The Hall of Fame ballot was released today. And unlike last year, when the Baseball Writers Association of America had a collective fit of conscience and took it out on… well, everybody… it would seem quite likely that there should be some enshrinements for next Summer’s ceremonies in Cooperstown. Let’s take a gander.
First Time on the Ballot
Paul Lo Duca
There is a requirement that nominees must get 5% of the vote to remain on the ballot for successive years. Most of these players won’t get that. Yeah, Richie – that’s you.
Here are the returning nominees from past years:
In addition, Jack Morris makes his 15th and final attempt to reach the required 75% threshold (75% support among all ballots received) for election.
So Who Gets Elected in 2014?
That’s the next, most obvious question. The voters are a fickle lot – as last year showed. There are some that will vote for Morris simply because it’s his last shot. There are others (maybe the same group) who won’t vote for Maddux or Glavine because they seem to think they are the Keepers of the Mystique – saving the privilege of the “First Ballot HOFer” for only the best of the best. There are still others who – despite being allowed to vote for up to 10 players – will self-limit their ballot to 2-to-4 names… somehow preserving the integrity of the process.
Those who will likely get in this year:
- Greg Maddux
- Tom Glavine
- Jack Morris
Those who will be very close – one way or another
- Craig Biggio – more likely ‘in’ than not
- Jeff Bagwell – on the cusp
- Frank Thomas – could be a victim of that ’1st ballot bias’ thing
- Mike Piazza – also on the cusp
Those who don’t get NEARLY enough respect
- Fred McGriff – one off-year short of the 500 HR club. Too nice of a guy.
- Tim Raines – passed 50% last year. This ballot will likely overshadow him. Should eventually get there.
- Alan Trammell – Too much under the radar, I guess. Any of these voters ever check his career WAR?
- Edgar Martinez – DH discrimination
…and of course the PED Poster Children (Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Sosa, Clemens) have no shot.
But hopefully – possibly, maybe – Braves’ fans will have two first-ballot guys to celebrate over next year. Good luck to all!