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January 5, 2004 12:00 am

2004 Internet Hall of Fame

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Neal Traven

In this, our 13th year, the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame balloting demonstrates anew the uncertainties involved in trying to decide whether Player X or Player Y has the credentials to merit your vote for induction into the Hall. There were a number of intriguing questions to be answered this time around, dealing with both first-year eligibles and holdovers from last year. We recorded a total of 2363 ballots in this year's edition of the STATLG-L IHOF, appreciably less than last year's record total and even a bit lower than the number of ballots cast two years ago. I don't think we can blame this drop on the absence of a Veterans Committee ballot this year, and I won't speculate about other possible reasons for the decline. I must report, however, that I personally did less shilling for the event than I've done in previous seasons, so maybe some of the decrease can be laid at my own feet. The average number of names on a ballot was 5.83, very similar to last year's 5.96 and well above the 5.18 names per ballot a year earlier. Given the total number of ballots recorded this time, the 75% threshold was set at 1773 votes while the 5% gateway for retention on the ballot (if we, rather than the BBWAA, made that decision) came to 119 votes.

We recorded a total of 2363 ballots in this year's edition of the STATLG-L IHOF, appreciably less than last year's record total and even a bit lower than the number of ballots cast two years ago. I don't think we can blame this drop on the absence of a Veterans Committee ballot this year, and I won't speculate about other possible reasons for the decline. I must report, however, that I personally did less shilling for the event than I've done in previous seasons, so maybe some of the decrease can be laid at my own feet. The average number of names on a ballot was 5.83, very similar to last year's 5.96 and well above the 5.18 names per ballot a year earlier. Given the total number of ballots recorded this time, the 75% threshold was set at 1773 votes while the 5% gateway for retention on the ballot (if we, rather than the BBWAA, made that decision) came to 119 votes.

The most important question, as always, was whether any of the first-time candidates could garner enough votes for induction. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Heartiest congratulations to both leading vote-getter Dennis Eckersley (1940 votes, 82.1%) and Paul Molitor (1888 votes, 79.9%), who easily topped the required vote total and demonstrated that at least one kind of relief pitcher and one designated hitter belong in the STATLG-L Hall of Fame. No other first-timer got anywhere close to the goal. In fact, the only other newbie who finished ahead of any of the holdover candidates was @#$% Joe Carter (sorry, the Phillies fan in me surfaced for just a moment), whose 118 votes rounded to 5% even though it's actually a mere 4.994%.

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December 2, 2003 12:00 am

2004 Internet Hall of Fame

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Neal Traven

To the best of my knowledge, the STATLG-L vote is still the only public-access Hall of Fame balloting found anywhere. While those aging members of the Baseball Writers Association of America seemingly make their decisions based on little more than their memories of the heroes of their youth (and perhaps a few baseball card stats), we readers and surfers of BP can make use of the sophisticated analytic tools found here to compare and contrast the candidates. With this added information at our disposal, surely we can do a better and more accurate job of assessing the merits of the candidates than those besotted BBWAA members. Or can we? Throughout our dozen years of existence, the STATLG-L participants have voted very much as the writers did. For example, Ron Santo had no better luck with us than he did with the BBWAA. We were ahead of the writers on Niekro, Fisk, and Carter, and never chose Sutton, Perez, or Puckett, but those are minor inconsistencies.

As list owner of STATLG-L, the "Baseball (and lesser sports) discussion list," I've been operating an online Hall of Fame vote since 1991 (the 1992 HOF election). In our first eight years--the HOF elections of 1992 through 1999--the voting was carried out through our e-mail list and my own personal e-mail contacts. Since moving here to the Baseball Prospectus website in 1999 for the 2000 ballot, the balloting has generated a whole lot more voters and a whole lot more interest, though of course we continue to argue over our choices and criteria on the STATLG-L e-mail list.

To the best of my knowledge, the STATLG-L vote is still the only public-access Hall of Fame balloting found anywhere. While those aging members of the Baseball Writers Association of America seemingly make their decisions based on little more than their memories of the heroes of their youth (and perhaps a few baseball card stats), we readers and surfers of BP can make use of the sophisticated analytic tools found here to compare and contrast the candidates. With this added information at our disposal, surely we can do a better and more accurate job of assessing the merits of the candidates than those besotted BBWAA members.

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While we wait breathlessly for word from Cooperstown about the results of the new Veterans Committee balloting, the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame voters have spoken their collective mind here on BP.

While we wait breathlessly for word from Cooperstown about the results of the new Veterans Committee balloting, the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame voters have spoken their collective mind here on BP.

Well, sort of. The voting patterns on the two ballots (Players and Composite) were rather similar in some respects. On both ballots, only one person received the support of as much as half of the voters. On both ballots, the average voter cast votes for only a small number of candidates. On both ballots, nearly half of the candidates were able to attract the votes of fewer than 10% of the IHOF voters.

