IBI Power Poll: The 2013 Hall of Fame
By Jim Pete
January 14, 2013
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.