With Dave posting his yearly HOF alternative, it’s time to post mine. I would have preferred using “our” and “ours” instead of “his” and “mine”, but that would have been confusing.
For those new to the concept, I’m going to bring a few threads to the forefront. One will list all the previous winners; some will explain how it began. But for a quick refresher course……
Suppose the HOF had started 50 years earlier and with clearer guidelines. This is the basic premise of the Gallery Of Renown, or GOR for short. Like the BBWAA, players are eligible 5 years after retiring and are eligible to stay on the ballot 15 times if they continue to receive votes. But unlike the real Hall, there is no VetCom committee to muddy things up. A player has 15 years AND THAT’S IT to be elected.
From 1885 to 1899, one player per year was elected. Starting with 1900, the Top 2 vote-getters each year are enshrined in the GOR. By only electing two per year, each generation is considered equal to the others. There have been times when the list of candidates have been overwhelming; there have been times when the list has been underwhelming. Right now, we are in an overwhelming phase.
The voting rules are pretty simple.
1. Any BJOL subscriber is eligible to vote. You don’t have to have voted before. Newcomers are more than welcomed.
2. Unlike the BBWAA and Dave’s election, the GOR is more like an MVP vote. You MUST vote for TEN IN ORDER. No ties allowed; make a decision. Scoring the ballots is a 14-11-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 point system. The Top 2 point leaders are elected to the GOR.
3. There is a ballot (listed below) to pick and choose from. The names on the ballot are players who received votes in the 2014 election, plus the top 10 (IMO) new-to-the-ballot candidates. If there is a newcomer that I left off that you want to vote for, go ahead; that’s perfectly okay. Just remember that theGOR ballot is different from both the real ballot and Dave’s, as we have different rules for who is and who is not eligible.
4. There is a way to have a write-in vote if you so desire. After your 10-man ballot, you can list players who you’d like to see stick around for the 2016 GOR ballot. If you see that someone has already voted for them, there is no need to add their name, as getting even one vote will ensure that they’ll make next year’s cut.
5. If any one has questions, please feel free to ask.
6. Comments and discussions are not only acceptable, they are desired.
7. Over the weekend, I’ll be posting another thread titled “2015 GOR – Contributors”. In years ending in a 5, we also elect 2 contributors; in years ending in a 0, we elect 2 managers.
8. This is the most important rule: HAVE FUN!!!!
The 2015 ballot.
Below are the 35 men who are on this year’s ballot. The number before the name is how many years they have been on the ballot. If there is a number behind the name, it is where they placed in the 2014 GORelection.
I’ve always listed who dropped off the ballot, so I will do so again. Kent Hrbek, Jack Morris and Dale Murphy used up their 15 years without getting elected. A number of long-time candidates also dropped off from lack of support (ie. no one voted for them): Brett Butler, Eric Davis, Chuck and Steve Finley, Andres Gallarage, Juan Gonzalez, Dwight Gooden, Jimmy Key, Reggie Sanders and David Wells. Fine players all, just not Gooden nuff. (Sorry for the bad pun!)
10 Albert Belle
3 Craig Biggio 4th
10 Bobby Bonilla
5 Kevin Brown
7 David Cone
1 Carlos Delgado
1 Darin Erstad
3 Julio Franco
1 Nomar Garciaparra
1 Brian Giles
2 Tom Glavine 5th
1 Tom Gordon
1 Randy Johnson
2 Jeff Kent
3 Kenny Lofton
1 Pedro Martinez
15 Don Mattingly
11 Willie McGee
2 Mike Mussina 7th
5 John Olerud
5 Rafael Palmeiro 10th
1 Troy Percival
11 Tony Phillips
8 Jose Rijo
9 Bret Saberhagen
3 Curt Schilling 6th
1 Gary Sheffield
13 Lee Smith
1 John Smoltz
3 Sammy Sosa 8th
12 Dave Stieb
2 Frank Thomas 3rd
5 Larry Walker
4 Bernie Williams
7 Matt Williams
So remember: your ballot must have ten, in order….and have fun.
1. Craig Biggio
2. Tom Glavine
3. Frank Thomas
4. Mike Mussina
5. Curt Schilling
6. Lee Smith
7. Sammy Sosa
8. Bernie Williams
9. Kevin Brown
10. Kenny Lofton
Three names missing, Johnson, Martinez and Smoltz. As I’ve explained elsewhere, I don’t vote for first time eligibles. It’s the only way I have to show my displeasure with the ’94-5 strike and the PED Era. If none get elected (altho I’m guessing that Johnson and Martinez will win this year), they’ll be on my list next year, just as Glavine, Thomas and Mussina made my ballot this year, after my ignoring them in 2014.
Randy Johnson – Good argument for best ever, great argument for best lefty ever, but career length has to be considered suspect in a period when everyone played forever and kept a druggist on the payroll.
Pedro Martinez – On the short list of funnest players ever, both on the mound and in front of the press.
Tom Glavine – Overrated by old farts, underrated by stat farts because his level of accomplishment outkicked the coverage of his theoretical value. The truth, as it so often does, lands somewhere in the boring, no fun to talk about middle.
John Smoltz – Theoretically lands ahead of Glavine, and I certainly won’t argue with anyone who swaps them.
