Barry Larkin earns his Hall call, but the major gains for multiple players shed new light on their Cooperstown prospects.
That Barry Larkin is headed to Cooperstown is not the big surprise of the 2012 Hall of Fame voting, the results of which were announced on Monday afternoon. As the top holdover (he received 62.1 percent of the vote last year) on a ballot with no overwhelming first-time candidates, and a deserving candidate on both the traditional and sabermetric fronts, he was well-positioned to close the deal. With 86.4 percent of the vote, he cleared the 75 percent bar easily, and will join the family of Ron Santo at the induction ceremony on July 22, 2012.
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How well do the players on the Golden Era ballot stack up to Hall of Fame standards?
The Hall of Fame's Golden Era ballot has been out since November 3, offering 10 familiar names from the 1947-1972 era for Cooperstown consideration. This isn't the Veterans Committee anymore; when last year's reforms were announced, the words "Veterans Committee" were conspicuously omitted from all press releases. Rather, it's the second of three Era Committees to get its turn at bat, following last year's Expansion Era Committee, which voted on players from the 1973-1989 period and managers, umpires, and executives from 1973 to the present. Theoretically, next year’s panel will consider candidates from the Pre-Integration period (1871-1946), but the Hall has changed the rules so often lately that all bets are off.
The secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA discusses the organization's purpose, its relationship with MLB, and membership eligibility.
The Baseball Writers Association of America is a big part of the game, and Jack O’Connell is a big part of the BBWAA. The organization’s secretary-treasurer since 1994, O’Connell is not only involved in the decision-making, he also serves as spokesperson and coordinates the annual awards and Hall of Fame balloting. A member of the BBWAA since 1975, he is a former beat writer for both the Mets and Yankees. O’Connell talked about the history and objectives of the BBWAA, along with a variety of the organization’s issues. Among them: their relationship with MLB, membership eligibility—including the inclusion of internet-only reporters—and the Hall of Fame voting process.
Two men finally get their due in Cooperstown, while several other qualified players are locked out.
Our long national nightmare is over. On Wednesday at 2 p.m., the National Baseball Hall of Fame opened its doors to Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven, two overwhelmingly qualified candidates who missed gaining entry from the BBWAA last year by a combined 13 votes. Both cleared the mandatory 75 percent threshold with room to spare, with Alomar drawing 90 percent of the record 581 votes cast during his second year on the ballot, and Blyleven garnering 79.7 percent in his 14th year of eligibility. They'll join Pat Gillick on the dais in Cooperstown, New York on July 24.
Players who set the bar high in their rookie seasons naturally have a harder time meeting expectations as sophomores.
A quick glance at the recent fortunes of last year’s Rookie of the Year hopefuls reveals that bringing home the hardware is far from a guarantor of future success. Of those receiving votes in the American League, victor Andrew Bailey, runner-up Elvis Andrus, and fourth-place finisher Jeff Niemann have used their successful starts as springboards for continued or heightened success. However, 2010 has been less kind to the other AL tyros who earned some November lovin’ from the BBWAA. A mere eight months ago, Rick Porcello was mowing down the Twins in the Metrodome as the Tigers’ season entered overtime; now he finds himself sporting an ERA over five (Skill-Interactive and otherwise). Gordon Beckham and his TAv below the terrible twos (.196, to be precise) have earned Ozzie Guillen’s ire (a distinction sharedbymany), and Brett Anderson, all but christened Cy Youngster prior to the season, may have pitched his last.
A review of the best candidates at every position among the eligibles for the BBWAA and the Veterans Committee ballots.
One of the great things about having an intelligent and inquisitive readership here at Baseball Prospectus is that interacting with our readers often yields strong ideas for articles. Case in point: during last week's chat in which I discussed JAWS and the Hall of Fame voting results, loyal reader and long-suffering Orioles fan TGisriel lobbed an article idea right into my wheelhouse:
Digging through what the outcome of this year's Hall of Fame voting means for those elected, and those still waiting to be.
We've reached the dog days of January, the deadest of dead spots on the baseball calendar. Free-agent signings are few and far between, trade activity is nearly non-existent, and a vast, bleak expanse of winter weeks still separates today from the renewal brought by pitchers and catchers reporting to camp. And it's also the time of year for one particular ritual, because no matter how long I prolong my post-BP annual, post-JAWS series hiatus, inevitably I'm left to pick through the Hall of Fame voting results before moving on to other topics.
A humble proposal of a more equitable and efficient voting process for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Just 23 names dot the 2008 Hall of Fame ballot, the smallest number in history. That's mostly a fluke owing to the vagaries of when careers begin and end, which players come back for an extra season or an extra few weeks, and which don't. Rickey Henderson, the only first-time-eligible player with a snowball's chance in hell of being elected-and who will be this year-would still be playing if he had a choice. We've also seen a lot of players slip off of the ballot quickly in recent years, as the five percent rule for staying on becomes a tougher barrier to clear as the electorate grows. That rule will claim most of this year's new entries as well.
The latest iteration of the Veterans Committee gets replaced, and Craig Biggio's place in history.
Baseball fans have had no shortage of major stories to follow in the past two weeks, from the pursuit of major milestones to the trading deadline and its impact on numerous great races, to the Hall of Fame inductions of the eminently popular Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn. As such, very few people aside from the eagle-eyed Rob Neyer caught the news from the Hall that the Veterans Committee, charged with screening and voting for players who have fallen off the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot, is being revamped again. It's certainly downplayed at the Hall of Fame's own site, where scintillating headlines like "Induction Weekend memories will last" and "Historic weekend will long be remembered" jockey for position and drown out such matters.