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2004-11-30 23:28
by Mike Carminati

Fame will go by and, so long, Iíve had you, fame. If it goes by, Iíve always known it was fickle. So at least itís something I experienced, but thatís not where I live.

óMarilyn "Pete" Monroe

Yesterday, Major League Baseball released the 2005 Hall of Fame baseball writers' ballot. The obvious choice on this year's ballot is first timer Wade Boggs, a certain first-ballot inductee. With just 27 players on the ballot, 12 first-timers, this is one of the smallest pools ever presented to the writers. Perhaps it will simplify the vote to such a degree that one or two more inductees will be culled from the bubble candidatesócan I get a Ryne Sandberg, brothers and sisters?

I would like to take a look at the writers' ballot as I did last year and with a little help from a study on the Hall elections that I did last offseason. First, here is the ballot with some pertinent data for each player:

NameFirst YearYrs Elig Left
Jim Abbott200515
Bert Blyleven19999
Wade Boggs200515
Tom Candiotti200515
Dave Concepcion19944
Chili Davis200515
Andre Dawson200212
Steve Garvey19933
Rich Gossage200010
Tommy John19955
Mark Langston200515
Don Mattingly200111
Jack McDowell200515
Willie McGee200515
Jeff Montgomery200515
Jack Morris200010
Dale Murphy19999
Otis Nixon200515
Dave Parker19977
Tony Phillips200515
Jim Rice19955
Ryne Sandberg200313
Lee Smith200313
Terry Steinbach200515
Darryl Strawberry200515
Bruce Sutter19944
Alan Trammell200212

They did a decent job of selecting the best candidates from this year's newly eligible players. Of the first-timers with at least 122 career Win Shares Jeff Blauser (154) and
Brian McRae (132) were the only ones overlooked.

Now, let's run the candidates through their paces. Here is a comparison using Bill James's Hall of Fame criteria. Also, I threw in Blauser, McRae, and the other overlooked newly eligibles with at least 100 Win Shares:

NameBlack Ink (Avg 40 P, 27 B)>HOF AvgGray Ink (Avg 185 P, 144 B)>HOF AvgHOF Standard (Avg 50)>HOF AvgHOF Monitor (Likely >100)Likely HOF?
Jim Abbott0No28No3.0No6.0No
Bert Blyleven16No239Yes50.0Yes120.5Yes
Wade Boggs37Yes138No57.5Yes268.0Yes
Tom Candiotti2No62No17.0No11.5No
Dave Concepcion0No25No29.1No106.5Yes
Chili Davis0No45No38.0No29.0No
Andre Dawson11No164Yes43.7No118.0Yes
Steve Garvey12No142No31.5No130.5Yes
Rich Gossage9No41No19.0No126.0Yes
Tommy John8No137No44.0No111.0Yes
Mark Langston12No128No23.0No64.0No
Don Mattingly23No111No34.1No133.5Yes
Jack McDowell13No85No18.0No36.5No
Willie McGee12No56No22.9No77.5No
Jeff Montgomery3No27No0.0No74.0No
Jack Morris20No190Yes39.0No122.5Yes
Dale Murphy31Yes147Yes34.3No115.5Yes
Otis Nixon0No27No15.1No2.5No
Dave Parker26No145Yes41.1No125.5Yes
Tony Phillips7No42No32.7No26.5No
Jim Rice33Yes176Yes42.9No146.5Yes
Ryne Sandberg14No134No42.7No157.5Yes
Lee Smith12No48No13.0No136.0Yes
Terry Steinbach0No0No25.0No47.0No
Darryl Strawberry7No100No29.6No56.5No
Bruce Sutter15No30No17.0No91.0No
Alan Trammell0No48No40.4No118.5Yes
And the restÖ
Jeff Blauser0No9No23.0No34.0No
Brian McRae1No25No11.3No5.0No
Jeff King0No11No12.9No11.0No
Mike Macfarlane0No0No25.1No2.0No
Mark Portugal4No18No8.0No8.0No

