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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Baseball Hall of Fame Needs to Change 5% Voting Rule

For the first time in almost two weeks, the biggest story in baseball was not about sign stealing, the Astros’ horrible public relations strategy or the banging scheme. Instead, on Tuesday we got to celebrate the careers of two new Hall of Famers: Derek Jeter and Larry Walker. Sure, Jeets didn’t get in as a unanimous selection, but neither did Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Tom Seaver or Willie Mays. Let’s not lose sleep over it.

As I watched hours of MLB Network coverage, the two storylines I followed closest were far more important than Jeter getting 100% of BBWAA to agree he’s a Hall of Famer: (1) Would Larry Waker get in? (2) How many people would vote for Bobby Abreu?

Abreu, I suspected, would be an afterthought for most voters and fall dangerously close to the 5% minimum of the vote needed to remain on the ballot. But if there’s one thing the last few Hall of Fame classes show us, it’s that writers’ opinions change over time. It’s time for the Hall to reconsider its 5% policy and allow players to remain on the ballot for longer than one season.

Here’s a sample of some of the players who lasted just one year on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot in the last 20 years: Lance Berkman, Johan Santana, Jorge Posada, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Delgado, Kenny Lofton, David Cone and Lou Whitaker. In their second year of eligibility Bernie Williams, Albert Belle and Nomar Garciapara dropped below the 5% threshold.

Well, given how the backlog is clearing, now’s as good a point to consider this as any.

 

QLE Posted: January 23, 2020 at 12:42 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, rules of the game, voting

 

 

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