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December 4, 2001

2001 STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame

Cast your vote for this year's Hall of Fame class

by Neal Traven

A fascinating season of immense accomplishments ... a riveting post-season capped by an implausible Game 7 in the World Series ... postseason awards that confounded the experts ... what better way to cap off the 2001 baseball season than voting to determine whose face will grace a plaque in Cooperstown next summer?

Yes indeed, it's Hall of Fame voting season once again! The candidates to be considered by eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of America were announced on November 29. While the BBWAA voters may depend on cheap scotch and expensive cigars (or is it expensive scotch and cheap cigars?) as key components of their research into the playing careers of the candidates, we Web-savvy Baseball Prospectus readers have EqA, TPR, SNWL, and a blizzard of other evaluation tools at our disposal.

So can we civilians do a better job of choosing the next crop of Hall of Famers than the writers do? That's a question all baseball fans have asked themselves from time to time, and it's a question I've been offering people an opportunity to answer for quite some time. As listowner of STATLG-L, the "Baseball (and lesser sports) discussion list," I've been running an online Hall of Fame vote since 1991. To my knowledge, it's still the only public-access HOF balloting to be found anywhere. This is the third year that I've operated the STATLG-L vote with the help of my friends here at BP. Let me tell you, putting it on the Web makes the job a whole lot easier--before, voting was by e-mail messages sent to me, and I tallied the selections one-by-one on a spreadsheet.

The STATLG-L Hall of Fame vote is run using rules as close to those of the BBWAA as I can make them. The rules are straightforward--choose the players you feel belong in the Hall of Fame from the same candidates who have been put before the BBWAA. You can vote for any number up to ten. You can't write in the name of anyone who doesn't appear on the official ballot, so you fans of Steve Howe, Rob Deer, Zane Smith, Dave Valle, Chris Gwynn, Felix Fermin, Roger McDowell, and other excluded eligibles should lodge your complaints with the BBWAA, not me or the BP folks. Besides, under the Hall's reconstructed Veterans' Committee, those guys will still have a chance in future years. RDFC members, unite!

When the voting ends, right around the end of the year, any player whose name appears on at least 75% of all submitted ballots is "elected." Voting ends Friday, January 4, 2002, and the results will be announced on January 7.

During its existence, the STATLG-L Hall of Fame results have often been quite similar to those of the BBWAA. Here's a year-by-year comparison (note that by "year" I mean the date of the HOF election rather than the induction ceremony):


Year       BBWAA result               STATLG-L result
1991       Tom Seaver                 Tom Seaver
           Rollie Fingers             Rollie Fingers

1992       Reggie Jackson             Reggie Jackson

1993       Steve Carlton              Steve Carlton

1994       Mike Schmidt               Mike Schmidt

1995       (none)                     Phil Niekro

1996       Phil Niekro                Phil Niekro

1997       Don Sutton                 (none)

1998       Nolan Ryan                 George Brett
           George Brett               Nolan Ryan
           Robin Yount                Robin Yount
                                      Carlton Fisk

1999       Carlton Fisk               (none)
           Tony Perez

2000       Dave Winfield              Dave Winfield
           Kirby Puckett

This year's ballot is an interesting mix of the old and the new. Only 11 first-timers, 1996 retirees, are on the ballot. Interestingly, the Hall of Fame's "Future Hall of Fame Elections" page shows Lenny Dykstra's eligibility date as two years from now. Nails was on the Phillies' disabled list in 1998, but never played a game. Of last year's 17 newbies, only a pair (Mattingly and Stewart) made it past the 5% cutoff. Three of the 17 carried over from last year have reached double figures in years of eligibility; this is Luis Tiant's last appearance on the BBWAA ballot, and Jim Kaat will get only one more chance if he doesn't reach the 75% mark this time.

Looming on the horizon are the 1997 retirees, led by Eddie Murray, Ryne Sandberg, and Lee Smith. But they can wait till next year. We have other worthies to choose from right now.

Results will be available soon!

Neal Traven is the co-chair of the Statistical Analysis Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

To subscribe to STATLG-L, either (a) send a one-line email message consisting of: SUBSCRIBE STATLG-L [your name] to the address listserv@listserv.brown.edu, or (b) click here, and fill in the boxes. Either way, confirm your subscription and then join the discussion!

Related Content:  Bbwaa,  Statlg-l

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