Next, let's compare the players to their similar players from How many of the similar players who were eligible for the Hall are actually in? We'll also throw in career Win Shares. Using the data from my Hall study last season, we know that 337 Win Shares is the Hall average. Finally, from the six criteria in both tables, we'll rate the candidates based on the percentage of those tests that each candidate passed:

Name# Similar in HallSim Elig?>50%Win Shares> HOF Avg (337)% Passed
Jim Abbott09No86No0%
Bert Blyleven810Yes339Yes83%
Wade Boggs67Yes394Yes83%
Tom Candiotti09No158No0%
Dave Concepcion38No269No17%
Chili Davis18No285No0%
Andre Dawson58Yes340Yes67%
Steve Garvey15No279No17%
Rich Gossage210No223No17%
Tommy John710Yes289No33%
Mark Langston08No184No0%
Don Mattingly27No263No17%
Jack McDowell06No122No0%
Willie McGee010No224No0%
Jeff Montgomery04No134No0%
Jack Morris68Yes225No50%
Dale Murphy18No294No50%
Otis Nixon110No127No0%
Dave Parker28No327No33%
Tony Phillips18No268No0%
Jim Rice46No282No50%
Ryne Sandberg15No346Yes33%
Lee Smith15No198No17%
Terry Steinbach010No173No0%
Darryl Strawberry11Yes252No17%
Bruce Sutter04No168No0%
Alan Trammell15No318No17%
And the restÖ
Jeff Blauser07No154No0%
Brian McRae010No132No0%
Jeff King06No115No0%
Mike Macfarlane06No106No0%
Mark Portugal06No100No0%

Boggs and Blyleven got the highest marks passing five of six tests. Dawson, Morris, Murphy, and Rice all passed at least half of them. Besides Boggs, Strawberry is the only new candidate who passes at least one test.

All of this leads me to my final assessment. As a point of reference, I have included the voting percentage for each candidate over the last three years and the all-time high for each:

Name2002 HOF%2003 HoF%2004 HoF%High?Verdict
Jim AbbottDropped by BBWAA
Bert Blyleven26.2729.2335.38%35.38%Veterans' Committee unless gathers steam
Wade Boggs2005 inductee
Tom CandiottiDropped by BBWAA
Dave Concepcion11.8610.2811.26%16.91%Veterans' Committee
Chili DavisDropped by BBWAA
Andre Dawson45.3450.0050.00%50.00%Not in 2005, maybe within 5 years
Steve Garvey28.3927.8224.31%42.61%Veterans' Committee
Rich Gossage43.0142.1440.71%44.27%Not in 2004, maybe someday but treading water
Tommy John26.9123.3921.94%28.35%Veterans' Committee
Mark LangstonDropped by BBWAA
Don Mattingly20.3413.7112.85%28.16%Veterans' Committee
Jack McDowellDropped by BBWAA
Willie McGeeDropped by BBWAA
Jeff MontgomeryDropped by BBWAA
Jack Morris20.5522.7826.28%26.28%Veterans' Committee
Dale Murphy14.8311.698.50%23.25%Veterans' Committee; Dropped by BBWAA in 2005
Otis NixonDropped by BBWAA
Dave Parker13.9810.2810.47%24.52%Veterans' Committee
Tony PhillipsDropped by BBWAA
Jim Rice55.0852.2254.55%57.86%Not in 2005, maybe someday but treading water
Ryne Sandberg 49.2061.07%61.07%2005 inductee
Lee Smith 42.3436.56%42.34%Veterans' Committee
Terry SteinbachDropped by BBWAA
Darryl StrawberryWill remain on ballot at least one more year
Bruce Sutter50.4253.6359.49%59.49%2005 or '06 inductee
Alan Trammell15.6814.1113.83%15.68%Veterans' Committee

There's one more thing that bodes well for this year's class. As I mentioned previously, this is one of the smallest ballots of all time. Let's take a look at how the smaller pools have faired in the past. Here are the ten smallest:

Class# on Ballot# Inducted% Inducted

That's an average of 6.81% inducted in these classes as compared to 2.85% as an overall average, or about three times the average. Of the ten years in which the writers failed to select a single player, none had fewer than 35 men on the ballot and just one had fewer than 47. Also, of the 14 seasons in which the writers selected at least 6% of the available candidates, eight were from ballots of 33 or fewer.

