Keeler: Enshrined in 1939 through the BBWAA
  4. Cy Young: Enshrined in 1937 through the BBWAA
  5. Ed Delahanty: Enshrined in 1945 through the Old Timers Committee
  6. John McGraw: Enshrined in 1937 through the Veterans Committee
  7. Old Hoss Radbourn: Enshrined in 1939 through the Old Timers Committee
  8. Long: Not enshrined
  9. King Kelly: Enshrined in 1939 through the Old Timers Committee
  10. Amos Rusie: Enshrined in 1977 through the Veterans Committee
  11. Hughie Jennings: Enshrined in 1945 through the Old Timers Committee
  12. Fred Clarke: Enshrined in 1945 through the Old Timers Committee

So there are two questions before us: 1) How Long did so well in 1936; and 2) Why never again?

It’s hard to know what exactly went on among the 1936 Veterans Committee. I’m not sure who was on it and couldn’t find anything through the Sporting News archives listed on SABR.org. It’s uncertain, too, if Cooperstown keeps records for this. Former Hall of Fame senior research associate Bill Deane told me by phone Saturday that he had to start from scratch in the early 1990s in making a list of committee members from 1953-2001, piecing together results from Hall of Fame yearbooks which begin in 1980 and The Sporting News. I was curious if Deane got any resistance from the Hall of Fame in his research. “I didn’t encounter resistance,” Deane said. “I just encountered ignorance.”

While the specifics of how Long got as many votes as he did in the 1936 election might be lost to history, we can deduce a fair amount. From my research, I suspect longtime Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith may have had some influence on voting. While I don’t know for a fact that Griffith was one of the 78 members of the 1936 Veterans Committee, it’s logical he would have been on it and wielded some influence. After Connie Mack, Griffith might have ranked as the most esteemed figure from 19th century baseball at the time, and the committee’s stated task, after all, was to consider pre-1900 players.

Griffith paid tribute several times to Long, with whom he had a personal connection. The two were teammates on the 1903 New York Highlanders. They also faced one another in the National League of the 1890s, when Long helped the Boston Beaneaters win five pennants. Bill James wrote in his 2001 historical abstract that Griffith named Long to his all-time team in 1914. Two weeks before the Veterans Committee vote was announced in January 1936, Griffith included Long on an all-nineteenth century team. And in 1938, Griffith considered Long for a “most graceful all time baseball team.” Griffith told Grantland Rice:

There’s more of an argument at short. Herman Long was a good one. Hans Wagner was the best of all the shortstops but you’d never ship Hans a medal for grace. Dave Bancroft of the Giants ranks high and Jack Berry [sic] of the Athletics was another.

Griffith isn’t the only baseball person who held Long in high esteem. Wagner narrowly chose Joe Tinker over Long for his all-time squad in March 1936. Wagner and Long have a couple of connections worth noting here. Long was actually the first player nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman.” As others like Olbermann have noted, Wagner was given the nickname in tribute. Long also gave Wagner one of his gloves in 1902, an over-sized glove with a large hole in the middle that became a Wagner trademark.

Long figured into other all-time discussions as well. In 1939, Long was named an alternate for an all-time team voted on by players from 1870-1939. Rice wrote of Long and 1890s Boston Beaneater teammates Fred Tenney, Bobby Lowe and Jimmy Collins as the best infield in baseball history. John Thorn made note of the celebrated Boston infield, too, when I emailed him about Long. Interestingly, Long has the most errors in baseball history, though historian David Nemec told me that in Long’s era, any player who got a hand on a ball but didn’t make an out was charged with an error. Nemec also said that Long had more errors because he got to more balls due to his speed.

Long was celebrated during his lifetime, too. While he was dying of tuberculosis in the summer of 1909, one Kansas newspaper wrote of him as having been regarded as the greatest shortstop in baseball. A 1911 piece in the Arizona Republican, two years after Long’s death, noted:

In every one of the championship years, Herman Long was a prop. Some justice would seem to suggest that much of the credit for the record wins belongs to the memory of Herman Long. Memory, in this instance, is unfortunately accurate, Herman being no longer with those who run the bases and kill the hits. While he lasted, however, there was none beside him, and when he went to Boston from the west he carried with him his wonderful gifts of fielding, of hitting, of base-running and of generalship, and thus became a permanent sensation of which the Boston team and the Boston fans  were justly proud, and in whose achievements sportdom [sic] generally was interested.

It’s odd Long never again figured prominently in a Hall of Fame election after 1936. But as much as anything, Hall of Fame votes are a barometer of opinion and how it shifts over time. By 1943, Wagner spoke of Hughie Jennings as the best shortstop in baseball history. While he said Long and Bobby Wallace were “a couple other dandy old-time shortstops… they didn’t quite come up to Jennings.” Jennings and 20 others were enshrined by a special Old Timers Committee between 1945 and 1946. A 79-year-old Wallace was enshrined by the Veterans Committee in 1953.”I’d rather have Long on my team in his prime than Wallace,” Nemec said. “I’d also rather have him than Hughie Jennings.”

Fellow baseball history blogger Verdun2 has been conducting an experiment over at his site, creating a Hall of Fame based on information available from 1901-1910. “I submit it would be quite different,” he writes of his Hall. Indeed. No one talks much about Herman Long anymore, but if the Hall of Fame had existed when he last played in the majors in 1904 or if the voting process had been better established in the 1930s and ’40s, he might long since have his plaque.

Why the Veterans Committee didn’t surprise me today

Voting results for this year’s Veterans Committee were announced today, with no one being voted in. I tweeted beforehand that I didn’t expect any players to be enshrined through the committee, and I can’t say I’m surprised by how voting came out.

Here’s why I wasn’t surprised:

1. There weren’t enough voters on the Veterans Committee: This latest iteration of the committee had 16 members which, given Cooperstown’s history, makes little sense. Some of the worst Veterans Committee selections came when people like Frankie Frisch and Bill Terry wielded great influence over small versions of the committee in the 1970s. Consider that with 75 percent of the vote needed for induction, five voters for this Veterans Committee had the power to keep anyone from being inducted. While I’m not suggesting it happened, it’s not difficult for five people to unite and push their own agenda. It’s a lot more difficult for 50 people to do this, 500 more so.

2. There were too many candidates: Once or twice a year, I organize projects here where I have people vote on a variety of topics, from the 50 best players not in the Hall of Fame to the 25 most important people in baseball history. One thing I’ve learned in doing these projects is that candidates tend to get more votes if I put them on the ballot, maybe three or four times as many votes than if they’re just write-in options. There’s something about having a name on a ballot that spurs a voter to think of it. Fewer candidates concentrate the vote totals more. This year’s Veterans Committee ballot featured nine players, with two– Dick Allen and Tony Oliva– falling one vote shy. I assume that if there’d been fewer candidates to choose from, Allen and Oliva might have gotten in.

3. There wasn’t enough incentive to vote for any players right now: This is most important. Give me a minute, and I’ll explain why.

As a fan of a big Hall of Fame, I have no problem with anyone from this Veterans Committee ballot being in the Hall of Fame. Allen is the best player from the 1960s who isn’t enshrined. Oliva is one of the best contact hitters not in. Minnie Minoso and Billy Pierce rank with Allen among the most underrated players in baseball history. Luis Tiant and Jim Kaat are two of the best pitchers not in. Ken Boyer is at least a poor man’s Ron Santo. Maury Wills broke Ty Cobb’s single season stolen base record. And Gil Hodges is a sentimental favorite.

That said, none of these players would rank as inner circle Hall of Famers if enshrined. While they all have their supporters– easier than ever to find in the age of the Internet– these players are mostly a collection of second and third-tier candidates, if that. The Hall of Fame is not glaringly worse for their absence, and some purists might argue they’d dilute the quality of honorees. From the standpoint of a cost benefit analysis, the benefit gained from preserving the exclusivity of the Hall far outweighs the goodwill generated by putting any of these players in, at least for now. Since the early 1980s, the Veterans Committee has tended to vote conservatively for this reason. No one, I’d guess, wants to be blamed for enshrining the next Dave Bancroft.

It’s sad, but it generally takes one of three things, I think, to get people into the Hall of Fame through the Veterans Committee these days:

  1. A good showing on the BBWAA ballot [e.g. Jim Bunning, who rose as high as 74.2 percent of the writers vote]
  2. Years and years of well-publicized rejections from the committee [e.g. Phil Rizzuto, who finally got in Cooperstown in 1994 at age 76]
  3. Sympathy generated by death [e.g. Santo and at least a few others]

That said, even if one of these factors is in play, the Veterans Committee can still generally be counted on to vote skittishly. And that’s unfortunate.

The worst Hall of Famers and why I’m against kicking anyone out

As someone who writes often about the Hall of Fame, I’m accustomed to readers asking about the worst players in Cooperstown. I generally shy away from writing about this. One of the benefits of independent blogging is the control one has over their writing topics and I generally prefer to focus on more positive subject matter. I’ll admit it, too. As someone who’s grown more in favor of a large Hall of Fame through five years of researching and writing about baseball history through this website, I also am not hugely motivated to decry a few lousy players being in. I’d rather focus on worthy players who aren’t yet enshrined.

That said, as anyone who’s been around this site awhile may know, others here have written about this topic before. Recently with the help of the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index tool, I took another look. I found 20 Hall of Famers who rank for one stat, Wins Above Average as the worst players enshrined. While I wouldn’t suggest any stat offers definitive proof in this regard, the results here struck me. A lot of these players are the usual candidates in these exercises.

Here’s what I found:

Lowest Wins Above Average, Hall of Fame position players

  1. Lloyd Waner, -2.1 WAA in 1,993 games
  2. Tommy McCarthy, 0.2 WAA in 1,273 games
  3. Ray Schalk, 4.5 WAA in 1,762 games
  4. High Pockets Kelly, 4.5 WAA in 1,623 games
  5. Bill Mazeroski, 4.7 WAA in 2,163 games
  6. Rick Ferrell, 5.9 WAA in 1,884 games
  7. Rabbit Maranville, 7.6 WAA in 2,670 games
  8. Lou Brock, 8.2 WAA in 2,616 games
  9. Red Schoendienst, 8.4 WAA in 2,216 games
  10. Jim Bottomley, 9 WAA in 1,991 games

Some of the usual suspects abound here. Bill James, among others, has suggested Tommy McCarthy may be the worst Hall of Famer. People sometimes defend Bill Mazeroski’s selection by saying he did more than hit the winning homer in the 1960 World Series, that he was a great defensive second baseman as well. But he’s one of the worst hitters enshrined. By sabermetrics, Mazeroski’s bat more or less offsets his glove, with Mazeroski saving 147 defensive runs above average but being worth -162 runs below average at the plate. That’s third-worst among Hall of Fame position players behind Maranville at -228 runs below average and Luis Aparicio at -197 runs below average.

Voting shenanigans helped get at least three of the position players above their plaques. The Veterans Committee may have enshrined Rick Ferrell in 1984 after a sympathetic player called several members in hopes of keeping Ferrell from being shut out in votes. I’ve heard Ted Williams and Stan Musial, while on the committee, made a deal for their respective ex-teammates Bobby Doerr and Red Schoendienst to be enshrined. Then there’s High Pockets Kelly, who essentially got in because ex-teammates Frankie Frisch and Bill Terry were members of the 1973 Veterans Committee.

Frisch, notorious for looking down on later-generation players, said Kelly “had a better arm than any of today’s stars.” Another member of the Veterans Committee that voted Kelly in, Waite Hoyt, said Kelly was the first first baseman sent to the outfield to relay throws to home plate. Bad Hall of Famers are sometimes defended as the first of something. Tommy McCarthy is said to have invented the hit and run play. My friend Jacob Pomrenke, a SABR member who researches the Black Sox, said Ray Schalk was the first catcher to backup first and third base on throws.

A few people made this list because of late declines. Lou Brock retired with 3,000 hits and the stolen base record, though he had -6.4 WAA over his final five seasons, dropping him within range here. Same goes for Maranville, who was worth -9.2 WAA over his final 10 seasons, though interestingly, he received MVP votes five of those years. Then there’s Jim Bottomley. It’s been said Branch Rickey had a knack for knowing when to sell off aging players. Bottomley had 15 WAA when Rickey traded the 32-year-old first baseman in December 1932. Bottomley compiled -5.9 WAA thereafter.

Lowest Wins Above Average, Hall of Fame pitchers

  1. Catfish Hunter, 5.8 WAA in 3,449.1 IP
  2. Rollie Fingers, 7 WAA in 1,701.1 IP
  3. Rube Marquard, 8.8 WAA in 3,306.2 IP
  4. Herb Pennock, 9.4 WAA in 3,571.2 IP
  5. Jesse Haines, 10.3 WAA in 3,208.2 IP
  6. Bruce Sutter, 10.8 WAA in 1,042 IP
  7. Burleigh Grimes, 14.2 WAA in 4,180 IP
  8. Red Ruffing, 15.1 WAA in 4,344 IP
  9. Bob Lemon, 15.1 WAA in 2,850 IP
  10. Jack Chesbro, 16 WAA in 2,896.2 IP

It’s interesting to see Catfish Hunter atop this list, as he had an MLB-best 111 wins from 1971 through 1975 with a 2.65 ERA and 294 innings a year on average during that span. Hunter’s heavy workload was his undoing, as it was for many pitchers in the ’70s when usage rates for starters reached their highest point since the Deadball Era. [One example, per the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index tool: No pitcher has faced 1,200 batters in a season since Charlie Hough in 1987; it happened 63 times during the ’70s.] Hunter’s low WAA is partly because he threw his last pitch at 33. My friend Adam Darowski also said Hunter’s WAA is lower because he had elite defenses in Oakland and New York.

Most of the other starting pitchers here, in fact, were part of marquee teams as well. Herb Pennock and Red Ruffing both pitched extensively for the Murderers Row-era New York Yankees. Jesse Haines was a teammate of Frankie Frisch on the Gashouse Gang St. Louis Cardinals and, like Kelly, got into Cooperstown during Frisch’s Veterans Committee tenure. Bob Lemon won 20 games seven of his 13 seasons, though that’s partly because his team, the Cleveland Indians finished second or better seven times during his career.

Rube Marquard was key to the New York Giants during their pennant runs of the early 1910s, though the day the Veterans Committee voted him in might be the darkest in Hall of Fame history. I wrote last week of how the committee, led by Frisch railroaded in Marquard and six other players on January 31, 1971. Marquard wasn’t a former teammate of Frisch but he had no business getting a plaque and his selection reeks of cronyism. Aside from his splendid 1911-13 run, Marquard was rarely more than a journeyman, being worth -1.7 WAA with a 128-149 record his other 15 seasons. His 103 ERA+ is the worst of any Hall of Fame pitcher.

That being said, I’m not in favor of kicking anyone out. I wrote as much in noting the circumstances of Marquard’s enshrinement, saying it’d be cruel to remove anyone from Cooperstown and that there are worse things in life than a few lousy players being enshrined. I sent a link to my piece on to Fox Sports columnist Rob Neyer, hoping he’d pick it up. He did, even mentioning me by name in his piece, though it wasn’t the most flattering note. Rob wrote:

Yes, of course there are worse things in life. There are LOTS AND LOTS of worse things in life. There are worse things in life than someone spitting on the sidewalk. That doesn’t mean we should excuse spitting on the sidewalk.

More to the point, how would it be cruel to kick Rube Marquard out of the Hall of Fame? He died almost 25 years ago. Whatever you might think of our postmortem fates, it seems highly unlikely that today ol’ Rube gives a damn about the Hall of Fame, one way or the other. His grandchildren? Okay, sure. But I really don’t think it’s our place to worry about an old ballplayer’s grandkids, who should be old enough by now to take something like this in stride. I certainly wouldn’t be averse to some procedure that reconsidered long-dead Hall of Famers. Or hell, at the very least, revising their plaques (and their Web pages) when they’re clearly in error.

I like Rob’s idea to revise error-ridden Hall of Fame plaques. He wrote his piece primarily about the errors on Alexander Cartwright’s plaque that perpetuate the myth he’s baseball’s true founder and that he codified its rules. Knowledgeable folks like John Thorn have long since debunked these myths, but so long as they’re hanging in the Hall of Fame and easily accessible on its website, I imagine people will keep laying hold of them. It certainly caused a stir in the comments when readers here recently declined to name Cartwright one of the 25 most important people in baseball history.

I have a harder time supporting removing players from Cooperstown, for a number of reasons. Speaking as someone who’s gotten comments here from relatives of High Pockets Kelly, the Meusel Brothers and others, family members do care and what’s wrong with that? I also think the removals could quickly get out of control. This Los Angeles Times piece in support of the idea reads as if written by someone traipsing through Baseball-Reference.com, picking players at random. I love Baseball-Reference.com, but snap judgments might be the worst thing that website enables, even if I doubt its founder Sean Forman has that intent.

I have two other reasons for not wanting to kick players out of Cooperstown and they’re the same two reasons I’m okay with steroid users eventually being enshrined. First, nothing in life is perfect. I don’t see the point in demanding this of the Hall of Fame. It’s still an awesome museum, one I haven’t been to since childhood and can’t wait to see again. Beyond this, much as I consider the Hall of Fame a celebration of baseball’s greatest players, I see it as a record of its history, all of it. And baseball’s history includes the history of Cooperstown. Letting players who never should have been enshrined keep their plaques serves a valuable purpose. It reminds voters to do better in the future.

A healthy compromise might be to develop an inner circle for the Hall of Fame. I had readers vote on a 50-player inner circle a few years ago that could offer a good start. Cooperstown could even make annual updates, perhaps voted on by fans to stir interest, allowing the inner circle to become progressively greater as more legends are enshrined. If the Hall of Fame wants my help on developing this further, I’ll provide it free of charge.

The 10 oldest Hall of Famers upon being voted in

I wrote a few days ago that the Hall of Fame doesn’t have a great track record of honoring aging players. This was prompted by the Veterans Committee candidacy of Minnie Minoso who, depending on the source, is anywhere from 88 to 92. Even if Minoso’s listed birthday on Baseball-Reference.com of November 29, 1925 is correct, placing him just shy of his 89th birthday, he’d be the oldest living honoree ever for Cooperstown at the time of getting in, if it happens.

With the help of Baseball-Reference.com which lists the life spans of all Hall of Famers, here are the 10 oldest Hall of Famers at the time they were voted in:

1. Elmer Flick at 87 years, 16 days old on January 27, 1963

I’ve written before of Flick, a Deadball Era great nearly traded for a young Ty Cobb in 1907. Detroit lucked out on that one, as Flick contracted a stomach ailment that ended his career in 1910. All but forgotten by Cooperstown thereafter, save for one vote from the BBWAA in 1938, Flick was stunned when the Veterans Committee honored him. As my Twitter friend Vince Guerrieri told me, Flick thought Branch Rickey was fooling when he called to congratulate him. “I can’t believe it,” Flick said. “I had given up all hope. When Sam Crawford was voted in [in 1957], he sent me a letter and said he couldn’t see how he was getting in before me.”

2. Ed Barrow at 85 years, four months and 18 days old on September 28, 1953

Being voted into the Hall of Fame is valedictory. As a reader recently pointed out to me, excluding HOF players serving as coaches, only Connie Mack continued to work at the job that got him into Cooperstown after his induction. Legendary executive Ed Barrow worked for the New York Yankees until he was 77. But by the time the Veterans Committee selected Barrow in 1953, he’d been in ill health for many years and was about two months from dying. Barrow was posthumously inducted in August 1954, one of four Hall of Famers I know of besides Chief Bender, Eppa Rixey and Leon Day to die between being voted in and the next induction ceremony.

