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Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Posnanski: Percentages and the Hall

To all you Hall of Famers out there, happy birthday!

we’re looking at players’ first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, their percentage and what happened to those players.

More than two votes but less than 5%—176 players.

... [Ralph] Kiner first appeared on the ballot in 1960… He got three votes… He got fewer votes than Nick Altrock, who was once a good pitcher and by then had started to perform comedy routines with Al Schact (the “Clown Prince of Baseball”). He got fewer votes than Bing Miller, Max Bishop, the Catcher Who Was A Spy Moe Berg, Hal White, Joe Dugan, Jimmie Wilson and a pitcher named Orval Grove who went 63-73 with a 3.78 ERA. Listen to this: Ralph Kiner in 1960 got fewer votes than Lefty Grove. You ask: What’s wrong with that? Grove was perhaps the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time. True. But there’s this: Lefty Grove was ALREADY IN THE HALL OF FAME, had been since 1947…

Kiner is just an extreme example of what happens all the time in the Hall of Fame voting… When Jack Morris went on the ballot in 2000, 77.8% of the voters said that he was NOT a Hall of Famer. A year later, more than 80% voted that he was NOT a Hall of Famer. But over time, a lot of people looked more closely and the vote turned his way. I don’t agree with Jack Morris as a Hall of Famer, but I absolutely do agree with him deserving to have his case heard over time. I would say that guys like Lou Whitaker, Dwight Evans, Kevin Brown and others deserve the same chance to get the years to help them make their case.

5% to 10%—27 players.

... I wonder when Joe Torre will get into the Hall of Fame. We KNOW he’s going in as a manager, so let’s get that done already. He was a really, really good player with a legitimate Hall of Fame case. He became, as we know, a legendary manager with four World Series rings. Let’s stop waiting and put him in already.

10% to 20%—18 players.

... I didn’t vote for Dale Murphy this year because I thought there were 10 players on the ballot better than him and, anyway, he’s not getting in through the BBWAA. I hope the veteran’s committee, in whatever form, will stop pontificating about Deacon White and other players who are long gone and start thinking about who were the best players of the last 40 or 50 years who have been overlooked.

20% to 30%—15 players.

....if you get between 20 and 30% on first ballot you have about a 50-50 shot of getting into the Hall of Fame… it will be interesting to see how [Mark] McGwire and [Sammy] Sosa and others are viewed after [Barry] Bonds and [Roger] Clemens get in. I don’t know when Bonds and Clemens get in, by the way. It won’t be for a few years. It might not be for a decade. But it will happen, I think.

30% to 40%—7 players.

...If Luis Tiant retired two years earlier, I believe he’s in the Hall of Fame right now. But he stuck around those two years and got jobbed by the timing. He got a lot of support in his first year—he looked like a sure Hall of Famer, not unlike his contemporary and comp Catfish Hunter. Then he was washed away by a historic rush of 300-game winners who came on the Hall of Fame ballot, and his vote totals plunged.

50% to 75%—16 players.

... Every player who got 50% on first ballot is in the Hall of Fame.

The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2013 at 12:06 PM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, history, joe posnanski

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4342916)
Every player who got 50% on first ballot is in the Hall of Fame.


According to the Gizmo, that would put Biggio and Piazza in (unbelievably not Bonds or Clemens).

Why did voters vote for active players back in the day? Just as a tip of the cap?

Also, what happens now if you're on the ballot and you unretire? I assume you're ineligible for inclusion on the ballot until six years after you retire again. But do you still get the 15 full years, or is it 15 minus how ever many ballots you were on before (so, 15 total)?
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:13 PM (#4342936)
I hope the veteran’s committee, in whatever form, will stop pontificating about Deacon White and other players who are long gone and start thinking about who were the best players of the last 40 or 50 years who have been overlooked.

I'm pretty sure they can do both. It's not that mentally taxing, really.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4342952)

I hope the veteran’s committee, in whatever form, will stop pontificating about Deacon White and other players who are long gone and start thinking about who were the best players of the last 40 or 50 years who have been overlooked.


