Visualizing Hall of Fame Picks by the Writers and Veterans

Earlier in the month, I launched the Interactive Hall of Fame Timeline. For today's graph, I want to look at a couple new views I added to the visualization. I had already added filters by position and for the top tier and lower tier. Today, I'm adding filters that allow you to see players elected by the Writers versus players inducted via the Veterans Committee.

First, the players inducted by the Writers:


And now those inducted by the Veterans:



We can't see the individual players at this size, but we can see trends and production over time. The darker the box the higher career wWAR the player achieved.

Now, let's make some observations:

  • The reason the early Veterans picks are of much higher quality is that the Veterans were tasked with inducting the 19th century stars. So, they handled both the best and the rest from that century.
  • There's one really dark blue box in a sea of light blue Veterans picks. This would make you believe that the Writers really blew it on missing this player. And it's true. That's Arky Vaughan and my goodness did the Writers blow it.
  • Curious who the light blue Writers picks are? They are the pure relievers (Hoyt Wilhelm, Rich Gossage, Rollie Fingers, and Bruce Sutter), Herb Pennock, Rabbit Maranville, Pie Traynor, Gabby Hartnett, Bob Lemon, Roy Campanella, Luis Aparicio, Catfish Hunter, and our friend Jim Rice. Hartnett loses a little because, like WAR, catchers have a tough time piling up wWAR. Campanella, of course, has that against him as well as the unjust delay to the start of his career. Both would easily fall in other tiers on true talent alone.
  • The last active Veterans Committee pick was Orlando Cepeda. He started his career in 1958 and ended 1974. The players have not deemed any of their peers fit of induction since then.
  • The Writers, meanwhile, have inducted 44 players who began their career after 1958.
  • Some players both systems overlooked Ron Santo, Dick Allen, Bobby Grich, Jimmy Wynn, Sal Bando, Rick Reuschel, Lou Whitaker, Keith Hernandez, Reggie Smith, Luis Tiant, Graig Nettles, and so many more.

Anything else stand out? Make sure to view the full interactive graphic to use the filters and stat rollovers.

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