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Hall of Merit
— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

2007 BTF Hall of Fame Ballot

IMPORTANT: Please read:

This election should follow BBWAA rules, not Hall of Merit rules. However, we hope to see only players that each voter feels belong on their ballots - if you don’t feel he really is a HOFer, then please refrain from posting that player’s name (examples of whom I am referring to are Mookie Wilson, Scott Broscius, Buddy Biancalana - players who were well liked or were underdogs, but have no creditable HOF resume). Leaving 1st-year candidates off your ballot is also frowned upon. IOW, we would like to see an absence of some of the silliness that permeates Hall of Fame voting by the writers.

The election will end next Monday (8 PM EST).

Here are some of the rules by the BBWAA that pertain to our electorate:

3. Eligible Candidates — Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:

A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).
C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
E. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

4. Method of Election

A. BBWAA Screening Committee — A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
B. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.+
C. Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

The eligible candiates are: Harold Baines*, Albert Belle, Dante Bichette*, Bert Blyleven, Bobby Bonilla*, Scott Brosius*, Jay Buhner*, Ken Caminiti*, Jose Canseco*, Dave Concepcion, Eric Davis*, Andre Dawson, Tony Fernandez*, Steve Garvey**, Rich Gossage, Tony Gwynn*, Orel Hershiser, Tommy John, Wally Joyner*, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire*, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Paul O’Neill*, Dave Parker, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken, Jr.*, Bret Saberhagen*, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Devon White*, and Bobby Witt*.

+ Write-ins are allowed, but wont be included with the official tally.

* 1st-year candidates.

** Last year of eligibility.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: December 12, 2006 at 12:10 AM | 315 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   301. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: January 08, 2007 at 11:06 PM (#2276497)
Okay, I'm a "Big Hall" guy, I suppose. I think...aw heck, if you haven't read Chris Cobb's post #212, it says it better than I ever could. I'll vote for 10 unless I really can't justify it.

I've got my scorecard from David Wright's first game as a Met. It's not signed or anything, but I have it.

Anyway, here's my ballot, kind of in a 1-10 order, but not so much that I'd want to be quoted.

1. Cal Ripken, Jr.
2. Tony Gwynn. At least they'll be unanimous in this election.
3. Bert Blyleven. This is where the standards need to be looked at. How many starting pitchers are in the HoF? And how many are better than Blyleven?
4. Alan Trammell. I know everything else gets lost with the new guys, but Trammell boosters should have used the opportunity to compare him to Ripken. Obviously he's not that good, but he's not that far off, either.
5. Goose Gossage. I'm not a huge reliever fan - Fingers is in the 30s on my HoM ballot. But Goose was dominant enough to be clearly in.
6. Mark McGwire. I know the evidence is shaky (I love how everyone praises Canseco's book, but ignores how he immediately repudiated all the "steroids were great for me" sections.), but I tend to believe he was juicing. That doesn't disqualify him for me, but it does make me knock him down a bit. But if I didn't he'd be obviously in (10th in post-1900 OPS+!) so a penalty leaves him still ballot-worthy.
7. Tommy John. Qualified by the standards of the HoF. Not sure how he'll do on my HoM ballot.
8. Albert Belle. A really impressive peak. Also problematic, because no one would be shocked to hear he'd juiced. Honestly, given what I've heard of his personality, if I had to bet on it, I'd guess that he did. But is that enough to penalize him? No, it isn't.
9. Andre Dawson. The best career candidate among the holdover outfielders.
10. Dale Murphy. A very impressive peak, which I prefer to Parker's disjointed career.

Other guys I want to comment on:

Dave Parker. Made my ballot last year, could in the future.

Dave Concepcion. Dan's argument makes a fair amount of sense to me, but everything else about his candidacy seems like a clear "No" to me.

Jack Morris. I used to vote for him, but Stieb was better.

Orel Hershiser. Heh. I forgot he was on the ballot last year and had him in my "Newbies to look at" section in my prelim. The 3-year peak is very impressive, but I need to see more than that.

Lee Smith. The saves record is gone now anyways, and he just didn't have enough innings at a high enough level to satisfy me.

Harold Baines. Nope. Nothing there for me.

Jim Rice. Exhibit A in "People don't understand Park Factors".

Bobby Bonilla. Came closer than I thought he would. I did not realize how much 3B he played (not well, but it still helps).

Tony Fernandez. Surprised me by how good he was. He won't make the 5%, but I wish that he would. If this were a real HoF ballot, my last 2 slots would probably go to Fernandez and Bonilla to try and keep them around. Then again, if we were really voting for the Hall of Fame, Blylven, Goose and Trammell would already be in, and I'd have 3 extra spaces to give to Parker, Fernandez, and, um, er, oh, Stieb would be around too, right?
   302. kwarren Posted: January 09, 2007 at 12:12 AM (#2276527)
4. Alan Trammell. I know everything else gets lost with the new guys, but Trammell boosters should have used the opportunity to compare him to Ripken. Obviously he's not that good, but he's not that far off, either.

Here is a comparison of some of the recent top shortstops using WARP3 (best five seasons and career totals).


