Voting results

Below are full voting results for my project on the 25 most important people in baseball history.

The following chart contains 350 names, in alphabetical order of first name: 172 who appeared on a ballot I provided and received at least vote; 18 who appeared on the ballot and didn’t receive any votes; and another 160 people who received write-in votes.

A total of 262 people voted in this project. Their names can be found here. I’ll also provide a link to the original ballot and my personal top ten, from September.

Rank Person Votes Notes
220-tie Aaron Chapman 1 Write-in
149-tie Abner Doubleday 3 Write-in
220-tie Abraham G. Mills 1
170-tie Al Reach 2 Write-in
13 Al Spalding 116
170-tie Albert Pujols 2
217-tie Albert Von Tilzer 1.5 Write-in
101-tie Alex Rodriguez 9
35 Alexander Cartwright 65
220-tie Alexander Chadwick 1 Write-in
220-tie Alexander Cleland 1 Write-in
170-tie Alfred H. Spink 2 Write-in
220-tie Alfred Reach 1 Write-in
75-tie Allan Roth 15
220-tie Amos Rusie 1 Write-in
115-tie Andy Messersmith 6 Write-in
220-tie Archie Ward 1 Write-in
115-tie Arnold Rothstein 6 Write-in
220-tie Augie Bush 1 Write-in
1 Babe Ruth 259
15-tie Ban Johnson 108
170-tie Barney Dreyfuss 2 Write-in
19-tie Barry Bonds 107
71-tie Bart Giamatti 17
220-tie Bernie Williams 1 Write-in
170-tie Bill Buckner 2 Write-in
220-tie Bill Doak 1 Write-in
8 Bill James 159
115-tie Bill Klem 6
149-tie Bill Mazeroski 3
220-tie Bill Miller 1 Write-in
23-tie Bill Veeck 95
220-tie Bill White 1 Write-in
170-tie Billy Bean 2 Write-in
81-tie Billy Beane 14 Write-in
170-tie Billy Martin 2 Write-in
136-tie Bo Jackson 4
220-tie Bob Bowman 1 Write-in
71-tie Bob Feller 17
64-tie Bob Gibson 20
220-tie Bob Howsam 1 Write-in
220-tie Bob Uecker 1 Write-in
220-tie Bob Watson 1 Write-in
220-tie Bobby Cox 1 Write-in
220-tie Bobby Murcer 1 Write-in
170-tie Bobby Thomson 2
57-tie Bowie Kuhn 27
3 Branch Rickey 224
170-tie Brooks Robinson 2
170-tie Bruce Sutter 2 Write-in
220-tie Bryce Harper 1 Write-in
170-tie Buck Leonard 2
41 Buck O’Neil 49
220-tie Bud Fowler 1 Write-in
21 Bud Selig 105
33 Cal Ripken Jr. 75
75-tie Candy Cummings 15
37 Cap Anson 55
169 Carl Mays 2.5 Write-in
220-tie Carl Stotz 1 Write-in
149-tie Carl Yastrzemski 3 Write-in
220-tie Carlton Fisk 1
40 Casey Stengel 50
56 Charles Comiskey 28
92-tie Charlie Finley 11 Write-in
136-tie Charlie Lau 4
136-tie Chris von der Ahe 4 Write-in
39 Christy Mathewson 52
149-tie Clark Griffith 3 Write-in
25 Connie Mack 94
170-tie Cool Papa Bell 2