3. Rube Marquard at 84 years, three months and 22 days old on January 31, 1971

I hear proponents of a small Hall of Fame talk of kicking honorees out. I imagine they could start with Marquard, who got his plaque partly because he was featured in Lawrence Ritter’s 1966 book, The Glory of Their Times and partly because the Veterans Committee railroaded in seven new members the day it voted Marquard in. January 31, 1971 may rank as one of the most ethically-bankrupt days in Hall of Fame history. It reminds me of the danger when small groups– this iteration of the Veterans Committee had ten members— are given a lot of power. It’s one of the reasons I try to have as many people as I can vote in projects here.

But I think of how happy the news made Marquard, who was on a cruise at the time. He wrote to Ritter, who shared the letter in a preface to a 1984 edition of his classic. Marquard wrote:

Dear Larry:

I was the happiest and most surprised man in the world when I heard your voice yesterday telling me I was voted into the Hall of Fame. The reason I didn’t say anything for so long was that I couldn’t. I was all choked up and tears were running down my cheeks.

Yesterday evening, a few hours after you called, everybody was dancing and having a good time and suddenly the Captain of the ship stopped the music and said he wanted to make an important announcement. He said they had a very prominent man on board who had just been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His name is Rube Marquard and he is right here dancing with his wife.

Well, all hell broke loose, people yelling and clapping, and the band played ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game.’ I was so happy and Jane just loved it too. When we go to Cooperstown this summer, please come with us and be my guest.

It’s hard, at least for me, to stay angry reading a letter like that. There are worse things in life than a few undeserving people being in the Hall of Fame, especially with all the joy the living ones must have felt when they got that call and later stood on the Cooperstown dais. I’m certainly not in favor of kicking anyone out. It seems cruel. It also seems pointless. Wipe the slate clean on the Hall of Fame and there’d be a lousy honoree within 10-15 years.

4. Happy Chandler at 83 years, seven months and 24 days old on March 10, 1982

Bowie Kuhn may rank as one of the more reviled figures in MLB history, baseball’s commissioner while Marvin Miller was leading the successful charge to take down the reserve clause. Here’s one thing Kuhn got right: leading the campaign to honor Chandler, who was commissioner at the time Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. That may seem insignificant, though the man Chandler succeeded, Kenesaw Mountain Landis did much to keep blacks out of the majors.

5. Harry Hooper at 83 years, five months and seven days old on January 31, 1971

Like Marquard, Hooper was interviewed for The Glory of Their Times and got in the day the Veterans Committee gave out plaques like it was going out of business. Hooper might be a slightly more deserving pick, having played in arguably the best defensive outfield of the Deadball Era with Tris Speaker and Duffy Lewis on the Boston Red Sox. My friend through the Society for American Baseball Research, Jacob Pomrenke told me a few months ago that one of Hooper’s sons campaigned heavily for his induction.

6. Tommy Connolly at 82 years, eight months and 28 days old on September 28, 1953

Longtime sportswriter Joe Williams wrote of Connolly, a few months before the Veterans Committee tabbed him, as the lone surviving member of the original American League staff. An umpire as well as a teacher and supervisor for other umps, Connolly’s career spanned 60-plus years. He worked the first World Series in 1903, at a time when umpires got $50 a game and paid their own travel expenses.

7. Lee MacPhail at 80 years, four months and six days old on March 3, 1998

Weird fact about MacPhail: The former American League president was on the board of directors for the Hall of Fame nearly a quarter century before he got his plaque. In the interim in 1978, his father Larry MacPhail, a groundbreaking executive was posthumously enshrined.

8. Bobby Wallace at 79 years, 10 months and 24 days old on September 28, 1953

Why Wallace and not his contemporary Bill Dahlen? Statistically, the two Deadball Era infielders are roughly equal: 110 OPS+ for Dahlen, 103 for Wallace; 139 defensive runs saved for Dahlen, 133 for Wallace. For stats that may have meant something to Veterans Committee voters at the time, Dahlen bested Wallace .272 to .268 in batting average, 2,461 to 2,309 in hits and 8,138 to 7,465 in assists, though he had more errors, 975 to 814.

Perhaps the Veterans Committee wanted to honor the living. While Dahlen died in 1950 after several years in retirement, Wallace scouted for the Reds into the early 1950s. Three of the other five men the Veterans Committee selected in 1953 were also still alive. Ironically though, none of the four attended the subsequent induction ceremony in 1954. Ed Barrow and Chief Bender died in the interim, while Wallace and Tommy Connolly were too ill to attend.

9. Dave Bancroft at 79 years, nine months and 11 days old on January 31, 1971

Bancroft’s defenders sometimes speak of him as a defensive wizard. This may be an exaggeration. According to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index tool, Bancroft ranks 30th all-time among shortstops with 93 defensive runs saved above average. Among the 18 non-Hall of Famers ranked in front of him for this stat: Bill Dahlen, Jack Glasscock and Art Fletcher, all of whom had better bats. As has been widely noted, Bancroft’s former teammate Frankie Frisch was on the ten-member Veterans Committee that voted him in, as was Bill Terry.

10. Doug Harvey at 79 years, eight months and 24 days old on December 7, 2009

Harvey’s page at the Hall of Fame website lists him as the ninth umpire enshrined, with Hank O’Day bringing the number to 10 in 2013. “This much is indisputable,” Hal Bodley wrote for USA Today upon Harvey’s retirement in 1992. “Harvey is one of the best umpires the game has seen. He’s a Hall of Famer, period.” It’s a wonder it took another 17 years for Harvey to get his plaque.

Death and the Hall of Fame

With Hall of Fame voting season upon us, a couple of friends from Twitter have incorporated Minnie Minoso into their usernames. The American League and Negro League star is one of 10 nominees being considered by the Veterans Committee. Results will be announced December 8, though I’m not hugely optimistic for Minoso. While I think he belongs and will eventually get in, the Hall of Fame doesn’t have a great track record honoring aging players, with death too often the impetus for a player being enshrined. My fear is that it will take guilt over Minoso’s death for him to get in. It happened with Ron Santo and it’s occurred a number of other times as well.

With the help of Baseball Reference, which has a nifty feature showing birth and death years of all Hall of Fame honorees, I looked at the 20 people who’ve been inducted within three years of death. Hall of Fame candidates have regularly received renewed attention after dying. Arguably, death has even gotten a few people enshrined.

The 20 people inducted within three years of death are as follows:

  • George Wright, inducted 1937: A baseball pioneer, Wright died August 21, 1937 at age 90 and was selected to the Hall of Fame on December 7 of that year by the Centennial Commission. His brother Harry Wright wasn’t inducted until 1953 by the Veterans Committee.
  • John McGraw, inducted 1937: The legendary manager died in 1934 and was selected in 1937 by the Veterans Committee, the committee’s only selection until 1953.
  • Kenesaw Mountain Landis, inducted 1944: The first MLB commissioner was unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame on December 10, 1944, just 15 days after his death.
  • Jimmy Collins, inducted 1945: Bob Stedler, sports editor of the Buffalo [N.Y.] Evening News began a campaign for Buffalo native Collins’ induction two months before his death in March 1943. An AP story on the campaign noted, “In the opinion of Stedler, who has been writing sports for four decades, the comparative youngsters who are now writing baseball and whose votes select the stars for places in [Cooperstown] should have someone call their attention to the merits of a standout whom they never saw.” A special Old Timers Committee enshrined Collins and 20 others between 1945 and 1946.
  • Roger Bresnahan, inducted 1945: Similar with Collins, the Old Timers Committee selected Bresnahan in January 1945, shortly after his death on December 4, 1944. The Associated Press said both men stood “the best chance to enter the charmed circle this time. Their deaths within the past year have focused fans’ attention on them and their historic diamond exploits.” Bill James noted that Bresnahan’s help in devoloping catcher shin guards also helped get him in Cooperstown.
  • Herb Pennock, inducted 1948: Pennock received Hall of Fame votes seven years between 1937 and 1947, rising to 53.4 percent of the BBWAA vote in 1947. He was voted into Cooperstown just four weeks after his sudden death at 53 on January 30, 1948. An ace pitcher during the Yankees Murderers Row years, Pennock may rate as one of the least impressive Hall of Fame selections for sabermetrics, with a 106 ERA+ and 44.1 WAR.
  • Three Finger Brown, inducted 1949: Somehow, the Old Timers Committee missed Brown in its mass of inductions between 1945 and 1946. Shortly after Brown died in February 1948, Grantland Rice wrote, “Certainly, a group of stars that doesn’t carry the names of Mordecai ‘Three Finger’ Brown and Kid Nichols can’t be called complete.” The committee made Brown and Nichols its final two selections in 1949.
  • Harry Heilmann, inducted 1952: A .342 lifetime hitter, Heilmann figured in 12 Hall of Fame elections between 1937 and 1951, rising to 67.7 percent of the vote in 1951. Usually, anyone who gets at least 60 percent but less than the necessary 75 percent of the vote with the writers will be enshrined not long thereafter. After Heilmann was diagnosed with cancer later in 1951, three newspaper writers organized a push to get him immediately honored by the Veterans Committee. Though that failed, with Heilmann dying on July 9 at 56, the BBWAA inducted him the following year with 86.8 percent of the vote.
  • Bill Klem, inducted 1953: Perhaps as compensation for not honoring Heilmann, the Veterans Committee selected six people on September 28, 1953, the most people it’s enshrined in one year aside from 1971. Klem, who died in 1951 and ranks as perhaps the most well-known umpire in baseball history, got in. So did ailing, 84-year-old Ed Barrow, the longtime Yankees executive, who would die December 15.  It’s worth noting that prior to 1953, the committee had only enshrined one person, McGraw, in 1937 so maybe it was itching to get some deserving candidates in.
  • Rabbit Maranville, inducted 1954: The Deadball Era shortstop and hero of the 1914 Boston Braves had steadily gained in votes through 13 years of Hall of Fame elections, rising to 62.1 percent of the vote in 1953. Like Heilmann, I think Maranville would have eventually gotten in regardless of his death. That said, Maranville has one of the shortest windows between death and induction of any Hall of Famer. He died January 5, 1954 and was elected by the BBWAA with 82.9 percent of the vote on January 21. Grantland Rice wrote in a column that ran January 15 calling for Maranville’s induction, “[Johnny] Evers is in the Hall of Fame. [Joe] Tinker is in the Hall of Fame. I hope The Rabbit is on his way to the same place. You can’t leave that much heart out and call it a Hall of Fame.”
  • Eppa Rixey, inducted 1963: Notified of his Hall of Fame induction on January 27, 1963, Rixey died a month later of a heart attack at 71 and was posthumously inducted in August.
  • Branch Rickey, inducted 1967: Groundbreaking executive, died in 1965.
  • Will Harridge, inducted 1972: American President 1931-59, died in 1971.
  • Roberto Clemente, inducted 1973: Died New Years Eve 1972, standard five-year waiting period waved so he could be inducted.
  • Larry MacPhail, inducted 1978: Among the better general managers in baseball history, died in 1975.
  • Warren Giles, inducted 1979: National League president 1951-69, died February 7, 1979, selected by the Veterans Committee on March 7 of that year.
  • Leo Durocher, inducted 1994: It’s a wonder it took Leo the Lip as long as it did to get in Cooperstown. Durocher, who died in 1991, ranks fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 wins and was instrumental in helping a young Willie Mays find his place in baseball. Then again, the Hall of Fame is fairly fickle with managers, with just 23 enshrined.
  • Leon Day, inducted 1995: Adam Penale told me on Twitter that Day, a star of the Negro League learned of his Hall of Fame selection just six days before his death in March 1995.Day’s SABR bio has more. Reached at his hospital bed, Day said, “I thought this day would never come. I’m feeling pretty good. I’m so happy, I don’t know what to do.” Day was posthumously inducted in the summer.
  • Bowie Kuhn, inducted 2008: MLB commissioner 1969-84, died in 2007.
  • Ron Santo, inducted 2012: Joe Posnanski wrote shortly after Santo’s death in December 2010, “The structure and standards of the committee changed so that in the last 10 or more years the Veteran’s Committee has turned into a grumpy bunch of scrooges who seemed to come out once a year for the expressed purpose of not voting for Ron Santo or Marvin Miller.” The sub-committee handling Santo’s era voted him in at its next meeting in December 2011.

Tim Hudson, the Hall of Fame and the importance of Game 7

Someone asked me at work this morning who I see winning Game 7 of the World Series this evening. It’s a tough call. On one hand, I’ve been a Giants’ fan since first grade. Even my girlfriend, a devout A’s fan, hasn’t broken me of this. But I’ll admit my girlfriend and I didn’t make it through all of last night’s game. We’re big fans of the F/X series “Sons of Anarchy” and while the sixth season, which was just added to Netflix, has thus far been relentlessly downtrodden, it was a more appealing option than watching the Royals expand the 8-0 lead they took in the third inning last night.

Based on Tuesday’s game and the fact that no road team has won a World Series Game 7 since 1979, my gut says Kansas City will prevail this evening. And I don’t know if that bothers me too much. While the Giants have two titles from the past five seasons, “Back to the Future” was in theaters the last time the Royals won anything. I always like a good underdog story. But there’s a good thing that could happen if the Giants win tonight: Tim Hudson might cement his Hall of Fame candidacy.

In sabermetric circles, I suspect Hudson already seems destined for Cooperstown. According to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index tool, Hudson’s lifetime 56.9 WAR is second-best among active pitchers, behind Mark Buehrle. Hudson bests Buehrle for FIP, 3.75 to 4.10 and ERA+ as well, 122 to 117. According to the Play Index tool, Hudson is also one of 13 pitchers who have at least 200 wins and a 120 ERA+ but aren’t enshrined. I suspect the majority of these pitchers will be inducted over the next 10-20 years. In alphabetical order, they are:

  • Kevin Brown, 211 wins, 127 ERA+
  • Bob Caruthers, 211 wins, 122 ERA+
  • Eddie Cicotte, 209 wins, 123 ERA+
  • Roger Clemens, 354 wins, 143 ERA+
  • Roy Halladay, 203 wins, 131 ERA+
  • Tim Hudson, 214 wins, 122 ERA+
  • Randy Johnson, 303 wins, 135 ERA+
  • Silver King, 203 wins, 121 ERA+
  • Pedro Martinez, 219 wins, 154 ERA+
  • Mike Mussina, 270 wins, 123 ERA+
  • Curt Schilling, 216 wins, 127 ERA+
  • John Smoltz, 213 wins, 125 ERA+
  • Will White, 229 wins, 121 ERA+

But sabermetrics has only recently entered into consideration for some Hall of Fame voters [with many other voters still rejecting it] and even by advanced metrics, Hudson doesn’t look anything like the lock Bert Blyleven was for Cooperstown. For WAR and ERA+, Hudson ranks as something like his generation’s version of Billy Pierce, maybe one of the more underrated pitchers in baseball history by sabermetrics but a distant Veterans Committee candidate today. Much as some of my friends in baseball research may protest, I fear Hudson is destined to be historically underrated as well. It’s why I didn’t recently predict Hudson being inducted in the next 20 years.

A memorable outing from Hudson tonight could change this. A memorable postseason performance can make a good but generally not great player a viable Hall of Fame candidate. Just ask Bill Mazeroski or Jack Morris. While much talk in the media today has centered around how much Madison Bumgarner may pitch in relief on three day’s rest, I’d like to think the 39-year-old Hudson has something special in store.

Predicting the next 20 years of Hall of Fame inductees

In his seminal 1994 book The Politics of Glory, later retitled Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?, Bill James memorably predicted 25 years worth of Hall of Fame inductees. It’s fun to go back now and see where James was spot-on and where he absolutely whiffed [Ruben Sierra, anyone?]

In the same spirit, I spent a few hours today coming up with some predictions of my own. The next 20 years of the Hall of Fame ballot, particularly the next decade look like a mess, but I figured someone ought to make sense of it looking forward.

I’ll preface this by saying I made my picks assuming the Veterans Committee will keep its current election structure, having three sub-committees for different eras that rotate with one sub-committee getting to vote each year. I wouldn’t be surprised if this voting structure is tweaked in the next decade, as Veterans Committee processes change often, though I have no idea what the new voting practice will be. I also think the players I suggested have a good shot of going in regardless of when the Veterans Committee allows them to be voted on.

One other thing– I didn’t mess around predicting managers, executives or Negro League selections [though I’d like to see Buck O’Neil and Double Duty Radcliffe enshrined at some point.] That’s for another post.

Anyhow, without further adieu, here is who I see going into the Hall of Fame over the next 20 years:

2015: Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson in their first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Craig Biggio in his third year of eligibility

2016: Ken Griffey Jr. in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; John Smoltz in his second year of eligibility; Mike Piazza in his fourth year of eligibility; Bill Dahlen through the Veterans Committee

2017: Trevor Hoffman in his second year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Jeff Bagwell in his seventh year of eligibility; Jack Morris through the Veterans Committee

2018: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in their first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Minnie Minoso through the Veterans Committee

2019: Mariano Rivera in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Curt Schilling in his seventh year of eligibility; Jack Glasscock through the Veterans Committee

2020: Derek Jeter in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Mike Mussina in his seventh year of eligibility; Alan Trammell through the Veterans Committee

2021: Ichiro Suzuki in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Omar Vizquel in his fourth year of eligibility; Dick Allen through the Veterans Committee

2022: Roy Halladay in his fourth year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Jim McCormick through the Veterans Committee

2023: Todd Helton in his fifth year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Tommy John through the Veterans Committee; a newly-appointed Steroid Era Committee will enshrine strongly-suspected or confirmed PED users whose eligibility with the BBWAA has expired, namely Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. It’s lame it might take another decade to begin to resolve the steroid mess on the Cooperstown ballot, but I don’t see it happening sooner. There isn’t huge incentive to take drastic action, for three reasons:
1. This year’s selections of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas showed that top-tier clean candidates can be enshrined their first year of eligibility even with suspected and admitted steroid users clogging the writers ballot.
2. I don’t see the Hall of Fame and Veterans Committee overstepping the authority it’s granted the BBWAA beyond the Hall’s recent move to shorten the window of eligibility for players on the writers ballot from 15 years to 10.
3. It’s not like players stop being eligible altogether for Cooperstown under current voting rules. It’s perfectly logical that the Hall of Fame will allow more time– as much as it deems necessary and then some– for emotions to settle from this period in baseball history before deciding how to honor it.

