A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Hall of Fame percentage over time. That is, I showed what percentage of playing time was claimed by Hall of Famers throughout history.
Here's the chart:
The key findings on this chart were:
- Hitters in the 1920s and 1930s are over-represented (by a lot) in the Hall.
- Pitchers in the 1800s continue to throw off everything I do.
- World War II took many Hall of Famers away from the game.
- There's an expected recent drop-off.
I was thinking about this some more and I want to play devil's advocate—with myself. Maybe we shouldn't be looking at this on a percentage basis. Maybe there should only be a certain (raw) number of Hall of Famers at any given time—regardless of how many teams and players there are in big league baseball. So, rather than saying the top x percent should be Hall of Famers, maybe it's just the top x players.
Here's how the raw numbers look over time:
This is very interesting. Three things jump out at me right away:
- The 1920s and 1930s are still robo-effed. Perhaps even more than I thought.
- The (blue) position player line is pretty straight for nearly a century (except, of course, for a dip for World War II and the robo-effed 1920s and 1930s).
- The pitchers aren't nearly as consistent as the hitters (and the pitchers didn't get the same boost the hitters did in the 1920s and 1930s).
What do you think? Should we be enshrining a top percentage of players (making it variable depending on the size of the league) or the top few across all of history, regardless of the size of the player pool?
I've added this new chart as an interactive Google Chart to the original visual.