Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Hall of Fame Results

My first order of business is to congratulate Cal Ripken, Jr. and Tony Gwynn on their much deserved election into Cooperstown. My second order of business is to lament the fact that Bert Blyleven lost ground from last year, once again falling below the 50% mark on the ballot. Frankly, I didn't see this coming - while a few writers, such as Buster Olney, have acknowledged that they continued not to vote for Blyleven, I had seen more stories shifting the other direction (such as Jayson Stark, who was finally convinced of Blyleven's worthiness). I believed that Blyleven was going to continue to increase his vote share, and that he would eventually cross into the 75%+ club that would earn him election. Blyleven fans now have to acknowledge that this is a long shot, since he lost ground. Once you start giving ground back, it's hard to reclaim.

You can find the official vote totals here.

You can find my predictions (my very wrong predictions) here.

And if you want still more analysis, you can see my would-be picks for the Hall here.

A few further thoughts:

1.) Gwynn and Ripken were obviously beloved by the writers. I knew they'd get in, but I projected lower vote totals than they actually received, and had Gwynn finishing above Ripken. I'm not sure now why I thought there would be such a strong anti-Ripken vote - maybe the 8 guys who didn't vote for him could better articulate the rationale. Chalk this one up to a big mistake on my part.

2.) Goose Gossage is now less than 4% away from getting in. Considering that he won't be facing off against any new (legitimate) competition next year, I consider him a virtual lock for election in 2008. Interestingly, Jim Rice and Andre Dawson suffered losses from previous totals, just like Bert. At one point, I thought that 3 or 4 of the "hold-overs" would be elected next year. Now, it looks like the Goose might be going in alone next year.

3.) Mark McGwire fared very poorly, with just 23.5% of the vote. I thought he'd get a little over 1/3 - obviously the backlash is very large, and very strong. To say that McGwire is unlikely ever to be elected to the Hall is probably an understatement at this point. Unless something were to surface that completely exonerated him (and is that really very likely?) or unless attitudes towards performancing-enhancing drugs were to change tremendously over the next 14 years, there is no shot for McGwire to end up in Cooperstown.

4.) A melancholy goodbye to Steve Garvey, who failed to get in the Hall in his last year of eligibility. I predicted a sympathy vote would increase his totals from a year ago - instead, he lost over 4% - tough crowd, those writers.

5.) More guys who lost ground on the ballot: Lee Smith (5.2%), Jack Morris (3.9%), Tommy John (6.7%), Alan Trammell (4.4%), Dave Parker (3%), Don Mattingly (2.4%), Dale Murphy (1.6%), Orel Hershiser (6.8%), Albert Belle (4.2%).

6.) The drops suffered by Hershiser and Belle were enough to remove them from the ballot. Neither was going to be elected, but I'm surprised that their support fell so quickly from last year to this.

7.) Amongst the first-time candidates, only Mark McGwire and Harold Baines (barely) stayed on the ballot for next year. Scott Brosious, Bobby Witt, Devon White, and Wally Joyner all failed to receive any votes (which really was as it should have been), and surprisingly to me (and not to anybody else, apparently) Jose Canseco picked up just 6 votes for a total of 1.1% of the ballot. Buh-Bye, Jose.


  • At Tue Jan 09, 10:06:00 PM , Blogger Marty said...

    I know I got after you over Canseco, and I ended up being right. However, he was the lone candidate from the steroids era who came clean and (unlike Caminiti) had HOF or near-HOF numbers. I'm glad steroids has a stigma but I am very saddened that the writers have taken and punished honesty while still leaving some hope (I admit, none to none to not slim at all) for McGwire.


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