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January 7, 2015 6:00 am

Ninety Percent Mental: Are Secret Ballots Ruining Cooperstown?


Lewie Pollis

Identifying the discrepancies between public and private ballots from yesterday's vote.

There are a lot of things wrong with the Hall of Fame vote. There’s the fact that the recent bar for enshrinement is set far higher than it’s been in the past (especially for pitchers). There’s the 10-vote-per-ballot limit, even in a year when there are probably 18 candidates I’d vote for if I could. There’s the belated moral panic about PEDs that holds back anyone who is remotely suspected of having used them (no matter how baseless or arbitrary the rumors) even though there are plenty of both dopers and cheaters already in Cooperstown. And then there’s the fact that Kenny Lofton fell off on his first ballot.

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Forty staff members cast their ballots.

As the BBWAA prepares to announce its newest class of Hall of Fame inductees, we asked our staff to fill out their own ballots using the list of players eligible for enshrinement in Cooperstown. Forty ballots were submitted, so players needed to garner at least 30 votes to earn a Baseball Prospectus nod to the Hall, and to notch at least two votes to remain in consideration next year.

Under BBWAA rules—namely, the 10-player voting limit—our 2015 Hall of Fame class features eight players. (The number of ballots on which each player appeared and the percentage that number represents are in parentheses.)

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January 10, 2013 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Lessons from the Hall of Fame Vote


Russell A. Carleton

What the voting results tell us about the 10-player limit, the electorate's feelings about PED use, and the public/private-ballot split.

So... the Hall of Fame vote happened. And no one got in.

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Ben and Sam discuss the Hall of Fame voting and what their own ballots would look like.

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Want to set a Hall of Fame voter straight? Here's how to do it.

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.

Derek offered a handy guide to persuading Hall of Fame voters to see things your way in the piece reprinted below, which was originally published as a "Prospectus Toolbox" column on January 22, 2008.

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The Hall of Fame welcomed three new (but long-deceased) members yesterday. Might the 2013 Cooperstown ceremony lack a living inductee?

Before thinking about the awkwardness that the next Hall of Fame ceremony could unleash on the baseball world, we’ll think first of Sal’s Pizzeria and Nicoletta’s, the Cooperstown haunts that need that weekend a lot more than we do.

They won’t be ruined by an induction weekend where a steroid user gets a key to the somewhat sacrosanct halls of 25 Main Street. What will hurt them is the lack of visitors that would follow the very realistic scenario of the BBWAA turning in a collectively blank ballot with none of the 37 candidates reaching 75 percent of the votes on the individual ballot.

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