There's almost no chance that the BBWAA will have made the right choices when the 2013 Hall of Fame class is announced January 9. So we decided to have our own vote.
Fresh off our stellar performance in voting for the 2012 end-of-season awards, we at the Beyond the Boxscore writers association of America (the BtBWAA, if you will) decided to take the 2013 Hall of Fame vote into our own hands. And so we did, recreating the BBWAA's Cooperstown exact balloting process but for our own pool of voters—but with two important differences.
First and most importantly we are publicly releasing every voter's ballot, just as I have badgered the BBWAA to do. The majority of real-life writers either willfully embrace their anonymity or just don't bother to mention how they voted for the greatest honor in all of baseball, and this privacy actually changes the outcome of the vote. So we did away with it.
Second, the ballots I sent to our esteemed group of writers had two sections. The first was identical to that the BBWAA used this year: 37 candidates, pick up to 10. The second part of the ballot dropped the 10-vote maximum, allowing each elector to pick as many players as he (all our voters were male) thought were deserving of immortality.
Thirteen voters comprised our electorate, meaning candidates needed 10 votes to make the Hall of Fame and one to stay on the ballot for 2014.
Without further ado, here are your 2013 BtBWAA Baseball Hall of Famers! Starting with the normal ballot: (click to embiggen)
Eight candidates comprise our Cooperstown class: Unanimous picks Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Mike Piazza are joined by Craig Biggio, Curt Schilling, Tim Raines, and Alan Trammell. Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker barely miss the 75-percent threshold, with Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Rafael Palmeiro all getting support. (We inducted Bagwell, Martinez, Trammell, Raines, Walker, and Palmeiro last year, so I'm not sure why they were on the BBWAA's ballot anyway. Must have been a clerical error.) Everyone else falls off the 2014 ballot.
A few interesting notes from the voting:
- All 13 voters completely filled up their ballots, a far cry from the BBWAA's recent averages of five to six votes per ballot.
- We didn't have any unanimous picks last year, but in 2013 we had four—including Bagwell, whom we elected without a unanimous quorum in 2012.
- We've left only six holdover candidates for 2014. Is there a precedent for that in the real voting?
- Bagwell was the only returning candidate to top his 2012 BtBWAA vote share in 2013. Trammell, Raines, Walker, Martinez, and Palmeiro were all inducted in 2012 but fell short this year, with Palmeiro now receiving only two votes. McGwire's support also took a tumble, while poor Fred McGriff went from nearly 50 percent support to zero.
- Jack Morris, one of the top candidates for induction in real life, didn't get a single vote.
Now on to the fun one. What happens when you let BtBWAA writers vote for as many Hall of Fame candidates as they want? (click to embiggen)
Answer: the halls of Cooperstown explode. Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, Raines, and Trammell are joined by Martinez, Walker, and Lofton, with Martinez, Raines, Schilling, and Trammell also ascending to unanimity. McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa come this close to making it; Fred McGriff, David Wells, Sandy Alomar, Dale Murphy, and Lee Smith all gain some support too.
Some things to note here:
- We averaged 13.2 votes per ballot here, more than double what the BBWAA has been doing in recent. Every single writer used at least one extra vote, with the number of votes reaching as high as 17.
- Three players who didn't make it in in our normal vote are unanimous picks here. Is this year's ballot stacked or is this year's ballot stacked?
- Jack Morris still didn't get a single vote.
My initial ballot went: Bagwell, Bonds, Clemens, Lofton, Martinez, McGwire, Piazza, Schilling, Sosa, Walker, and I'm not proud of some of the names I had to leave off. Given the chance to pick as many players as I want I added Biggio, Palmeiro, McGriff, Raines, Smith, and Trammell to that list—and since I'm an Indians fan and I knew it wouldn't matter anyway I threw in a vote for Sandy Alomar.
Thank you to our esteemed electorate: Ari Berkowitz, Adam Darowski, Glenn DuPaul, James Gentile, Bryan Grosnick, Matt Hunter, Alex Kienholz, Julian Levine, Blake Murphy, Bill Petti, Lewie Pollis, Spencer Schneier, and Nathaniel Stoltz. You can see how all of us voted here.