On Tuesday the BBWAA Hall of Fame voting results were announced. For the first time since 1955 four players (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio) received the necessary 75% of the vote needed for enshrinement. On December 8th, without the aid of the ballot trackers I posted my predictions. Here is a look at the actual results and how some of my predictions fared.
I correctly predicted Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio would all get in this year. I thought the overcrowded ballot would cause more movement at the bottom than there actually was. No holdover candidate fell off the ballot due to a lack of support, even Sammy Sosa managed to stay above the cut line getting 6.6% of the vote. Don Mattingly finished up his tenure on the ballot staying on for the full ten years allowed. He final total was 9.1%.
For awhile the public vote trackers had Mike Piazza above the 75% threshold as well. He went into Tuesday morning hovering around 76% on public ballots however the voters who kept their ballots private crushed him giving him only 63.2% of their vote. Looking at Ryan Thib’s invaluable vote tracking spreadsheet you can see the difference of support between Piazza’s public and private ballots was 13.9% . Piazza finished with 69.9% of the vote and will almost certainly get elected by 2017. He is an interesting case though as he is completely dependent on the support of new voters. Normally a player who receives 69.9% of the votes would be a lock to get in the following year but I’m not convinced that will be the case for Piazza in 2016. The crowded ballot doesn’t affect him. That’s not why he fell short. The voters who do not vote for him are not omitting him because there isn’t enough room on their ballot, they are doing so because they think he used steroids. Their point of view on that issue is not going to change from this year to next. I don’t think there will be enough new voters to actually push him over 75% next year although I think he gets very close. His best bet is in 2017 when no newcomers to the ballot are likely to get in right away.
Curt Schilling received the biggest increase in votes this year adding 10% to his total finishing with 39.2% of the vote. I expect him to keep making gains, he will likely get in towards the end of his tenure on the ballot.
Tim Raines got a nice boost going from 46.1% in 2014 to 55% in 2015. He will continue to gain ground but has little chance of getting to 75% by 2017 which will be his last year on the BBWAA ballot.
My biggest miss this year was with Alan Trammell. This was Trammell’s penultimate year on the ballot and his support was dwindling. I thought he might continue to loose votes but he actually gained 4.3% putting him at 25.1% meaning my prediction was off by 9.1%. I’m happy to be wrong there as his omission from the Hall is a mistake. He will get there someday but it’s clearly not happening by way of the BBWAA.
The average difference between my predictions and the actual results was 2.9%. Not bad.
If more than ten slots were available I also would have supported (Trammell, Smoltz, Walker, E. Martinez, McGwire, Sheffield, Sosa, McGriff, and Kent. The last four, especially McGriff and Kent are very borderline but the rest for me are easy tier two Hall of Famers.
My early prediction for 2016 is that it will be a class of one. After adding seven players the previous two years the BBWAA will scale it back and only add Griffey. Piazza will come close but ultimately fall short. No one else will clear 65%
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