220-tie Craig Calcaterra 1 Write-in
220-tie Cristobal Torriente 1 Write-in
170-tie Cumberland Posey 2
10-tie Curt Flood 141
220-tie Curt Gowdy 1 Write-in
15-tie Cy Young 108
220-tie Damon Runyon 1 Write-in
170-tie Daniel Okrent 2 Write-in
220-tie Danny Litwhiler 1 Write-in
220-tie Dave Cameron 1 Write-in
149-tie Dave McNally 3 Write-in
220-tie Dave Raymond 1 Write-in
109-tie Dave Smith 7
220-tie David Halberstam 1
170-tie David Ortiz 2 Write-in
220-tie Dennis Eckersley 1 Write-in
170-tie Denny McLain 2 Write-in
60 Derek Jeter 25
220-tie DeWolf Hopper 1
149-tie Dick Young 3
220-tie Dickie Pearce 1 Write-in
115-tie Dizzy Dean 6
125-tie Doc Adams 5 Write-in
220-tie Dock Ellis 1 Write-in
220-tie Don Larsen 1
220-tie Don Sutton 1 Write-in
220-tie Don Zimmer 1 Write-in
170-tie Donald Fehr 2 Write-in
NR Doris Kearns Goodwin 0
220-tie Dorothy Seymour Mills 1
125-tie Dummy Hoy 5
220-tie Dwight Gooden 1 Write-in
75-tie Earl Weaver 15
NR Earnshaw Cook 0
64-tie Ed Barrow 20
220-tie Edgar Martinez 1 Write-in
105-tie Effa Manley 8
NR Eleanor Engle 0
220-tie Emmanuel Cellar 1 Write-in
170-tie Emmett Ashford 2
149-tie Ernest Lanigan 3 Write-in
136-tie Ernest Lawrence Thayer 4
109-tie Ernie Banks 7
149-tie Ernie Harwell 3 Write-in
220-tie Fay Vincent 1 Write-in
170-tie Fernando Valenzuela 2 Write-in
220-tie Fidel Castro 1 Write-in
220-tie Firpo Marberry 1 Write-in
55 Ford Frick 29
14 Dr. Frank Jobe 110.5
43-tie Frank Robinson 46
220-tie Frank Thomas 1 Write-in
149-tie Frankie Frisch 3
220-tie Franklin D. Roosevelt 1 Write-in
136-tie Fred Lieb 4
220-tie Fred Merkle 1 Write-in
220-tie Gary Gillette 1
149-tie George Brett 3
220-tie George F. Cahill 1 Write-in
96-tie George Mitchell 10
28 George Steinbrenner 88
220-tie George Stoneman 1 Write-in
149-tie George Weiss 3 Write-in
170-tie George Wright 2 Write-in
170-tie Grantland Rice 2 Write-in
96-tie Greg Maddux 10
170-tie Grover Cleveland Alexander 2
220-tie Guglielmo Marconi 1 Write-in
170-tie Gus Greenlee 2
115-tie Hal Chase 6
4-tie Hank Aaron 195
48-tie Hank Greenberg 36
71-tie Happy Chandler 17
109-tie Dr. Harold Seymour 7
89-tie Harry Caray 12
136-tie Harry Frazee 4
36 Harry Wright 61
15-tie Henry Chadwick 108
105-tie Hideo Nomo 8 Write-in
NR Hilda Chester 0
220-tie HOK architects 1 Write-in
34 Honus Wagner 74
149-tie Horace Stoneham 3 Write-in
220-tie Horace Wilson 1 Write-in
220-tie Hoyt Wilhelm 1 Write-in
136-tie Hugh Fullerton 4
38 Ichiro Suzuki 54.5
220-tie Ila Borders 1
220-tie Ira Rothstein 1 Write-in
53-tie J.G. Taylor Spink 32