So maybe this is the year that the writers start to whittle down the list of those in baseball's purgatory, the players who never amass enough votes to gain election but earn enough to remain on the ballot year after year. I'm hoping that writers feel Sandberg has completed his penance for not playing the bulk of his career during the offensive surge of the last eleven or so seasons. Maybe they will take Sandberg and spot him a buddy, perhaps Bruce Sutter. Dare I dream that Blyleven even has a shot? No, I daren't.

Anyway, of the new candidates, I doubt that more than one or two will remain on the ballot next year. I don't think that a small class will help the likes of Steinbach and Montgomery.

Just a few more Hall-related items: Let's take a look at last year's candidate pool and review my predictions for each. First the pertinent criteria as in the lists above:

Name% Passed2002 HOF%2003 HoF%2004 HoF%High?
Bert Blyleven83.33%26.2729.2335.38%35.38%
Joe Carter0.00% 3.75%3.75%
Dave Concepcion16.67%11.8610.2811.26%16.91%
Danny Darwin0.00% 0.00%0.00%
Andre Dawson66.67%45.345050.00%50.00%
Doug Drabek0.00% 0.40%0.40%
Dennis Eckersley33.33% 83.20%83.20%
Jim Eisenreich0.00% 0.59%0.59%
Cecil Fielder0.00% 0.20%0.20%
Steve Garvey16.67%28.3927.8224.31%42.61%
Rich Gossage16.67%43.0142.1440.71%44.27%
Keith Hernandez16.67%
Tommy John50.00%26.9123.3921.94%28.35%
Jimmy Key0.00% 0.59%0.59%
Dennis Martinez0.00% 3.16%3.16%
Don Mattingly16.67%20.3413.7112.85%28.16%
Kevin Mitchell0.00% 0.40%0.40%
Paul Molitor83.33% 85.18%85.18%
Jack Morris50.00%20.5522.7826.28%26.28%
Dale Murphy66.67%14.8311.698.50%23.25%
Randy Myers0.00% 0.20%0.20%
Dave Parker50.00%13.9810.2810.47%24.52%
Terry Pendleton0.00% 0.20%0.20%
Jim Rice50.00%55.0852.2254.55%57.86%
Juan Samuel0.00% 0.40%0.40%
Ryne Sandberg33.33% 49.261.07%61.07%
Lee Smith16.67% 42.3436.56%42.34%
Dave Stieb0.00% 1.38%1.38%
Bruce Sutter0.00%50.4253.6359.49%59.49%
Bob Tewksbury0.00% 0.00%0.00%
Alan Trammell33.33%15.6814.1113.83%15.68%
Fernando Valenzuela0.00% 6.253.75%6.25%

Now, the predictions and the actual results:

Bert BlylevenVeterans' Committee unless gathers steamRemained on ballot
Joe CarterUnlikelyDropped
Dave ConcepcionVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Danny DarwinDroppedDropped
Andre DawsonNot in 2004, maybe within 5 yearsRemained on ballot
Doug DrabekDroppedDropped
Dennis Eckersley2004 inductee2004 inductee
Jim EisenreichDroppedDropped
Cecil FielderDroppedDropped
Steve GarveyVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Rich GossageNot in 2004, maybe someday but treading waterRemained on ballot
Keith HernandezUnlikely, possibly droppedDropped
Tommy JohnVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Jimmy KeyDroppedDropped
Dennis MartinezUnlikelyDropped
Don MattinglyVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Kevin MitchellDroppedDropped
Paul Molitor2004 inductee2004 inductee
Jack MorrisVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Dale MurphyVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Randy MyersDroppedDropped
Dave ParkerVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Terry PendletonDroppedDropped
Jim RiceNot in 2004, maybe someday but treading waterRemained on ballot
Juan SamuelDroppedDropped
Ryne Sandberg2004 or 2005 inducteeRemained on ballot
Lee SmithNot in 2004, maybe somedayRemained on ballot
Dave StiebDroppedDropped
Bruce SutterNot in 2004, slowly growing base but running out of timeRemained on ballot
Bob TewksburyDroppedDropped
Alan TrammellVeterans' CommitteeRemained on ballot
Fernando ValenzuelaUnlikely; probably droppedDropped

I did get Eckersley and Molitor right and still may be right about Sandberg. The one thing that surprises me is that I predicted a few more of the new candidates in 2004 would at least stick around on the ballot, but none did. Maybe that's why I'm being so hard on this year's new guys.

Finally, here are the career Win Shares leaders for those players not already in the Hall of Fame, including active and not-yet-Hall-eligible players. I have included all players with at least 250 career Win Shares plus those active players with at least 200. It's a long list, but you can suffer through it:

