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January 10, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: Murphy, Morris, and Using the Full 15 Ballots


Zachary Levine

What do Dale Murphy's and Jack Morris' vote totals in their final and penultimate years on the BBWAA ballot, respectively, say about their odds of induction?

It is twilight for Jack Morris and sunset for Dale Murphy as both—along with 35 other players— were shut out of the Hall of Fame on Wednesday. In denying all 37 candidates admittance, with none all that close, the BBWAA has set up a nightmare scenario for future elections, as Colin Wyers lays out.

It is obviously particularly devastating for Murphy, who on the strength of his niceness and letters from his children received a 4.1 percentage point bump that wasn’t nearly enough. He went from just 14.5 percent to 18.6 percent, becoming the 51st player under things resembling the current rules (1969-present after runoffs were eliminated) to last his full allotted time on the ballot. Of the 51, 49 have suffered a similar 15 ballots of rejection, while Jim Rice and Ralph Kiner snuck over the 75 percent barrier. Kiner received the biggest final-year boost under the modern ballot, going from 58.9 in his penultimate try to 75.4 in the ultimate.

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