220-tie Jack Brickhouse 1 Write-in
170-tie Jack Buck 2 Write-in
220-tie Jack Chesbro 1 Write-in
NR Jack Morris 0
217-tie Jack Norworth 1.5 Write-in
NR Jackie Mitchell 0
2 Jackie Robinson 257
64-tie Colonel Jacob Ruppert 20
136-tie Dr. James Andrews 4 Write-in
NR Jean Faut 0
149-tie Jean Yawkey 3
220-tie Jeff Kent 1 Write-in
96-tie Jerome Holtzman 10
125-tie Jim Abbott 5
53-tie Jim Bouton 32
220-tie Jim Brosnan 1 Write-in
149-tie Jim Creighton 3
170-tie Jimmie Foxx 2
NR Joanne Weaver 0
NR Joe Carter 0
170-tie Joe Cronin 2 Write-in
26 Joe DiMaggio 93
220-tie Joe Garagiola 1 Write-in
136-tie Joe McCarthy 4 Write-in
170-tie Joe Morgan 2
220-tie Joe Spear 1 Write-in
101-tie Joe Torre 9
220-tie John “Bud” Hillerich 1 Write-in
125-tie John Dewan 5
220-tie John Holway 1 Write-in
220-tie John M. Dowd 1
23-tie John McGraw 95
48-tie John Montgomery Ward 36
220-tie John Paulson 1 Write-in
220-tie John T. Brush 1 Write-in
96-tie John Thorn 10
109-tie Johnny Bench 7
220-tie Johnny Podres 1
NR Johnny Sain 0
220-tie Jon Miller 1 Write-in
51 Jose Canseco 34
52 Josh Gibson 33
170-tie Juan Marichal 2 Write-in
NR Judy Johnson 0
NR Jules Tygiel 0
75-tie Ken Burns 15
89-tie Ken Griffey Jr. 12
220-tie Ken Holtzman 1 Write-in
4-tie Kenesaw Mountain Landis 195
220-tie Kevin Costner 1 Write-in
92-tie King Kelly 11
220-tie Kirby Puckett 1 Write-in
NR Kirk Gibson 0
75-tie L. Robert Davids 15
64-tie Larry Doby 20
220-tie Larry Luchino 1 Write-in
81-tie Larry MacPhail 14
115-tie Lawrence Ritter 6
220-tie Lee Allen 1 Write-in
149-tie Lefty Grove 3 Write-in
75-tie Lefty O’Doul 15
85-tie Leo Durocher 13
136-tie Lip Pike 4
NR Lizzie Arlington 0
220-tie Lizzie Murphy 1 Write-in
220-tie Lou Boudreau 1 Write-in
170-tie Lou Brock 2
12 Lou Gehrig 120
170-tie Lou Perini 2 Write-in
220-tie Luis Arroyo 1 Write-in
NR Margaret Donahue 0
101-tie Mariano Rivera 9 Write-in
220-tie Mark Fidrych 1 Write-in
63 Mark McGwire 22
7 Marvin Miller 175
170-tie Matsutaro Shoriki 2 Write-in
136-tie Maury Wills 4
105-tie Mel Allen 8
170-tie Mel Ott 2 Write-in
220-tie Michael Lewis 1
170-tie Michael Weiner 2 Write-in
27 Mickey Mantle 92
220-tie Miguel Cabrera 1 Write-in
109-tie Mike Schmidt 7
220-tie Mike Trout 1 Write-in
220-tie Miller Huggins 1 Write-in
170-tie Minnie Minoso 2 Write-in
220-tie Mitchel Lichtman 1 Write-in
170-tie Monte Irvin 2
220-tie Moonlight Graham 1 Write-in
170-tie Moses Fleetwood Walker 2 Write-in
125-tie Nap Lajoie 5
220-tie NBC 1 Write-in
170-tie Ned Hanlon 2 Write-in
46 Nolan Ryan 40
149-tie Old Hoss Radbourn 3 Write-in
