Every year, the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) votes to elect new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Every year, they screw it up. With this year's ballots due on December 17th, we thought that we would offer up our opinions.
This year's ballot features several newcomers who are deserving of election, joining 17 players who were on the ballot in 2014. Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, and former Tiger Gary Sheffield highlight the newcomers, while Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, and Mike Piazza were the top vote-getters who were not elected in 2014. Sheffield and Alan Trammell are the only eligible players on the ballot who played for the Tigers.
In the spirit of the voting, we're (mostly) sticking to the rules. Each voter gets to select ten players, and a player needs 75 percent of the vote for selection. Since we have 13 voters -- including editors emereti Kurt Mensching and Ian Casselberry -- a player would need 10 votes for election into BYB's Hall of Fame.
Full disclosure: we totally stole this idea from Pinstripe Alley. Be sure to check their voting out too.
|Player 1||Player 2||Player 3||Player 4||Player 5||Player 6||Player 7||Player 8||Player 9||Player 10|
|Phil Coke's Brain||Johnson||Pedro||Piazza||Bonds||Clemens||Trammell||Smoltz||Bagwell||Biggio||Guardado|
*Patrick left two spots blank and voted for Whitaker, who is ineligible for election after falling off the ballot years ago. In other words, he would fit right in with the BBWAA!
We are, if nothing else, unabashed homers. Eleven of the 13 BYB staff members polled voted for Trammell, making him one of four players that would have been elected to the Hall of Fame in our vote. Joining him in Cooperstown are Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Mike Piazza. Johnson was the only unanimous selection. Former Astros Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio both just missed, earning nine votes.
All in all, there weren't too many surprises in our vote, other than possibly the number of unused votes. Not every author turned in a rationale for his or her vote, but I imagine that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens got dinged for their involvement with the steroid era. Tim Raines also fell just short, though his actual vote percentage will probably be lower than the 62 percent he received here.
Despite the unused votes, our ballots may be a bit overzealous. The BBWAA has not elected four players to the Hall in a single year since 1955, and their aversion to voting for players with even the slightest hint of steroid involvement makes this year's loaded ballot a big question mark. If that streak is to be broken, however, this is the year.
What would your ballot look like?