Sep 21, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Biggio poses for a photo with current Astros second baseman Jose Altuve before a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

And None Shall Pass


Shall pass the voting requirement, that is. At 2 PM ET today, Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson announced on MLB Network and MLB.com that no player was selected by the BBWAA to be enshrined. This is the eighth time no former payer was elected and the first since 1996.

Not only did no player receive the required 75%, only two players received more than 60% of the vote: Craig Biggio (68.2%) and Jack Morris (67.7%).

Biggio garnered 388 votes, falling 39 votes shy of the necessary 427. This year, 569 ballots were cast including 5 blank ballots.

For Morris, it was only a 1% increase over his percentage from last year. It meant three more votes for Morris. Next year will be the last time Morris will appear on the writers ballot.

And it won’t be any easier for Morris as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina will make their HOF ballot debuts with the next round of voting. This was likely the last shot Morris had to reach baseball “immortality”.

As you may have read earlier today, Tyler revealed a couple of his votes in Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. He also referenced that as part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, BRM casts a ballot. Here are the results of the BRM staff vote with 8 ballots being received:

Craig Biggio – 5
Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza – 4
Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez – 3
Dale Murphy, Alan Trammell, Curt Schilling – 2
Kenny Lofton, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Reggie Sanders (didn’t think I’d reveal this, did you? He knows who he is. Side note: Sanders didn’t receive any votes and will not be on the next ballot.)

If I had used the 75% criteria similar to the BBWAA and BBA, we would have had a blank ballot, which there were actually 5 blank ballots received in the BBWAA voting. I used the majority, more than 50%, as 8 ballots is hardly, in my cloudy mind anyway, enough of a sample to impose such a rule. The BRM ballot submitted to the BBA was cast only for Biggio. The BBA had only one to recommend as well, but it was not Biggio. It was for Jeff Bagwell.

There were a couple of things I took away from just the BRM voting.

One was there was a pretty definite divide between the older and younger staff members. The younger seemingly had no issue in casting any vote for a player “associated” with PED use.

Gaze again at our vote. Notice something? No votes for Jack Morris who received the second highest vote among the writers. This also shows that there could be a bit of a generation gap among the staff. That’s not a bad thing at all.

One ballot had only one player on it while one ballot was stuffed with ten votes, the highest number permitted.

The only other player any BRM staff member selected that will not be on next year’s ballot was Lofton.

I also had a couple of thoughts about the BBWAA vote.

I know you’re wondering how much of the vote Bonds and Clemens received. There was speculation that they could get as high as 50%. Not even close as Clemens would manage only 37.6% (214 votes) and Bonds wasn’t far behind with 36.2% (206 votes). To receive 50%, each would have had a vote total of around 285.

Despite this year being the last that Dale Murphy will be on the ballot (the 15 year maximum “rule”), he saw the greatest increase in support going from 14.5% last year TO 18.6 this year. That translates into 23 more votes.

Who lost the most? That would be Don Mattingly. He “lost” a total of 33 votes compared to last year and dropped from 17.8% of the vote to 13.2%. He has two year left on the ballot provided he receives the necessary 5% next year. That might be a tough ask with the “newcomers” I previously mentioned.

Jun 23, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds hall of fame inductees Sean Casey (left) and Dan Driesson (right) joke around during a press conference prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins at Great American Ball Park. (Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports)

Next year, three players with ties to the Reds should make their HOF ballot debut. I’m sure you’ve heard of one guy. His name is Sean Casey. You also may have heard of Dmitri Young. What about Shawn Estes? He should be on the ballot as well.

“The Mayor” played with the Reds for 1,075 of his 1,405 career games. He was elected to the Reds Hall of Fame last year. He posted a triple slash of .305/.371/.463 while donning a Reds uniform.

Of the four teams of which Young was a member, he played more games as a Red (565) than any other for which he played. As a member of the Reds from 1998-2001, Young posted an equally impressive triple slash of .304/.353/.488.

Estes played for seven different teams, but only played in Cincinnati for one season (2002).

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Tags: Baseball Hall Of Fame

  • Cliff@RedsToTheBone

    Great piece Steve. I have written so much about the HOF voting that it could be printed and look as big as War and Peace. The voting needs to stop, period. A set of stats, metrics, whatever needs to be determined and a minimum requirement for each. If a player has a fixed percentage of those categories covered, he is in. If not, he is out. No sentiment from anyone needs to take away from the job on the field. The writers do not need to play God with baseball history. A good amount of them do not even cover the game anymore. The leaders of the Hall of Fame and MLB need to take a stand and “fire” the BBWAA from their job that they have been so pitiful at performing.

    • http://blogredmachine.com/ Steve O’Red

      Even using stats as a measure, as you suggest, is imperfect. Comparing any stat between different eras does necessarily provide a true measure of one’s “greatness”, and to some of us, that’s what we want from those inducted into the HoF, isn’t it?

      I’ll add this, too. All ball parks do not have the same dimensions or layout. They never have. (That’s one aspect that makes going to different stadiums so fun.) There is no commonality among stadiums that would justify considering solely the stats a player produced. The sport has evolved over the years and the voting process needs to evolve with it.

      As far as I can gather, every hall of fame (basketball, football and hockey) has some form of a “screening” or “nomination” process involved prior to establishing a final ballot. The process currently used by baseball has none. Maybe this is where baseball (the HoF, the BBWAA, maybe even the commish) could at least have a narrative to establish something similar. It has been suggested that including the likes of broadcasters and former players that are in the HoF be invovled in the process. This could be a step in that direction.

      If you merely want to “fin tune” the current process, I’d start by skimming those that no longer cover the sport on a daily basis (in some form) from the electorate. That might be all that’s necessary, but I imagine there could be other tweaks involved.

      There is no perfect process. There never has and there never will be. Flaws can be found in any voting process. Just ask the state of Florida.