Welcome to the 2002 edition of the STATLG-L Internet Hall of Fame! As listowner of STATLG-L, the "Baseball (and lesser sports) discussion list", I've been running an online Hall of Fame vote since 1991. For the first eight years, it operated strictly through our email list. This is now the fourth year we've been doing this here on the Baseball Prospectus website … I suppose we must be "regulars" in the BP rotation by this time.
As far as I can tell, this is still the only public-access Hall of Fame balloting found anywhere. While members of the Baseball Writers Association of America use little more than their fading memories and baseball-card stats to make their choices, we BP readers can look at the candidates from the perspective of EqA, RARP, SNWL, TPR, and the like. This year, Win Shares has added still another form of analytic ammunition to our collection of weapons. With all this information at our disposal, we can do a far better job of sorting through the candidates than those besotted BBWAA members, can't we?
Or can we? During our existence, the STATLG-L voters have produced results that are often quite congruent with those of the writers. For example, we were no better advocates for Ron Santo than were the writers. Here is a year-to-year comparison between the real BBWAA results and those of the STATLG-L voters (note that "year" refers to the time of voting, not the induction ceremony):
Year BBWAA result STATLG-L result 1991 Tom Seaver Tom Seaver Rollie Fingers Rollie Fingers 1992 Reggie Jackson Reggie Jackson 1993 Steve Carlton Steve Carlton 1994 Mike Schmidt Mike Schmidt 1995 (none) Phil Niekro 1996 Phil Niekro Phil Niekro 1997 Don Sutton (none) 1998 Nolan Ryan George Brett George Brett Nolan Ryan Robin Yount Robin Yount Carlton Fisk 1999 Carlton Fisk (none) Tony Perez 2000 Dave Winfield Dave Winfield Kirby Puckett 2001 Ozzie Smith Ozzie Smith Gary Carter
The STATLG-L Hall of Fame vote operates using rules as close to those of the BBWAA as I can make them. The rules are straightforward – choose the players you feel belong in the Hall of Fame from the same candidates who have been put before the BBWAA. You can vote for any number up to ten, including zero. If you can submit a blank ballot, it will count toward the denominator. You can't write in the name of anyone who doesn't appear on the official ballot … fans of Mariano Duncan, Greg Gagne, Kevin Gross, Mark Gubicza, Ron Karkovice, Joe Orsulak, Jody Reed, Don Slaught, or John Smiley should send their protests and petitions to BBWAA Screening Committee, not me or BP.
When the voting ends, right around the end of the year, any player whose name appears on at least 75% of all submitted ballots is "elected." Voting ends Friday, January 3, 2003, and the results will be announced on January 6, the day before the Hall of Fame announces the real results.
This year's ballot has 33 names on it. One of the 17 first-timers is, of course, the late Darryl Kile, only the second player for whom the Hall of Fame's Rule 3D has been invoked (Thurman Munson was the first). Perhaps more interesting than the new additions are a few exclusions. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Sid Fernandez and Danny Jackson made the cut while Gubicza, Gross, and Smiley didn't. Of the 16 holdovers, two merit special attention – Gary Carter fell just 11 votes short of induction last year, and this is the fifteenth and final year of BBWAA eligibility for Jim Kaat. Note that only two of last year's 11 rookies, Andre Dawson and Alan Trammell, received the 5% needed to stay on the ballot.
Neal Traven is the co-chair of the Statistical Analysis Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).
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