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Monday, January 7, 2013

Top 50 Players Not in the Hall: Final Comparison

Graham Womack finally posted the results of this year’s 50 Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame project last week. So why not compare my ballot to the final results?

Out of the 50 players, there were 39 who overlapped in the two, including the top 24 vote-getters. In order of most votes received, they are (place on the final project included):

1. Tim Raines
2. Craig Biggio
3. Jeff Bagwell
4. Shoeless Joe Jackson
5. Alan Trammell
6. Roger Clemens
6. Pete Rose
8. Barry Bonds
8. Edgar Martinez
10. Lou Whitaker
11. Mike Piazza
12. Dick Allen
13. Dwight Evans
13. Rafael Palmeiro
15. Curt Schilling
16. Mark McGwire
17. Luis Tiant
18. Larry Walker
19. Joe Torre
19. Bobby Grich
21. Sammy Sosa
21. Ted Simmons
23. Keith Hernandez
24. Kenny Lofton
26(tie). Bill Dahlen
28. Darrell Evans
28. David Cone
31. Graig Nettles
33. Minnie Minoso
35(tie). Kevin Brown
37. Ken Boyer
40. Bret Saberhagen
41(tie). Bobby Bonds
43. Reggie Smith
44. Dave Stieb
45. Willie Randolph
46. Thurman Munson
47. Rick Reuschel
47. Jimmy Wynn

I disagree some with the rankings, but at the same time, I didn’t rank my choices, so I can’t really complain. Overall, we agreed on 78% of the best players; that’s pretty solid.

What were the 11 differences? Well, I had Kevin Appier, Sal Bando, Ross Barnes, Buddy Bell, Tommy Bond, Bob Caruthers, Eddie Cicotte, Jack Glasscock, Sherry Magee, Ezra Sutton, and Deacon White (who actually made the Hall this year, via the Veterans Committee).

The overall project had Tommy John (25), Fred McGriff (26, tie), Don Mattingly (29), Jim Kaat (32), Will Clark (34), Dale Murphy (35, tie), Jack Morris (38), Wes Ferrell (39), Gil Hodges (41, tie), Albert Belle (49), and Dave Parker (49).

To be fair, I later mentioned I would have probably dropped Barnes and Sutton (although I go back and forth on Barnes) for Ferrell (who made the project) and John Olerud (who didn’t). Also, with even further retrospect, I would probably have removed Tommy Bond from my list, and Tommy John would probably have been near the top of my replacements for him. Also, Will Clark and Ferrell were two of the players dropped from my list last year to make room for this year, so there’s that.

Most of the other players of mine that missed had a good showing. 51 votes were needed to make the top 50, and my picks went:

Appier-26
Bando-43
Barnes-12
Bell-48
Bond-16
Caruthers-38
Cicotte-44
Glasscock-34
Magee-49 (so close!)
Olerud-36
Sutton-4
White-27 (I find it funny the only sure person to be added to the Hall polled this low, even with his induction announced before the ballot deadline.)

So, again, for the most part, there’s a lot of agreement.

As for the 50 Best, 148 writers contributed. To set a 75% mark for induction (like what exists on the real ballot), a player would need to be named on 111 ballots. Dick Allen, 12th place, marks that boundary, with Dwight Evans and Rafael Palmeiro each falling 2 ballots short.

However, Graham also asked whether each voter would actually place each player in the Hall, in addition to whether they were one of the 50 Best. Going with only players given 111 “yes” marks, only Raines (116), Biggio (119)*, and Bagwell (115) would make it, with Trammell (107) and Mike Piazza (105) being the only other players to make over 100. Well, the good news for them is that if this were the actual Hall voting, both would get in next year on momentum alone.

*I do think it’s kind of interesting that more writers thought Raines was one of the 50 best not in Cooperstown, but more supported Biggio for the Hall.

I find it difficult to believe that almost 30 voters don’t think Biggio is a Hall of Famer, and even harder to believe that 20 don’t even think he’s one of the 50 best players not in the Hall already, but oh well. As is, in the BBWAA elections, he appears to have the best chance at election this year, although it’s still looking doubtful he makes it to the needed mark. I guess this will only help to making the next few elections as wonderfully catastrophic logjam as possible.

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