57-tie Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. 27
115-tie Oscar Charleston 6
109-tie Ozzie Smith 7
NR Pam Postema 0
220-tie Patrick Hulbert 1 Write-in
136-tie Paul Krichell 4
220-tie Paul Molitor 1 Write-in
85-tie Pedro Martinez 13
170-tie Pee Wee Reese 2 Write-in
170-tie Pete Palmer 2
19-tie Pete Rose 107
220-tie Peter Gammons 1 Write-in
85-tie Peter Seitz 13
220-tie Peter Ueberroth 1 Write-in
170-tie Phil Rizzuto 2 Write-in
149-tie Phil Wrigley 3 Write-in
220-tie Rafael Palmeiro 1 Write-in
217-tie Ray Chapman 1.5 Write-in
81-tie Red Barber 14
220-tie Red Grange 1 Write-in
68-tie Red Smith 19
92-tie Reggie Jackson 11
220-tie Rick Monday 1 Write-in
57-tie Rickey Henderson 27
68-tie Ring Lardner 19
220-tie Rob Neyer 1 Write-in
NR Robert Creamer 0
220-tie Robert Moses 1 Write-in
15-tie Roberto Clemente 108
220-tie Rocky Colavito 1 Write-in
220-tie Rod Carew 1 Write-in
89-tie Roger Angell 12
101-tie Roger Bresnahan 9
92-tie Roger Clemens 11
149-tie Roger Kahn 3
71-tie Roger Maris 17
85-tie Rogers Hornsby 13
220-tie Rollie Fingers 1 Write-in
220-tie Ron Santo 1 Write-in
220-tie Ross Barnes 1 Write-in
125-tie Roy Campanella 5
NR Roz Wyman 0
31-tie Rube Foster 79
170-tie Russ Hodges 2
220-tie Ryne Sandberg 1 Write-in
61 Sadaharu Oh 23.5
220-tie Sam Lacy 1
115-tie Sammy Sosa 6
220-tie Sandy Alderson 1 Write-in
42 Sandy Koufax 46.5
22 Satchel Paige 99
115-tie Scott Boras 6 Write-in
47 Sean Forman 39
125-tie Sean Lahman 5
125-tie Sean Smith 5
43-tie Shoeless Joe Jackson 46
170-tie Sol White 2 Write-in
220-tie Sophie Kurys 1
170-tie Sparky Anderson 2 Write-in
220-tie Specs Toporer 1 Write-in
45 Stan Musial 45
81-tie Stephen Carlton Clark 14
220-tie Steve Bartman 1 Write-in
220-tie Steve Carlton 1 Write-in
170-tie Susan Fornoff 2
220-tie Susan Slusser 1
170-tie Sy Berger 2 Write-in
125-tie Ted Turner 5 Write-in
9 Ted Williams 155.5
220-tie Tim Lincecum 1 Write-in
125-tie Tom Seaver 5
220-tie Tom Tango 1 Write-in
149-tie Tom Yawkey 3 Write-in
100 Tommy John 9.5 Write-in
170-tie Tommy Lasorda 2 Write-in
220-tie Tommy McCarthy 1
125-tie Tony Gwynn 5
68-tie Tony LaRussa 19 Write-in
136-tie Tris Speaker 4
6 Ty Cobb 179
29 Vin Scully 86
220-tie Vladimir Guerrero 1 Write-in
220-tie Voros McCracken 1 Write-in
170-tie W.P. Kinsella 2 Write-in
220-tie Walter Alston 1 Write-in
31-tie Walter Johnson 79
30 Walter O’Malley 85
115-tie Warren Spahn 6
105-tie Wendell Smith 8
149-tie Whitey Ford 3 Write-in
62 William Hulbert 23
10-tie Willie Mays 141
48-tie Yogi Berra 36

