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Hall-abaloo II: Postmortem
2005-01-05 01:35
by Mike Carminati

Well, now we know that the 2005 writers' class will consist of Boggs and Sandberg, but there were a number of interesting developments in the voting. First, here's a quick review of the players on this year's ballot, their voting results for the last four elections, my prediction for each for this election, and the actual result:

NameFirst YearYrs Elig LeftWin Shares2002 HOF%2003 HoF%2004 HoF%2005 HoF%HighVerdictResult
Jim Abbott2005NA862.52%2.52%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Bert Blyleven1999833926.2729.2335.38%40.89%40.89%Veterans' Committee unless gathers steamRemains on ballot
Wade Boggs2005NA39491.86%91.86%2005 inductee2005 inductee
Tom Candiotti2005NA1580.39%0.39%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Dave Concepcion1994326911.8610.2811.26%10.66%16.91%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Chili Davis2005NA2850.58%0.58%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Andre Dawson20021134045.3450.0050.00%52.33%52.33%Not in 2005, maybe within 5 yearsRemains on ballot
Steve Garvey1993227928.3927.8224.31%20.54%42.61%Veterans' CommitteeVeterans' Committee
Rich Gossage2000922343.0142.1440.71%55.23%55.23%Not in 2004, maybe someday but treading waterRemains on ballot
Tommy John1995428926.9123.3921.94%23.84%28.35%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Mark Langston2005NA1840.00%0.00%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Don Mattingly20011026320.3413.7112.85%11.43%28.16%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Jack McDowell2005NA1220.78%0.78%0.78%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Willie McGee2005142245.04%5.04%Dropped by BBWAA Remains on ballot
Jeff Montgomery2005NA1340.39%0.39%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Jack Morris2000922520.5522.7826.28%33.33%33.33%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Dale Murphy1999829414.8311.698.50%10.47%23.25%Veterans' Committee; Dropped by BBWAA in 2005Remains on ballot
Otis Nixon2005NA1270.00%0.00%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Dave Parker1997632713.9810.2810.47%12.60%24.52%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Tony Phillips2005NA2680.19%0.19%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Jim Rice1995428255.0852.2254.55%59.50%59.50%Not in 2005, maybe someday but treading waterRemains on ballot
Ryne Sandberg2003NA346 49.2061.07%76.16%76.16%2005 inductee2005 inductee
Lee Smith200312198 42.3436.56%38.76%42.34%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot
Terry Steinbach2005NA1730.19%0.19%Dropped by BBWAA Dropped by BBWAA
Darryl Strawberry2005NA2521.16%1.16%Will remain on ballot at least one more yearDropped by BBWAA
Bruce Sutter1994316850.4253.6359.49%66.67%66.67%2005 or '06 inducteeRemains on ballot
Alan Trammell20021131815.6814.1113.83%16.86%16.86%Veterans' CommitteeRemains on ballot

You'll notice that a number of candidates, including Sandberg, reached a personal high in voting percentage this year. Besides the two that reached the magic threshold (75%), four reached the seemingly all-important 50% mark. Of the players no longer on the baseball writers' ballot, only Gil Hodges, whose high was 63.37%, has ever reached 50% without being eventually elected by some Hall body (and he may gain admittance in March when the Vets' vote is announced).

With two-thirds of the vote, Bruce Sutter looks like a good candidate for 2006, but has just three shots left. Rice, Gossage, and Dawson, the other three over 50%, all set personal highs this year. So did Bert Blyleven, whose Hall chances seem to be gaining momentum steadily each year.

Of the other nine players in Hall purgatory, those players that seem stuck on the ballot (Smith, Morris, John, Garvey, Trammell, Parker, Mattingly, Concepcion, and Murphy), only two set personal highs (Trammell and Morris). None seem like good bets for the foreseeable future.

Of the twelve new candidates, Boggs got the required votes, McGee got barely enough votes to remain on the ballot, and the rest went the way of the dodo. I had picked Strawberry as the one other candidate who would stick around at least for a year, but it ended up being McGee. I guess they let the off-field performance outweigh the on-field.

Overall, the short ballot helped a number of the more borderline candidates get extra support but didn't seem to do much for the tailenders. We'll have to wait a year to see if the players will retain and possibly build on the newfound support.

One note: I'm in vacation in Boca Raton. To quote Ferris Beuller, if you have the means I highly recommend it (where else can you see a well-manicured hedge one mile long that probably costs more than the average American family's income each year to maintain). First, I have to report that their burgers are nothing like you find in the store—they'll full of meat. Second, I visited the Sports Immortals museum/memorabilia store. It was an interesting place—the Honus Wagner card, Ray Chapman ball, dirt from Joe Jackson's first field, and keystones and seats from a number of olde tyme stadia. I want to post some photos along with more comments but am ensure whether I will be able to effect this with the various and sundry cocoanut shells et al that I have with me on vacation.

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