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IBI Power Poll: The 2013 Hall of Fame

IBI Power Poll: The 2013 Hall of Fame
January 14, 2013
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There hasn’t been a hotter topic in baseball over the past week than Major League Baseball’s process for selecting members to its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. This week, the IBI Power Poll is going to tackle that issue by giving the readers here at IBI a chance to give their own vote, using the rules chosen by the Hall of Fame for the BBWAA, and the eligible players selected by the BBWAA Screening Committee. Here are the rules in their entirety, as put forth by the Hall of Fame. Please keep in mind that some of these don’t apply to our vote strictly based on the fact that we aren’t a part of the BBWAA, and we aren’t working on their timeline.

1. Authorization: By authorization of the Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) is authorized to hold an election every year for the purpose of electing members to the National Baseball Hall of Fame from the ranks of retired baseball players.

2. Electors: Only active and honorary members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, who have been active baseball writers for at least ten (10) years, shall be eligible to vote. They must have been active as baseball writers and members of the Association for a period beginning at least ten (10) years prior to the date of election in which they are voting.

3. Eligible Candidates -- Candidates to be eligible must meet the following requirements:

     A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning twenty (20) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.

     B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3 (A).

     C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.

     D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.

     E. Any player on Baseball's ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.

4. Method of Election:

     A. BBWAA Screening Committee -- A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.

     B. Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.

     C. Any candidate receiving votes on seventy-five percent (75%) of the ballots cast shall be elected to membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5. Voting: Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

6. Automatic Elections: No automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or more for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game or similar outstanding achievement shall be permitted.

7. Time of Election: The duly authorized representatives of the BBWAA shall prepare, date and mail ballots to each elector no later than the 15th day of January in each year in which an election is held. The elector shall sign and return the completed ballot within twenty (20) days. The vote shall then be tabulated by the duly authorized representatives of the BBWAA.

8. Certification of Election Results: The results of the election shall be certified by a representative of the Baseball Writers' Association of America and an officer of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. The results shall be transmitted to the Commissioner of Baseball. The BBWAA and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. shall jointly release the results for publication.

9. Amendments: The Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. reserves the right to revoke, alter or amend these rules at any time.

There’s been a lot of banter here at the site with regards to what’s right and more importantly, what’s wrong with the Hall of Fame and their voting process. Tony tackled it in his latest Tribe Happenings, and Jim Piascik noted his thoughts in a great column last Thursday. It’s a topic that’s been bantered about for years, but came to a head this year when the Baseball Writers’ Association failed to induct a single player, including some players (Bonds & Clemens) whose numbers put them in the discussion of “Greatest Player Ever.”

I do have a lot to say about this with regards to the hall of fame, but that’s not for today.

Today, we focus on our latest Power Poll, and give you, the readers here at IBI a chance to vote on who you would elect into the baseball hall of fame in 2013. The rules are simple:

  1. You have ten votes, just like the Writers’ Association, and you can select UP TO TEN PLAYERS on the list of players below (yes, the poll is set up for you to select ten players at once).
  2. The list of ten players is identical to the players listed on the ballots issued to the Hall of Fame voters. I initially had added Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson to the list, but didn’t want to skew the voting in any way. I wanted a true measure on who the fans would actually give 75% of the vote to, without muddying it up with players that were banned for various reasons over the years.
  3. You can choose to publish your selections in the comments section below, or choose not to, in the same fashion that the writers have taken. I’d force you to post your selections, but simply don’t have any way of policing that. So, while I would highly suggest you post who you vote for (and your actual votes, not some made up garbage), you don’t have to.

As soon as the IPI power poll has a significant amount of voters take part in the voting process (1,000 total votes, or thereabouts), I’ll follow up with who we would have inducted, in comparison to the real deal.

Next week, the Power Poll will continue with the All-Time Tribe greats, moving to third base…unless something else interesting crops up.

Happy voting, and remember, you can choose up to ten players (once you select your tenth player, you the poll will stop allowing you to choose)!

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

User Comments

Jim Piascik
January 15, 2013 - 7:17 PM EST
Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Schilling, Walker, McGwire, Martinez, Palmeiro, Piazza, Raines.

Tried to use numbers to split hairs, but it got nasty. Not much difference between spots 7 and 13 on my list. I would have added Trammell, Lofton, Biggio, and maybe even Sosa if allowed more spots.

