BBBA Hall of Fame Results, Deconstructed…Part One

Posted: January 8, 2013 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
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And it begins…

Yesterday, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance released the results of its annual membership Hall of Fame vote. And if the turn out from this one is anything like what will be released for Cooperstown on Wednesday, then it is going to be a hell of a debate going on soon. Because when all of the dust settled, the results were, for me at least stunning.

Let’s get a look at this thing, the players I threw on my ballot for will be in bold. Here are the full results of the BBBA 2013 Hall of Fame ballot:

 

Jeff Bagwell 76%

Craig Biggo 69%
Mike Piazza 69%
Barry Bonds 62%
Tim Raines 62%
Roger Clemens 56%
Edgar Martinez 41%
Alan Trammell 40%
Mark McGwire 35%
Curt Schilling 34%
Dale Murphy 32%
Larry Walker 32%
Jack Morris 32%
Lee Smith 25%

Kenny Lofton 21%
Sammy Sosa 21%
Don Mattingly 18%
Fred McGriff 15%
Rafael Palmerio 15%
Bernie Williams 4%
David Wells 4%
Sandy Alomar 3%
Julio Franco 1%

On the most star studded, yet highly morally debated HOF ballot ever, in the end, there was just one man standing…

Jeff Bagwell 76%

Bags walked the line between the steroids era and the consistent, natural domination as well as anybody.

Bags walked the line between the steroids era and the consistent, natural domination as well as anybody.

Now Bags wasn’t a surprise. He was one of the most consistent offensive players of his decade era, and had a strong showing on the ballot a year ago. He has a perfect blend for a constant showing on a ballot in today’s era: strong numbers (449 homers, 1529 RBI, 488 doubles, .297 average), some hardware (’94 MVP, ’91 ROY), as well as being the all-time face of a successful franchise, mostly due to his effort in the Astros. He jumped up from 41.7% on his first ballot in 2011, to 56% a year ago. If he jumps up another 15% this year, he’ll be standing right outside the 75% requirement door, and if he gets more votes due to sentiment against voting for others, he’ll crash the dance this year.

 

But moving along to rest of the ballot, here’s a few of the most interesting cases:

Craig Biggio (69%), Tim Raines (62%), Jack Morris (32%), Rafael Palmeiro (15%)

For the life of me, I can’t understand the issue against Biggio. He was never an MVP or World Champion, but there were very few that any better at second base than he was. He was a heart guy, which played hard (which would think to be a big plus for the moral, “soul of the game” voters. As far as surface level numbers, he’s a guarantee there: 3,000 hits (and didn’t get them by hanging around just to hit the mark either), 4 Gold Gloves, 7 All-Star Games and even the obscure honor of being hit by the most pitches ever. If anything he has more claim to being the “greatest Astro” of all-time.

Raines has had some of the strongest sentiment of any player in the last year. Last year he showed up on 57% of BBBA ballots, and on 48.7% of BBWA ballots, a strong enough showing to get others to sit up and pay attention to what he did. However, he’s been out of the game long enough that there’s a strong enough decision on his place that he won’t make a huge year-to-year jump, but is coming out the gates strong enough to take make the way in within the next five years or so.

It seems that either you’re a Jack Morris guy or you aren’t. I voted for Morris, but I later regretted the decision. He is the definition of the really great player, that isn’t Hall-worthy immortal. And apparently, there were more than a few people that saw this the same way. He showed up on 66.7% of BBWA ballots a year ago, while only 32.19% of BBBA ballots, and returned with the same number this year.

The case for Palmeiro isn’t looking good. He was as steady as anybody of his time, and hit two of the magic numbers of 3,000 hits and 500 homers, but was crushed by his involvement in the PED disaster. He showed up on 12.7% of BBWA ballots last year, and it’s hard to see that number not going lower this year.

 

The tornado of agendas around the players on the ballot could stretch the candidacy of players like Schilling out for a long time.

The tornado of agendas around the players on the ballot could stretch the candidacy of players like Schilling out for a long time.

As for the future, it’s going to be tough for Edgar Martinez to pull up his standing, just due to the stance on the validity of the DH’s true value, much in the same way it has been for Lee Smith to justify the impact of the save. With the ballot bringing on Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Tom Glavine next year, followed by Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez in 2014, the fringe votes are going to get tougher to get. Even while all of those guys will be no doubters, it will divide the crowd on the moral vote (Bonds, Clemens, McGwire) and the “he deserves it” crowd (Raines, Morris, Trammell) even further.

It will stretch out the candidacy of Schilling, Walker and Edgar even further, while the guys that make a strong case out the gates, such as Biggio and Piazza, will be wildly interesting to watch. As for the Bonds and Clemens case, it’s either all in or all out, and those are voter numbers that may not change much, if ever, from year to year.

As for controversy, oh there’s a ton of that to address still, and I’m going to wait until the big day to make that statement. So tomorrow in the CHEAP SEATS, we talk Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Sosa and the slights of all slights. Stay tuned.

 

For more on the Hall of Fame saga as it unfolds, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan

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Comments
  1. Kelly says:

    Great article! Can’t wait to read tomorrow’s, very curious to see what you have to say about Sosa.

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