By In Stuff

BR Hall of Fame Update

One thing that becomes more and more clear is that it’s HARD to get 75% in any kind of poll. Obviously that’s much higher than a majority, higher even then a supermajority. If the BR voting for the Hall of Fame was like a vote for class president, Pete Rose and Barry Bonds would have swamped the competition. They each got 72% of the vote. That’s a crazy high total. Heck, even James Madison in his historic stomping of Charles Pinckney in the 1808 presidential election got less than 65% of the vote.

But here, that’s still not quite enough. They are out of the BR Hall of Fame for now. They will get one more chance at the end of the voting, but there are enough people bothered by their offenses against baseball to keep them out this time.

For the record, Rose and Bonds got EXACTLY the same number of votes. Eerie.
And now we are in the fun part of the voting — the next few rounds will determine what Brilliant Readers think the Hall of Fame line should be. My early sense — and maybe it is because of the way I’m doing the voting — is that the BR Hall will be a small hall, with the standard for entry being quite a bit higher than the actual Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But we’ll see. There are a lot of very interesting players coming up.
This ballot has some of those interesting players. What will people do with Gaylord Perry? How will the vote totals for Tony Gwynn and Tim Raines match up? Randy Johnson makes it on the BR ballot two years before he’s eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame — how will the BR voters respond to him? Dennis Eckersley sailed into the Baseball Hall of Fame first ballot, how do BR voters feel about him?
I do love this project. I love it almost as much as the Favorite Athlete Project — got a couple of really good ones going up today. Definitely check out Dave Barry’s short and sweet thought about Dr. J.

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28 Responses to BR Hall of Fame Update

  1. Jeff Harris says:

    Randy Johnson should be over 90% I would think. They are both Top-10 pitchers all time according to Hall of Stats

  2. Some guys should never have been given a vote. Never a unanimous selection? How do you vote against Stan Musial? They should expand the Hall and have the veterans comittee kick out some of the ones that clearly do not belong. Randy Johnson definitely belongs in (and no problem w Eck), but how does he get on two years early?

    • Ian says:

      This attitude really bothers me. On one hand, you’re right. It’s nuts that someone didn’t vote for a guy like Musial or Mays. But on the other hand, demanding 100% voter purity (even if it’s only at the highest level) leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe someone didn’t vote for Musial b/c he already voted for 10 guys on his ballot. Maybe someone didn’t vote for Musial b/c he was owner of a restaurant that didn’t serve African Americans well after the integration of baseball. Maybe someone didn’t vote for Musial b/c he wasn’t as good as Ruth or Mays, maybe that was his standard.

  3. stephen says:

    I should start by saying that I’ve voted for almost every person so far on the polls, but I find these BR polls to be sort of dumbfounding. How are there people not voting for guys like Mel Ott (16th all-time in WAR, well ahead of guys like Joe Morgan, Jimmie Foxx, Yaz, Ripken, Brett, Dimaggio, etc) and Randy Johnson? I realize the internet has trolls/people who just vote whatever, but it seems like some people are just clicking whatever and not even thinking about it.

    • Richie says:

      Mel Ott played a long time ago. Most voters here never saw him play. Most voters’ parents probably never saw him play.

      Unless a guy is super famous (Ruth, Cobb, etc.), he’s going to lose some votes if he retired before about 1970.

    • stephen says:

      That’s my point. ‘. . .some people are just clicking whatever and not even thinking about it’.

    • I think that’s part of what makes it such a fun experiment for Joe. There aren’t any rules or guidelines. Want to vote with your gut? Your heart? Go ahead. Want to carefully run the numbers for each player and use a common formula? Or even one you made yourself? Go ahead. I think the results we are getting are much more fascinating than if every player had been at 90% or higher.

    • Mark says:

      But Milton, no matter how carefully you run the numbers or what formulas you use, all these players (the hitters, I mean) are grossly OVERQUALIFIED for the Hall of Fame. The only possible reason not to vote for, say, Mel Ott is being completely unaware of his record.

  4. Tux says:

    Voted, saw the splits, went back and looked at Perry’s numbers and said “oh, he wasn’t as good as I thought he was.” He’s not the turd in the punch bowl 3000-300 club, but he clearly retired a few years too late and that hurts his rate numbers a bit.