I'm pretty sure they can do both. It's not that mentally taxing, really.

I'm pretty sure the Vets commmittee will meet later this year to vote on the best players of the last 40 or 50 years, just as they did three years ago. Really, Joe should know this.

   4. DanG Posted: January 09, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4342981)
Why did voters vote for active players back in the day? Just as a tip of the cap?
Active players were eligible in the first election in 1936. After that you had to be inactive for a year, which led to a few guys getting votes when they were in military service. Then in 1954 they started the five years retired rule.
what happens now if you're on the ballot and you unretire? I assume you're ineligible for inclusion on the ballot until six years after you retire again. But do you still get the 15 full years, or is it 15 minus how ever many ballots you were on before (so, 15 total
It's 15 total. See Minnie Minoso and Jose Rijo for guys who retired twice.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4343039)
... Every player who got 50% on first ballot is in the Hall of Fame.


The old analysis doesn't apply anymore.

And really we're going to now have players with like 30% who would otherwise have gotten 50% if not for the pouting by the writers and thus should have been in the 50% box.

   6. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 09, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4343056)
The 50% rule isn't a bright line that says that all players below it won't go in, just that all players who debuted above it will go in. Until it stops working it doesn't make any sense at all to dismiss it. Do we really think that neither Piazza nor Biggio will get in over the next 15 years? It also really isn't that relevant why a player polled under 50% in his first ballot, just that he did. Maybe the writers hated him or maybe they thought he used steroids, or maybe he's Barry Bonds and they both hate him and think he used. Doesn't matter, just the percentage.
   7. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 09, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4343078)
Is BTF turning into Posnanski Think factory?
   8. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4343190)
Is BTF turning into Posnanski Think factory?

Resistance is futile. Prepare to be joe-similated.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4343219)
Hey, I skipped on his dumb "needs more consideration HOF vote" idea ;-)

(On the opposite end, I skipped on his "HOF inner sanctum" idea because presumably all sensible people agree.)

Since we're here, he's actually chatting right now and said something that surprised me:
I hadn't thought about this, but the amazing 1990s Indians, with Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez and Kenny Lofton and Jim Thome and others ... might not get a single HOF through the BBWAA. I've been shocked at the low level of support people have for Thome. Absolutely shocked.
   10. Tippecanoe Posted: January 09, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4343312)
Techically, Robbie Alomar played with all of those players on the '90's Indians (in 1999).

Also...there's Vizquel, who'll do better than Lofton.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:04 PM (#4343327)
Good point. I also think (and hope) that Poz is wrong on Thome. I can certainly see a lot of writers discussing Thome as a "didn't feel like a HOFer" guy, but I nonetheless think they're going to vote for him when that time comes. That type of thing happens all the time.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:09 PM (#4343344)
Thome has a big milestone number (600 HR) and is pretty clear of any PED chatter I would guess. He may not get in on the first ballot, but he'll get in.
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4343368)
Also...there's Vizquel, who'll do better than Lofton.


That would be bleakly hilarious, if the BBWAA put him in as the sole rep from that group. Like Morris ahead of Trammell, Whitaker, Parrish, Evans, and Lemon.
   14. Tippecanoe Posted: January 09, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4343402)
Don't worry: Vizquel came into the league as a slim 160-pounder, but as he joined Joey "Roid Rage" Belle in Cleveland he bulked right up to 180, coinciding with a 100-point gain in slugging percentage. So he should get the Bagwell treatement.
   15. LargeBill Posted: January 09, 2013 at 05:46 PM (#4343527)
Thome is looking for a team for 2013 which should allow him to avoid the ballot until some of the backlog is cleared.

Lofton should make a tour of spring training sites and see which team needs an upgrade in LF. If he only batted against RHP he could still add value. And then re-hit the ballot in 6 years.
   16. vivaelpujols Posted: January 09, 2013 at 06:44 PM (#4343582)
So who wants to have a Paterno thread?
   17. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 09, 2013 at 06:47 PM (#4343586)
Yes, I agree. Too much Posnanski here.
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 07:01 PM (#4343589)
Yes, I agree. Too much Posnanski here.