Granted, I'm a big Hall guy, but it's quite a list of candidates. All flawed just enough to screw up the 75% threshold.
Rocky55
January 15, 2013 - 4:30 PM EST
Going down the list: Biggio, Morris, Raines, Smith, Trammell, McGriff, Murphy, Franco, Lofton.
Won't vote for the drug guys. I've heard the arguments re whether you can just ignore what the drug guys did. I give you Ben Johnson & Lance Armstrong. Erase their records. Henry Aaron is the real career HR champ.
camfrommaine63
January 15, 2013 - 5:15 AM EST
My formula is multiply every players total %by 10. Besides Biggio being 100 and the young kids voting and not voting for players. steroid guys didn't get my vote. maybe after guys like lofton Biggio bagwell maybe Mattingly and Murphy man the 80s ouch. anyway, guys with great numbers that r not inflated in an inflated era. Edgar Martinez was selected by me as well. was the American league Tony gwynn (generic version) not name brand flash. but league leader. Kenny lofton was a career .299 hitter with 600+ stolen bases. now if Luis aparicio is in, lofton a greAt lead off hitter many play off teams.. .Omar vizquel is an obvious when its time. next year big hurt, better get 95% Or more vote. he was better then ripken in my eyes. also he was always big, the only player besides thome who proved they were clean by injuries and dh and natural size. Thomas was the only player willing to go b4 congress to prove himself clean, when he wasn't even scrutinized or subpoenaed
Tony
January 14, 2013 - 11:59 PM EST
Seth, with Lofton and McGriff, again it comes down to how you view the numbers. McGriff did most of his legwork in the 80s and early 90s, before Lofton came on board and before the steroid era took off in the mid-90s. It is tough to compare the numbers of guys in the 80s-early 90s to the guys in the mid-90s-2000s because they were so inflated. I still to this day believe Lofton was more the player offensively he was in 92-93, which was good.....but I always wonder if he was on anything. See, again, another reason I hate this debate. Everyone has pretty much been suspected one way or another, which really stings.
James
January 14, 2013 - 8:37 PM EST
Well, nice to know that we are so much more competent than the BBWAA writers
Kyle
January 14, 2013 - 6:21 PM EST
According to Jose Canseco he didn't think that Albert Belle was using PED's. I don't know how well they knew each other but I wonder if he was. His numbers we outstanding. I know he corked his bat but does corking produce that many doubles as well as homeruns? Sosa did not have nearly as many doubles as Belle but they were within 2 ave homeruns per year (Belle 31.75, Sosa 33.83). Somewhat similar Sosa played 6 more seasons and still didn't have as many doubles. Maybe Belle was just that athletic.
Phil M.
January 14, 2013 - 5:59 PM EST
Ballot is rigged. Need one more entry: No One.
Jim
January 14, 2013 - 4:56 PM EST
How do you prove what they did...how much they did...when they did it...what was designated as steroids, and what was designated as supplements, and you KNOW there are players that used and will never get caught, and players that didn't, that folks will assume did.
anonymous
January 14, 2013 - 4:40 PM EST
Disagree Brett, the players were adults and resposible for their actions.

Tony, if Bagwell is guilty I"d withdraw my support. I'm not supporting any cheaters, I view the slippery slope as too important.

Mays and Aaron weren't huge guys, still had some power.
Jim
January 14, 2013 - 2:02 PM EST
Voting is very interesting. Something to note...the voting percentages are based on votes as compared to ballots submitted, not votes compared to total votes...
Brett
January 14, 2013 - 1:59 PM EST
I have a MASSIVE problem with the guys that used PED's, but in the end, what can you do about it? The issues aren't with the players, but with the organization that allowed it to happen. Lay the blame on Selig and the player's union, but start with Selig.
Seth
January 14, 2013 - 1:51 PM EST
yeah, what Tamara said. I think it's funny when you always hear that Bagwell is under suspicion of using steroids, but I still always hear announcers comment about how Jim Thome was never connected to steroid use and is an example of a clean guy. As someone who started his minor league career as a shortstop in the early 90s and became a hulking 1b/DH, what makes Thome innocent and Bagwell guilty? Not to say the either necessarily used steroids, you can get big muscles without using steroids, but, there's no good reason to say one guy used and the other didn't. Even Omar Vizquel mysteriously cranked 14 HRs one year.