    If people are voting him down because of the ball-doctoring stuff, I’ve got a problem with that. But if it’s because he was a simply a very good pitcher for a very long time, that’s perfectly fine. He’s a borderline no in my Hall, unless we’re going by tiers and then he makes it as an outer ring guy.

  5. Jamie says:

    I voted everyone in here. Eck being borderline, but he is at 60+ WAR, and his success has dramatically effected the way the game has been played for the last 25 years. Probably not for the better, but I like the HoF to tell the story of baseball, and Eck is someone who changed the story. That he is at 48% I think means people forget he was a pretty good SP for 10 years before he changed the game as a reliever.
    Perry’s percentage being so low is baffling.

    • Devon Young says:

      I had to stop & think about Eck before I decided. I ended up voting for him for the same reason you did. And yeah, Perry…. having only 56% at the moment, is bafflingly low…. even waaayyy lower than Bonds or Rose got!

  6. John Gale says:

    I agree that the BR Hall of Fame will be much smaller than the regular one, but I judging by the results so far, we’re not anywhere close to finding the line. The only players (admittedly, all legends) not to make it so far are Bonds and Rose, and both of them got *much* more support than they did with the real Hall of Fame. Right now, the only players who aren’t in line to make it this round are Eckersley and Perry. I didn’t vote for Eckersley because I just don’t think he was good enough as a starter, and his career wasn’t long enough as a closer (also, I have a hard time voting for non-Mariano Rivera closers anyway). In this case, I think the total is not greater than the sum of all parts. As for Perry, I’ve gone back and forth. Right now, I’m leaning “yes,” because his WAR is really high. But I don’t feel great about it because his season-by-season numbers are just not all that spectacular. With the exception of 1972, I don’t think he was every a truly dominant player.

  7. Rich Horton says:

    Seriously, how is Yogi Berra not at 100%?

    There are basically two choices for best catcher of all time. Bench and Berra. Does anybody really want no catchers in the Hall?

    Agree with John Gale that only Mariano Rivera among closers deserves to be in the Hall. Perry, to me, fails on the “dominant” argument. He was a compiler. (And, yes, a cheater, if a charming one. But you don’t have to discount him for the ball doctoring to leave him out of a small Hall.)

    • Jamie says:

      Pudge Rodriguez and Gary Carter I think both have cases for best catcher, and perhaps the original Pudge as well. Bench and Berra’s cases revolve around winning MVP awards, but there are cases to be made for other catchers.
      I also think compiling gets a bad rap. The ability to be very good, or even just good, for a long time is extremely difficult and I personally like the HoF to contain the compilers like Perry (I’d even consider Moyer) and the great peak but short careers like Pedro and Koufax.

    • Chad says:

      I think Piazza has a better argument than Pudge.

    • nscadu 9 says:

      Berra is actually a little further down the list of catchers. He’s more of a personality and all those World Series rings with the Yankees look good. Fisk, Carter, Rodriguez and Bench all rate higher in my books. Maybe even Piazza, though he’s definitely the weakest catcher of the bunch.

    • Chad says:

      And also clearly the best hitter of the bunch.

  8. Mike says:

    I guess there’s no way of knowing how often people vote, is there?

    I ask because two themes have emerged, one inexcusable (in my mind), but . . . somehow understandable. The other, neither excusable nor understandable, at least in my mind once again:

    1. Alexander, Ott, Collins, etc. The all-timers who seem to be suffering based on voters who don’t know their history. Inexcusable, but one can understand.

    2. Bonds, Clemens, and now Perry and Bagwell. In other words, the “moralizers” are weighing in. And in the case of Bagwell, they’re mixing a hearty dose of conjecture into their moral stew. I expect this sort of thing from the moron, mainstream sportswriters of the world, but not the BRs.

    And that’s why I ask if perhaps one or two or more of the idiot moralizers are casting, shall we say, multiple ballots. Voting for everyone EXCEPT Bonds, Clemens, etc. over and over again, thereby bringing down the percentages. As Joe noted, the total votes for Bonds and Clemens were the same.
    Anyhow, here as in Cooperstown, a HOF without two of the greatest players of all-time is silly. The moralizers can have their Hall of Morality. I’ll visit my Hall of F**kin’ Great Ballplayers next time I take my son on a roadtrip to upstate NY.

