Baseball Primer Newsblog
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Wednesday, January 09, 2013
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.
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