Never too much Posnanski. (there is of course always too much Paterno though)
   19. SavoyBG Posted: January 09, 2013 at 07:12 PM (#4343595)
I hope the veteran’s committee, in whatever form, will stop pontificating about Deacon White and other players who are long gone and start thinking about who were the best players of the last 40 or 50 years who have been overlooked.


It's not a choice between one or the other. There are clearly some players from the early days of baseball (Bill Dahlen, Tony Mullane, Ross Barnes) who have been overlooked and should be hall of famers. Why should their candidacies be ignored because of when they played?

   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4343597)
It's not a choice between one or the other. There are clearly some players from the early days of baseball (Bill Dahlen, Tony Mullane, Ross Barnes) who have been overlooked and should be hall of famers. Why should their candidacies be ignored because of when they played?


Because they played a thousand million years ago and if they weren't elected by now it's time to move on, already.
   21. Scoriano Flitcraft Posted: January 09, 2013 at 07:48 PM (#4343616)
5% to 10%—27 players.

... I wonder when Joe Torre will get into the Hall of Fame. We KNOW he’s going in as a manager, so let’s get that done already. He was a really, really good player with a legitimate Hall of Fame case. He became, as we know, a legendary manager with four World Series rings. Let’s stop waiting and put him in already.

But, but, but some of his players used PEDs.
   22. AndrewJ Posted: January 09, 2013 at 08:12 PM (#4343632)
Players who got 0 votes -- 199 players.

• Has some Hall of Fame support: Jimmy Wynn, Roy White, Ken Singleton.


Singleton has 302 career Win Shares, which I believe is the most of any HOF candidate who got zero BBWAA votes.
   23. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: January 09, 2013 at 08:43 PM (#4343659)
I hadn't thought about this, but the amazing 1990s Indians, with Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez and Kenny Lofton and Jim Thome and others ... might not get a single HOF through the BBWAA. I've been shocked at the low level of support people have for Thome. Absolutely shocked.


Well, if you want to get picky, Eddie Murray was there from '94-'96 and in '95 put up a .323/.375/.516 line in 113 games that was good for 2.2 WAR...
and if you want to get even pickier, Dave Winfield finished off his career in Cleveland in '95.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:42 PM (#4343745)
I can't believe he didn't list Ted Simmons in the 0-5% grouping.

The major problem with this article, is he starts off saying he's going to stick with post 1966 results, then spends a majority of the time talking about pre-1966 results.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 10:45 PM (#4343746)
Of course, that whole bit of handwringing is probably silly because there is almost certainly a steroid user or two or 10 in the Hall of Fame already.


This is one argument I have never really gotten. If you are a roid purist, it shouldn't matter if someone got in already. Just like you don't use Jim Rice as the baseline for determining which outfielders should go in, you don't use one mistake to justify a wave of players you don't feel deserve to go in.

   26. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 09, 2013 at 11:24 PM (#4343778)
Listen to this: Ralph Kiner in 1960 got fewer votes than Lefty Grove. You ask: What's wrong with that? Grove was perhaps the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time. True. But there's this: Lefty Grove was ALREADY IN THE HALL OF FAME, had been since 1947.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: January 10, 2013 at 03:42 AM (#4343893)
Why should their candidacies be ignored because of when they played?

Ray gave the blunt and essentially correct answer. At the least they should do what they did with the Negro Leaguers -- have one final "look, just put in everybody you think has any sort of case already" committee on pre-war, maybe even pre-expansion, guys.
   28. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 10, 2013 at 10:21 PM (#4344665)
It's not a choice between one or the other. There are clearly some players from the early days of baseball (Bill Dahlen, Tony Mullane, Ross Barnes) who have been overlooked and should be hall of famers. Why should their candidacies be ignored because of when they played?


Hey. Ross Barnes made eight thousand one hundred dollars in his career. That should be enough for anyone.

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