As the BBWAA announces 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-one ballots were submitted, so players needed to garner at least 31 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 2014 Hall of Fame class features seven players. (The number of ballots on which each player appeared and the percentage that number represents are in parentheses.)
- Greg Maddux (40, 97.56%)
- Barry Bonds (39, 95.12%)
- Roger Clemens (39, 95.12%)
- Frank Thomas (39, 95.12%)
- Jeff Bagwell (37, 90.24%)
- Tom Glavine (34, 82.93%)
- Tim Raines (33, 80.49%)
Among the players scrapped from consideration next year were Mark McGwire (1, 2.44%) and Sammy Sosa (no votes), as well as Jack Morris, who did not earn a single Baseball Prospectus vote amid his last chance to persuade the BBWAA.
To see just how restrictive the 10-player limit is in a year in which the list of eligible players is teeming with potentially worthy names, we gave each of our voters the option to tack additional players onto their ballots. The impact was significant: It made all the difference for two down-ballot hopefuls and kept four of the endangered alive.
Without the 10-player restriction, Mike Piazza (30, 73.17%), who came closest to induction without meeting the 75 percent benchmark, earned his plaque with three additional votes that brought his percentage up to 80.49. Craig Biggio (25, 60.98%) surged up nine votes to 34 and 82.93% of the ballots cast. Edgar Martinez (15, 36.59%) nearly doubled his vote total, but it was not enough for him to squeak past the threshold (73.17%).
Meanwhile, Kent, McGwire, Sosa, and Larry Walker—who got only one vote with the limit, but soared to 11, or 26.83% of the ballots submitted, without it—gained enough support to be considered again in 2015.
Finally, Maddux, who was already well clear of the cutoff point for induction, picked up his 41st vote to become a unanimous selection.
You can view each staff member's ballot, and the full results, in the spreadsheet embedded below.