BtBWAA 2012 Hall of Fame Vote: Seven Players Headed for Cooperstown

Rollie Fingers can't believe how many people we voted in.

On Monday, the Baseball Writers Association of America will release the results of its 2012 Hall of Fame vote. Given the history of BBWAA Cooperstown voting (both recently and not so recently) it's safe to say that the voters' decisions will be met with some frustration.

Rather than wait to see what the BBWAA does, we here at Beyond the Box Score decided to take matters into our own hands. Twelve members of our "BtBWAA" held a mock vote to see who would get into our version of Cooperstown.

As with the real vote, each writer was allowed up to 10 picks per ballot. A player must be named on 75 percent of ballots (in this case meaning nine votes) in order to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Any candidate who gets less than five percent support (in this case, anyone who was named on even one ballot would clear that) would be dropped for the 2013 vote.

Without further ado, here are our picks for who should join Ron Santo's (our Veterans Committee election winner) widow in Cooperstown in July:

T1. Jeff Bagwell — 92%
T1. Edgar Martinez — 92%
T1. Alan Trammell — 92%
T4. Tim Raines — 83%
T4. Larry Walker — 83%
T6. Barry Larkin — 75%
T6. Rafael Palmeiro — 75%

Full results—in both text and graphic form—after the jump.

8. Mark McGwire — 67%
9. Fred McGriff — 42%
10. Jack Morris — 25%
T11. Lee Smith — 17%
T11. Don Mattingly — 17%
T11. Dale Murphy — 17%
T14. Bernie Williams — 8%
T14. Juan Gonzalez — 8%
T14. Brad Radke — 8%
T17. Bill Mueller* — 0%
T17. Tim Salmon* — 0%
T17. Terry Mulholland* — 0%
T17. Phil Nevin* — 0%
T17. Jeromy Burnitz* — 0%
T17. Vinny Castilla* — 0%
T17. Brian Jordan* — 0%
T17. Javy Lopez* — 0%
T17. Ruben Sierra* — 0%
T17. Tony Womack* — 0%
T17. Eric Young* — 0%

* denotes player who failed to reach 5%

Or, if you prefer your results in infographic form:

Btbwaa_hof_2012_medium

This looks nothing like what the BBWAA will do, nor does it bear much resemblance to the other mock vote in which I participated. But in my opinion, we did a fantastic job. Of all the award votes I've been a part of at BtB, I'm most proud of this one.

In a year that will likely set a new record for fewest votes per BBWAA ballot, we certainly weren't stingy with our votes. We averaged eight votes per ballot (last year, the BBWAA averaged less than six) and elected seven players: Bagwell, Martinez, Trammell, Raines, Walker, Larkin, and Palmeiro. As far as I can tell, this would be the biggest elected class in Cooperstown history.

Besides the fact that we elected seven people, the thing I found most interesting about the results is that we didn't pick anyone unanimously. Not even the best of the best get in with 100 percent in the real vote, but with only 12 writers participating—all of us at least share similar philosophies in how we approach the game, I'd say—I had expected at least one of Bagwell, Raines, or Martinez to get 12 yea votes.

Some other interesting things about the voting:

  • I was shocked that Larkin fell so low—until I counted the last ballot, it looked like he wouldn't get elected. I didn't expect him to finish behind Trammell, and I definitely didn't foresee him placing below Walker. I agree that he's more of a borderline HOFer than a shoo-in, but I figured I would be in the minority.
  • Almost all of the first-year candidates fell short—the key word being "almost." Williams will probably top five percent in the BBWAA vote, but I'm betting Radke won't.
  • We've taken a pretty clear stand on PEDs, and our consensus is quite different from the BBWAA's. (I don't think using WAR instead of RBI explains how a member of both the 500-home run and 3,000-hit clubs went from finishing at the bottom of the ballot in last year's real vote to Cooperstown here.)
  • Speaking of steroids, I was also surprised that Palmeiro finished ahead of McGwire. Big Mac almost doubled Palmeiro's vote total in last year's BBWAA ballot, plus he has superior rate stats and had a much better peak. And while Palmeiro was caught and punished for using illegal substances, McGwire's career predated MLB's first serious quasi-effectual anti-PED policies.

My ballot went as follows: Bagwell, Larkin, Martinez, McGriff, McGwire, Palmeiro, Raines, Smith, Trammell, Walker. If you're interested, you can find my reasoning for each of my picks here and explanations for why I snubbed each of the other candidates here.

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