9 Replies to “Voting results”

  1. Good to see the Babe accepted as “The” most important person in baseball history. Like Einstein and Charlie Chaplin Ruth’s ability to engage with others was as important to his craft as the actual skills he demonstrated.

  2. Hello ,Madison Bumgardner, did something no other pitcher in recent times has accomplished. Amazingly ,single handedly won the world series for SF

  3. I think the voting would have looked quite different had the voting had been more “comprehensive” (only 262 voters?) and the ballot had more than 190 “reference names” on it (or a better conceived ballot of names, overall).

    18 individuals got NO votes at all? IMHO, on a well conceived list, every individual would have received votes.

    Their are many very notable exclusions to the reference ballot names that received write-in votes that are on the list of 322 individuals here that actually received votes. Most notably, Abner Doubleday (O.K. this one is a tad debatable–maybe more than a tad), Al Reach, Alfred H. Spink, Billy Beane, Charlie Finley (who should be in the Hall of Fame), Donald Fehr, George Wright, Grantland Rice, HOK Architects (which hasn’t gone by this name since 2009), Old “Hoss” Radbourn, Phil Wrigley, and Scott Boras, just to name a few.

    In the FWIW category, I find it quite ironic that Jackie Robinson finished 2nd in the balloting while Rube Foster finished in a tie for 31st. Without Rube Foster, Jackie Robinson never becomes a pro baseball player, much less, plays in the Major Leagues.

    The voting appears to be weighted towards “more contemporary” figures, as exercises such as this tend to be. For example, somebody want to explain to me why Sandy Koufax (for whom an argument for which could be made that he should not even be in the Hall of Fame) would even be on the reference ballot in the first place, much less, finish 42nd in the balloting? Koufax made the Hall of Fame on the back of what he did over, basically, 6 Major League seasons (although, admittedly, great ones). What really did he do that merits his inclusion on the “reference ballot”, much less, this 42nd place finish? Really?

    This entire exercise is interesting, but I don’t necessarily agree with the results although, the top 25, I don’t have a lot of objections to (although I question both Clemente and Selig being ranked this high).

    This would be a fascinating exercise with a much larger voting base than 262 people and a tad better thought-out ballot, that STILL included the option for write-ins.

    1. @mike cameron — Thanks for the kind feedback. Regarding Alexander Cartwright, I actually regard it as progress that he didn’t make the top 25. For more on why Cartwright’s role as a baseball pioneer may be long overstated, I recommend reading his SABR bio or John Thorn’s fine early history of the game, Baseball in the Garden of Eden.

      @David B — Randy Johnson may have gotten a few more votes if I’d put him on the ballot. I just don’t see how a reasonable argument could be made that he’s one of the 25 most important people in baseball history. I feel the same way about many players I didn’t put on the ballot.

      @Roy in Omaha — I intentionally went with a smaller ballot for this project. I’ve had 500-plus person ballots for other projects. One of the problems with larger ballots is that they can be confusing causing people to miss worthy candidates.

      That said, I definitely missed a few worthy candidates, aside even from the ones you mentioned. Tony LaRussa was a glaring omission. I also wish I would have included Roy Hofheinz, Daniel Okrent, Voros McCracken, Ernie Lanigan, Alexander Cleland and Lee Allen. There are probably more compelling candidates. If I do this project again, I could see going with a 225-250 person ballot.

      As for the size of the electorate, I welcome anyone who’s interested to participate in these things. But I don’t know if a larger voting bloc would yield better results. I suspect the top 25 would simply have more popular candidates and be slanted more toward players. I don’t think that’s better than what we wound up with.

      One other thing: Good call on Rube Foster. He’s in my personal top ten, though I wouldn’t rate him above Jackie Robinson.

  4. I tried vote for those whose efforts either brought about a change or preserved the past for a significant period of time. For this reason players typically ranked behind management and sports writers. For example, Herb Pennock was selected to the Hall of Fame; Stephen Clark, Alexander Cleland and Ford Frick CREATED the Hall of Fame. Ted Williams used his Induction speech to pry open the Hall to Negro League stars. Satchel Paige refused to be honored unless made a full member. Hence regardless of whether Paige was the best Negro Player, he was probably the most influential player.

  5. Just want to commend Graham Womack for doing this. A bit saddened, however, by the lowish vote totals for Alexander Cartwright (65), Harry Wright (61), William Hulbert (23). Among the six to seven ground-level pioneers. I don’t quite get the high numbers for DiMaggio, Williams, Mays, Mantle. IMO, this is more about recognizing who shaped the game and its history. Not so much latter-day superstar players benefiting from the sport those pioneers shaped. BTW, I really struggled with William Wrigley, Jr. The most innovative owner of his era. Drew 0 votes, but deserves mention. Anyway, kudos to Graham!

  6. Interesting list. The fact that Clemens, Maddux, and Pedro all have 10+ votes, while not a single voter mentioned Randy Johnson, just serves as a reminder about how unappreciated Johnson’s career has been.

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