2024: Vlad Guerrero in his eighth year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Billy Wagner in his ninth year of eligibility; Jim Kaat through the Veterans Committee

2025: Jimmy Rollins in his second year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Andruw Jones in his eighth year of eligibility; Harry Stovey through the Veterans Committee

2026: Albert Pujols in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Tim Raines through the Veterans Committee

2027: Yadier Molina in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Adrian Beltre in his third year of eligibility

2028: Joe Mauer in his third year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Tony Mullane through the Veterans Committee

2029: Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander in their first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Lee Smith through the Veterans Committee

2030: Robinson Cano in his second year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Dustin Pedroia in his third year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Luis Tiant through the Veterans Committee

2031: Jose Reyes and Jered Weaver in their third year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Pete Browning through the Veterans Committee; another meeting of the Steroid Era Committee will enshrine Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Gary Sheffield, Andy Pettitte, Ivan Rodriguez and David Ortiz

2032: Andrew McCutchen in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Edgar Martinez through the Veterans Committee

2033: David Wright in his fifth year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Pete Rose, in a sympathy vote from the Veterans Committee shortly after his death

2034: Felix Hernandez in his first year of eligibility with the BBWAA; Paul Goldschmidt in his second year of eligibility

Did I miss anyone? Let me know…

Will get in sometime after 2034, but not too long: Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Craig Kimbrel

Wouldn’t mind seeing these guys go in, but it seems unlikely in this timeframe: Carlos Beltran, Ken Boyer, Will Clark, Jim Edmonds, Dwight Evans, Bobby Grich, Keith Hernandez, Gil Hodges, Tim Hudson, Jeff Kent, Kenny Lofton, Evan Longoria, Dale Murphy, Graig Nettles, Tony Oliva, Dave Parker, Scott Rolen, Bret Saberhagen, Johan Santana, Ted Simmons, Cecil Travis, Chase Utley, Larry Walker, Smoky Joe Wood

Why Hall of Fame voting isn’t changing much

It’s one of the most star-packed Hall of Fame induction weekends ever. Tomorrow, three of the greatest players of this era as well as its three finest managers will be inducted. Record crowds, maybe 100,000 people, are expected in Cooperstown. It’s the kind of magical weekend that seemed so far away just a year ago when barely 10,000 people attended Hall of Fame weekend after the Baseball Writers Association of America refused to induct anyone off its ballot.

It seemed after last year’s vote that the process was broken, that the Hall of Fame ballot would remain forever glutted with players from the Steroid Era and that even top stars might not be able to secure first ballot induction. Personally, I’ve wanted drastic changes to the voting process, such as the establishment of a committee to handle Steroid Era candidates and an end to the rule that allows voters to select a maximum of 10 players even in years where more worthy candidates might be on the ballot. Those changes may still occur, but it won’t be anytime soon. Today, the Hall of Fame announced its first changes to voting since 1991: shortening a recently-retired player’s eligibility with the BBWAA from 15 years to 10 and having BBWAA members sign a registration form and code of conduct.

Disaster may be the greatest catalyst for change in life, and in a sense, I wanted that with Hall of Fame voting this year. I wanted the voting results to be such a quagmire that the BBWAA or Cooperstown would be forced to take immediate substantial action. But then, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were all voted in first ballot, and it became clear that top Hall of Fame candidates could make it through quickly, even with the current voting system. Several more of these inductees will follow in the next few years including Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Ken Griffey Jr.

Baseball has one of if not the most talked about Halls of Fames in sports. The reason for this is its exclusivity, with roughly 300 members and only 72 living ones after tomorrow. This weekend, the Hall of Fame is looking to preserving this. The announced changes in voting will make it harder for the likes of Tim Raines, Mike Mussina, Edgar Martinez, and other arguably lesser greats to win induction, at least through the BBWAA, since six honorees have needed 11-15 years on the ballot to reach the needed 75 percent of votes. Tomorrow, a few irreproachable candidates will receive their plaques in front of a record crowd. We can expect more of the same in the immediate years to come.

For anyone who likes the Hall of Fame small, reserved for only the best of the best, this weekend is sweet vindication. For people like myself who would like to see Raines, Mussina, and Martinez receive their due now rather than 20 or 30 years on, today offers more of the same frustration of the past few years.

Guest post: 2014 Hall of Fame forecast post-mortem

When I was in high school, there were a couple of local amateur meteorologists who claimed to have developed a system of predicting major snowstorms weeks in advance.  They supposedly got seven correct in a row in virtual anonymity.  So they landed a front-page newspaper article in the Poughkeepsie Journal, touting their success record, and predicting the next big blizzard: January 26, 1975.  People circled their calendars and buzzed about it for weeks.

Then January 26 came, and it was 52° and rainy.  As far as I know, that was the last anyone heard of the two meteorologists.

I thought of this many times as my Hall of Fame forecast reached print here last month, and went more-or-less viral.  I’d been doing the forecasts for over 30 years – often in national publications like Baseball Digest, Sports Collectors Digest, and Sporting News – but usually just among a cult following of colleagues.  I had a terrific track record, but I’d never gotten anything close to this much attention.  Now here I was, being quoted by notable journalists around the country, and doing radio and TV interviews.  I worried that this would be the year my forecast tanked.

And, unfortunately, I was right (about being wrong).  My 2014 Hall of Fame election forecast was my worst ever.

As you know, I predicted that only Greg Maddux would make it to Cooperstown this year, while everyone else was saying there would be three to five inductees.  Everyone else was right and I was wrong.  Maddux of course made it, but so did Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas, and Craig Biggio just missed.  There have been years I guessed wrong on one inductee, but never two, and never by as much as I missed on Glavine: I predicted 66%, he got 92%.  That’s plain ugly.

So, what went wrong?  And should I just go the way of the two weathermen?

First of all, other than Glavine, Thomas (predicted 63%, actual 83%), Biggio (61-75), and Mike Mussina (7-20), my forecast was quite accurate.  But that’s kinda like saying, except for the four games they lost, the Cardinals did well in the 2013 World Series.

Part of it was timing.  I write my forecasts in October, three months before the announcement.  When Bobby Cox was elected by the Veterans’ Committee in December, that no doubt gave Glavine a boost.  Writers liked the idea of inducting three long-time Braves – Cox, Maddux, and Glavine – together.  Then, my article was published in mid-December, about half-way through the balloting process.  It’s possible it influenced some voters to use more of their voting slots.

Whatever the reason, the writers used an average of 8.39 votes per ballot this year.  That’s after not going above 6.87 since 1986, even in years there was a big crop of worthy candidates.  In 1999, for example, newcomers Nolan Ryan, George Brett, Robin Yount, and Carlton Fisk joined holdovers Tony Perez, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Bruce Sutter, and Bert Blyleven, among others, on the slate – yet writers used an average of just 6.74 votes per ballot.

So I didn’t foresee this year’s 8.39, and I don’t see how anyone else could, either (though apparently everyone else did).  I projected 7.5, which I thought was going out on a limb.  If I knew it was going to reach 8.39, I probably would have predicted both Glavine and Thomas to make it, though not with the lofty percentages they actually received.

The bottom line is, I struck out this year.  But that won’t stop me from getting back in the batters’ box this fall, hopefully having learned from my mistakes.  I can only hope you’ll still be interested in reading it.

 _______________

Editor’s note: I was elated to have Bill’s predictions exclusive to this website for a second straight year and I expected they would get some attention. I never expected this much. Per Google Analytics, more than 13,000 people visited Bill’s post, spending an average of four minutes, 55 seconds on it; and those are just the people who clicked through from the myriad of prominent websites Bill was mentioned on. Rather than list all of these websites here, one after the other, check out these search results. It was unreal.

I will say two things. First, based on the amount of traffic and the wealth of respected sites that took interest, as well as the timing of Bill’s post two weeks before Hall of Fame voting closed, I imagine it skewed results. Polemical as I can sometimes be, I’m not wild about this. I know from talking to Bill that it wasn’t his intent. That said, it was my decision to publish Bill’s post when I did, and I take full responsibility for any effect on voting it may have had.

Bill has a place at this website as long as he wants. He’s a good writer and has a research background that’s perfectly in-line for what we try to do here. Should Bill choose to return next year, we’ll publish his predictions after voting closes, which is generally about a week before results come out. I believe Bill’s 30-year track record of generally being spot-on in his predictions speaks for itself and that his methodology for making picks is solid. I consider this year aberrational and believe that next year, Bill’s predictions will be back on course.

The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 4.0

For four years, I’ve asked the same question here: Who are the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame? It’s not 50 players who need to be enshrined tomorrow or ever, necessarily, just the 50 best not enshrined. As founder and editor of this website, it’s my pleasure to present the latest answer to this question.

To anyone who’s new, four things:

1) This project is strictly voter-driven, with 208 ballots this year. I do little to no active campaigning and invite people to set their own criteria.

2) Everyone who votes is required to vote for 50 players. Next to each player a person selects, the voter is asked to put a “Yes” or “No” designating if the player belongs in the Hall of Fame. The latter component has no effect on ranking and is meant, in part, to signify that a player can be among the 50 best not in Cooperstown while having no business holding a plaque there. That said, were it up to voters from this project, seven players would be enshrined this coming summer, all from the 2014 writers ballot. In alphabetical order, these players are: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines and Frank Thomas.

3) I offered a ballot of more than 500 players at the start of voting. Full voting results are posted below, in alphabetical order of last name.

That being said, voters are not restricted to the ballot. Any player who hasn’t appeared in the majors in five years is eligible for this project. A player need not have played 10 seasons or even in the majors to be eligible here. A player is eligible until he is enshrined at Cooperstown’s annual summer ceremony.

I will likely cut the ballot down next year, as it has become unwieldy and confusing. Thus far, though, my aim has been not to omit any worthy player.

4) Please feel free check out the preceding three years of this project: Version 3.0Version 2.0 and the debut of this project.

All this being said, here’s how voting came out this year:

1. Tim Raines, 191 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 177 yes, 11 no, 3 N/A), written by Dan McCloskey of Left Field:

Only eight players in history have reached base 4,000 times, scored 1,500 runs, stolen 500 bases and were worth more than 60 Wins Above Replacement lifetime.

Six of them (Rickey Henderson, Joe Morgan, Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins and Honus Wagner) are unquestionably among the top five all-time at their respective positions. Of those six, only Bonds (due to PED questions) and Collins (due to the overcrowded ballot during the Hall’s early years) are not first-ballot Hall of Famers.

The seventh is Paul Molitor, who doesn’t quite fit into the top five all-time at his position category (unless you count DH), but is a first ballot inductee nonetheless.

The eighth, of course, is Tim Raines.

You can cherry-pick an argument for virtually any candidate, but there’s no reasonable debate against this straightforward comparison of Raines to seven upper tier Hall of Fame caliber players.

Lest anyone think he was just a compiler, his career WAR/162 of 4.455 ranks ahead of 55 Hall of Fame position players, including Brooks Robinson, Robin Yount, Reggie Jackson, Eddie Murray and Ernie Banks (h/t @BRefPlayIndex).

As the voters of this project have attested by ranking him in the top ten for the fourth year in a row, and No. 1 for the second straight year, Tim Raines is clearly one of the Hall of Fame’s most glaring omissions.

2. (Tie) Craig Biggio, 185 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 170 yes, 11 no, 4 N/A), written by Mark Kreidler, a voting member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Kreidler explains here why he gave Biggio a vote in the BBWAA’s 2014 Hall of Fame election:

In an era of redrawn valuations, on a Hall of Fame list that grows more vexing each year, Biggio strikes me as one of the easiest Yes votes on the ballot – and he did so in 2013, when I voted for him in his first year of eligibility. A multi-position player whose up-the-middle metrics compare favorably with HOF standards, Biggio ranks 21st in MLB history in hits and 15th in runs scored, and he delivered more doubles than any RH hitter ever. (“Team guy” addendum: He was HBP more times than any player in the modern era.) He wound up with 3,060 hits, likely extending his career a year too long to do it – but even for those who aren’t milestone-fascinated, three thousand hits is something only 27 other players have achieved. It’s not nothing. And Biggio did this while earning four Gold Gloves, playing his entire career for a single organization, making 19 straight Opening Day starts, being honored as a Roberto Clemente Award recipient for community service, and being recognized – by teammate after teammate – as the lock-down, no-questions-asked leader of a Houston franchise that enjoyed its only run of sustained excellence on his watch. He goes in.

2. (Tie) Jeff Bagwell, 185 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 171 yes, 10 no, 4 N/A), written by Daren Willman of Baseball Savant:

Jeff Bagwell was the most dominant first baseman of the mid 90’s and is very worthy of the hall of fame.  His numbers speak for themselves.   In the 15 year period he played, he was second in RBI (1529), third in runs (1517), hits (2314), and walks (1401), and fifth in HR (449).  Bagwell received MVP votes in 10 of his 15 years and won it in 1994.  He’s one of only 12 players in MLB history to hit 400 HRs and steal 200 bases.  While playing Bagwell was regarded as one of the smartest base runners in the league. His career stats compared to all players are equally as impressive 40th all-time in OBP, 36th in OPS+, and 63rd in career WAR.  With all these things considered Jeff Bagwell should be a hall of famer.

4. Greg Maddux *New to ballot*, 183 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 179 yes, 1 no, 3 N/A), written by me:

Greg Maddux is the reason I will be trimming the ballot next year. I included more than 500 players on the ballot this year, making it somewhat unwieldy and indecipherable. On a clear, easy-to-read ballot, a player like Greg Maddux ought to get 100 percent of the vote. If the longtime Atlanta Braves ace, four-time Cy Young Award recipient and 355-game winner wasn’t the best pitcher of his generation or even baseball history, he isn’t far off.

5. Barry Bonds, 181 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 143 yes, 35 no, 3 N/A), written by Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com and Baseball Think Factory:

In a normal world, you would not be reading anything about Barry Bonds in this space. Based purely on the whole “playing baseball” thing, Bonds missing from Cooperstown is the equivalent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame leaving out the Beatles. They did take creativity-enhancing drugs after all…

But just in case you need to be reminded of the excellence of Barry Bonds, let’s run down the crazier parts of his resumé. 762 homers. a .298/.444/.607 career line for an OPS+ of 182, the latter number behind only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, two sluggers whose names you should at least vaguely recall. 7 MVP awards, 8 Gold Gloves, 12 Silver Sluggers, and if there existed an award with Platinum or Diamond in the name, Bonds would probably have 10 of those too. Before performance-enhancing drugs became a concern in baseball, a half-century after their introduction into the sport, Bonds was infamous among casual fans for not playing well in the playoffs, which he eventually rectified to finish with a .936 career postseason OPS.

Bonds is one of the greatest players to ever play baseball. Not greatest in the sense that one would say “Wow, that was totally the greatest sandwich I ever ate!” but the kind of greatness that inspires generations. To write the story of 1990s/2000s baseball and not talk about the feats of Bonds is like writing a history of the Civil War and not mentioning Ulysses S. Grant. Come back here in a year’s time and again, Barry Bonds will top this list.

6. (Tie) Mike Piazza, 178 votes out of 208, (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 165 yes, 10 no, 3 N/A), written by Mike Gianella of Baseball Prospectus:

Writers often engage in hyperbole when discussing Hall of Fame candidates, but despite Piazza’s amazing offensive numbers as a catcher he hasn’t generated the same excitement that some all-time greats have when they reach the ballot. Some of this is a result of all of the negativity surrounding PEDs (even though Piazza has never been linked to steroids in any way whatsoever), but most of it probably is due to a misunderstanding of his value. His rWAR of 59.2 is low for a Hall of Famer, but when you compare Piazza only to other catchers, he sits right up there with all time greats like Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, and Carlton Fisk, at least with the bat. Piazza’s 427 home runs and .308/.377/.545 slash are amazing numbers for an everyday catcher and even when you adjust for his era his career offensive WAR is on a par with Bench’s. It’s easy to make a Hall case for Piazza even with “simpler” numbers; he hit 30 home runs or more nine years out of 10 and .300 or better for 10 consecutive seasons. Piazza belongs in the Hall, and despite the current ballot logjam should eventually find his way to Cooperstown.

6. (Tie) Roger Clemens, 178 votes (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 139 yes, 36 no, 3 N/A), written by Michael Clair, who will be doing a charity blogathon for Doctors Without Borders this month. In lieu of donating to this project, please consider donating to Michael’s worthy cause:

There are those that say the horned minotaur is simply a creature of fiction, of myth, that there is no way a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man could exist. Those people clearly never saw Roger Clemens pitch.

The fact that Clemens, weighing in at 205 lbs of ground chuck, spit, and vinegar, remains on this list, earning only 37.6% of the vote last year, is a shame. He has seven Cy Youngs awards, 354 victories, a 3.12 ERA. Seven times he lead the league in shutouts, another seven in ERA. Five times he lead the league in strikeouts, twice in innings. His 140.3 JAWS is third behind Walter Johnson and Cy Young. He even has his own Nintendo video game.

Clemens also had two separate peaks, his early years from 1986-1992, going 136-63 with a 2.66 ERA and his comeback with the Blue Jays, going 149-61 with a 3.22 ERA between 1997 and 2005. Just one of those is enough for a Hall of Fame career, two is simply overwhelming.

So while his performance can’t be denied, only Clemens’ use of performance enhancing drugs is keeping him out of Cooperstown. Forget that Clemens is arguably the greatest pitcher of all-time despite playing the second half of his career in a heightened offensive environment. Forget that much of his competition was also using drugs. Because Clemens was so successful, arrogant, and bull-headed, the voters have decided to trap Clemens in a labyrinth of fuzzy moral logic and out of Cooperstown.

And that’s more absurd than a creature with a bull’s head and a man’s body.

8. Alan Trammell, 177 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 148 yes, 22 no, 7 N/A), written by Joshua Pease:

Alan Trammell is inexorably linked with Lou Whitaker, who now rather famously failed to reach the 5 percent threshold in his only year on the Hall of Fame ballot. Thankfully, Trammell remains on the ballot, though he is now in his 13th year of eligibility and has yet to hit even 40 percent of the vote. Trammell debuted in 1977 and manned shortstop for the Tigers for the next 20 seasons, retiring in 1996. Over the course of his career, he proved to be an excellent all-around talent. He was an above average hitter (111 wRC+ and 3 Silver Sluggers), had good power for a shortstop (185 HR), was a good baserunner (236 SB), and played excellent defense (22 dWAR on Baseball Reference and 4 Gold Gloves). He was a better hitter than Ozzie Smith, as good a fielder as Cal Ripken, and a similar all-around player to Barry Larkin. The fact the Trammell was very good at everything but otherworldly at nothing may very well be what has kept Hall of Fame voters from enshrining him thus far.

I would vote for Alan Trammell if I had a Hall of Fame ballot.

9. Tom Glavine *New to ballot*, 176 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 170 yes, 3 no, 3 N/A), written by Eno Sarris of Fangraphs

The word is “frustrating.” Both the numbers and the eyes agree on that one. Tom Glavine spent most years striking out batters at a well-below average rate. His walk rate was only slightly better than average. His ground-ball rate, though only measured in the twilight of his career, was basically average. He gave up a ton of hits — almost 4,300 by the time he hung it up. Somehow, he spent a career doing average things and getting great results. You still can’t ignore the 3.54 career ERA or the 305 wins just because he was on good teams and over-performed his peripherals. At some point, you just have to believe. Remember how frustrating it was to watch him hit that outside corner with fastball and changeup, time and time again. Remember how he stretched that outside corner as far as the umpire would let him. Remember how he just didn’t give up home runs with runners on base. These things all contribute to the confounding gap between his peripherals and results, and they even inspire us to re-examine some of our assumptions about pitching. So really all that frustration is just food for inspiration.

10. Shoeless Joe Jackson, 174 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 143 yes, 36 no, 5 N/A), written by Christopher Kamka of Comcast SportsNet Chicago:

Shoeless Joe Jackson is a player often distorted by myth and legend, but is best appreciated by simply examining the facts.

Joe could never exist today.  Perhaps this is why he remains one of the more intriguing figures in baseball history.  Can you imagine a guy playing an actual game in his socks?  Even in the minors?  For that matter, who was the last illiterate superstar to grace the diamond?

Consider the circumstances under which his career ended.  A group of players throwing a World Series because they’re underpaid?  Jackson’s 1919 salary was $6,000. Calculating for inflation, that translates to roughly $80,000, while today’s league minimum is more than six times that.  Forget about it.

