BBWAA elects no one to the Hall of Fame

If Jack Morris had ever pitched this kind of shutout he would have been elected to the Hall of Fame years ago. Faced with arguably the deepest ballot in the modern era of voting, a ballot that included a player with 3,000 hits, the greatest hitting catcher of all-time, and the most decorated pitcher and position player in the history of the BBWAA awards voting, the voters reached the result most of us had expected them to beginning last week, and elected no one to the hallowed Hall in Cooperstown.

More important than the simple results, however, are the vote tallies each candidate pulled down, and frankly these are really depressing for the future of the Hall. At the low end of the ballot, Kenny Lofton (and Bernie Williams) failed to get votes from 5% of voters, meaning that he is officially off of the writers’ ballots, an absolute travesty. At the other end of the spectrum, Craig Biggio came the closest to being elected with 68% of the vote, suggesting that he fell victim to the silliest of all arbitrary voting standards, voters who won’t vote for certain guys in the first year, and will likely be enshrined in 2014. Mike Piazza got 57.8% of the vote, and Jeff Bagwell got 59.6% of the vote, so assuming the increasingly cluttered ballot doesn’t totally screw up the count, both of those guys should wind up getting elected. The only other candidates to earn over 50% of the vote were Jack Morris at 67.7%, and Tim Raines at 52.2%.

The biggest test cases, of course, were going to be those of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, and the Hall can’t be happy about what they saw there. No one expected them to reach the 75% mark needed for election, but neither even reached the 40% plateau. If that’s a true reflection of the depths of steroid hysteria in the voting pool, the next few years of Hall of Fame elections are going to be a total mess unless the Hall itself finally steps up to take some control over the situation.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

28 thoughts on “BBWAA elects no one to the Hall of Fame

  1. So maybe if it's going to be that hard to get in , we can add some hot stove league excitement by annually removing the unworthy . Off the top of my head , the first to leave would be Ralph Kiner . Other ideas ?

  2. Hate to agree with him, but Jayson Stark lays it out pretty well. (and you've likely covered it more than once, Brien)

    Since there's no way to PROVE who did what – elect players to the HOF based on their merit and performance – AS players, ON the field. Baseball has definite eras – including the Whites only era, that conveniently gets overlooked – just add a clearly marked PEDS-era wing to the Hall and move on.

    That wasn't so hard, was it?

  3. It's time to revamp the entire system. Implement a Veteran's Committee style voting system, 6 executives, 6 managers, 6 HOFers and 6 active players with 10+ years experience that revolves would be a decent starting point in negotiations, because this is just utter BS and a slap in the face to Cooperstown.

  4. I know there are many other bigger travesties in the voting, but Bernie Williams doesn't rate 5%? His numbers are actually a bit better than Kirby Puckett, yet Kirby was a "no-doubt-about-it" first ballot HOFer and Bernie doesn't even get 5%? (FYI, I think both were very good players, but neither were quite HOF caliber.) It's all about perception as defined by the voters.

  5. I would like to see a very simple reform: simply set a number for how many people will be elected each year. And then have the voting work like the MVP does from there… it is not a yes/no question, it is a ranking question. If it were me, I would make it 2 every single year (from the post 1900 pool of MLB players, with the cap not applying to managers, execs, etc… though we dont need more 19th century players). You could either create a system where the BBWAA elects one every year, and some other committee elects one non-BBWAA eligible every year, or you could have a combined system that was intended to select the best 2 out of everyone not already in, period.

  6. I like Brad's suggestion above. There shouldn't be years like this when no one gets elected. It makes baseball look bad. The only other thing I might change in the future is to add some kind of fan component. We're the ones going to the museum, after all. I also believe it would be a good promotion of baseball: I don't usually vote for the All-Star game but you can be sure I would vote for who's going in the Hall.

  7. Some fan input couldn't hurt, but then again the fans did vote Nolan Ryan, by far, as the best pitcher of the 20th century.