Hall Of Fame Debate: Will There Ever Be A Unanimous Election??

Hall Of Fame Debate: Will There Ever Be A Unanimous Election??

Johnny Bench did not do it…

Nolan Ryan did not do it…

Rickey Henderson did not do it…

And most recently, Greg Maddux did not do it.

Will it ever happen?  This is certainly a good topic for debate.  And timely too!

Ultimately, I think that there are just way too many voters in the Hall of Fame election process for all of them to agree to a 100% vote for any single player.  Will players get close?  Sure.  But, 100% of the vote is going to be very, very tough – especially when the voters seem to have such differing views as to what amounts to a Hall of Fame player.

At times over their careers, it seemed like guys like Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr, and Albert Pujols were all lined up to amass incredible numbers when their time for election was due.  But, things change.  And they change rapidly.  Injuries, change of scenery, rapid drop-off in production, etc. all lead to someone taking a vote or votes away.

Personally, I don’t believe that it will ever happen.

But, of all of the future eligible players, I think that the player with the best opportunity to get close to 100% is Mariano Rivera.  Numbers-wise, he is heads and shoulders above all relief pitchers.  Plus, he did it in the biggest media city in the US.  And he did a majority of it in pressure situations.  The biggest knock against him is that he ‘is just a closer’.  And that horrible phrase may be enough to keep a few votes out of his pocket too…

What do you think?  Will we ever see a player earn 100% of the votes cast for Hall of Fame induction?  Does that player exist today?

Let me hear it!!!

Hall of fame voting

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29 responses to “Hall Of Fame Debate: Will There Ever Be A Unanimous Election??

  1. Didn’t Tom Seaver come close?
    I agree with you Brian. Mariano may just get a unanimous entry.
    I personally would like to see Ken Griffey Jr get 100 percent, but it’ll never happen.

    • Gerad-
      Yes, Seaver is the closest. And I think Griffey was one of many players that were on track to possibly challenge for the most votes earned, but I think once his injuries mounted and the numbers declined it knocked him out of that range.

  2. Judging by the relative stupidity of the process I guess no. Are there borderline guys? Of, course. Are there guys who deserve a unanimous vote. I sure think so. Making a player wait a year or more as a matter of principle is just idiotic. And I’m still heartbroken that the parade of voting entities waited until Ron Santo died before seeing fit to enshrine him. At least Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were voted it their first year. All deserving.

    • Hackenbush- Very well said, I agree with all of it!

      Do you think it could be a numbers thing – just 3 players a year, regardless of who is eligible? When was the last time we had an election class with more than three players? 1999.

  3. I think if anyone is capable of getting a 100% vote it will be Mariano Rivera. I hate the Yankees, but i can’t hate Rivera. Rivera is one of the most amazing people/pitchers to ever put on a MLB uniform. He is a class act.

  4. I don’t think Rivera will come closer than Maddux; in fact, I doubt he will equal him. However, Dereck Jeter will probably get very close. He is a media darling and his stats speak for themselves.

  5. Listen…Babe Ruth only got 95% of the vote in 1936. That’s insane.

    Babe Ruth WAS baseball in 1936. If he couldn’t get 100% of the vote back then, I’m inclined to think nobody ever will

  6. I believe Griffey Jr., Jeter and Rivera should all be 100%. However, I don’t think we’ll see 100% within the time that those three will be on the ballot. Too many various opinions among the baseball writers currently on how to vote: no one is a first-ballot HOF, don’t vote for anyone with alleged PED use, today’s closers only pitch one inning, etc.

    Perhaps the only way we’ll see 100% is if they start to include a statistical formula/point system that accounts for a part of the vote. It seems like if a player met or exceeded some sort of a agreed upon formula/point system than it would be difficult for a writer to go against that with his/her vote.

    • Charley- I would love to see a committee formed to handle this. Take it from 550+ votes to like 20-30. And the members have a length of service agreement that rotates – maybe 8 years in and then you’re out. But it would revolve so not all voters would be dropped in the same year.

      This would allow for fresh blood and fresh ideas to always be present…

  7. I agree 550 voters is a ridicilious amount. I think if every city with a team had two voters, plus 5 from a media pool (ESPN, SI, etc.) that would be a reasonable amount and every region would have a say on the guys they saw the most. Those voters would rotate as you mentioned in intervals, obviously once someone retired, there goes there vote.

    But, I think having a point system where say a player reached a specific total that would in turn be worth 5 votes so that there is a formulated and human element to getting elected. I could see this working like a player must get 110 of a possible 150 points to earn those extra 5 votes. For a batter, work like this, reached: 2,500 career base hits – 10 pts, 400 homeruns – 10 pts., 300 stolen bases – 10 pts., lifetime average of .280 or higher – 10 pts., etc.

    • Charley- I like it!!

      Question – would you have different criteria for infielders versus outfielders? And lead-off guys versus clean-up hitters? It gets a little murkier when you put Molitor’s achievements next to Winfield’s.

  8. Good point, I guess the point level needed to get the extra votes would vary, unless you put in so many different categories so that a lead-off type (CF, 2B or SS) could reach let’s say the 110 out of 150 needed with 10 pts awarded for runs, sbs, obp, etc. would have equal chance as a clean-up hitter. Probably doing various point levels needed for each position would be more likely. Few catchers would ever reach unless they had to get say 80 out of 150. It would get tricky with someone like Biggio who spent time at three positions. I guess in that scenario, it would be what position they were in for 60-70% of their career. You could also group similar type of hitters in different positions, 2B, SS and CF together, LF, RF and 1B together, etc.

    Really hard to say, but I think you need the formula element (can be more consensus if you get the formula right) plus the human element (so MVP, GG, Cy Young voting/awards still account for the election).

  9. I don’t think anyone will ever get 100%. The reason? Look at what Dan Le BeTARD did this year. His vote should be taken away. For good.

    • Craig- his future votes have been revoked.

      And I have to say that while I don’t free with his method, i do like the fact that a voter did something by raising his hand and saying ‘this process is absurd’.

      And for the record, he ballot that was his did not include a ‘bad’ vote on it.

  10. Good. I hadn’t followed up with the story. I’m glad to hear that. I understand people want change. Change can be good. Doing it the way he did made the story about him though. That’s even worse than the writers who say nobody gets in on the first ballot or I’m not voting for anyone from the steroid era.

    I honestly don’t really care that much about the HOF any longer. Dawson is in, my days of campaigning from someone are over. Although, I may just take up Lee Smith next!

  11. LeBatard is not the problem. Look more to Murray Chass who voted for Jack Morris ONLY.. OR the idiot who cast a vote for Armando Benitez!

    As far as a unanimous vote, if Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Cy Young, Tom Seaver, Stan Musial cannot get 100%… how can we expect anyone to? As far as Mariano Rivera is concerned, although he was the dominant player at his position, I cannot see a 1 inning player could possibly garner much higher than 90%.. Still a fine total. And he IS a first ballot HOFer.

  12. The MLB HOF voting process is a biased, antiquated system at best, much like the electoral college is politically. Both operate under self-serving agendas and do not trouble themselves with facts. How can you analyze the career of Greg Maddux and say: “Yeah, that Maddux may have won a game or two, but he’s no Bruce Sutter. Maybe next year”. Ridiculous. A hall of fame that doesn’t honor it’s most decorated and accomplished players (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Rose, etc.) based on speculation and unproven allegations as opposed to facts clearly shows a dysfunctional electoral procedure to gain entry into an increasingly irrelevant place. Being found guilty in the court of public opinion (the media) should not banish those deserving of their place in the Hall.

    • Very well said. I’m on board with all that you’ve said and then you threw the name of Sosa into the mix an I almost threw up in my mouth… LOL!

      • You don’t think 600+ HR’s is worthy of HoF consideration? The guy never once tested positive for banned substances, steroids or otherwise. Would you consider Jim Thome HoF worthy? I would. Look at their numbers and tell me why you’d include one and not the other (assuming you agree with Thome making it in the first place). Sosa had just 3 hr’s and 32 rbi’s fewer than Thome while having 242 FEWER strikeouts and 215 MORE stolen bases than Thome. In your opinion, what makes Sosa unworthy of entry?

      • I think Sammy is a ‘me first’ guy and a liar. He pretended to not understand the conversation in regards to his possible use of PEDs when he surely knew how to communicate in English when things were going well during the chase to 61.

        The corked bat incident was only un- covered because it happened in a game. Otherwise he would have kept or using it to his clear advantage. Another ‘ME’ moment to bring glory just to him.

        Was he fun to watch? Yes, he was. But my belief is that he did more hurt to the game than help.

        While Thome may have done it in a more ‘classy’ manner, I find him to be way too one-dimensional for my vote to Cooperstown (if I had a vote).

  13. Did you post prematurely or is this topic not up for discussion?

    • My bad. I posted prematurely there. And you know what? I agree with everything you said. I think Sosa may have come off as a glory hog largely due to the fact he was pretty much the marquee attraction for the basement dwelling squads he played with for most of his career. Corked bat? Agreed. For me, PED questioning is irrelevant without admission or the smoking gun of a failed test.

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