Jackson’s last season was 1920; his age 32 season. Plenty of good baseball left. His first sniff of the live ball era. What would he have done with league production trending like this:

American League average BA/SLG for the last five seasons of Jackson’s career
1916   .248/.324
1917   .248/.320
1918   .254/.322
1919   .268/.359
1920   .283/.387

AL average BA/SLG for the first five seasons after Jackson
1921   .292/.408
1922   .285/.398
1923   .283/.388
1924   .290/.397
1925   .292/.408

How many more .400 seasons? In the inflated offensive era of the 1920’s, many doubles & triples would turn into homers. Would White Sox fans not have had to wait until Bill Melton in 1971 for the first 30-HR season in franchise history? It’s a compelling thought because of his limited but incredible body of work.

Jackson hit .408, .395 & .378 in his first three full seasons – but thanks to Ty Cobb, he finished second in the American League each time.

Amazingly, he put up a .356 lifetime average (3rd all-time) without a single batting title. He had a .423 OBP, good for 16th all-time.  Struck out only 234 times against 519 walks.

Jackson’s career OPS+ of 170 is tied with Dan Brouthers for 7th all-time.  Only Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, & Mickey Mantle are better.

He compiled 2,800 plate appearances for two original American League franchises (Indians & White Sox) and still owns the highest lifetime average for each (.375 for Cleveland, .340 for Chicago).

His game was not just limited to hitting. He could also run (202 SB), and throw (183 outfield assists).

This is a player who could conceivably make a list of the top 50 players period; not just limited to those not enshrined in Cooperstown.

Shoeless Joe Jackson (along with the other seven Black Sox) and John D. Rockefeller (a stunning $29 million fine imposed in 1907 on his Standard Oil in antitrust case) were the two most notable opponents taken down by Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The Standard Oil fine was overturned long ago. Isn’t it about time to give Joe his due?

11. Edgar Martinez, 170 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 134 yes, 31 no, 5 N/A), written by Bryan O’Connor of Replacement Level Blog:

We tend to talk about baseball players’ Hall of Fame candidacies in terms of greatness. The greatest players are cast in bronze, while the less great need a ticket to get into the museum. Greatness seems more closely tied to talent than it is to value, which reflects both talent and opportunity.

Taken on value, Edgar Martinez is a worthy Hall of Famer. His 68.3 WAR (per baseball-reference) rank 64th among eligible position players, well above the established standard and ahead of no-doubt Hall of Famers like Ernie Banks, Willie McCovey, and Dave Winfield.

Edgar’s case, though, is far stronger when measured by talent, irrespective of opportunity. Blocked by such legends as Jim Presley and Alvin Davis, Martinez didn’t crack the Mariners’ starting lineup until age 27 despite batting above .340 over his last three years in the minors. Defensively, he was an adequate third baseman, putting up positive Total Zone rankings more often than not until being banished to designated hitter duties in 1995, when Mike Blowers was ready to start butchering the position.

The original Papi’s 147 career OPS+ ranks 37th among Hall eligibles- 29th if we consider only players whose careers began after 1900. By this measure, he was a better hitter than Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson, or Alex Rodriguez. He accumulated more adjusted batting runs than Carl Yastrzemski in more than 5,000 fewer plate appearances, and more than Hall of Famers Tony Perez and Johnny Bench combined.

Martinez, it seems, is outside the Hall of Fame now because he did not play in the field for three quarters of his career. McCovey and Killebrew were hitters of similar talent who cost their teams scores of runs by playing the field, only because the rules said they had to. His employers’ decisions should not cost Edgar Martinez the bronze bust he deserves.

12. Frank Thomas *New to ballot*, 168 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame?  158 yes, 7 no, 3 N/A), written by Dan Evans, currently a scout for the Toronto Blue Jays; former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and assistant GM for the Chicago White Sox:

I was part of the White Sox staff involved in drafting Frank Thomas with the 7th selection overall in the 1989 draft. We thought his unique combination of zone awareness and power would develop into an impact bat. It turned out to be consistent excellence. Thomas had a legendary batting practice session in the old Comiskey Park shortly after signing in 1989 that tipped off his elite skills to others and seemingly NEVER gave up an at-bat. I worked for the White Sox through Thomas’s first 11 seasons and made sure I saw nearly every one of his plate appearances in that span.

One of the best right-handed hitters in MLB history, Thomas was a rare combination of high batting average, elite all-fields power, remarkable consistency, and an outstanding strike zone feel. His .301/.419/.555 career triple slash is matched or bettered in all three categories by only five players in history and his career .419 OBP is the best for a right-handed hitter since World War II.

Thomas is the only player ever with seven consecutive seasons of at least a .300 batting average, 100 walks, 100 runs, 100 RBI, and at least 20 homers, and it occurred in his initial seven full years (1991-1997). He won consecutive American League MVP Awards in 1993-94, placed in the top 10 in MVP balloting seven other times, and won the 1997 AL batting title. His .729 SLG and .487 OBP marks in 1994 were levels that had not been attained by an AL hitter since Ted Williams in 1957.

Nicknamed “The Big Hurt,” Thomas played the bulk of his career with the White Sox, and also played for Oakland and Toronto over his 19-year career. His 521 career homers rank 18th all-time, and more than one-half were hit to centerfield or right-center field. His #35 was retired by the White Sox in 2010.

Throughout Thomas’ career, he was outspoken about PED use among some of his peers. After hitting his 500th career homer, he said “This means a lot to me, because I did it the right way.” He was the only active player to voluntarily interview for the 2007 Mitchell Report.

I look forward to being in Cooperstown this summer when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

13. Pete Rose, 166 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 122 yes, 41 no, 3 N/A), written by Alex Putterman, assistant sports editor for the Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University):

Maybe Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame — he’s the all-time hit king, of course, and achieved that distinction through an impressive peak and famous longevity. He is arguably the iconic player of his era, and Cooperstown is about nothing if not iconic players.

Or maybe he doesn’t belong in the Hall — he committed baseball’s cardinal sin, guilty of the most explicitly inexcusable offense of the time. He deserved punishment, and there’s no reason to commute his permanent sentence.

But the semantics of this project render that debate irrelevant. We’re looking for the best players not in the Hall, and all else aside, Rose is one of them. JAWs lists him as the fifth most Hall-worthy left-fielder ever (well ahead of Tim Raines, for example). He’s eighth among eligible non-Hall of Famers in WAR on Baseball-Reference and seventh in WAR on FanGraphs and in Hall Rating on HallofStats.com. Had Roseretired before a series of sub-replacement seasons he could rank even higher. It’s not unreasonable to argue using career value stats that he’s the fourth or fifth best player outside of the Hall.

Thus Rose, like a host of others here, is likely held down in voting for this project by non-baseball factors. Unlike those drug-accused others, his transgressions did not affect how good a baseball player he was.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Pete should have a place in the Hall of Fame. It does mean he should have a place very high up on this list.

14. Larry Walker, 161 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 119 yes, 37 no, 5 N/A), written by Brendan Bingham:

Most players perform better at home than on the road, but Larry Walker is an unusual case. His career numbers are dominated by the extreme park effects of pre-humidor Coors Field, making it difficult to compare him to other players of his day.

Limiting the analysis to road splits and choosing career slash line as the metric, let’s get a glimpse of the Larry Walker who would have existed had he never played for the Colorado Rockies. Slash line is a vast oversimplification, but it provides a quick and easy handle on hitting performance, especially when era and career length are controlled for. Like Walker, all of the players mentioned below played from the late 80s or early 90s through at least 2005, and all had at least 4000 plate appearances on the road.

As a hitter, Walker (.278/.370/.495) was a step ahead of Steve Finley (.273/.332/.447) and Ivan Rodriquez (.285/.322/.447), but no match for Manny Ramirez (.314/.409/.580), Frank Thomas (.297/.414/.511) or Jeff Bagwell (.291/.398/.521). Walker was somewhere in between, part of a cluster that includes Bernie Williams (.299/.378/.479), Luis Gonzalez (.283/.367/.489), Rafael Palmeiro (.291/.366/.502) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (.272/.355/.505).

Thanks to Coors Field, Walker was Superman at home and Jeff Kent (.290/.353/.504) on the road.

15. Mark McGwire, 158 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 99 yes, 56 no, 3 N/A), written by Susan Fornoff. Fornoff was instrumental in getting female reporters access to locker rooms and wrote a book about it. She covered McGwire and the Oakland Athletics’ beat for the Sacramento Bee in the 1980s and ’90s:

In the final round of a home-run derby pool in the spring of 1987, because no other name came to mind, I chose Mark McGwire. He wasn’t supposed to be a starter for the Oakland A’s that year, but, geez, he looked powerful and had hit three homers in an 18-game major-league cameo a year earlier. It was the last round, what the heck.

Needless to say, I cleaned up in that home-run pool when McGwire hit 49 homers, drove in 118 runs and hit .289 to coast to the Rookie of the Year award. All of us who watched him marveled at his seemingly limited potential.

We also marveled at his huge arms and neck the next spring. How on earth did he grow so much in just a few months?

McGwire excelled in the steroid era. If I represented him during so many years he stayed quiet thereafter, I probably would’ve advise him to just come out and say so. Say, “I’m sorry I used steroids. But I played in the era of the steroid. I did the best I could in the conditions of the game at the time.” Three years ago, he finally came clean.

With 15 seasons of 20 homers or more — and 12 of those over 30 — plus seven seasons of 100 RBIs or more, a respectable career batting average of .263 and a pretty nifty glove at first when he was healthy and at his best, McGwire deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Apply a steroid tariff — 20 percent, even — and he’d make it in any other baseball era.

16. Curt Schilling, 157 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 127 yes, 27 no, 3 N/A), written by Amanda Gill:

Curt Schilling is most well known as a member of the Boston Red Sox for the infamous “Bloody Sock.” However, there was more to Schilling’s playing career than one postseason legend. Schilling spent time with five teams during his MLB career: the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox and he went to the World Series with the Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox, winning World Series Championships with Arizona (2001) and Boston (2004, 2007). Across his 20 years in the big leagues, Schilling amassed numerous impressive statistics including a career record of 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA, 3116 strikeouts to 711 walks, and an 11-2 record with a 2.23 ERA in postseason play. Schilling’s true lore lies in the postseason where he accumulated accolades including a NLCS MVP award with the Phillies in 1993, and a share of a World Series MVP with Randy Johnson when the Arizona Diamondbacks won in 2001. Curt Schilling deserves to be added into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. As a six-time All-Star and a three-time World Series champion, Schilling boasts a phenomenal combination of regular season and postseason success that he deserves to be enshrined for.

17. Dwight Evans, 155 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 98 yes, 51 no, 6 N/A), written by Dalton Mack of High Heat Stats:

Dewey never had the MVPs nor the widespread praise that outfield mates Fred Lynn or Jim Rice could lay claim to, was never the talk of Major League Baseball in his rookie season nor considered the “most feared hitter in baseball.” What Dwight Evans was however, was the 4th greatest position player in Red Sox history by Wins Above Replacement (WAR), behind only men named Williams, Yastrzemski and Boggs.

He only led the American League once in a traditional slash category (22 HRs in strike-shortened 1981), but where Evans excelled was in decidedly unsexy areas, like drawing walks and playing great defense. In fact, his 103 Fielding Runs from 1974-81 was, among outfielders, second only to Garry Maddox.

So why the lack of BBWAA support for Evans, who peaked at a tad over ten percent his second year on the ballot and fell off the following cycle? Likely for the same reason that keeps Alan Trammell from making Hall of Fame progress year after year—Evans did a host of things very well, without being truly outstanding at any particular one.

18. Dick Allen, 154 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 101 yes, 47 no, 6 N/A), written by Neal Kendrick of High Heat Stats:

The 1960’s and 70’s had some amazing players, all time greats like Mays, Aaron, & Frank Robinson. However there was one other great basher in that period that has largely been forgotten. Perhaps it’s because he was never a graceful fielder making dazzling plays, or maybe simply because he was traveling from city to city, but with the batDick Allen was right up there with anybody. Probably the best way to evaluate a player’s hitting ability is wRC+. It factors era, league, and home ballpark to give a true measure of a hitter’s performance, with 100 being average. Dick Allen had a 155 career wRC+. From 1963-1977, the length of Dick Allen’s career, that was tied with Frank Robinson for the best mark in baseball, ahead of pantheon guys like Mays, Aaron, Clemente, and Reggie Jackson. Allen was a dynamic all around hitter, who 3 times lead the league in Slugging Percentage, and twice in On-Base Percentage. He won an MVP award in 1972, receiving 21 of a possible 24 first place votes, in what arguably wasn’t even his best season. He had a slightly higher WAR in 1964 as a rookie.  Dick Allen may not have been one of the most complete players of all-time, but he was certainly one of the best hitters of all-time. Across virtually the same timeframe Willie McCovey had .374 OBP and .515 SLG% with poor defense at first, while Dick Allen  had a .378 OBP and .534 SLG% with poor defense at first and third. If McCovey can make it on the first ballot then Dick Allen should make it too.

19. Mike Mussina *New to ballot*, 150 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 125 yes, 22 no, 3 N/A), written by Jen Mac Ramos of Beyond the Box Score:

1999 was a good year for pitching. For one, Pedro Martinez was having a career year — one that lead to winning the AL Cy Young award. Everyone remembers Pedro. There’s Mariano Rivera, Bartolo Colon, David Cone, Jamie Moyer. They’re all easy to name. I know those were some of the first players I was aware of when I started following the game in 2007.

But then, there’s Mike Mussina. He kinda flew under the radar — pitching for the Orioles for more than half his career, and mostly on Orioles teams that were middlingin the AL East. That didn’t stop Mussina from throwing numbers worthy of the Hall of Fame: 3.68 ERA, 23 CGSHO, 3.58 K/BB, 0.95 HR/9, 82.8 RA9-WAR, 82.7 rWAR. He also averaged 34 games started for every 162 games his team played. Mike Mussina was a consistent pitcher, with some of the best numbers a career could have.

20. Lou Whitaker, 148 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 123 yes, 23 no, 2 N/A), written by Paul McCord of Braves Paul:

When “Sweet Lou” retired, he was one of only five second baseman ever with 200 homers, 1000 runs scored, and 1000 RBI (Alomar, Biggio, and Kent have since made Whitaker one of eight).  His 74.8 career bWAR was highest among position players on the 2001 Hall of Fame ballot, including inductees Dave Winfield (64.0) and Kirby Puckett (50.8).  He was clearly one of the best offensive second baseman in baseball history, and he was part of the most prolific double-play duo the game has ever seen.  So why was Whitaker dismissed from Hall of Fame consideration so unceremoniously in his only year on the ballot?
Whitaker’s career numbers are remarkably similar to Ryne Sandberg’s (each is the other’s most similar batter in MLB history), which works well for this discussion since “Ryno” also played second base and wound up in the Hall of Fame.  A comparison reveals that Whitaker’s consistency may actually have been his Hall of Fame weakness.  He didn’t shine as brightly on consistently good Tigers teams as Sandberg did on consistently bad Cubs teams, and Whitaker’s lengthy peak that lasted late until his retirement simply lacked flair compared to Sandberg’s eye-popping numbers (and eventual flame-out).

21. Rafael Palmeiro, 146 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 80 yes, 57 no, 9 N/A), written by Mike Hllywa:

Let’s say you’re a General Manager, and you have the chance to add a player to your roster who averages a slash line of .288/.371/.515 for every 162 games played. That’s good for an OPS+ of 132. Would you do it? Of course you would.  Who wouldn’t want an above average hitter with an above average walk-rate and above average power? And that is the type of hitter than Rafael Palmeiro was for the balance of his career.

But none of that is ever going to matter to the BBWAA because Palmeiro got busted when a urinalysis came back positive for steroids.

Was it the Ballpark in Arlington or the short walls at Camden Yards that played perfectly to the kind of swing that Palmeiro had? Or was it the anabolic cocktails that he was taking? We will never know. But we will always know this: From Palmeiro’s rookie season on, he never posted an OPS+ below 108, and that came in the final two seasons of his career. He wasn’t the best defender despite his fabled Gold Glove season in 1999. But with a bat in his hand, Rafael Palmeiro had few equals during his 20-year baseball career. Very few equals.

22. Sammy Sosa, 134 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 68 yes, 64 no, 2 N/A), written by Mauricio Rubio of Cubs Den and Baseball Prospectus:

When baseball was taken from me in my youth by a confusing labor dispute my passion for the game waned and I experimented with other sports. I wandered in the football and soccer territories but was called home by Sammy Sosa and 1998. We’ve learned a lot about what was behind those home run chases. The luster is gone but I do remember Sosa in a warmer light than most. His 609 HR total and career slash line of .273/.344/.534 isn’t as impressive as it seemed 20 years ago but those numbers still speak to a player who was great at his peak, even if the numbers were augmented by playing conditions (probable) and chemicals (likely).

Sosa is a polarizing figure whose greatness is overshadowed by what went on during his career, but I feel that history will be kinder to him in the long run. It’s irresponsible to pretend that he didn’t happen and we should make peace with his place in baseball history.

23. Luis Tiant, 133 votes out of 208, (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 85 yes, 42 no, 6 N/A), written by Andrew Martin of Baseball Historian:

Tiant is an interesting case. Although he had 229 wins, a 3.30 ERA and 2,416 strikeouts, he comes across as more of an accumulator because of his 19-year career. Make no mistake about it though, because he was a dominant pitcher.

A severe shoulder injury abbreviated his 1970 and 1971 seasons and caused him to reinvent himself in his prime, which prevented him from padding his already impressive resume.

The right hander’s record is one of contradictions. He won 20 or more games four times, led the league in ERA twice, and totaled an impressive 187 complete games and 49 shutouts. His career WAR of 66.1 is 40th all-time among pitchers according to BaseballReference.com. On the other hand, he made just three All-Star teams and never finished higher than fourth in Cy Young voting—both things Hall of Fame pundits typically hold in high regard.

Bert Blyleven (career ERA+ of 118), who was a similar accumulator and took 14 years of steadily increasing vote totals to finally get inducted, is a reason for Tiant (career ERA+ of 114) to have hope. However, since Tiant fell off the ballot in 2002, his fate rests in the hands of the Veterans Committee.

24. (Tie) Bobby Grich, 126 votes out of 208, (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 97 yes, 28 no, 1 N/A), written by Diane Firstman of Value Over Replacement Grit:

Robert Anthony Grich was a first-round draft pick of the Orioles in 1967 and played shortstop during his time in the minors before settling in at second in Baltimore in 1973 after the O’s traded away Davey Johnson.

Grich was a confident soul.  Writer Phil Jackman recounted one day in 1970, Frank Robinson came by when Grich was talking about hitting and remarked: “What does a rookie like you know about hitting?” Grich replied to Robinson: “Tell you something, pal. I’ll be hitting for 10 years around here after you’re gone.”

1972 was the Grich’s first full season in the big leagues, and he compiled a 127 OPS+ (.278/.358/.415) while being named an All-Star and receiving a few down-ballot MVP votes.  He quickly established himself as an excellent fielder, with good range, soft hands, a good arm, and skill turning the double play.  He won four consecutive Gold Gloves from 1973-1976 and in 1973 he set an all-time major league fielding record with a .995 fielding percentage (he broke that record in 1985, with a .997). For his career he out-performed his peers in Range Factor (5.70 to 5.40 per 9 innings) and fielding percentage (.984 to .979).

