Ah, the MLB offseason — the time when the only things to occupy a self-respecting baseball fan are the Australian Baseball League and the NBA. (Note the qualifier “self-respecting,” which precludes the inclusion of the NFL.) In this trying time, the Hall of Fame vote offers a satisfying diversion, but it’s not one that we, the spectators, can partake in. Or is it?
As we did for the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016, BtBS is offering you, the readers, a chance to make your voice heard about the 2017 Hall of Fame class. Below, you’ll see a mock Hall of Fame ballot, featuring all 34 players eligible this year. Like an actual Baseball (BaseBall?) Writers’ Association of America member, you can pick up to 10 of those players, who you think should be enshrined in July of 2017. Like past years, a number of intriguing candidates find themselves on the ballot, so make your choices wisely!
The poll will remain open until the end of 2016, so get your vote in before then. During the following week, we’ll release the results, along with the outcome of our staffwide survey.
If you’re not sure you can evaluate all the players fairly, have no fear: We have plenty of stats to help! Baseball-Reference offers a leaderboard for all the players currently listed on the ballot, so you can compare their stats and make your selections. Or, should you prefer FanGraphs, they also offer leaderboards with the eligible players (hitters here, pitchers here). Plus, a lack of knowledge about baseball has never held back actual BBWAA members — so don’t let it stand in your way!
People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I go online, ponder the following summer’s Hall of Fame class, vote for that class’s players on BtBS, and loudly defend my decisions to anyone who will stand to hear them. You might not feel as passionately about the issue as I do; regardless, you should fill out a ballot, then check back in during early January to see if our other readers agreed with you. We’re still locked out of the actual voting process (for now), but this provides some entertainment while we wait for the cold weather to give way to baseball’s warmth.
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Ryan Romano is the co-managing editor for Beyond the Box Score. He also writes about the Orioles for Camden Depot, and about politics for The Diamondback. Follow him on Twitter if you enjoy angry tweets about Maryland sports.