Players Ballot

It turned out to be a pretty good day for Chicago at the top of the Players ballot. If the Hall of Famers cast their ballots in a manner similar to what our 1,789 participants did, the long, long wait is finally over for Ron Santo. The great Cubbie third baseman made it past the 75% plateau with 42 votes to spare; he was named on just over 77% of the ballots. With just over 40% of the vote, Minnie Minoso, who spent much of his career playing for the White Sox, finished a distant second to Santo. The only other man to garner as much as one-third of the votes on the Players ballot was Dick Allen, who spent three years on the South Side (among them, his 1972 MVP season). As a long-suffering Phillies phan, however, I will forever remember him in red pinstripes.

The complete tally on the Players ballot is displayed below:

Player Votes Percent Ron Santo 1384 77.4% Minnie Minoso 731 40.9% Dick Allen 638 35.7% Joe Torre 559 31.2% Gil Hodges 394 22.0% Tony Oliva 388 21.7% Curt Flood 361 20.2% Roger Maris 353 19.7% Joe Gordon 302 16.9% Carl Mays 262 14.6% Maury Wills 225 12.6% Ken Boyer 213 11.9% Bobby Bonds 213 11.9% Thurman Munson 179 10.0% Don Newcombe 139 7.8% Wes Ferrell 135 7.5% Vada Pinson 128 7.2% Mickey Lolich 100 5.6% Elston Howard 91 5.1% Rocky Colavito 88 4.9% Mike G. Marshall 87 4.9% Ted Kluszewski 84 4.7% Allie Reynolds 74 4.1% Marty Marion 54 3.0% Ken R. Williams 43 2.4% Bob Meusel 36 2.0% TOTAL 7261 Total Ballots Cast: 1789 Votes Per Ballot: 4.06

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While we wait breathlessly for word from Cooperstown about the results of the new Veterans Committee balloting, the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame voters have spoken their collective mind here on BP.

Well, sort of. The voting patterns on the two ballots (Players and Composite) were rather similar in some respects. On both ballots, only one person received the support of as much as half of the voters. On both ballots, the average voter cast votes for only a small number of candidates. On both ballots, nearly half of the candidates were able to attract the votes of fewer than 10% of the IHOF voters.

Players Ballot

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If the baseball writers vote like our STATLG-L Hall of Fame participants did this year, one more player just might make the grade. I am pleased to announce that catcher Gary Carter just squeezed over the STATLG-L bar, joining the Wizard as our choice for enshrinement in Cooperstown.

Reach the 75% plateau for election to the Hall required 1,911 votes. This year's total of 2,548 ballots was more than 150% above the number cast last year. As expected, Smith finished well above that mark with 2,120 votes (83.2%). Carter's vote total came to 1,936 (76.0%), a mere 25 votes above the required number. It's possible, though, that his "true" margin might have been even narrower.

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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.

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January 15, 2001 12:00 am

2001 Hall of Fame Results

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Neal Traven

The seagull lobby couldn't get out their vote. Neither could Ohio State basketball fans. Participants in the tenth annual STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame balloting have elected outfielder Dave Winfield, appearing on the HOF ballot for the first time, to their version of Cooperstown.

Many thanks to the 1632 people who cast HOF votes, more than three times the number in last year's balloting. Also, this year's voters were more supportive of the candidates than last year's, averaging 6.54 names per ballot. That's a vast increase over last year, when ballots averaged only 2.67 names. Is this year's crop of candidates that much better than last season's?

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Fact is, no one even came close. Only one player, Gary Carter, drew votes from more than half the people who cast ballots, and fellow catcher Carlton Fisk was the only other player named by even one-third of the voters. Although the number of voters was appreciably higher than in any of the previous (non-Web) elections, the number of players selected on each ballot was much lower than ever before. The 518 voters placed their checkmarks 1384 times, an average of just 2.67 selections per ballot. By comparison, last season's strong slate averaged 6.96 names per ballot, and there were 5.55 names per ballot the previous year (another weak year in which STATLG-L elected no one).

So the STATLG-L voters didn't elect anyone to the Hall of Fame this year, and the number of names per ballot was exceedingly low. Even so, the rank-order of players, shown below, reveals some interesting contrasts to the media hype and hoopla surrounding the "real" HOF vote. Media darling Tony Perez finished fifth in our vote, drawing support from fewer than one of every six participants. Jack Morris finished far behind another first-timer, as Goose Gossage was one of just four players to receive as many as a quarter of the votes. And a mere ten, count 'em, ten people thought All-American boy Steve Garvey merited a plaque in Cooperstown. Five of this year's newcomers failed to draw the attention of even one STATLG-L Hall of Fame voter.

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