He left the Orioles via free agency after 1976 and spent the next ten years with the Angels, logging a 124 OPS+, three All-Star appearances, two years with MVP votes, and a Silver Slugger award in the strike-shortened 1981 season. Despite all of his regular season success, he never played in a World Series.  He himself batted a mere .182/.247/.318 in 24 post-season games.

How should we think of Bobby Grich now?  Well of the top 10 second baseman in Jay Jaffe’s JAWS Hall of Fame metric, only Grich is missing from Cooperstown.  His WAR, WAR7 (7 best seasons) and JAWS scores are all above the average of the enshrinees, and the WAR7 and JAWS scores are better than current “missing from the Hall” darling Lou Whitaker.

24. (Tie) Kenny Lofton, 126 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 75 yes, 45 no, 6 N/A), written by Lewie Pollis, freelance writer for ESPN.com:

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[Lofton is third from left. Photo from 1980 Senior League teammate Tony Puente.]

You don’t need me to tell you that Kenny Lofton was a six-time All-Star who won four Gold Gloves. It doesn’t take a third party to point out that the Hall of Stats has Lofton as the sixth-best center fielder in MLB history. And I hope it is obvious that Lofton’s falling off the Hall of Fame ballot in his first year of eligibility is one of the biggest mistakes the BBWAA has ever made.

But the stats don’t tell you that, for a baseball fan growing up in Cleveland, Lofton’s infectious energy came to define the great Indians teams of the 1990’s. With all due respect to fans of the many other teams he played for later in his career, those outside Northeast Ohio might not know what a joy it was to watch him flying across the dirt to steal a base or leaping into — or over — the wall to make a jaw-dropping catch.

I still look at Lofton with the same sense of childlike wonder that I did when my dad would take me to Jacobs Field as a kid. And I know I’m not alone.

26. Ted Simmons, 123 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 97 yes, 22 no, 4 N/A):

Former Hall of Fame senior research associate Bill Deane wrote for this project last year:

As a teenager in the mid-1970s, I’d hear people debating about who was the best catcher in baseball: Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, or Thurman Munson? I’d say, “What about Ted Simmons? The guy hit .332 with 100 RBI!” I’d get only puzzled looks from people who were barely aware that St. Louis had a team.

That exemplified Simmons’s problems in getting attention throughout his career: He played in media-Siberias and was overshadowed by two contemporary HOF catchers. But consider their average HR-RBI-AVG stats from 1971-80: Bench (27-93-.263), Fisk (16-57-.285), Simmons (17-90-.301). Simba was also unjustly regarded as a poor defensive catcher; I tackle this legend at length in my book, Baseball Myths. (Editor’s note: Page 375 of The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract notes: ‘Bill Deane has studied the records at great length, and demonstrated that Simmons threw out an above-average percentage of opposing base stealers in his prime seasons.’)

Ted Simmons retired as the all-time leader in hits and doubles among catchers, and ranked second in RBI behind only Yogi Berra. Only Ivan Rodriguez has surpassed him in those categories since. Yet, Simmons was dropped from the BBWAA HOF ballot after one try, then waited 16 years to be snubbed by the Veterans’ Committee. His next try is this December.

Simmons was one of the ten best all-around catchers in baseball history. He deserves serious consideration for Cooperstown.

27. (Tie) Keith Hernandez, 122 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 58 yes, 56 no, 8 N/A), written by Howard Megdal of Capital New York:

Usually, the list of players who aren’t in the Hall of Fame is filled with those who excelled, but cannot be called the best at anything. (Leaving the tiresome steroids arguments aside, that is.) Or if they managed to reach the absolute peak at some part of baseball, it’s a remarkably narrow one, and mitigated by other failings in their game. Lenny Harris and pinch-hitting, or Pat Tabler and bases-loaded situations come to mind.

But Keith Hernandez is the finest defensive first baseman I’ve ever seen, and I suspect will ever see. He came along just before defensive metrics allowed the baseball world to more completely factor this incredibly aspect of his game into total value, so it became almost a trivialized fact you’d find about him on the back of a Topps card: “Keith enjoys fishing, hunting, and playing first base as well as anyone, ever.”

Those lucky enough to have seen baseball when Vic Power or Gil Hodges or, when he was on the level, Hal Chase played it might disagree. But I’ve seen many first basemen since Hernandez-no one comes close.

We have no advanced defensive metrics from Hernandez’s time, though. So we are left with this fact, along with an offensive game that isn’t a blight upon his overall record, like Power’s or a man on the other side of the high brick wall to entry, Bill Mazeroski.

He was an astonishingly graceful hitter, with an offensive game notable for its breadth. Hernandez won an MVP in 1979, a year he hit .344 with 48 doubles, both league-leading marks. A year later, his .408 on-base percentage led the league as well. He recorded nine double-digit home run seasons, hitting 15 at age 23, 18 at age 33. He had a pair of top-ten NL finishes in triples. He walked 100 times one season, led the league in walks another season, and his team won the World Series both times.

I find OPS+ a terrific catch-all offensive stat. Hernandez, for his career, is at 128, a bit below Orlando Cepeda’s 133, a bit ahead of Tony Perez’s 122.

Both Perez and Cepeda, of course, are Hall of Famers. And nobody ever mistook them for Keith Hernandez in the field. There is that, the profound way Hernandez’s fielding could alter a game. It’s the kind of thing that should get a guy enshrined in Cooperstown.

27. (Tie) Tommy John, 122 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 74 yes, 42 no, 7 N/A), written by Shawn Anderson, who honored John at The Hall of Very Good:

“You look at two aspects of my career,” Tommy John said after being named the inaugural member of The Hall of Very Good™ two years ago.  “You look at 26 years and you figure you’ve got to be doing something to be around for 26 years.  You look at the wins, the complete games, innings pitched…and you couple that with coming back from Tommy John surgery, I think that my name should be up there with anybody.”

Pretty much sums it up, right?

The pride of Terre Haute, Indiana is probably known for two things…longevity and that surgery.  Truth is, you don’t have one without the other.

We can sit here and talk about John’s 288 wins and how, when he retired in May 1989, they placed him 21st all-time and how Bobby Mathews was, at the time, only one Hall-eligible not in the Hall of Fame.

But it always comes back to that surgery, doesn’t it?

You know the story. It’s July 1974 and the 31-year-old was shelved with a pretty impressive career ERA of 2.97 and after putting up back-to-back seasons where he led the National League in winning percentage. 639 days later, the lefty would re-emerge on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers with a new arm.  He’d go on and throw 2544 innings post-surgery and collect 164 wins along the way.  Sure, the ERA was a little higher than before…but John’s overall control was better.

It sounds cliché, but John had two careers that a number of pitchers would be envious of and when you add them up, you find that he belongs among those enshrined in Cooperstown.

29. Dale Murphy, 114 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 46 yes, 65 no, 3 N/A):

Murphy’s son Chadwick wrote for this project last year:

Of course I’m a little biased, but I think there’s no doubt that my dad was one of the top 5 or so players of the 1980s (eerily similar to Gil Hodges in the 50s, in fact.) No matter which side of the peak vs. longevity debate you come down on, you can always find exceptions who are already in the Hall of Fame. Even with his late-career decline, my dad was 19th on the all-time home run list (just behind Duke Snider, I believe) when he retired.

The other important consideration (which I discuss at some length here) is all the intangibles he brought to the game: the way he inspired a generation of baseball fans, especially in the South; his long streak of consecutive games for a set of Braves teams that were, for the most part, truly awful; and, most importantly (in my opinion), the integrity he brought to the way he played the game. He’s a walking advertisement, in fact, for the very cliche but undoubtedly true notion that it’s not what you achieve that matters most but how you achieve it. So it’s not just that my dad was “a nice guy.”

True, being a model citizen off-the-field shouldn’t be totally relevant to HOF decisions, but these days the more pertinent character issue, I believe, is whether or not you cut corners for personal gain and by doing so compromised the integrity of the game. Not only did my dad make the correct decisions– for himself and for the game– but he also managed to put up impressive numbers in the process. If such a well-rounded career is not worthy of the top 50, not to mention the HOF, then we might do well to re-evaluate a few things.

30. Fred McGriff, 113 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 56 yes, 55 no, 2 N/A), written by Neil Paine of fivethirtyeight.com:

McGriff’s acquisition by the Braves in the summer of 1993 has always stood out as one of my favorite “you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up” stories from baseball history. On the evening of McGriff’s Atlanta debut, a freak press-box fire delayed Atlanta’s game by 2 hours; he went on to homer in the Braves’ win later that night, touching off a stretch run in which the Crime Dog hit .310/.392/.612 and Atlanta won 51 of the 68 games he played, overcoming a 10-game deficit in July to pass the Giants for the NL West crown on the last day of the regular season.

At the time, McGriff seemed to have a good chance at the Hall of Fame, with 262 career HR and a 153 OPS+ through age 30. But from 1995 onward, McGriff — while still good — was not the hitter he once was (with the exception of vintage late-career seasons in 1999 & 2001), even as contemporaries like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire continued to hit like superstars.

Then again, this has come to be a point in McGriff’s favor in recent years, as McGriff’s name has remained clean while many of peers who outpaced him in their 30s were implicated in doping scandals. In the end, McGriff’s legacy will be as a key cog on the dynasty Braves of the 90s and one of the best clean power hitters of his era… There are worse marks to leave on the game.

31. (Tie) Jack Morris, 109 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 51 yes, 54 no, 4 N/A), written by Alex Putterman, assistant sports editor for the Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University):

Much (muchmuch) has been written about Jack Morris’s statistical inadequacy as compared to Hall of Fame precedents. The debate about the former Tigers ace’s Hall qualifications has essentially overwhelmed all other conversation about his career.

Truth is, Morris compares unfavorably to most pitching inductees of the last 40 years and to numerous non-Hall of Fame pitchers as well — using both stats conceived a century ago and formulas created yesterday. By the numbers, Morris’s lack of worthiness should be near-unanimous.

And yet…

Last year more than two thirds of BBWAA voters granted the righthander a Hall vote.

Morris has finished in the top 40 of this project three of its four years.

Knowledgeable and reasonable baseball people insist he belongs in Cooperstown.

I’m too young to have experienced Morris’s career in real time. All I have to evaluate him are those underwhelming statistics. That and the opinions of my elders.

So, as I figure, the best argument for Morris’s inclusion on this list and in the Hall is that a lot of people think he should be on this list and in the Hall.

31. (Tie) Jeff Kent *New to ballot*, 109 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 74 yes, 31 no, 4 N/A), written by Kyla Wall-Polin:

Jeff Kent might be the textbook borderline Hall of Fame candidate. 60 WAR is a number that’s often thrown around as the dividing line between the great and the really really good, and no matter how you calculate it, Kent falls just a little short, with roughly 56 WAR. Kent was an adequate defensive second baseman at best, and he is – apparently this matters to the voters – kind of a jerk, as well as the world’s worst truck detailer.

Great, got that out of the way. Kent is also one of the best hitting second basemen in the history of the game. That slightly less than 60 WAR? Good for the 17th best among all 2Bs. His 351 career home runs stands as the record at his position, and with a career slash line of .290/.356/.500, a wOBA of .367 and a wRC+ of 123, he was no three true outcomes slugger. Kent received MVP votes in seven seasons, winning in 2000. Hitting cleanup after Barry Bonds during his peak years, Kent was half of one of the nastiest one-two punches in baseball’s recent history, and like his teammate, he deserves to be honored in the Hall of Fame.

33. Graig Nettles, 106 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 64 yes, 40 no, 2 N/A), written by Jason Lukehart of Let’s Go Tribe and Ground Ball With Eyes:

Graig Nettles was one of the greatest power-hitting third basemen in history (his 390 home runs rank 5th among players who spent most of their career at the position), but was overshadowed because he played in the same era as Mike Schmidt, the greatest power-hitting third baseman ever.

Nettles was also one of the greatest defensive third basemen in history (he’s among the top ten in fielding runs for third basemen at Baseball Reference and FanGraphs), but was overshadowed because he played in the same era as Brooks Robinson, the greatest defensive third baseman ever.

The hot corner is the most underrepresented position in Cooperstown, there are only 13 third basemen enshrined. Nettles’ 68 WAR beat the average of those 13 players’ totals, and are the most by any eligible third baseman not already inducted. Nettlesnever received more than 8.3% of the BBWAA Hall of Fame vote, and fell off the ballot after just four years. That’s a shame, because he’s now largely overlooked or unknown to modern fans, and he deserves much better.

34. Joe Torre, 104 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 79 yes, 20 no, 5 N/A), written by Stacey Gotsulias of It’s About The Money:

Joe Torre was elected into the Hall Of Fame last month and will be enshrined this summer primarily for his managerial accomplishments (2,236 wins and four World Series titles being among them.) Some baseball pundits would argue that Torre had a pretty strong case for going into the Hall of Fame merely for what he did as a player.

In 18 years of playing time in a strong pitcher’s era (1960-1977), Torre batted .297/.365/.452/.817, with a .364 wOBA, 129 wRC+ and he amassed a 57.4 WAR. Torre was also a nine-time All-Star and won the NL MVP award in 1971. That year, Torre led the National League with a .363 batting average, and he clubbed 230 hits while driving in 137 runs.

Torre’s WAR total places him 7th all-time for catchers on Baseball Reference’s list which puts him ahead of Hall of Famers Bill Dickey and Mickey Cochrane but the problem with Joe Torre according to the Hall of Stats is that even though he played the most behind the dish, that position only accounts for 41% of his playing time – he also played 36% of the time at first base and 26% of the time third base. And while it could be argued that Torre did a nice job at all three positions, players like that seem to be viewed differently than players who are known for one position for most of their career and it could be why Torre has been overlooked as a player.

35. Minnie Minoso, 100 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 76 yes, 20 no, 4 N/A):

Former Hall of Fame research librarian Gabriel Schechter wrote for this project last year:

A dynamic player who combined power and speed at a time when it was rare, Saturnino “Minnie” Minoso starred for the Chicago White Sox for the bulk of his lengthy career. The Cuban-born left fielder was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1951, batted .300 in eight All-Star Games, and won three Gold Glove awards. Consistent production was his hallmark. In the 11-year period from 1951-1961, he hit over .300 eight times, scored 90+ runs nine times, topped 100 RBI four times, and was always in double figures in home runs and stolen bases. He also led the AL in getting hit by pitches ten times and in stolen bases and triples three times each, a testament to the speed that electrified the league. The “Go! Go!” chant of White Sox fans early in his career became the mantra of the 1959 AL champs, and even though he had been traded to the Indians two seasons earlier, he remained so popular in Chicago that Chisox owner Bill Veeck gave him a World Series ring.

36. Kevin Brown, 99 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 54 yes, 40 no, 5 N/A), written by Geoff Young of Baseball Prospectus:

If he were friendlier and the winner of a memorable Game 7, Kevin Brown might have remained on the ballot long enough for voters to recognize his superiority to Jack Morris. Alas, Brown was neither and must settle for being one of the game’s dominant pitchers from 1992 to 2001, ranking fifth in ERA+ and bWAR among pitchers that decade (behind only Greg Maddux, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Roger Clemens). The rest of his career was spent being merely very good, like Morris.

Brown led his league in ERA twice and wins once, and consistently ranked among the top ten in multiple pitching categories. He probably should have won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996 and 1998.   Heck, he led MLB in bWAR and fWAR in ’98, and that includes position players.

Maybe if he had hugged babies instead of smashing toilets, things would be different. Even so, it’s hard to understand a process that elects Catfish Hunter in three tries and dismisses Brown without a thought. One ranks 109th in career bWAR and 46th in ERA+, the other ranks 460th and 535th. You can guess which is which and why Brown didn’t receive more serious consideration.

Hug babies. Don’t smash toilets. Don’t have a career that coincides with those of Maddux, Martinez, Johnson, and Clemens.

37. Jim Kaat, 97 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 58 yes, 35 no, 4 N/A), written by Brandon Warne of ESPN 1500:

Jim Kaat’s Hall of Fame credentials are a lot like a couple of other 200-plus game winners who also didn’t make Cooperstown in Luis Tiant and Tommy John. Tiant didn’t quite have the same number of innings or appearances as the other two did, but still hung around to win nearly 230 games in 1000-plus innings fewer than the other two.

Each had their phenomenal peaks. Four times Tiant won 20 games, and his 1.60 ERA in 258.1 innings paced the American League in 1968. John won 20 games three times, but won 10 or more games in 17 seasons as part of a testament to his longevity (26 years). It’s almost a shame John is likely known more for the surgery that bears his name than his on efforts on the field.

Kaat also won 20 games three times, and is one of just three Twins pitchers to throw 300 innings in a season (1966). Kaat had double-digit win totals in 15 seasons, and despite never leading the league in ERA, or really in anything other than hits allowed, hit by pitch, and wild pitches, he still has one of the best fWARs (69.8) of all non-Hall pitchers. That WAR actually ranks him 31st all-time.

38. Gil Hodges, 93 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 59 yes, 32 no, 2 N/A), written by Nick Diunte of Examiner.com:

Hodges is the leading vote-getter in BBWAA  elections for the Hall of Fame that has yet to be elected. He finished third in the Hall of Fame balloting of 1976. Ten of the next 11 players behind him in votes were eventually elected to the Hall of Fame. Why is he not there?

By the time he played his last game, his 370 home runs set the record for right-handed hitters in the National League. He played Gold Glove caliber defense at first base, long before the award was created, and as a manager, he guided the Miracle Mets to the 1969 World Series Championship.

Sadly, his promising managerial career was cut short after he suffered a fatal heart attack during spring training in 1972. With this year’s election of Joe Torre, who compares very favorably as a player and a manager, it is further evidence that it is time to put Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame.

39. Don Mattingly, 91 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 24 yes, 64 no, 3 N/A), written by William Juliano of The Captain’s Blog:

If nicknames were a voting criteria, Don Mattingly would be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Despite its simplicity, “Donnie Baseball” says more about Mattingly than any one statistic. A tireless worker, the Evansville native played the game the right way, and, as Captain of the Yankees, he imparted his baseball wisdom to countless others. In addition, the proliferation of #23 on the backs of the generation that followed was a testament to the admiration and respect he garnered from young fans around the country, not just in New York.

Mattingly’s greatness as a player isn’t simply defined by intangibles. With nine gold gloves, he is also one of the most decorated defensive first basemen in history. Oh yeah, he could also flat out hit. From 1984 to 1989, Mattingly’s 160 home runs, 684 RBIs, and .902 OPS all ranked at or near the top of the major league lead. In the midst of that run, he won an MVP and batting title, was named to six All Star teams, and, in a 1986 New York Times poll, was voted the best player in baseball by his peers.

Don Mattingly was never the same after the 1989 season. Hampered by a chronic back injury, his final six seasons were a relative struggle. Still, he was the Captain…a rare bright spot during one of the darkest periods in Yankees’ history. And, even though he’ll probably never make the Hall of Fame, Donnie Baseball will always be the epitome of a ballplayer, not to mention one the greatest to ever play the game.