    • nscadu 9 says:

      Bonds, Clemens, Perry and Bagwell aren’t in the same conversation. Voted Bonds, don’t think we voted Clemens yet, but I will, though maybe I missed a poll. Perry is the top edge of borderline for me. He’s not spectacularly dominant, but hit some benchmarks. He stumbled his way to 300 wins, but not great winning %, 3000Ks looks good. Gave him my vote, somewhat reluctantly. Bagwell has always been below the upper echelon of greatness. I’d consider him below the border. Very good, but no.

    • nscadu 9 says:

      This comment has been removed by the author.

    • doc says:

      So when Early Wynn comes up, how you gonna vote, ncsuadu?

      And that would be the same Jeff Bagwell who’s 37th on the career WAR list (position players) (4th among 20th/21st century first basemen) according to BBRef? How would you evaluate Frank Thomas (the more resent Frank Thomas), whose career spans almost exactly the same time period as Bagwell’s?

    • nscadu 9 says:

      This is what makes the BR HoF so interesting. It’s not simply WAR or benchmark numbers or sentimental feelings. I’m not a big fan of career WAR or a prolonged career to hit a benchmark number like 500 hr or 300 wins. I want to be able to point to a handful of years where a player is considered one of the very best and most dominant. I vote no on Early Wynn for the same concerns I had about Perry. What tilted me toward a yes on Perry is the handful of years in the early 70s that I think trump Wynn’s. A little torn on Frank Thomas at the moment leaning toward no. Thomas is clearly the better hitter during that time span of Bagwell’s and arguably one of the best for a spell through the mid 90s. I prefer to see a full player, so rightly or wrongly DH does hurt Thomas somewhat. Your thoughts?

    • Mike says:

      If you reject both Thomas (bad 1B and DH) and Bagwell (excellent 1B) because they fall short of being “considered one of the very best and most dominant,” then who knocks them out of the box?

      Admittedly, I’m going from memory, ’cause I don’t feel like preusing BB-Ref right now, but:

      Thomas: MVP in ’93 and ’94. Hit the ground running at ~23 in ’91, and immediately became the best hitter in the AL. Also first guy since McCovey and then back to the ’61 season to throw up .300+, 30 HRs, with huge walks totals. Think he topped 130 in ’91. Very good seasons in ’95 and ’96. He slumped — by his standards — in ’97 and ’98 I think it was, but had a couple more big seasons, 2000 in particular.

      Bagwell: Monster season in ’94. MVP. People do forget, however, that he broke his hand right before the strike, so no saying he’d have played more than 115 games or so. Then from ’95 on, just an endless run of great, but not historic seasons. 35-40 hrs, 100 BBs, huge runs scored totals, surprising number of SBs. And on and on; in the NL, along with Chipper and Sheffield and Piazza and Biggio, the top of the tier that sat just below Bonds (who was obviously in a class of his own).

      What more should they have done? Who was better at 1B? McGwire? Maybe from ’95-’99. But outside of that?

  9. The very first baseball game I ever went to, Yogi Berra got the game winning hit. If I had to vote for just one person for the HOF, it would be him. I’m a fan, not a statistician, and I’d rather see a team of guys I like than guys who are the “best”. My second choice would be Satchel. Satch and Yogi would be the best team ever, and wouldn’t need any fielders. OK, third choice, put Willie Mays out there in case somebody gets lucky and hits the ball. Have Casey manage them.

  10. Phil says:

    I know I’ll be roundly booed for this, but I voted for everyone except Tim Raines. (Eckersley was a borderline call.) The one problem I have with Raines–same problem I have with Barry Larkin; Troy Tulowitski appears headed in this direction too–is the lack of what I consider full seasons: 150+ games. (In the modern era–you could adjust that down to 140+ pre-expansion.) Raines hit the 150-game mark in six seasons, and only once after he turned 30; he only made it to 140+ games eight times. Maybe that shouldn’t bother me, but it does. One thing that confuses me a bit is the premium sabermetrics places on IP for a starting pitcher (which I think is right), yet GP doesn’t seem to be that big a deal sabermetrically when the HOF candidacy of Raines or Larkin (four seasons of 150+, seven of 140+) comes up for discussion. Obviously they were great players. But, for one reason or another, they had a lot of partial seasons. (In fairness, Raines definitely deserves a pass for 1987, when he was one of the players colluded against. So bump him up to seven seasons of 150+.)

  11. dbutler16 says:

    I’ve voted for everybody so far. I can tell by the results many people here aren’t familiar with older players, unless their name is Babe Ruth.

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