More than 14,000 scouting reports available through online companion to Museum display
A special group of people near and dear to my heart will finally get recognition this year as the Baseball Hall of Fame opens up its Diamond Mines exhibit honoring professional and amateur scouts. Thanks to the work of my esteemed SABR colleagues Rod Nelson, the late Jim Sandoval, Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman, data linking more than 11,000 players with the names of their signing or recommending scout will now be available to the general public. I've seen the work first-hand, and it's truly some amazing stuff. Below is the full press release of today's announcement.
How did one of the Hall of Fame's least-qualified members end up enshrined?
Several months ago, I received an email concerning Hall of Fame third baseman Freddie Lindstrom, whose career spanned from 1924 to 1936, who was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1976, and who passed away in 1981. The email was from Andy Lindstrom, one of his three sons, who took issue with something I had written back in 2010 about his father's route to Cooperstown in the context of my discussion of the latest round of changes to the Veterans Committee. Specifically, I wrote:
Character assassination, speculation, a commitment to process... ah, it has to be Hall of Fame season.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Before Jeff Bagwell's first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, Christina summed up her attitude toward steroids in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "Prospectus Perspective" column on December 31st, 2010.
Or is all the campaigning to keep Jack Morris out of the Hall actually making it more likely that he'll get in?
Appearing on MLB Network in the wake of yesterday’s non-elections, Jon Heyman looked like a broken man.Visibly deflated (unless that’s just how everyone who sits close to Tom Verducci looks by comparison), Heyman called Morris’ stagnant results—just three votes and one percentage point higher than last year’s, leaving him well short of the magic 75 percent mark with one year of eligibility remaining—“unfair” and “a real shame," even going so far as to suggest that Morris was “mistreated.” After the segment, Heyman took to Twitter to get a head start on the decisive 2014 voting, which will, one way or another, drive a stake into the heart of these delightful end-of-year debates:
This year's election results didn't bring us any closer to having an inductee for every team. When will the Hall of Fame complete the set?
Without a Hall of Fame inductee this year, there will remain seven franchises that have never had a Hall of Famer go in wearing their hat. One of those teams—the Astros—got ever so close this year, and even in next year’s oversaturated ballot,Craig Biggio stands an excellent chance of being inducted; it would be a surprise if he and Bagwell aren’t both in by this time in 2020. When will the other six franchises get to celebrate their first Hall of Famer?
Angels Earliest it could happen: 2017 Vladimir Guerrero comes up a bit short on JAWS, he didn’t meet any of the big milestones ending in double zeroes, and you can find a fair number of corner guys who out-WARPed him. But he does well by the Keltner standards and his MVP shares, memorable style of play, and Teh Fear suggest he’ll get plenty of support from future voters. But it’s almost a coin flip whose hat he would wear:
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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.
Writers didn't want to induct anybody into the Hall of Fame this year, a decision with no small consequences.
The writers struck out looking. They were lobbed a fat pitch over the heart of the plate and they failed to even take a swing at it. Defenders will note, correctly, that it isn’t the ninth inning. But it was the last at-bat of the eighth, and they face an exceedingly difficult challenge in coming back to win this thing.
The biggest takeaway is that there is a sizable contingent of voters who will refuse to vote for any player, no matter how qualified, if there’s the barest taint of steroids on him, up to and including “playing the majority of his career after 1993.” Many will cast this as a referendum on Bonds and Clemens, two of the sports’ greatest stars who ended up in legal hot water over the use of performance-enhancing drugs. But a litany of deserving players, including Biggio, Bagwell, Piazza, and others, have been punished too, with little more than hearsay to incriminate them. This was a well stocked ballot, filled with newcomers with impressive resumes and a handful of players (like Raines and Trammell) who have been sadly overlooked. It’s easy for even a seasoned analyst to find himself having to trim his list to meet the 10-player limit established by the voting process.