Curt Schilling – His giant head makes me scratch mine, wondering if I have him ranked about thirty spots too high. His performance spike ranks with Brown’s, but he at least demonstrated that he was capable of pitching at that level before the spike.
Frank Thomas – I could rank him a lot higher, but (1) era, (2) no defense, (3) no real team accomplishments, (4) he annoys me with his self-righteous indignation about PEDs.
Craig Biggio – Wildly overrated, in my opinion, because of the durability/era/Bill’s stamp of approval combination, but it takes a draconian context adjustment to get a 3000 hit second baseman out of the Hall of Fame. He deserves to be in, as a solid C level candidate.
Mike Mussina – Bob likes him way more than I do. He was underrated in Baltimore, than maybe a wee bit overrated in New York, and he had the dreaded performance spike plus remarkable durability. Does he get a pass because he went to Stanford? I dunno.
Don Mattingly – His skill set fit right in with the Al Oliver/Raffy Palmiero group – and I believe a case can be made that Mattingly was better than either of them. Oliver never had Mattingly’s peak power or defensive reputation, and Palmiero’s power and durability were artificially enhanced.
Kenny Lofton – he doesn’t really deserve to rank ahead of some of the guys down the list, but I rank him tenth every year because he kept landing on winners. He played college basketball before moving to baseball and as a result began his career several years late. Had he gotten going earlier, he could have put up some funhouse numbers and been (maybe?) comparable to Tim Raines.
Albert Belle – Hack Wilson/Chuck Klein type; like those guys his batting averages were artificially inflated. In a normal world he would not have been a .300 hitter.
Kevin Brown – Do you trust his performance spike? He went from Randy Jones to Randy Johnson.
David Cone – The old peak value measures would be good to him. Gooden, Saberhagen, Cone, who else? Some of these guys would have had peak/career value differences of well over a hundred spots.
Carlos Delgado – He is hard to figure – his run context is so high – but I think he might have actually stood out more in a normal environment. He only had the one year with a ridiculous batting average, and his power was legitimate. He might have been a poor man’s Harmon Killebrew at least, a poor man’s Willie McCovey at best. It doesn’t matter, though, because (1) he did have the one suspicious year and (2) he doesn’t stand out in his own era.
Julio Franco – Who had the cooler swing? Julio, or Sheffield? Ten years younger, he might have been the batting average king of the PED era and possibly threatened .400.
Nomar Garciaparra – He did threaten .400, but (1) his career was short, (2) mediocre defense means he doesn’t deserve the credit WAR gives shortstops for the glove they wear, and (3) who wants to spend seven years engraving that name on a plaque anyway?
Jeff Kent – IMHO he wasn’t anywhere near a Hall of Fame level player – at least a BBWAA level Hall of Fame player – but the era inflated his stats so much that he sort of kind of looks like one in bad lighting from a distance, so people like to talk about him. Long careers are part of the artificial advantage PEDs gave these guys. Without the ridiculous durability, who was Kent? Rico Petrocelli? He was better than that, but how much better?
Rafael Palmeiro – See Kent, Jeff. A huge part of the PED advantage was that these guys hardly ever got hurt, old, or tired. Raffy was about ten feet over the fence strong, but he was able to maintain that ten feet for nearly two decades. In a normal world he wasn’t as good as Will Clark, and probably no better than Al Oliver.
Gary Sheffield – Sheff 1991, Sheff 1992. See soul, sold: examples from people who hate Milwaukee. Next question.
Larry Walker – Middle of the PED era, in Coors field. The context adjustment Walker needs is up there with early 1930’s Chuck Klein. Even without adjustments he is no more than a decent Vets’ Committee candidate.
Matt Williams – Harmon Killebrew to Mike Zunino – Williams is the one in the middle. Whitest guys to ever play baseball well. Ok, not quite – Zunino needs to pick it up a little.
18 ballots; the results:
226 Randy Johnson
188 Pedro Martinez
126 Frank Thomas
108 Tom Glavine
104 Craig Biggio
66 Mike Mussina
66 Curt Schilling
55 John Smoltz
24 Gary Sheffield
22 Don Mattingly
15 Kevin Brown
14 Sammy Sosa
14 Larry Walker
14 Bernie Williams
13 Kenny Lofton
12 Lee Smith
8 Rafael Palmeiro
7 Tony Phillips
7 Dave Stieb
5 Jeff Kent
2 Matt Williams
1 Julio Franco
1 Jose Rijo
Guys with no votes, but who received an Honorable Mention (and will stay on the 2016 ballot): David Cone, Carlos Delgado, Nomar Garciaparra, Willie McGee and John Olerud.
Dropping off are Belle, Bonilla, Erstad, Giles, Gordon, Percival and Saberhagen.
Five players received a 1st or 2nd place vote. Johnson had 13 1sts and 4 2nds; Martinez had 3 1sts and 13 2nds; Mattingly had 1 1st; and some idiot had Biggio 1st and Glavine 2nd.
Doesn’t it seem kind of fitting that Mussina, Schilling and Smoltz are bunched up together? And that appears to be the line to cross for eventual election to the GOR.
For MeanDean, I’m bring the list of previous winners to the front.