January 10th, 2013
So, for the first time in 17 years, the BBWAA failed to elect any of the 37 candidates (13 returning, and 24 newbies) to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The person who got the closest was first timer Craig Biggio, who at 68.2% was 39 votes shy of the 75% needed to make the cut.
The Baseball Bloggers Alliance’s (BBA) selection, Jeff Bagwell, came in 3rd on his 2nd go around, with 339 votes, or 59.6%
Jack Morris, in his 14th year, bumped up about a point, garnering 67.7% of the vote, and coming in 2nd in this year’s balloting…
Curt Schilling did pretty well for his 1st year, ranking 7th, with 38.8% of the vote. I expect he will get in eventually…
Dale Murphy, in his last time on the ballot, garnered 18.6% of the vote. If he is to be elected (which is doubtful) his fate is in the hands of the Veteran’s Committee…
It didn’t help that 5 writers actually sent in blank ballots. I don’t know if it was a protest, or what, and I am all for voting your conscience, but by doing that, you mess with the process, causing each of the remaining ballots to be worth more, which means you need more votes to get in. Being able to vote for this monumental award is a great honor, and if you don’t want to, for whatever reason, I think you should resign and allow someone who actually WANTS a vote to take the job…
Of course, this was the big controversial ballot, as it has 2 of the most notorious alleged steroid users: Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens. Fat Boy Roger ranked 8th garnering 37.6% with Bonds receiving 36.2% of the vote at #9. And the freeze hasn’t thawed any for Mark McGwire in his 7th year, raking 15th with 16.9% of the vote.
Here are the rest of players the ballot that hit the minimum, and will live to see another election:
Player/ (Years on ballot)/Percentage
Mike Piazza (1) 57.8
Tim Raines (6) 52.2
Lee Smith (11) 47.8
Edgar Martinez (4) 35.9
Alan Trammell (12) 33.6
Larry Walker (3) 21.6
Fred McGriff (4) 20.7
Don Mattingly (13) 13.2
Sammy Sosa (1) 12.5
Rafael Palmeiro (3) 8.8
As part of the selection criteria, any player not hitting the 5% minimum is forever dropped from the ballot. That list includes: Bernie Williams, Kenny Lofton, Sandy Alomar, Jr, Julio Franco, David Wells, Steve Finley, Shawn Green, and Aaron Sele. But at least they GOT votes. The members of this year’s Zero Vote Club: Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Jeff Conine, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Jose Mesa, Reggie Sanders, Mike Stanton, Todd Walker, Rondell White, and Woody Williams.
And there is always one inexplicable vote every year, and this year is Aaron Sele, who received a single vote. He didn’t get this much press when he was a player–and with his middle of the road (148-112, with a 4.61 ERA, 1407 strikeouts, and 112 hit batsmen) it’s not super surprising…
Here is what MLB has to say about the shutout: “Major League Baseball recognizes that election to the Hall of Fame is our game’s most extraordinary individual honor. Achieving enshrinement in Cooperstown is difficult, as it should be, and there have been seven other years when no one was elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. While this year did not produce an electee, there are many worthy candidates who will merit consideration in the future. We respect both the long standing process that the Hall of Fame has in place and the role of the BBWAA, whose members have voted in the Hall of Fame’s elections since 1936.” Blah. Blah. Blah…
So, it’s going to be a quiet Induction Weekend in Cooperstown, as only deceased gentlemen will be inducted on July 28th: Longtime Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, turn-of-the-20th-century umpire Hank O’Day and 19th-century catcher Deacon White. All 3 were elected to the Hall last month by the Pre-Integration Committee (which is an offshoot of what we all call the Veterans Committee).
Coming up: 33 Days to Pitchers and Catchers, and 81 Days to Opening Day!