PlayerWinSharesFinal YrEligible?
Barry Bonds6642004No
Pete Rose5471986No--banned
Rickey Henderson5352003No
Cal Ripken Jr.4272001No
Tony Mullane3991894Yes
Tony Gwynn3982001No
Roger Clemens3982004No
Craig Biggio3952004No
Bill Dahlen3941911Yes
Wade Boggs3941999On Ballot
Tim Raines3902002No
Jeff Bagwell3852004No
Rafael Palmeiro3842004No
Roberto Alomar3762004No
Gary Sheffield3682004No
Darrell Evans3631989Yes
Frank Thomas3592004No
Greg Maddux3592004No
Rusty Staub3581985Yes
Sherry Magee3541919Yes
Lou Whitaker3511995Yes
Dwight Evans3471991Yes
Ryne Sandberg3461997On Ballot
Barry Larkin3462004No
George Van Haltren3441903Yes
Mark McGwire3432001No
Dick Allen3421977Yes
Fred McGriff3412004No
Andre Dawson3411996On Ballot
Bert Blyleven3391992On Ballot
Jimmy Sheckard3391913Yes
Ken Griffey Jr.3392004No
Bob Caruthers3371893Yes
Jim McCormick3341887Yes
Will Clark3312000No
Bobby Grich3291986Yes
Tommy Leach3281918Yes
Dave Parker3271991On Ballot
Reggie Smith3251982Yes
Ron Santo3241974Yes
Willie Davis3221979Yes
Graig Nettles3211988Yes
Vada Pinson3211975Yes
Alan Trammell3181996On Ballot
Jack Clark3161992Yes
Jimmy Ryan3161903Yes
Stan Hack3161947Yes
Joe Torre3151977Yes
Norm Cash3151974Yes
Ted Simmons3151988Yes
Jose Cruz3131988Yes
Willie Randolph3121992Yes
Keith Hernandez3111990Yes
Sammy Sosa3092004No
Harold Baines3072001No
Al Oliver3051985Yes
Jimmy Wynn3051977Yes
Edgar Martinez3052004No
Bobby Bonds3021981Yes
Ken Singleton3021984Yes
Buddy Bell3011989Yes
Brian Downing2981992Yes
Frank Howard2971973Yes
Mike Piazza2972004No
Larry Walker2972004No
Cesar Cedeno2961986Yes
Mickey Vernon2961960Yes
Brett Butler2951997Yes
Dale Murphy2941993Yes
Joe Jackson2941920No--banned
Kid Gleason2941912Yes
Mark Grace2942003No
John Olerud2942004No
Dave Foutz2921896Yes
Bernie Williams2922004No
Fielder Jones2901915Yes
George Burns2901925Yes
Larry Doyle2891920Yes
Tommy John2891989On Ballot
Bob Elliott2871953Yes
Bob Johnson2871945Yes
Ed Konetchy2871921Yes
Jack Powell2871912Yes
Jack Quinn2871933Yes
Toby Harrah2871986Yes
Amos Otis2861984Yes
Randy Johnson2862004No
Chili Davis2851999On Ballot
Elmer Smith2851901Yes
Jack Stivetts2851899Yes
Charlie Buffinton2831892Yes
Minnie Minoso2831980Yes
Sal Bando2831981Yes
Boog Powell2821977Yes
Jim Rice2821989On Ballot
Steve Finley2812004No
Alex Rodriguez2812004No
Bert Campaneris2801983Yes
Fred Lynn2801990Yes
Ron Cey2801987Yes
Tony Fernandez2802001No
Ken Boyer2791969Yes
Steve Garvey2791987On Ballot
Dixie Walker2781949Yes
Lave Cross2781907Yes
Jim Thome2782004No
Bobby Murcer2771983Yes
Tom Glavine2762004No
Manny Ramirez2762004No
Jim Whitney2751890Yes
Adonis Terry2731897Yes
Rocky Colavito2731968Yes
Cy Seymour2721913Yes
Heinie Groh2721927Yes
Jose Canseco2722001No
Robin Ventura2722004No
Joe Judge2701934Yes
Dave Concepcion2691988On Ballot
George Foster2691986Yes
Ron Fairly2691978Yes
Jim Kaat2681983Yes
Tony Phillips2681999On Ballot
Julio Franco2682004No
Bill Freehan2671976Yes
Bobby Bonilla2672001No
Eddie Yost2671962Yes
Luis Gonzalez2672004No
Clyde Milan2661922Yes
Wilbur Cooper2661926Yes
Bobby Veach2651925Yes
Chet Lemon2651990Yes
Harry Stovey2651893Yes
Herman Long2651904Yes
Vern Stephens2651955Yes
Augie Galan2631949Yes
Don Mattingly2631995On Ballot
Gil Hodges2631963Yes
Jake Daubert2631924Yes
Roy White2631979Yes
Silver King2631897Yes
Don Baylor2621988Yes
Chipper Jones2622004No
Ivan Rodriguez2622004No
Jack Glasscock2611895Yes
Jim Fregosi2611978Yes
Ellis Burks2602004No
Roy Thomas2601911Yes
Guy Hecker2591890Yes
Ken Griffey Sr.2591991Yes
Paul O'Neill2592001No
Bucky Walters2581950Yes
Buddy Myer2581941Yes
Gus Weyhing2581901Yes
Larry Gardner2581924Yes
Rick Monday2581984Yes
Gary Matthews2571987Yes
Carl Mays2561929Yes
Luis Tiant2561982Yes
George Mullin2551915Yes
Dummy Hoy2541902Yes
Maury Wills2531972Yes
Wally Joyner2532001No
Darryl Strawberry2521999On Ballot
Dick Bartell2521946Yes
Andres Galarraga2512004No
Mike Tiernan2511899Yes
George Gore2501892Yes
Marquis Grissom2502004No
Kenny Lofton2472004No
Kevin Brown2412004No
Jim Edmonds2412004No
Jason Giambi2362004No
Moises Alou2352004No
Juan Gonzalez2342004No
John Smoltz2342004No
Tim Salmon2292004No
Ray Lankford2272004No
Pedro Martinez2252004No
Mike Mussina2242004No
Curt Schilling2242004No
Ruben Sierra2212004No
Derek Jeter2192004No
Scott Rolen2142004No
Carlos Delgado2122004No
Tino Martinez2092004No
Omar Vizquel2092004No
Ryan Klesko2092004No
Bret Boone2032004No
Edgardo Alfonzo2022004No
Bobby Abreu2022004No

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