Cal Ripken.........17.0, 15.0, 13.9, 12.5, 10.9 (69.3)....169.1
Alex Rodriguez.....14.6, 14.3, 14.1, 13.3, 13.0 (69.3)....130.1
Ernie Banks........15.1, 13.7, 12.8, 12.6, 11.0 (65.2)....127.4
Robin Yount........12.9, 10.4, 10.0, 9.9, 9.8 (53.0)....136.8
Ozzie Smith........11.6, 10.9, 9.8, 9.8, 9.8 (51.9)....139.3
Alan Trammell......13.1, 10.5, 10.3, 10.2, 9.7 (53.8)....123.3
Barry Larkin.......11.2, 10.9, 10.8, 10.7, 9.2 (52.8)....122.2
Derek Jeter........12.1, 11.8, 11.1, 9.3, 9.2 (53.5).....91.8
Dave Concepcion....10.7, 10.2, 10.2, 9.7, 8.8 (49.6)....109.7
Pee Wee Reese......10.4, 10.2, 9.7, 9.4, 8.7 (48.4)....103.3
Tony Fernandez.....10.6, 10.1, 9.2, 8.9, 8.6 (47.4)....103.9
Nomar Garciaparra..11.5, 10.3, 10.2, 9.4, 9.2 (50.6).....70.8
Phil Rizzuto.......12.3, 9.4, 9.1, 8.3, 8.1 (47.2).....79.2
Miguel Tejada......13.0, 10.7, 10.5, 8.5, 7.7 (50.4).....72.4


The one player on this list who surprises me a little is Dave Concepcion. I didn't think he would stak up quite so highly.
   303. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2007 at 12:12 AM (#2276528)
Tony Fernandez. Surprised me by how good he was. He won't make the 5%, but I wish that he would. If this were a real HoF ballot, my last 2 slots would probably go to Fernandez and Bonilla to try and keep them around. Then again, if we were really voting for the Hall of Fame, Blylven, Goose and Trammell would already be in, and I'd have 3 extra spaces to give to Parker, Fernandez, and, um, er, oh, Stieb would be around too, right?

If he doesn't miss 1996 and 2000 (wasn't he in Japan or Mexico or something?) he'd probably be pretty close to, if not at 2,500 hits. He also had an excellent glove. Tony Fernandez is a much stronger case than I'm sure a lot of people will give him credit for. I'll be surprised if he gets 5%.
   304. DCA Posted: January 09, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2276538)
The one player on this list who surprises me a little is Dave Concepcion. I didn't think he would stak up quite so highly.

I don't know how surprising that is. He's slightly better than Tony Fernandez and not nearly as good as Alan Trammell. Is that news? Eliminating the active players, you see a fairly close careercluster between Ozzie and Trammell, and then a big gap to the next tier with Reese, Fernandez, and Concepcion. Looking at peak, and including the active players, the top tier is Ripken, A-Rod, and Banks, and then a very close bunch including Trammell to Ozzie (Tejada is likely to upgrade himself to this group, Nomar probably won't), then a significant gap to the Concepcion group. I think it's clear where the line between HOF and not should be drawn.
   305. Patrick W Posted: January 09, 2007 at 01:08 AM (#2276556)
I prefer to max out the ballot, trying to offset those who would submit a ballot with 0 or 1 names. The dangers of electing ten in a given year is practically nil, and it keeps with my preference for a large Hall. I would anticipate the top 6 to 11 eligible would make it in my Hall eventually. How the hell did Will Clark drop off??

1. Cal Ripken Jr. – The homer in me says he’s the 2nd best SS of the ‘80s.
2. Bert Blyleven – Exhibit B on the reason for the HOM project. Exhibit A is on the Vet’s ballot every other year.
3. Tony Gwynn – Regarding his BA’s, I seem to recall a lot of ‘best in the NL since Musial’ comments about Tony during the late ‘80s – early ‘90s. Always seemed like a living HOFer while playing.
4. Mark McGwire – Injuries prevent him from being any higher, but he’s the 3rd automatic pick from the newly eligible. I respect him more for his performance at that sham of a Congressional hearing, not less.
5. Alan Trammell – Do you think Detroit’s success last year will help the HOF support of recent Tigers? Or not, seeing as he was the previous manager?
6. Rich Gossage – Still don’t know how to account for closers yet. Here, I’ve added an additional inning credit for every save accumulated and prorated career value by that amount. This helps out recent closers (Wetteland and L.Smith) more than it helps the fireman of the 70s, so I’m unsure of how best to approach the problem.
7. Tommy John – A quarter century of average manages to build an impressive resume.
8. Lee Smith – Less than the Goose, but I can’t see putting Gossage on the ballot & leaving Smith off.
9. Dale Murphy – Peak considerations jump Murphy over Dawson
10. Andre Dawson – Possibly my favorite chapter of Paths to Glory was on the late 70s / early 80s Expos. Interesting team before my time. No WS appearances in a small market, so stories have not been told about them.

Happy New Year everybody.
   306. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: January 09, 2007 at 01:54 AM (#2276572)
1. Ripken - Similar career pattern to his contemporary, Dan Marino. Both peaked real early and had long very gradual decline phases after their second seasons. Both and are no brainers for enshrinement, of course.
2. Tony Gwynn - An inspiration for those of us with elevated waist circumferences.
3. Rich Gossage
4. Bert Blyleven
5. Alan Trammell - Whitaker will some day get my HOM vote.
6. Dale Murphy - Back in the day, a .500 SLG % was really really good.
7. Mark McGwire
8. Albert Belle
9. Tommy John
10. Dave Concepcion
   307. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 09, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2276575)
The election is now over. Results will be posted shortly.
   308. DanG Posted: January 09, 2007 at 05:48 AM (#2276653)
DanG is gonna be pi$$ed.


Nah. I don't expect people to do the right thing; when it happens it's a nice surprise.
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