Today the BBWAA Hall of Fame voting results were announced and 2016 will be a class of two. Both Ken Griffey Jr., and Mike Piazza exceeded the necessary 75% threshold for enshrinement. Griffey was nearly unanimous setting a new record with 99.3% of the vote. He appeared on 437 of the 440 ballots cast. Rumors of steroid use had hurt Piazza his first three years on the ballot but this year the “suspicion is not enough crowd” overpowered the “when in doubt keep them out” voters and Piazza got in on his 4th try. The purge of 90 older voters who have not been active BBWAA members in at least ten years certainly helped Piazza clear 75% and should help others who carry only suspicion of PED use going forward as well. Here is a look at the actual results and how some of my predictions fared.
Overall my average differential between my final predictions and the actual results was 2.28%. Not bad. My biggest misses were on Hoffman (-6.3) and McGriff (-4.9). From the beginning I predicted that only two players would be going in this year and that those players would be Griffey and Piazza. Both Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines were over the 75% threshold on public ballots before the announcement was made but the discrepancy between their private and public ballots last year was too big to ignore. Ultimately they both fell short this year receiving 71.6% and 69.8% respectively. Both players are in a very good position to get the call next year. Trevor Hoffman who debuted strong at 67.3% might join them.
This was the final year on the ballot for Alan Trammell who saw a big jump up from 25.1% last year to 40.9% this year. Trammel has a good chance of getting in via the Veterans Committee, possibly as soon as next year. This was also Mark McGwire’s final year on the ballot. He saw a modest gain of 2.3%. He’s unlikely to get in anytime soon. He may never. Nomar Garciaparra was the only holdover candidate to receive less than 5% of the vote meaning he will no longer appear on the BBWAA ballot.
Despite his insensitive comments Curt Schilling saw a nice jump up gaining 13.1% from last year bringing him to 52.3%. If he just gains 5% a year he will get in on his 9th year of eligibility. I think that happens.
Mike Mussina saw the biggest increase in vote percentage from last year to this year gaining a whopping 18.4%. Mussina still fails the sniff test for many voters but this increase gives him a good chance to get in around his 9th or 10th year.
Edgar Martinez had the 2nd biggest increase going from 27% last year to 42.5% this year. He and Mussina appear to have been the players most affected by the Hall’s 10-slot player limit rule. Now that the ballot has thinned a bit they both saw huge jumps forward. Edgar only has three years of eligibility left which means he needs to average a gain of 11% a year to clear 75%. That’s a lot of ground to make up, I don’t think he gets there.
Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens both saw gains of over 7% as well. They have six more chances and would need to average gains of 5% a year to get to 75%. That’s doable but I still think it’s unlikely either of them will ever get voted in via the BBWAA. It will be interesting to see if they recieve significant increases next year after Piazza got voted in this year.
Next year will be Lee Smith’s last on the ballot. He won’t get in via the writers but has a good chance with the Veterans Committee. Smith recieved 50.6% of the BBWAA vote in 2012. Only one player (Gil Hodges) who has ever received 50% or more of the vote has failed to get inducted either by the writers themselves or a Veterans Committee.
The rest of the holdover candidates are stuck in ballot purgatory. They received enough support to stay on the ballot but realistically have no chance of getting in, at least not by the BBWAA.
Billy Wagner debuted with 10.5% of the vote. He probably won’t last the full ten years he’s eligible but he will hang around for at least for a few more years.
Jim Edmonds joins a long list of great players to fall off the ballot their 1st year on it. He deserved better than this. His candidacy is tabled for now.
If I had an actual vote I would have voted for: Bonds, Clemens, Griffey, Bagwell, Piazza, Schilling, Mussina, Raines, Trammell, and Walker. I think Edgar Martinez and Mark McGwire are both deserving too but restricted to ten I would have had to leave them off.
Looking ahead to 2017 several more quality candidates will join the ballot for the first time. They include Vlad Guerrero, Pudge Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and Jorge Posada. My early prediction for 2017 is that none of those newcomers will get in on their 1st ballot. I’m confident that Bagwell and Raines will go in, I think Hoffman barely clears the line as well and joins both of them in Cooperstown.
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