HOF 2023

It’s that time again; one of the surest signs that Spring Training is on the way: the Hall of Fame votes have been announced.

Once again, only one player made it into the Hall: Scott Rolen, making the jump from 63.2% of the votes, past the magic number of 75%, all the way to election with 5 votes to spare at 76.3%. Welcome, Scott!

At the other end of the voting, seven players failed to garner a single nod. Five more scraped up a single sympathy vote, and, to my surprise, nobody had more than one. The next lowest total was Torii Hunter hanging onto the ballot for another year with nearly 7%.

I don’t have any significant disagreements at either end of the balloting. I’d have liked to see R.A. Dickey get a few more votes in recognition of his contributions to the art of the knuckleball, but even there, I agree with the voters that his career wasn’t Hall-worthy. And I’ve got no problem with Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones, and/or Gary Sheffield being elected; none of them made it this year, but they all had significant jumps, at least in part because the Bonds/Clemens logjam is gone.

As for those guys in the middle, there are arguments to be had.

Alex Rodriguez, for one. Last year, he scored 34.3% on 135 votes. This year, he soared to 139 votes, good for 35.7%. I like this trend. If it continues, he’ll hit 171 votes (somewhere around 58%) in his final year of eligibility. I’m more than okay with that.

On the other hand, we’ve got Omar Visquel. IMNSHO, he belongs in the Hall. But his 19.5% score this year is a significant drop from last year’s 23.9%. I don’t see him falling off the ballot before his eligibility runs out after 2027, but I don’t see him getting elected either.

All in all, 2023 was a quiet year as far as Cooperstown was concerned. Next year should be more interesting, though. There are several newcomers to the ballot I expect to make the cut: Adrian Beltre, Joe Mauer, and Bartolo Colon spring to mind. But will any of them get in on their first ballots? Somehow I doubt it.

Only a bit over two weeks until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Three weeks until positions players check in. And the first exhibition games are a mere three and a half weeks away. Everyone ready for something resembling baseball?

One thought on “HOF 2023

  1. Re, the “Bonds/Clemens logjam”: I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have that behind us, I know, there are people who will never let it go, but at least we don’t have to wonder if they’ll make it, this or next year.
    Now, speaking of letting go, I just have to get over the number of people (including sports writers) who said, again and again, “His numbers are the only things that count, and Ty Cobb was a flaming asshole and he’s in”.
    One less thing to raise my blood pressure.
    …And, just a few weeks until I find out who the SF Giants are, this year- but that’s another topic.


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