I think voters need to get over the whole "cheating" thing ... where do you even draw the line, where taking steroids was cheating, but taking other supplements was not? Sure, some users may have obtained a prescription drug without a prescription, but that's not exactly a huge offense. At the point that baseball instituted testing and specifically banned these drugs, then it becomes cheating. In the 90s and early 00s, it was just being willing to do whatever it took to be the best player you could be. If Bonds is willing to pump himself full of hormones and grow a big head so he can crank 70 HRs, I don't have a particular problem with that.
Tamara
January 14, 2013 - 1:29 PM EST
There's no freakin' way we can start gauging different levels of players with regards to their steroids use, when you don't even know for sure if or WHAT they were taking. Obviously, different supplements work better than others, should we then take their concoctions into account?

There's too much grey area, so you just take the player at face value, and value their stats the way they've been presented to us.
Seth
January 14, 2013 - 1:20 PM EST
McGriff over Lofton? What, even Indians fans are underrating Kenny? Lofton's career .794 OPS is and 622 SBs as a fantastic defensive CF, versus McGriff's career .886 OPS as a 1b/dh? Kenny out-WAR'd McGriff, significantly if you go by b-ref's version of the stat (64.9 to McGriff's 48.2). I do think people forget how good Kenny remained after he left Cleveland, because he was such a nomad towards the end of his career.

Taylor
January 14, 2013 - 1:04 PM EST
If you are going to put potential steroid users into the hof, then they must be compared to other potential users. Clemons and Bonds were 2 of the best to ever play. Guys like Bagwell were very good but when compared with other potential users, he is not an sll time great. The hof should be for the all time greats.
Adam
January 14, 2013 - 12:50 PM EST
Craig Biggio, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Allan Trammell, Larry Walker, Fred McGriff and Don Mattingly.
Tony
January 14, 2013 - 12:12 PM EST
Art, and here is the PED and steroids issue in a nutshell as while I have no proof whatsoever, I believe Bagwell was one of the biggest steroid offenders of that era, just he has avoided going under the microscope. I think that is the problem.....so many people view this guy or that guy to be an offender when there is no proof, and the viewpoints vary greatly. Shoot, I'd make an argument that Lofton used them. Look at his power spike in 1994. He was a career .379 slugger in the minors and early in his ML career, and then at age 27 he saw a good jump in his power.
art
January 14, 2013 - 11:46 AM EST
I'd go with Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza and McGriff.

Can't bring myself to vote for anyone I believe used steroids, and I think that folks like McGriff and Bagwell have stats that shine even brighter if we didn't have so much cheating going on during their era.
Tony
January 14, 2013 - 11:01 AM EST
Okay, I used all ten of my votes: Biggio, Morris, Piazza, Lee Smith, Clemens, Bonds, McGriff, McGwire, and Palmeiro. I declined to vote for Lofton simply because I believe all ten of the others I voted for I believe deserve to be in.
Jim
January 14, 2013 - 10:35 AM EST
Well...49 votes in, and I think we can already see the issues with this poll, this year...;)
Jim
January 14, 2013 - 10:33 AM EST
My ballot: Palmeiro, Lofton, Sosa, McGwire, Trammell, Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Piazza and Biggio...

The semantics? The first seven for me were easy, and that's even taking into PED's into the equation. The court of public opinion will forever weigh those players down, but they deserve to be in the hall: These are my top seven: Palmeiro, Sosa, Big Mac, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza and Biggio

The next three weren't so easy: Schilling gets in because he really was that good. Without getting into specifics, his career, IMO, dwarfs Jack Morris, and I can break that down, but perhaps at a later point. Trammell is a fringe guy to some, but not to me. I'm not sure if 1987 weighs him up to me (and in particular, his close to the season, which was impressive to say the least), but I do think that if Larkin is in, you have to put in Trammell. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but they have to be somewhat similar. Kenny Lofton nabbed my tenth vote, because he's that good...and you know the numbers.

Bagwell and Walker would have been my 11th and 12th votes, with Martinez my 13th, and Murphy my 14th. Mattingly, McGriff, Williams, Raines and Morris are all in the group below...as really good players, but not hall of famers.

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