Hey, it’s Baseball Hall of Fame time again.
Last year, I was on hiatus in January, so I didn’t comment on the results.
In 2020, I noted that if Curt Schilling “can keep his mouth shut through the presidential elections, he’ll probably be elected next year.” Oops. Didn’t happen. He hit 71.1% in the 2021 voting, sixteen votes short of election; this year he only scraped together 58.6% of the vote. Looks like his sour grapes demand that the writers not vote him in was honored.
One hopes that the Veteran’s Committee takes character into account and declines to elect him as well. Aside from anything else, he flat-out stated that the only people qualified to judge a player are former players. Fans and sportswriters don’t count–his words–in Curt Schilling’s world.
The other big question marks in their last year of eligibility, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, made small gains of around 5%. I suspect they will eventually be voted in by committee, and I’m largely okay with that.
Then, of course, there’s Alex Rodriguez. In his first year on the ballot, the new poster child for the “Numbers not Integrity” crowd got the nod from just over a third of the voters. About what many people expected. I’m betting his numbers will climb, but fall short of 75%, just as happened with Bonds and Clemens. Unless, of course, he does something to force the baseball press to take fresh note of him. Perhaps fortunately for his HoF dreams, his bid to buy the Mets fell through. Sorry, NBA fans, there really wasn’t any way we could stop him from turning those dollars over and buying into the Timberwolves–but we’d sure appreciate it if you could keep him too distracted to keep popping up on TV.
The current Edgar (“He really belongs in the Hall”) candidate is Omar Vizquel. Unfortunately, his polling numbers continue to drop. 52.6% in 2020, 49.1% last year, and only 23.9% this year. Plenty of time left–this was his fifth year of eligibility–but it would be a hell of a comeback.
So who did make it in? David Ortiz, with 77.9% of the voters coming in on his side. History suggests he’d have added at least another ten percentage points if he’d played for the Yankees, but who cares? He’s in and it’s well deserved.
Were there any sympathy votes this year? Of course there were*!
* My assumption is that any player getting less than five votes is getting sympathy votes, often of the “I can’t stomach Player X, so I’m going to use one of my votes as a pat on the back for Player Y” variety. Five or more, I assume at least one or two votes are legitimate nods to the Hall.
Two votes–half a percent–each to Prince Fielder and A.J. Pierzynski.
I didn’t expect Tim Lincecum to collect enough votes to stay on the ballot, but I’m a bit surprised he didn’t hit double digits, but there it is: nine votes, 2.3%.