40. (Tie) Ken Boyer, 90 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 54 yes, 34 no, 2 N/A), written by Christine Coleman of Aaron Miles’ Fastball:

The cover story in the March 1965 issue of Dell Sports magazine touted third basemen Ken Boyer and Brooks Robinson as “Hottest Ever at the Hot Corner” in a preview of the upcoming season. Boyer was the 1964 National League MVP and a key contributor to the St. Louis Cardinals World Series championship that year. The next spring, he and Robinson were described as “two of the best third basemen in baseball history. Possibly the best ever,” in the Dell Sports article by Dave Anderson. Robinson, of course, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983 and had a career line of .267/.322/.401 with 268 home runs, 1357 RBI and 80.2 WAR in a career that was eight years longer than Boyer’s 15 seasons. His big league debut was delayed two years due to service in the Army, and Boyer compiled a line of .287/.349/.462 with 282 home runs, 1141 RBI and 54.8 WAR while winning five Gold Gloves and being named an All-Star seven times. The Cardinals retired his number – a distinction typically bestowed by the team to Hall of Famers – in 1984, two years after his untimely death from cancer at age 51.

40. (Tie) David Cone, 90 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 41 yes, 42 no, 7 N/A), written by Dan McLaughlin of Baseball Crank:

The curveball was the first thing you noticed. In his second appearance with the Mets in 1987, David Cone entered a tense game with the bases loaded and froze Jack Clark with that jaw-dropping curve. Many more victims would follow in the years to come.

When Cone arrived in Queens from the Royals in 1987, he was a nervous, baby-faced 24-year-old, already in his seventh professional season; he had recovered slowly from a knee injury that cost him the 1983 season after a breakout 16-3, 2.08 ERA campaign in A ball and likely kept him from being a part of the young Royals staff that won the 1985 World Series.

Despite years of missed opportunities, bad timing, injuries and controversies, the career Cone actually had was pretty fantastic. His best year, a 16-5 Cy Young campaign with the Royals, was cut short by the 1994 strike. As a rookie, he had his pinky crushed by a pitch while bunting; the next year he went 20-3 with a 2.22 ERA, but shot his mouth off and got shelled in the NLCS. The Mets never recaptured 1986, but Cone got a ring after a midseason trade to Toronto in 1992 and three more with the Yankees, the first after missing two-thirds of the 1996 season with a shoulder aneurysm.

42. Bill Dahlen, 86 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 81 yes, 5 no), written by Adam Darowski, creator of The Hall of Stats:

In my role as chair of SABR’s Nineteenth Century Overlooked Legend Committee, my charge is to identify and campaign for candidates from over a century ago who have been denied entry to the Hall of Fame for a variety of reasons. In my other role as creator of the Hall of Stats, my obsession is identifying and campaigning for candidates who produced statistically at a Hall of Fame level but remain on the outside.

These two sets of candidates have very little overlap, but there are a pair of shortstops who played in the nineteenth century with overwhelming statistical cases—Jack Glasscock (who remains terribly underrated and didn’t make this list) and Bill Dahlen (who came two votes shy of the Hall of Fame in 2013 and has a strong chance of induction via the Pre-Integration ballot in 2016).

A century before there was Alan Trammell, there was Bill Dahlen. Both players are the most easily overlooked type of candidate—the one who was good at everything but didn’t dominate in one way. Like Trammell, Dahlen was a long-time shortstop who played the position so well that he was never removed from it. Dahlen’s 2,133 games at short rank 11th all time (Trammell had six more). The new-dangled defensive numbers (Total Zone runs, specifically) say Dahlen was an exceptional fielder. That’s backed up by Dahlen’s eight top three finishes in fielding percentage and ten top three finishes in range factor.

While Dahlen hit only .272, he paired his 2,461 hits with 1,064 walks, raising his OBP to .358. This leads to an OPS+ of 110, above average for all players but certainly for a shortstop.

Combining Dahlen’s longevity, well-above average offense, spectacular defense, and great baserunning (he stole 548 bases) makes him one of the very best eligible players outside of the Hall. And you’ll notice that the voters who know about him overwhelmingly support him.

43. Darrell Evans, 82 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 34 yes, 44 no, 4 N/A), written by Rob Neyer of SB Nation:

It’s one of baseball’s great historical coincidences: Two of the game’s all-time underrated players, both of them active in the 1970s and ’80s, shared the last name Evans and the same first initial. One almost wonders if Major League Baseball secretly decreed that Dwight and Darrell could never play on the same team. Because it just would have been too confusing for everyone involved.

A lot of smart people think that Dwight Evans, and not Jim Rice, was the 1980s Red Sox outfielder who belongs in the Hall of Fame. And you know what? Some of those same people think that Darrell Evans has been sadly neglected by Hall of Fame voters.

Neglected? “Ignored” is more like it. In Evans’ first and only appearance on the BBWAA’s ballot, he received EIGHT votes. He received eight votes despite finishing his career with approximately 60 Wins Above Replacement, which at the time (1995) placed Evans 12th all-time among major leaguers who spent at least half their career at third base.

Of course, the voters at the time didn’t have Wins Above Replacement. And even if they had, it wouldn’t have made much difference. Evans finished his career with a .248 batting average. That was more than balanced by his .361 on-base percentage, but voters at the time — and still today! — care very little about on-base percentage. Evans did hit 414 home runs when that meant something … but he drove in 100 runs just once in his whole career.

So it’s not surprising that DWIGHT Evans got only eight votes. It’s actually quite understandable. But that doesn’t make it right.

44. Dave Parker, 77 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 32 yes, 42 no, 3 N/A), written by Dan Epstein, Rolling Stone Magazine columnist and author of the upcoming Stars and Strikes:

During the spring training of 1979, Pirates right fielder Dave Parker announced that he had his sights set on his third straight batting title. “When the leaves turn brown,” The Cobra famously prophesied, “Dave Parker will have the batting crown.” It seemed a highly plausible prediction; likewise, one could have easily rhymed at the time that, when Parker’s career finally wound down, he would surely have his ticket punched to Cooperstown. But things didn’t quite play out like that…

If The Natural had been penned by George Clinton, Roy Hobbs would have turned out something like Dave Parker — a mountain of a man and true five-tool player with a lethal bat, a cannon arm and enough funky bravado and star quality to light up a Soul Train set all by his lonesome. One of the most thrilling players (and feared hitters) of the mid/late 70s, Parker had the goods to be one of the all-time greats, and he most likely would have been a shoo-in for the Hall if he hadn’t been derailed for a while in the early 80s by injuries, drugs and other distractions.

But if his star never again burned as brightly as it did circa ’75-‘79, The Cobra still managed to finish his 19-year career in 1991 with 2,712 career hits, a .290 batting average, a 1978 NL MVP trophy, two NL batting titles, one NL RBI title, three Gold Glove awards, three Silver Sluggers, two World Series rings, and a highlight reel to rival Shaft in both overall length and sheer badassery. (Editor’s note: On this website, badassery is and will always be a word.)

45. (Tie) Lee Smith, 76 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 45 yes, 28 no, 3 N/A), written by William Tasker of MLBDirt.com and It’s About the Money:

Lee Arthur Smith was born in Louisiana in 1957 and pitched eighteen years in the Major Leagues for eight different teams. Smith was drafted out of high school by the Cubs in the second round of the 1975 draft. After toiling in the minors for four seasons, the Cubs converted him to the bullpen and except for six Major League starts, he remained there for the rest of his career.

Smith led the league four times in Saves and Games Finished and retired as the all-time leader in both categories. Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera eclipsed those totals and Smith now stands third all time.

Perhaps Smith’s best season was 1991 with the Cardinals when he led the league with 47 Saves and finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting.

Smith’s career view suffers in hindsight from Hoffman and Rivera who followed him and from his two losses in four post season appearances. But he was a top closer in the game during his era.

45. (Tie) Willie Randolph, 76 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 35 yes, 38 no, 3 N/A), written by Eugene Freedman of Baseball Prospectus:

OPS+ is an odd stat.  It adds two things that aren’t based upon the same thing and then compares them to an average.  Everyone who understands the stat fully recognizes that it undervalues On-Base Percentage and over values slugging.  Guys like Willie Randolph take the biggest hit with OPS+.  OPS+ saysRandolph’s just 4% better than the average hitter who played during the course of his career.  That’s not a true picture.  He was 8 times in the top 10 in Walks, leading the league once, and six times in the top 10 in OBP.  Randolph’s .373 OBP came in an era with a league OBP of .325. Meanwhile he hit only 54 HR in over 8000 ABs, leading to a 41 point lower than league average SLG.  But, OBP is worth almost half as much more than SLG, so Randolph was likely 10% more valuable as a hitter than his league and that’s without factoring in his solid baserunning. Randolph was also an outstanding defender.  His 19.4 dWAR ranks him sixth all-time at 2B.  Meanwhile his WAR is 11th among 2B nestled nicely between HOFers Ryne Sandberg, Roberto Alomar, Craig Biggio,* and Jackie Robinson.

47. Bobby Bonds, 74 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 23 yes, 48 no, 3 N/A), written by Peter Nash of Hauls of Shame:

Bobby Bonds never had the numbers to warrant his waltzing into Cooperstown and his claim to fame today is more for his ties to the ballplayer who did put up the best numbers in baseball history and likely won’t waltz into the Hall either.  The father of Barry Bonds, however, was more than a sperm donor who created the game’s most controversial PED-fueled slugger, he was a notable ballplayer in his own right and number 47 on BBP&P’s 50 Greatest Players Not in the Hall of Fame.

Bonds was a gifted athlete who became one of the game’s great lead-off hitters and capitalized on his power and speed to become baseball’s first 30/30 player, hitting that mark five times.  But Bonds’ lifetime batting average of .268 was far from Hall-worthy and aside from an All-Star Game MVP in 1973 his trophy case was devoid of all the major awards and milestones that his son compiled.

Still, Bonds was the San Francisco Giants star player at the peak of his career and he hit 332 home runs, stole 461 bases and once hit 35 homers batting leadoff setting a MLB record at the time.  But Bonds was always unfairly compared to Willie Mays and was dogged by talk that he’d never quite reached his full potential.  He once told the LA Times, “They said I was supposed to be the next Willie Mays.”  He wasn’t.  Bonds could never fill those shoes and thus remains on the outskirts of Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

48. (Tie) Dave Stieb, 71 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 32 yes, 35 no, 4 N/A), written by Dave England, who wrote a fine piece for this site on an endangered ballpark:

Whenever I got double baseball cards of my favorite and best players, they would go into the spokes of my bicycle tires. Dave Stieb was one of those.

In the 1980’s, the bulk of his career, he was the best starting pitcher. From 1980-1990 Stieb lead all pitchers with 50.8 WAR and was a balance of durability and quality. He was also third in wins (158), tied for first with 29 shutouts in an high offensive era and led all starting pitchers with an ERA + of 128 during that time. After a decade of excellence the cherry on top was a 1990 no-hitter after coming close twice in consecutive starts in 1988 and a near perfect game in 1989.

Stieb amassed 57 WAR for his career, ranking him 67th all-time among pitchers. If he had started his pitching a decade later with this day and age of sabermetrics being viewed and accepted by a wider audience you have to think he’d get a better and longer look then falling off the ballot after one year.

But there’s also nothing wrong with being a very good pitcher at the highest level for a very long time. And Dave Stieb was clearly that.

48. (Tie) Thurman Munson, 71 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 40 yes, 29 no, 2 N/A), written by Aaron Somers of Call to the Pen:

Depth at the catching position was quite strong across the game in the 1970s – led most prominently be a trio of Hall of Fame catchers in Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter. Work Ted Simmons and Gene Tenance into the mix and we’re now looking at five of the Top 15 leaders in career bWAR at the position, all playing in the same decade.

Not to be forgotten, the New York Yankees were also the benefactors of yet another star-caliber backstop who remains unique in his own right beyond his contributions on the field. Munson spent 11 years in New York, playing nine full seasons. Across 5,905 career plate appearances the right-hander batted .292/.346/.410 with 229 doubles, 113 HR, and a 116 OPS+. Munson played in seven All Star Games, won three Gold Gloves, was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1970, and three times finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting (including winning the award in 1976).

Munson was beloved in New York just as much for his trademark facial hair – worn despite the personal preference of George Steinbrenner and the Yankees organization – as he was for his on field production. Yet his candidacy for the Hall of Fame is best known due to the tragic accident that cut his career and life short during the 1979 season. Munson’s a prime candidate for special exemption to the Hall, due to his shortened career, but to date that pursuit has resulted in little support beyond a rabid segment of Munson fans and supporters that don’t plan on giving up their cause.

50. Bret Saberhagen, 69 votes out of 208 (Does he belong in the Hall of Fame? 28 yes, 36 no, 5 N/A), written by Bobby Aguilera of Baseball Reality Tour:

Voting resulted in a three-way tie for this 50th spot between three players of baseball’s recent past: Bret Saberhagen, Steve Garvey, and Orel Hershiser.

As for head-to-head anecdotal evidence, Steve Garvey never faced Bret Saberhagen. Orel Hershiser limited Garvey to one walk, a single, and a double in twenty-four plate appearances, striking him out seven times.

Garvey’s best story comes from Win Expectancy metrics:

WPA/LI

  • Saberhagen 27.0
  • Garvey 24.8
  • Hershiser 14.8

REW

  • Garvey 33.93
  • Saberhagen 25.50
  • Hershiser 11.54

Does it mean anything if WAR does not align with Win Shares?

avWAR

  • Bret Saberhagen 59 (4.6 per 200 IP)
  • Orel Hershiser 49 (3.1 per 200 IP)
  • Steve Garvey 38 (2.6 per 650 PA)

Career Win Shares

  • Garvey 279 (19.2 per 650 PA)
  • Hershiser 210 (13.4 per 200 IP)
  • Saberhagen 193 (15.1 per 200 IP)

Notice that Saberhagen outperformed Hershiser in Win Shares as a rate state. His 3.64 K/BB dwarfed Hershiser’s 2.00. Saberhagen also had a better ERA- (80) to Hershiser (89). In fact, Saberhagen’s 80 ERA- is tied with Curt Schilling and better than many Hall of Famers including Juan Marichal, Bob Feller, and Steve Carlton.

Either way, Saberhagen > Hershiser > Garvey or Saberhagen > Garvey > Hershiser

__________________________

Vote totals for every player outside the Top 50

[A] Jim Abbott *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Ted Abernathy 1 (DHB: 1N), Babe Adams 10 (DHB: 7Y, 2N, 1NA), Doc Adams *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2Y), Joe Adcock 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Dale Alexander 1 (DHB: 1Y), Newt Allen 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bob Allison *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Sandy Alomar 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Felipe Alou 5 (DHB: 1Y, 3N, 1NA), Matty Alou 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Moises Alou 20 (DHB: 1Y, 19N), Dr. James Andrews *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1NA), Kevin Appier 23 (DHB: 11Y, 10N, 2NA), Buzz Arlett 2 (DHB: 1Y, 0N, 1NA)

[B] Harold Baines 47 (DHB: 19Y, 26N, 2NA), Dusty Baker 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Sal Bando 51 (DHB: 25Y, 23N, 3NA), Ross Barnes 20 (DHB: 19Y, 1N), Johnny Bassler *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Hank Bauer 3 (DHB: 3Y), Don Baylor 13 (DHB: 3Y, 10N), John Beckwith 6 (DHB: 4Y, 2N), Mark Belanger 6 (DHB: 3Y, 3N), Buddy Bell 67 (DHB: 33Y, 29N, 5NA), George Bell 1 (DHB: 1N), Albert Belle 55 (DHB: 20Y, 34N, 1NA), Carlos Beltran *Not yet eligible* 3 (DHB: 2N, 1NA), Adrian Beltre *Not yet eligible* 3 (DHB: 2Y, 0N, 1NA), Armando Benitez 1 (DHB: 1N), Charlie Bennett 9 (DHB: 9Y), Wally Berger 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Lance Berkman *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Akira Bessho *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Joe Black 1 (DHB: 1Y), Vida Blue 26 (DHB: 12Y, 12N, 2NA), Bert Blyleven *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Tommy Bond 13 (DHB: 11Y, 2N), Bobby Bonilla 1 (DHB: 1N), Bob Boone 13 (DHB: 5Y, 8N), Lyman Bostock 1 (DHB: 1N), Larry Bowa 6 (DHB: 2Y, 4N), Harry Brecheen *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Tommy Bridges 8 (DHB: 4Y, 3N, 1NA), Pete Browning 24 (DHB: 23Y, 1NA), Bill Buckner 18 (DHB: 7Y, 10 N, 1NA), Charlie Buffington 7 (DHB: 5Y, 2N), Lew Burdette 11 (DHB: 5Y, 6N), Smokey Burgess *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Ellis Burks 2 (DHB: 2N), George H Burns 1 (DHB: 1Y), George J. Burns 1 (DHB: 1Y), Brett Butler 7 (DHB: 3Y, 4N)

[C] Al Cabrera 1 (DHB: 1Y), Miguel Cabrera *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Johnny Callison *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Dolph Camilli 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bert Campaneris 14 (DHB: 4Y, 9N, 1NA), Robinson Cano *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Jose Canseco 23 (DHB: 4Y, 16N, 3NA), Ollie Carnegie 1 (DHB: 1Y), Cris Carpenter *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Joe Carter 22 (DHB: 7Y, 14N, 1NA), Bob Caruthers 28 (DHB: 24Y, 3N, 1NA), Sean Casey 2 (DHB: 2N), Norm Cash 15 (DHB: 5Y, 10N), Vinny Castilla 1 (DHB: 1NA), Phil Cavarretta 1 (DHB: 1N), Cesar Cedeno 14 (DHB: 1Y, 13N), Orlando Cepeda *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Ron Cey 16 (DHB: 6Y, 9N, 1NA), Ben Chapman 1 (DHB: 1N), Hal Chase 7 (DHB: 4Y, 3N), Cupid Childs 9 (DHB: 7Y, 2N), Eddie Cicotte 51 (DHB: 29Y, 21N, 1NA), Jack Clark 11 (DHB: 3Y, 8N), Will Clark 60 (DHB: 14Y, 44N, 2NA), Royce Clayton 1 (DHB: 1N), Harlond Clift 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Rocky Colavito 22 (DHB: 9Y, 13N), Vince Coleman 7 (DHB: 1Y, 5N, 1NA), Dave Concepcion 46 (DHB: 10Y, 32N, 4NA), Tony Conigliaro 3 (DHB: 3N), Jeff Conine 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Jack Coombs 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Cecil Cooper 11 (DHB: 9N, 2NA), Mort Cooper *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), W Cooper 1 (DHB: 1N), Walker Cooper 1 (DHB: 1N), Wilbur Cooper 4 (DHB: 2Y, 1N, 1NA), Gavy Cravath 12 (DHB: 7Y, 5N), Jim Creighton 9 (DHB: 8Y, 1N), Lave Cross 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Jose Cruz 3 (DHB: 2N, 1NA), Jose Cruz Sr 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Mike Cuellar 7 (DHB: 4Y, 3N)

[D] Al Dark 4 (DHB: 3Y, 0N, 1NA), Ron Darling *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Jake Daubert 2 (DHB: 2N), Chili Davis 2 (DHB: 2N), Eric Davis 13 (DHB: 2Y, 10N, 1NA), Tommy Davis 1 (DHB: 1N), Willie Davis 22 (DHB: 9Y, 12N, 1NA), Carlos Delgado *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bingo DeMoss 1 (DHB: 1Y), Paul Derringer 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2N), Jim Devlin 1 (DHB: 1N), Rob Dibble 1 (DHB: 1N), Dom DiMaggio 23 (DHB: 9Y, 12N, 2NA), Larry Doby *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bobby Doerr *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1N), John Donaldson 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1N), Mike Donlin 1 (DHB: 1N), Patsy Donovan 1 (DHB: 1Y), Brian Downing 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Larry Doyle 5 (DHB: 4Y, 1NA), Hugh Duffy *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Fred Dunlap 2 (DHB: 2Y), Ray Durham 3 (DHB: 3N)

