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

On December 2, I kicked off voting for my annual project on the 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame. Due to a WordPress glitch, several posts on my site were destroyed including my call for votes. If you’ve already voted in my project: 1) Thank you; and 2) Your votes are safe and have been recorded in a Google document independent of this site.

To anyone just joining us, since 2010, we’ve made an annual thing here of this project. Here are the preceding three years: Version 3.0Version 2.0 and the debut of this project. This year looks to be better than ever, with an unusually deep class of newly-eligible players on the ballot including Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas.

I’d like to invite anyone interested to submit a ballot. To vote, please go here. A reference ballot of 526 players can be found here.

There aren’t too many rules for this, except:

1) You must vote for 50 players. Next to each player you select, please put a “Y” or “N” to signify if he belongs in the Hall of Fame. This project isn’t about designating 50 players who must be enshrined tomorrow, simply the 50 best players not in Cooperstown.

2) Anyone who hasn’t played in at least five years is eligible. A person need not have played for five years or even in the majors to be eligible. I encourage people to work independently and use whatever criteria they prefer for voting.

3) All votes are due by December 23 at 9 p.m. PST. No late ballots will be accepted. Results will be unveiled on January 6, two days before the Baseball Writers Association of America reveals the results of its Hall of Fame voting.

4) I prefer if people vote at the link provided above. That said, if anyone has problems with it, please feel free to email me at

This being said, I look forward to seeing how everyone votes. Thanks and good luck!

4 Replies to “Vote: The 50 best baseball players not in the Hall of Fame, Version 4.0”

  1. Glad I could participate for the third year. I basically vote for the top 15-20 for each position that are eligible and not in, and top 60 for pitchers, with a few odds and ends thrown in.

  2. Have you thought about a list of, say, 10 or 20 WORST players already in the HOF? I did two blog posts, one about pitchers, one about position players, with the idea of giving BBWAA folks one ballot spot to vote people out.

  3. I wish I had been told about this website in time to vote. I have been an avid baseball fan since 1956 (when I was 6 and attended my first game live), and I went to college to study engineering but ending up as a physics teacher due (in part) to my low draft number. I have always loved math as much as baseball, and math and politics as much as either as those, and played dice and computer baseball for over 30 years.

    I have strong feelings abput the HOF, too, and have visited it (I grew up in Youngstown, OH), and a strong sense of right and wrong. I believe that players who used PED’s have no place in the Hall, but Pete Rose never used such drugs. Had been betting AGAINST his own tea, he, of course, should have a lifetime ban from the Hall. But I would bet that almost all the players in the Hall have at least participated in a pool on the Superbowl or something like that, which is gamblng. Hey, gambling is gambling, so should all those players should be banned for life?

    As for drug use, I DO see a difference between PED’s and using cortisone (as they often did in the old days) or aspirin or some other pain killers such as Tylenol to relieve the inevitable pain that athletes in every sport suffer. I myself played some college football and everybody on the team used heat, ice, or aspirin or an NSAID or acetaminophen to relieve pain at one time or another (of course, none of those were banned then).

    Babe Ruth had gonnorhea early in his career(Al Capone died of that!] and I’m sure was treated with drugs to relieve his symptoms and kill the bacteria which caused the disease. Would his performance (and his lifetime statistics have been lower had he not recovered from that disease? Highly unlikely. But he was not banned for life or even questioned about it.)

    LOTS of athletes used alcohol (C2H5OH) in drinking form as well as topical form (isopropyl alcohol) to cure whatever ailed them. Ruth was again one of them, as was Mantle and dozens, if not hundreds, of others. They have never been banned either, but if anything, alcohol use was a Performance Decreasing Drug, rather than an Enhancing one. So yes, I feel that all proven users of PED’s should have a lifetime ban from the Hall.

    As for Shoeless Joe Jackson, he has always denied his involved in the Black Sox scandal, and no credible evidence has ever surfaced to show that he was. In America, one is supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”. Unlike the crime of murder (and football’s instant replay), the evidence doesn’t have to be clearly indisputable, but in Jackson’s case it was mostly hearsay and mostly from the players on his own team- perhaps NOT the most reliable witnesses.

    In any case, I would like to be included on your waiting list for next year’s voting. Many of my favorite players had good careers that might give them good reason to be voted into the HOF. But again, some of those In the Hall, especially owners and general managers (with a few notable exceptions) don’t. As was said of Vince Lombardi, “You win with people”. Almost anyone could have coached the Yankees of the 1927-era to the world series, but many good managers never had enough quality to win, most notably those in small market cities who douldn’t compete once free agency became the rule of the game. And being a Designated Hitter shouldn’t disqualify any player from the Hall, either- they did what they did, even if their numbers might not have been as high as it was if they had needed to be good enough a good fielder to keep playing there- they didn’t make those rules: the owners did.

    Finally, thank you very much for giving us, the fams, the opportunity to vote on who belongs in there. The only disadvantage I can think of is that those fans in large market, high population cities might be able to rig this voting just as easily as they do the voting for the All-Star teams in recent years, which should be banned. Your “voting” doesn’t actually determine who gets in the HOF and who doesn’t, but as long as the number of All-Star appearances and World Series appearances are used to determine who DOES get voted into the Hall and who DOESN’T by the people who DO vote, their will almost be a discrepancy between who is in it and who is.

    Joe Bertolini
    A long time northeast OH resident (now living in FL) who will always be a fan of the Indians and the Pirates, both of whom have not had very good teams for a long time (especially since the start of free agency). But the number of FORMER Indians and Pirates who left Cleveland and Pittsburgh to sign high-salaried contracts after free agency have gone on to have very, very good careers and should be voted into the HOF soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *