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Maury Brown: My Hall of Fame Ballot and Why No One May Get In This Year PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 12:21

Maury Brown

UPDATE: The BBWAA reports that no players elected in this year's class. Select Read More to see the vote details.
Let’s get some things clear first before we get started….

I don’t have a vote (I’m not yet in the BBWAA, and it would be 10 years after that before I'd be allowed to vote for the Hall of Fame)….  I believe that the Baseball Hall of Fame is a wonderful museum and research facility built at the fictitious location where the birth of baseball is said to have occurred….  People are not all “rainbows and unicorns.”…. Cheating in baseball began long before steroids were the lightening rod they are today... The HOF isn’t Church, so don't vote like it is…. Those that are not filling out their ballots as a form of protest are weak, making the story about them, and need to get in the trenches, deal with it or step aside. Your vote is a privilege, not a right. Deal with the complexities of it all.

With that all out of the way, if I had a ballot to fill, here’s how I would have voted this year:

  • Roger Clemens
  • Barry Bonds
  • Tim Raines
  • Curt Schilling
  • Jeff Bagwell
  • Craig Biggio
  • Mike Piazza
  • Edgar Martinez

My ballot has 8 votes, which leads to a real issue that may come up this year: there may not be enough votes for a given player to garner the 75% threshold needed for inclusion. With the PED controversy surrounding Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, and potentially Piazza (see how that creates this silly slippery slope?), along with the strong ballot could create the conundrum. The last time there were no inductees on the player ballot was in 1996 with Phil Niekro (68% of the ballot) and 1971 when the best Yogi Berra pulled was 67%. So, it has happened, and this year is a good chance it could happen again. If there's a player that has a shot, I'm giving it to Raines.

The best thing about all this is it creates debate. The issue this year is the addition of suspected steroid users. Baseball isn’t Church. The voting body isn’t judge, jury, and executioner. The lone exception for me is Rafael Palmeiro. In his case, he did test positive for steroids. Beyond that, “suspected” isn’t the same.

I get that people don’t want PEDs in the game, and no one could be more agreeable on that than I. But, what people are really concerned about are the “sacred numbers.” You don’t really care about PEDs in the game. No one cares about the fact that this year saw the most Minor League drug suspensions since testing began. No, you like your HOF plaques clean and memorable. No one drank. No one womanized. No one was a racist. No one cheated. No one Juiced. As I said at the beginning, the Baseball Hall of Fame is in Cooperstown, the fictitious birthplace of baseball. That’s somehow appropriate.

Name Votes (Pct.) Yrs on ballot
Craig Biggio 388 (68.2%) 1
Jack Morris 385 (67.7%) 14
Jeff Bagwell 339 (59.6%) 3
Mike Piazza 329 (57.8%) 1
Tim Raines 297 (52.2%) 6
Lee Smith 272 (47.8%) 11
Curt Schilling 221 (38.8%) 1
Roger Clemens 214 (37.6%) 1
Barry Bonds 206 (36.2%) 1
Edgar Martinez 204 (35.9%) 4
Alan Trammell 191 (33.6%) 12
Larry Walker 123 (21.6%) 3
Fred McGriff 118 (20.7%) 4
Dale Murphy 106 (18.6%) 15
Mark McGwire 96 (16.9%) 7
Don Mattingly 75 (13.2%) 13
Sammy Sosa 71 (12.5%) 1
Rafael Palmeiro 50 (8.8%) 3
Bernie Williams 19 (3.3%) 2
Kenny Lofton 18 (3.2%) 1
Sandy Alomar Jr. 16 (2.8%) 1
Julio Franco 6 (1.1%) 1
David Wells 5 (0.9%) 1
Steve Finley 4 (0.7%) 1
Shawn Green 2 (0.4%) 1
Aaron Sele 1 (0.2%) 1
Jeff Cirillo 0 (0%) 1
Royce Clayton 0 (0%) 1
Jeff Conine 0 (0%) 1
Roberto Hernandez 0 (0%) 1
Ryan Klesko 0 (0%) 1
Jose Mesa 0 (0%) 1
Reggie Sanders 0 (0%) 1
Mike Stanton 0 (0%) 1
Todd Walker 0 (0%) 1
Rondell White 0 (0%) 1
Woody Williams 0 (0%) 1

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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