[E] Luke Easter 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA), Ox Eckhardt *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jim Edmonds *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Mark Eichhorn 2 (DHB: 2N), Bob Elliott 5 (DHB: 3Y, 2N), Woody English *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Del Ennis 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Carl Erskine 4 (DHB: 1Y, 3N)

[F] Roy Face 9 (DHB: 6Y, 3N), Donald Fehr *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1NA), Tony Fernandez 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Wes Ferrell 61 (DHB: 40Y, 17N, 4NA), Cecil Fielder 8 (DHB: 7N, 1NA), Charlie Finley *I mistakenly left Finley on the ballot from a previous year– only players should be eligible* 9 (DHB: 7Y, 2N), Chuck Finley 17 (DHB: 5Y, 10N, 2NA), Steve Finley 5 (DHB: 5N), Freddie Fitzsimmons 1 (DHB: 1Y), Curt Flood 37 (DHB: 26Y, 9N, 2NA), Chuck Foster 1 (DHB: 1Y), George Foster 15 (DHB: 3Y, 9N, 3NA), Jack Fournier 2 (DHB: 2Y), Bud Fowler 4 (DHB: 4Y), John Franco 12 (DHB: 7Y, 5N), Julio Franco 13 (DHB: 4Y, 9N), Bill Freehan 39 (DHB: 20Y, 17N, 2NA), Jim Fregosi 2 (DHB: 2N), Carl Furillo 8 (DHB: 2Y, 5N, 1NA)

[G] Gary Gaetti *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2N), Eric Gagne 7 (DHB: 2Y, 5N), Andres Galarraga 21 (DHB: 4Y, 14N, 3NA), Antonio Maria Garcia *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Nomar Garciaparra *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Ned Garver 1 (DHB: 1N), Steve Garvey 69 (DHB: 31Y, 34N, 4NA), Kirk Gibson 27 (DHB: 6Y, 18N, 3NA), Jack Glasscock 50 (DHB: 43Y, 5N, 2NA), Kid Gleason 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Gervasio Gonzalez *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Juan Gonzalez 31 (DHB: 4Y, 25N, 2NA), Luis Gonzalez 15 (DHB: 2Y, 11N, 2NA), Dwight Gooden 62 (DHB: 23Y, 37N, 2NA), George Gore 2 (DHB: 2Y), Curt Gowdy *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Mark Grace 15 (DHB: 1Y, 13N, 1NA), Shawn Green 2 (DHB: 2N), Mike Greenwell 2 (DHB: 2N), Ken Griffey (Not sure Jr or Sr) 1 (DHB: 1Y), Ken Griffey Jr *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA), Ken Griffey Sr 8 (DHB: 1Y, 6N, 1NA), Mike Griffin 1 (DHB: 1N), Clark Griffith *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Ray Grimes *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Charlie Grimm 1 (DHB: 1N), Marquis Grissom 1 (DHB: 1N), Dick Groat 7 (DHB: 2Y, 5N), Heinie Groh 8 (DHB: 4Y, 4N), Jerry Grote 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Pedro Guerrero 5 (DHB: 3Y, 1N, 1NA), Vlad Guerrero *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Ron Guidry 62 (DHB: 27Y, 33N, 2NA), Ozzie Guillen 5 (DHB: 2Y, 2N, 1NA)

[H] Stan Hack 24 (DHB: 17Y, 7N), Roy Halladay *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 2Y, 1N, 1NA), Mel Harder 10 (DHB: 6Y, 4N), Bubbles Hargrave *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Isao Harimoto 4 (DHB: 4Y), Toby Harrah 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Joe Harris *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Topsy Hartsel *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Shigetoshi Hasegawa *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Jeff Heath *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Guy Hecker 1 (DHB: 1N), Tom Henke 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Tommy Henrich 6 (DHB: 3Y, 3N), Babe Herman 9 (DHB: 3Y, 6N), Orel Hershiser 69 (DHB: 24Y, 44N, 1NA), Teddy Higuera *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), John Hiller 3 (DHB: 3Y), Paul Hines 13 (DHB: 12Y, 1N), Larry Hisle 1 (DHB: 1Y), Johnny Hodapp *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Trevor Hoffman *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1NA), Willie Horton 1 (DHB: 1N), Elston Howard 9 (DHB: 3Y, 5N, 1NA), Frank Howard 21 (DHB: 8Y, 12N, 1NA), Dummy Hoy 8 (DHB: 7Y, 1N)

[J] Bo Jackson 16 (DHB: 4Y, 11N, 1NA), Jackie Jensen *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2N), Derek Jeter *Not yet eligible* 5 (DHB: 4Y, 1NA), Sam Jethroe 1 (DHB: 1N), Dr Frank Jobe *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Home Run Johnson 8 (DHB: 6Y, 2N), Howard Johnson *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Indian Bob Johnson 19 (DHB: 8Y, 9N, 2NA), Randy Johnson *Not yet eligible* 6 (DHB: 5Y, 1NA), Smead Jolley 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Andruw Jones *Not yet eligible* 3 (DHB: 1N, 2NA), Charley Jones 2 (DHB: 2Y), Chipper Jones *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA), Doug Jones 1 (DHB: 1N), Fielder Jones 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jacque Jones 1 (DHB: 1N), Sad Sam Jones 1 (DHB: 1NA), Todd Jones 1 (DHB: 1N), Wally Joyner 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Joe Judge 1 (DHB: 1N), David Justice 12 (DHB: 4Y, 8N)

[K] Masaichi Kaneda 5 (DHB: 4Y, 1NA), Tomoaki Kanemoto *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Benny Kauff 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Tetsuharu Kawakami 1 (DHB: 1Y), Charlie Keller 10 (DHB: 5Y, 5N), Ken Keltner 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Jason Kendall *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Terry Kennedy 1 (DHB: 1N), Jimmy Key 5 (DHB: 5N), Silver King 5 (DHB: 3Y, 2N), Dave Kingman 3 (DHB: 2N, 1NA), Ted Kluszewski 12 (DHB: 5Y, 6N, 1NA), Ray Knight 1 (DHB: 1Y), Chuck Knoblauch 3 (DHB: 2N, 1NA), Ed Konetchy 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jerry Koosman 14 (DHB: 4Y, 9N, 1NA), Harvey Kuenn 6 (DHB: 4Y, 1N, 1NA)

[L] Bill Lange *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Mark Langston 4 (DHB: 1Y, 3N), Don Larsen 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Law 1 (DHB: 1NA), Vern Law 1 (DHB: 1N), Tommy Leach 7 (DHB: 5Y, 2N), Bill Lee 3 (DHB: 3N), Sam Leever 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Al Leiter 5 (DHB: 2Y, 2N, 1NA), Chet Lemon 8 (DHB: 3Y, 5N), Duffy Lewis 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jose Lima 2 (DHB: 2N), Tim Lincecum *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Paul Lo Duca 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Mickey Lolich 25 (DHB: 9Y, 14N, 2NA), Herman Long 1 (DHB: 1N), Eddie Lopat *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Davey Lopes 9 (DHB: 1Y, 8N), Javy Lopez 1 (DHB: 1NA), Dick Lundy 7 (DHB: 7Y), Dolf Luque 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Greg Luzinski 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Sparky Lyle 8 (DHB: 2Y, 4N, 2NA), Fred Lynn 38 (DHB: 9Y, 26N, 3NA)

[M] Garry Maddox 5 (DHB: 3Y, 2N), Bill Madlock 13 (DHB: 4Y, 8N, 1NA), Sherry Magee 54 (DHB: 33Y, 14N, 4NA), Sal Maglie 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Firpo Marberry 2 (DHB: 2Y), Oliver Marcelle 2 (DHB: 2Y), Marty Marion 8 (DHB: 6Y, 2N), Roger Maris 54 (DHB: 24Y, 28N, 2NA), Mike Marshall 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Mike G Marshall 2 (DHB: 2Y), Billy Martin *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Pepper Martin 5 (DHB: 3Y, 1N, 1NA), Dennis Martinez 21 (DHB: 4Y, 15N, 2NA), Pedro Martinez *Not yet eligible* 6 (DHB: 5Y, 1NA), Tino Martinez 2 (DHB: 2N), Bobby Mathews 9 (DHB: 7Y, 2N), Jon Matlack *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Carl Mays 14 (DHB: 13Y, 1N), Dick McBride 1 (DHB: 1Y), Frank McCormick 1 (DHB: 1N), Jim McCormick 22 (DHB: 18Y, 3N, 1NA), Lindy McDaniel 1 (DHB: 1Y), Gil McDougald 3 (DHB: 3N), Sam McDowell 6 (DHB: 1Y, 5N), Willie McGee 5 (DHB: 2Y, 2N, 1NA), Tug McGraw 6 (DHB: 3Y, 3N), Stuffy McInnis 1 (DHB: 1Y), Ed McKean 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Denny McLain 10 (DHB: 3Y, 7N), Dave McNally 5 (DHB: 1Y, 3N, 1NA), Bid McPhee *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1NA), Hal McRae 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1N), Cal McVey 5 (DHB: 5Y), Bob Meusel 6 (DHB: 4Y, 2N), Levi Meyerle 2 (DHB: 2Y), Clyde Milan 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Hack Miller *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Marvin Miller *Write In* 2 (DHB: 2Y), Kevin Mitchell 4 (DHB: 1Y, 3N), Jeff Montgomery 1 (DHB: 1N), Yadier Molina *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1NA), Dobie Moore 2 (DHB: 2Y), Carlos Moran 1 (DHB: 1Y), Eddie Morgan 1 (DHB: 1N), Manny Mota 2 (DHB: 2Y), Jamie Moyer *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Tony Mullane 25 (DHB: 20Y, 4N, 1NA), George Mullin 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bobby Murcer 4 (DHB: 1Y, 3N), Jim Mutrie 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Buddy Myer 2 (DHB: 2Y)

[N] Shigeo Nagashima *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2Y), Robb Nen 1 (DHB: 1N), Phil Nevin 1 (DHB: 1Y), Don Newcombe 24 (DHB: 14Y, 8N, 2NA), Bill Nicholson 2 (DHB: 2N), Joe Niekro 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Hideo Nomo 5 (DHB: 1Y, 3N, 1NA), Katsuya Nomura *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y)

[O] Lefty O’Doul 14 (DHB: 9Y, 5N), Buck O’Neil 57 (DHB: 49Y, 6N, 2NA), Paul O’Neill 11 (DHB: 2Y, 8N, 1NA), Tip O’Neill 6 (DHB: 5Y, 1N), Hiromitsu Ochiai *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Sadaharu Oh 56 (DHB: 49Y, 4N, 3NA), John Olerud 37 (DHB: 6Y, 30N, 1NA), Tony Oliva 68 (DHB: 34Y, 32N, 2NA), Al Oliver 33 (DHB: 15Y, 16N, 2NA), Alejandro Oms 7 (DHB: 6Y, 1NA), Jesse Orosco 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1N), Dave Orr 1 (DHB: 1Y), Amos Otis 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2N)

[P] Joe Page 1 (DHB: 1N), Mitchell Page *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Milt Pappas 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Wes Parker *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Mel Parnell 1 (DHB: 1N), Lance Parrish 7 (DHB: 3Y, 4N), Camilo Pascual 4 (DHB: 1Y, 2N, 1NA), Dickey Pearce 8 (DHB: 8Y), Jim Perry 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Johnny Pesky *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2Y), Rico Petrocelli 2 (DHB: 2N), Andy Pettitte *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 2N), Deacon Phillippe 6 (DHB: 3Y, 2N, 1NA), Tony Phillips 2 (DHB: 2N), Billy Pierce 29 (DHB: 19Y, 9N, 1NA), Lip Pike 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2N), Lou Piniella 1 (DHB: 1Y), Vada Pinson 38 (DHB: 15Y, 21N, 2NA), Spottswood Poles 8 (DHB: 7Y, 1N), Darrell Porter 2 (DHB: 2N), Boog Powell 7 (DHB: 2Y, 5N), Vic Power 1 (DHB: 1Y), Del Pratt 1 (DHB: 1Y), Albert Pujols *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA)

[Q] Jack Quinn 9 (DHB: 3Y, 5N, 1NA), Dan Quisenberry 48 (DHB: 28Y, 18N, 2NA)

[R] Ted Radcliffe 6 (DHB: 2Y, 2N, 2NA), Brad Radke 2 (DHB: 2N), Manny Ramirez *Not yet eligible* 6 (DHB: 2Y, 2N, 2NA), Joe Randa 1 (DHB: 1N), Vic Raschi *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Al Reach 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jeff Reardon 1 (DHB: 1Y), Dick Redding 5 (DHB: 4Y, 1NA), Mike Remlinger 1 (DHB: 1N), Ed Reulbach 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2NA), Rick Reuschel 65 (DHB: 39Y, 21N, 5NA), Allie Reynolds 15 (DHB: 12Y, 3N), J.R. Richard 8 (DHB: 4Y, 4N), Hardy Richardson 2 (DHB: 2Y), Dave Righetti 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Mariano Rivera *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA), Don Robinson 1 (DHB: 1N), Alex Rodriguez *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 2Y, 1N, 1NA), Ivan Rodriguez *Not yet eligible* 6 (DHB: 5Y, 1NA), Kenny Rogers 8 (DHB: 7N, 1NA), Scott Rolen** 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1NA), Red Rolfe 1 (DHB: 1Y), Charlie Root 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Al Rosen 11 (DHB: 5Y, 6N), Schoolboy Rowe 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Nap Rucker 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Pete Runnels 3 (DHB: 2Y, 1N), Bill Russell *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Jimmy Ryan 6 (DHB: 6Y)

[S] Johnny Sain 12 (DHB: 8Y, 3N, 1NA), Tim Salmon 1 (DHB: 1N), Manny Sanguillen 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Ron Santo *In HOF* 2 (DHB: 2Y), George Scales 1 (DHB: 1N), Wally Schang 9 (DHB: 8Y, 1N), Herb Score 4 (DHB: 4N), George Scott 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Mike Scott 1 (DHB: 1N), Aaron Sele 2 (DHB: 0Y, 2N), Richie Sexson 3 (DHB: 2N, 1NA), Cy Seymour 1 (DHB: 1N), Bobby Shantz 1 (DHB: 1Y), Bob Shawkey 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jimmy Sheckard 5 (DHB: 4Y, 1N), Gary Sheffield *Not yet eligible* 3 (DHB: 1Y, 1N, 1NA), Urban Shocker 24 (DHB: 15Y, 9N), Ruben Sierra 1 (DHB: 1N), Roy Sievers 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Ken Singleton 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2N), Roy Smalley 1 (DHB: 1NA), Charlie Smith 1 (DHB: 1Y), Chino Smith 1 (DHB: 1N), Germany Smith 1 (DHB: 1N), Hilton Smith *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Reggie Smith 66 (DHB: 30Y, 31N, 5NA), John Smoltz *Not yet eligible* 7 (DHB: 5Y, 1N, 1NA), J.T. Snow 3 (DHB: 3N), Victor Starffin 3 (DHB: 3Y), Joe Start 8 (DHB: 8Y), Jigger Statz *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Rusty Staub 27 (DHB: 12Y, 14N, 1NA), George Steinbrenner 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1NA), Vern Stephens 18 (DHB: 10Y, 8N), Riggs Stephenson 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Dave Stewart *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Shannon Stewart 1 (DHB: 1N), Jack Stivetts 1 (DHB: 1Y), Don Stokes *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), George Stone 1 (DHB: 1N), Steve Stone 1 (DHB: 1N), Mel Stottlemyre *Write-In*2 (DHB: 1N, 1NA), Harry Stovey 20 (DHB: 18Y, 1N, 1NA), Darryl Strawberry 28 (DHB: 7Y, 19N, 2NA), Ezra Sutton 2 (DHB: 2Y), Ichiro Suzuki *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 2Y)

[T] Frank Tanana 14 (DHB: 2Y, 12N), Jesse Tannehill 2 (DHB: 2Y), Candy Jim Taylor *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Kent Tekulve 4 (DHB: 1Y, 3N), Gene Tenace 17 (DHB: 11Y, 6N), Frank Thomas (62 Mets) 1 (DHB: 1N), Roy Thomas 1 (DHB: 1Y), Jim Thome *Not yet eligible* 4 (DHB: 3Y, 1NA), Robby Thompson 1 (DHB: 1N), Bobby Thomson 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Andre Thornton 1 (DHB: 1N), Luis Tiant Sr. 1 (DHB: 1Y), Mike Timlin 1 (DHB: 1N), Cecil Travis 5 (DHB: 2Y, 3N), Hal Trosky 3 (DHB: 3N), Quincy Trouppe 2 (DHB: 2Y), Dizzy Trout 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Virgil Trucks *Write-In*1 (DHB: 1N), John Tudor *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N)

[U] George Uhle 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1NA), Jose Uribe 1 (DHB: 1N), Chase Utley *Not yet eligible* 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N)

[V] Ellis Valentine *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Fernando Valenzuela 18 (DHB: 6Y, 11N, 1NA), George Van Haltren 13 (DHB: 10Y, 3N), Johnny Vander Meer 2 (DHB: 2Y), Hippo Vaughn 5 (DHB: 5Y), Mo Vaughn 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Bobby Veach 7 (DHB: 4Y, 3N), Bob Veale *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1N), Robin Ventura 20 (DHB: 5Y, 15N), Justin Verlander *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Mickey Vernon 12 (DHB: 7Y, 5N), Frank Viola 4 (DHB: 4N)

[W] Billy Wagner *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Tim Wakefield *Not yet eligible* 1 (DHB: 1N), Fleet Walker 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Todd Walker 1 (DHB: 1N), Bobby Wallace *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1NA), Bucky Walters 13 (DHB: 6Y, 6N, 1NA), Daryle Ward 1 (DHB: 1N), Lon Warneke 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Buck Weaver 5 (DHB: 5Y), Bob Welch *Write-In* 2 (DHB: 2N), David Wells 10 (DHB: 2Y, 8N), Vic Wertz 1 (DHB: 1N), John Wetteland 1 (DHB: 1Y), Gus Weyhing 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Bill White 5 (DHB: 1Y, 4N), Deacon White *In HOF* 7 (DHB: 7Y (Note: I accidentally left White on the ballot this year. He was enshrined last summer.)), Frank White 7 (DHB: 2Y, 5N), Roy White 5 (DHB: 3Y, 2N), Will White 2 (DHB: 2Y), Bernie Williams 42 (DHB: 14Y, 26N, 2NA), Cy Williams 2 (DHB: 1Y, 1N), Ken Williams 4 (DHB: 2Y, 2N), Matt Williams 5 (DHB: 1Y, 4N), Woody Williams 1 (DHB: 1N), Ned Williamson 2 (DHB: 2Y), Vic Willis *In HOF* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Maury Wills 28 (DHB: 8Y, 18N, 2NA), Willie Wilson 6 (DHB: 2Y, 3N, 1NA), Nip Winters 1 (DHB: 1N), Tony Womack 1 (DHB: 1N), Smoky Joe Wood 26 (DHB: 16Y, 10N), Wilbur Wood 7 (DHB: 4Y, 3N), Tim Worrell 1 (DHB: 1N), Jim Wynn 42 (DHB: 22Y, 17N, 3NA)

