It’s my pleasure to present the third round of results, based on a survey of 425 respondents, for my nine-part series on the most-deserving players not in the Hall of Fame. Having covered voting results for pitchers and catchers in the first two posts, today will focus on first basemen.
That said, let’s get right into it.
Q3 – Rank the following first basemen, ranging from 1 for most-deserving of Hall of Fame induction to 10 for least-deserving
[From a survey of 425 respondents, fielded via Qualtrics]
Once more, no surprises at the very top of this. In fact, without giving too much away, I’ll note that Pujols got the most first-place votes of any candidate in this survey. Good. Had Pujols stayed in St. Louis following the 2011 season or at least signed with a team with a hitter-friendly ballpark, he might be nearing the all-time home run record now. We’ll never know how much Anaheim took away from his career numbers.
Looking at the other nine first basemen here, there’s again a fair bit of parity. Fred McGriff has some separation in the totals and looks like a probable Today’s Game Era Committee selection. Todd Helton and Mark McGwire might be heading down that track as well, though Helton could get a bump on the writers’ ballot if his former teammate Larry Walker is enshrined in the next few years. I’m less encouraged by the results for the rest of the bunch and wonder if, to some extent, they’re cancelling each other out.
Making this portion of the ballot wasn’t easy, with several very good, if not worthy first basemen waiting to be enshrined. As with pitcher, there were more candidates than could fit here. I moved Dick Allen to third base to free up space. I had to make tough decisions to omit John Olerud and Hal Chase from consideration and I forgot Mickey Vernon, who has his supporters. I contemplated omitting Rafael Palmeiro to save space, but that seemed ludicrous given his career numbers.
That said, here’s a more detailed breakdown on the voting:
A few fun things to note in the voting, courtesy of filters from the survey website Qualtrics which I used to conduct this poll:
- The 351 voters who rated Pujols first gave Clemens an average rating of 2.15, which was marginally better than his overall rating of 2.44 for this survey. The 74 voters who rated Pujols second or worse gave Clemens an average rating of 3.77.
- The 223 voters who rated McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro third or better gave Clemens an average rating of 1.14. The 202 voters who rated McGwire or Palmeiro worse than third gave Clemens an average rating of 3.86.
- The 44 voters who selected Keith Hernandez, Steve Garvey, Gil Hodges, Don Mattingly, or McGriff first gave Pujols an average rating of 4.66. They also gave Clemens an average rating of 5.07. I’ll share their thoughts on Barry Bonds when I post results for left fielders.
- 15 voters somehow rated Pujols last. I don’t know if they misread the survey and thought 10 was best. Whatever the case, these 15 voters were most likely to rate Will Clark or Garvey tops.
Anyhow, thanks to everyone for reading so far. I’ll be back tomorrow with the results for second base, which I think will make for the most interesting post thus far.