[Y] Koji Yamamoto *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Kazuhiro Yamauchi *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Rudy York 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Tom York *Write-In* 1 (DHB: 1Y), Eddie Yost 3 (DHB: 1Y, 2N), Dmitri Young 1 (DHB: 1N), Eric Young 1 (DHB: 1N)

Appeared on the ballot, received no votes: Edgardo Alfonzo, Bobby Avila, Dick Bartell, William Bell Sr., Bret Boone, Ken Boswell, Jeromy Burnitz, Jeff Burroughs, Jeff Cirillo, Roy Cullenbine, Jim Davenport, Kelly Downs, Damion Easley, Morgan Ensberg, Scott Erickson, Shawn Estes, Carl Everett, Ferris Fain, Jeff Fassero, Art Fletcher, Keith Foulke, Dave Foutz, Bob Friend, Scott Garrelts, Jim Gentile, Hank Gowdy, Danny Graves, Don Gullett, Rick Helling, Roberto Hernandez, Tommy Holmes, Ken Holtzman, Bob Horner, Pete Hughes, Kei Igawa, Larry Jackson, Sam Jackson, Geoff Jenkins, Charley Jones, Davy Jones, Eddie Joost, Brian Jordan, Bill Joyce, Darryl Kile, Ellis Kinder, Ryan Klesko, Johnny Kling, Mike LaCoss, Carney Lansford, Arlie Latham, Matt Lawton, Jon Lieber, Bob Locker, Elliot Maddox, Candy Maldonado, Mike Matheny, Sadie McMahon, Kent Mercker, Jose Mesa, Irish Meusel, Bill Monroe, Wally Moon, Matt Morris, Wally Moses, Bill Mueller, Mark Mulder, Terry Mulholland, Randy Myers, Jeff Nelson, Trot Nixon, Larry Parrish, William Perry, Bruce Petway, Johnny Podres, Jack Powell, Ernest Riles, Felix Rodriguez, Joe Rudi, Reggie Sanders, Elmer E. Smith, Mike Stanton, Dixie Walker, Rondell White, Todd Worrell

Every player who has finished in the Top 50 at least one year of this project
First Last Year 4 finish Year 3 finish Year 2 finish Year 1 finish
Dick Allen 18th 12th 4th 11th
Roberto Alomar In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame 2nd (Tie)
Jeff Bagwell 2nd (Tie) 3rd 3rd 5th (Tie)
Harold Baines Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 45th (Tie) Not in Top 50
Albert Belle Not in Top 50 49th (Tie) 31st 31st (Tie)
Craig Biggio 2nd (Tie) 2nd Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Bert Blyleven In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame 1st
Barry Bonds 5th 8th (Tie) Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Bobby Bonds 47th 41st (Tie) 22nd (Tie) Not in Top 50
Ken Boyer 40th (Tie) 37th 27th (Tie) 35th
Kevin Brown 36th 35th (Tie) 35th 38th (Tie)
Bob Caruthers Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 45th (Tie) Not in Top 50
Will Clark Not in Top 50 34th 14th (Tie) 17th (Tie)
Roger Clemens 6th (Tie) 6th (Tie) Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Dave Concepcion Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 45th (Tie) 49th (Tie)
David Cone 40th (Tie) 28th (Tie) 32nd (Tie) 49th (Tie)
Bill Dahlen 42nd 26th (Tie) 32nd (Tie) 40th (Tie)
Darrell Evans 43rd 28th (Tie) 32nd (Tie) 40th (Tie)
Dwight Evans 17th 13th (Tie) 10th 12th
Wes Ferrell Not in Top 50 39th 45th Not in Top 50
Bill Freehan Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 48th
Steve Garvey Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 41st (Tie) 34th
Tom Glavine 9th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Bobby Grich 24th (Tie) 19th (Tie) 18th 22nd (Tie)
Ron Guidry Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 41st (Tie) 31st (Tie)
Keith Hernandez 27th (Tie) 23rd 16th 22nd (Tie)
Orel Hershiser Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 41st (Tie) 43rd
Gil Hodges 38th 41st (Tie) 25th 24th
Shoeless Joe Jackson 10th 4th 1st 5th (Tie)
Tommy John 27th (Tie) 25th 26th 25th (Tie)
Jim Kaat 37th 32nd 27th (Tie) 28th (Tie)
Jeff Kent 31st (Tie) Not yet eligible Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Barry Larkin In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame 2nd 8th
Kenny Lofton 24th (Tie) 24th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Greg Maddux 4th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Roger Maris Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 45th (Tie) 40th (Tie)
Edgar Martinez 11th 8th (Tie) 9th 9th
Don Mattingly 39th 29th 22nd (Tie) 27th
Fred McGriff 30th 26th (Tie) 22nd (Tie) 16th
Mark McGwire 15th 16th 14th (Tie) 20th (Tie)
Minnie Minoso 35th 33rd 21st 31st (Tie)
Jack Morris 31st (Tie) 38th Not in Top 50 36th (Tie)
Thurman Munson 48th (Tie) 46th 37th (Tie) 47th
Dale Murphy 29th 35th (Tie) 27th (Tie) 17th (Tie)
Mike Mussina 19th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Graig Nettles 33rd 31st 40th (Tie) 44th (Tie)
Buck O’Neil Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 44th (Tie)
John Olerud Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 45th (Tie) Not in Top 50
Tony Oliva Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 30th 25th (Tie)
Rafael Palmeiro 21st 13th (Tie) 10th 28th (Tie)
Dave Parker 44th 49th (Tie) 36th 28th (Tie)
Mike Piazza 6th (Tie) 11th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Dan Quisenberry Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 38th (Tie)
Tim Raines 1st 1st 5th 7th
Willie Randolph 45th (Tie) 45th Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50
Rick Reuschel Not in Top 50 47th (Tie) Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50
Pete Rose 13th 6th (Tie) 6th (Tie) 10th
Bret Saberhagen 50th 40th Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50
Ron Santo In Hall of Fame In Hall of Fame 6th (Tie) 2nd (Tie)
Curt Schilling 16th 15th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Ted Simmons 26th 21st (Tie) 13th 13th
Lee Smith 45th (Tie) Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 36th (Tie)
Reggie Smith Not in Top 50 43rd 43rd (Tie) Not in Top 50
Sammy Sosa 22nd 21st (Tie) Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Dave Stieb 48th (Tie) 44th Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50
Frank Thomas 12th Not yet eligible Not yet eligible Not yet eligible
Luis Tiant 23rd 17th 19th (Tie) 17th (Tie)
Joe Torre 34th 19th (Tie) 11th 20th (Tie)
Alan Trammell 8th 5th 6th (Tie) 4th
Larry Walker 14th 18th 17th 15th
Lou Whitaker 20th 10th 12th 14th
Bernie Williams Not in Top 50 Not in Top 50 37th (Tie) Not in Top 50
Jim Wynn Not in Top 50 47th (Tie) 37th (Tie) 44th (Tie)

[To learn more about why rankings have fluctuated so much in the four years this project has run, please visit this post at Adam Darowski’s website, The Hall of Stats.]

Voters

1. Aaron Somers, 3rd year voter, director of recruiting at FanSided, senior editor at Call to the Pen
2. Aaron Whitehead, 2nd year voter
3. Adam Darowski, 3rd year voter, SABR member, chair of the SABR Nineteenth Century Overlooked Legends Committee, creator of the Hall of Stats
4. Adam Hardy
5. Adam Penale
6. Akil Lindsey
7. Alan Manship, 2nd year voter
8. Albert Lang, 2nd year voter, former SABR member, writes h2h Corner and The Fantasy Fix
9. Alex Putterman 3rd year voter, journalism student, assistant sports editor for the Daily Northwestern (Northwestern University)
10. Alfred Scott, 2nd year voter
11. “ali maship”
12. Alvy Singer, 2nd year voter
13. Andre Lower, 2nd year voter, SABR member, author of three books, including Auditioning for Cooperstown: Rating Baseball’s Stars for the Hall of Fame; writes Baseball By Positions .com
14. Andrew Ball, SABR member, writes for Beyond the Box Score and Fake Teams
15. Andrew Martin, 3rd year voter, writes Baseball Historian
16. Andrew Nadig
17. Andy
18. Bart Silberman, 3rd year voter, MLB licensee since 1996, specializing in Cooperstown Collection vintage design
19. Ben Henry, writes The Baseball Card Blog
20. Bill Bumgarner
21. Bill Rubinstein, 2nd year voter, SABR member
22. Bob Finn, 2nd year voter
23. Bob Rittner, 2nd year voter
24. Bob Sawyer, 3rd year voter, SABR member, co-founder of SABR’s Games and Simulations committee
25. Bob Sohm, 2nd year voter
26. Bobby Aguilera, 3rd year voter, writes Baseball Reality Tour
27. Brad Howerter
28. Brendan Bingham, 4th year voter, SABR member, contributor to this website, authored chapter for Bridging Two Dynasties: The 1947 New York Yankees
29. Brendon Salatino
30. Brent
31. Brian Gramman
32. Brian Metrick, 2nd year voter
33. Bryan O’Connor, 2nd year voter
34. Bryan Walker
35. Buddy Stricker
36. Carl Punty
37. Charles Beatley, 3rd year voter, wrote Andre Dawson for the Hall of Fame
38. Charles Reinhard
39. Chip Buck, 3rd year voter, contributes to Firebrand of the American League
40. Chris Bacon
41. Chris Fluit
42. Christian Ruzich, founder of The Cub Reporter
43. Christine Coleman, writes Aaron Miles Fastball
44. Christopher Kamka, SABR member, researcher and producer for Comcast SportsNet Chicago; contributed to a soon-to-be-published group book on Old Comiskey Park
45. Chuck Modehringer
46. Collin Whitchurch
47. Craig Cornell, 4th year voter
48. Dalton Mack, 2nd year voter, SABR member, writes for High Heat Stats
49. Dan Evans, 2nd year voter, SABR member, professional scout with Toronto Blue Jays, former general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers
50. Dan McCloskey, 4th year voter, SABR member, writes Left Field, contributes to High Heat Stats
51. Dan O’Connor, 3rd year voter
52. Daniel Shoptaw, 2nd year voter, founder and president of Baseball Bloggers Alliance, writes C70 At The Bat
53. Danny Fain, “I believe I have the world’s largest Craig Biggio baseball card collection (over 4000 different with all the variations, misprints, errors, etc.)”
54. Dave Cohen
55. Dave England, 2nd year voter, SABR member, writes juniusworth.tumblr.com
56. David Klopfenstein, Japanese baseball enthusiast
57. David Lawrence Reed, SABR member, occasional contributor to John Thorn’s Our Game blog
58. David Lick, 2nd year voter, writes Not Mad Sports
59. Dean Godfrey
60. Dean Sullivan, 2nd year voter
61. “dizzle729″
62. Don Fairchild
63. Domenic Lanza, 2nd year voter
64. Doug Bisson
65. Drew Barr, 2nd year voter, voter for the Hall of Merit at BaseballThinkFactory.org
66. Drew Phillips
67. Ed White, 3rd year voter, former news reporter, sportswriter, editor, and TV news manager; currently self-employed as freelance writer and editor (recently edited two books); athletic scout for national collegiate athletic scouting association
68. Ed Woznicki
69. Eric Casey, executive producer for “the Art Of” local television show for Channel 15, Rochester, New York; 2004 Billboard World Song Contest Winner for music production with R&B singer Charley Janel
70. Eric Chalek, 2nd year voter, writes The Hall of Miller and Eric
71. Eugene Freedman, 3rd year voter, writes for Baseball Prospectus
72. “faughnan”
73. Gabriel Egger, 2nd year voter
74. Gabriel Schechter, 3rd year voter, SABR member, author, researcher at the Hall of Fame library from 2002-2010; current freelance writer, researcher, and editor; writes Charles April.
75. Galen Andrews
76. Gary Bateman, 2nd year voter
77. Gary Passamonte
78. “GBulloc”
79. George Haloulakos, 2nd year voter, contributor to this website, financial book author, contributor to Galaxy Nostalgia Network
80. “gfulkerson”
81. Graham Hudson
82. Gregg Weiss, 3rd year voter
83. “hrgafford”
84. Jacob Thompson, 2nd year voter
85. Jake Rashbaum, junior at the University of Toledo
86. James Newburg
87. James Nicolls
88. James Smyth, former minor league baseball play-by-play broadcaster, has a website 
89. Jason Hunt, 4th year voter, writes Fake Teams
90. Jason Lukehart, 2nd year voter, managing editor of Let’s Go Tribe, also writes at Ground Ball With Eyes
91. Jeff Larick, 2nd year voter, past SABR member
92. Jena Yamada, 3rd year voter
93. Jenny Mirabella
94. Jesse Achtenberg
95. Jesse Collings, sports editor for The Beacon (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) newspaper
96. Jim Bernstein
97. Jim Gross
98. Joe Mello, 2nd year voter
99. Joe Serrato, 2nd year voter
100. Joe Williams, 4th year voter, SABR member, former chair of SABR’s 19th Century Overlooked Legends Project (and current member of committee), contributor toSeamheads.com and has attended the last 27 induction ceremonies at Cooperstown
101. Joel Hammerman, 2nd year voter
102. Joey Bartz, 2nd year voter, SABR member, former freelance sportswriter for the Mississippi Press, PhD candidate
103. John
104. John Hussey
105. John Quemere, 2nd year voter
106. John Robertson, 3rd year voter, SABR member, author
107. John Sharp, 3rd year voter, writes John’s Big League Baseball Blog
108. John Sours, 2nd year voter
109. John Swol, 2nd year voter, SABR member, writes Twins Trivia, authored a book of the same name
110. John Tuberty, 2nd year voter, writes Tubbs Baseball Blog
111. John Znamirowski
112. Jonathan Stilwell, 2nd year voter, SABR member
113. Jonathan Wagner, 3rd year voter
114. Joseph Jordan
115. Josh
116. Kazuto Yamazaki, 2nd year voter, writes for Paranoid Fan
117. Ken Poulin
118. Ken S
119. Kevin Johnson, 3rd year voter, SABR member, creator of Seamheads Ballparks Database; received SABR Baseball Research Award in 2012; appeared on Bob Costas special, “Behind the Seams: The Ballpark Factor”
120. Kevin Mattson, 2nd year voter
121. Kevin Porter, 3rd year voter
122. Kristopher Kennedy
123. Larry Cookson, 2nd year voter
124. Lawrence Azrin, 2nd year voter, former SABR member, writes at High Heat Stats; seventh-most comments all-time on HHS and proud of it
125. Lee Domingue, 3rd year voter
126. Loren Flynn
127. Louis Smith, 3rd year voter
128. Lucas
129. Mark DeLodovico, SABR member
130. Mark Hausherr
131. Mark Taylor, writes Mark My Words
132. Matthew Aschaffenburg, 3rd year voter
133. Matthew Cornwell
134. Mauricio Rubio of Baseball Prospectus and Cubs Den
135. Michael Clair, 3rd year voter, SABR member, doing an upcoming charity blogathon for Doctors Without Borders (DONATE)
136. Michael Cook, 3rd year voter, past SABR intern, wrote at Pinstripe Alley
137. Michael Martin, 3rd year voter
138. Michael S
139. Michael Terilli, 2nd year voter
140. Michael Thomas
141. Mike Gross
142. Mike Huey
143. Mike Lackey
144. Mike Livingston, SABR member, publishes annual magazine for local Strat-O-Matic league
145. Mike Lortz, Tampa-based baseball writer, contributor to The Bus Leagues Experience Vol I, II, III
146. Mike S
147. Mike Schneider
148. Mike Walczak, 2nd year voter, “My kids call me the ‘Rain Man’ of baseball stats”
149. Mike Warwick
150. Mitch Lutzke, SABR member, author of The Life and Times of Kimber M. Snyder, A Soldier in the 78th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; working on a history book of Williamston, Michigan, which will feature at least one chapter on baseball in 1895
151. Myles McDonnell
152. Nate Horwitz, 2nd year voter
153. “nerdboy4000″
154. Nick Diunte, 2nd year voter, SABR member
155. Pat Corless, 2nd year voter
156. Patrick, active member of Royals Review and other sites
157. Patrick Mackin, 3rd year voter
158. Paul Lanning, 2nd year voter
159. Paul Perilli, freelance writer, last won a home run derby contest at age 10
160. Paul Martin
161. Paul McCord, 2nd year voter
162. Pete Livengood, 2nd year voter
163. Peter Nash, 2nd year voter, author, writes HaulsofShame.com; wrote, produced and co-directed the Emmy-nominated documentary, Rooters: Birth of Red Sox Nation; former member of the Def Jam rap group 3rd Bass (here’s a fun Deadspin post about it)
164. Phil Dellio, 2nd year voter, has his own website
165. Ralph Peluso, SABR member, Yahoo News contributor, writing a fictional book on baseball
166. Ray Anselmo
167. Ricardo Lugo
168. Rich Dubroff, Orioles Insider, CSNBaltimore.com
169. Rich Lipinski, 2nd year voter
170. Rich Moser, SABR member, writing a book on the Hall of Fame
171. Richard Solensky
172. Robert Ewing, 2nd year voter
173. Robert Ulmschneider
174. Ross Carey, 2nd year voter, SABR member, hosts Replacement Level Podcast
175. Ruben Lipszyc, 2nd year voter, contributor to the Canadian Baseball Network
176. Ryan
177. Ryan Jameson
178. Ryan McCrystal, 3rd year voter, writes for It’s Pronounced Lajaway
179. Ryan Redimarker
180. Scott Lindholm, web columnist for 670 The Score in Chicago, writes at Beyond the Box Score
181. Sam Atwood
182. Scott Candage
183. Scott Crawford, writes Scott Crawford on Cards
184. Scott Jackson
185. Scott Stewart
186. Scott Taylor
187. Shawn Anderson, writes The Hall of Very Good
188. Shawn Weaver, 2nd year voter, has written Cincinnati Reds Blog since 2002
189. Stefano Micolitti, 2nd year voter
190. Steve Holtje
191. Steven Nichols
192. Steven Sheehan, 2nd year voter
193. “stevesusan90″
194. Swifty Washington
195. Ted Mulvey, 2nd year voter
196. Theo Gerome, 2nd year voter
197. Tim
198. Tim Deale, SABR member, writing nonfiction baseball book
199. Tom Crittenden, 2nd year voter
200. Tom Thrash, 3rd year voter, has seen games at 43 MLB ballparks
201. Tom Thress, SABR member, creator Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
202. Tom Tunison, working on a non-fiction baseball book
203. Triston Aprill, 2nd year voter
204. Victor Dadras, 4th year voter, SABR member
205. Vincent Sparagano
206. Vinnie, 4th year voter
207. William Schuth, SABR member, writes Walking Point
208. Wayne Horiuchi, 4th year voter, avid sports card collector who has one of the most extensive game-used/autograph Hall of Fame collections in America

Voting deadline for my project is extended

Just a quick note to say I’ve decided to extend the voting deadline in my project on the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame to this Saturday, December 28 at noon PST. I realized between work and the holidays, I wasn’t going to do much on the project before then.

As of this writing, 176 people have voted, our highest turnout in the four years this project has run. I’m confident we’ll have our best project yet, as well as our most meaningful one. Actual Hall of Fame voting is a mess right now. I’d like to think on some small level we’re doing something that could help the process and foster more discussion.

I thank everyone who’s voted so far. If you’ve yet to vote and would like to, please check out this post for further instructions.