October 21, 2014

Analyzing the 2012 Hall of Fame Vote

February 6, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Barry Larkin was the only player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers this year.  Larkin received votes from 86.4% of the writers, well above the 75% required for election.  Larkin picked up 134 more votes this year, his third year on the ballot.  With a relatively thin incoming class of players eligible for election, most of the 14 holdover candidates were expected to increase their vote totals and 12 of them did.

Only Mark McGwire and Juan Gonzalez received fewer votes than they did last year.  McGwire’s vote total has declined in each of the last three years and Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP, did not receive the 5% required to stay on the ballot. Bernie Williams (9.6%) was the only newcomer to receive enough votes to remain on the ballot.

  Player

Years on Ballot

 

2011 Votes

 

2011 %

 

2012 Votes

 

2012  %

 

 Difference

 

% Difference

Barry Larkin

  3

361

62.1

495

86.4

134

24.3

Jack Morris

13

310

53.5

382

66.7

  72

13.2

Jeff Bagwell

  2

242

41.7

321

56.0

  79

14.3

Lee Smith

10

263

45.3

290

50.6

  27

  5.3

Tim Raines

  5

218

37.5

279

48.7

  61

11.2

Alan Trammel

11

141

24.3

211

36.8

  70

12.0

Edgar Martinez

  3

191

32.9

209

36.5

  18

  3.6

Fred McGriff

  3

104

17.9

137

23.9

  33

  6.0

Larry Walker

  2

118

20.3

131

22.9

  13

  2.6

Mark McGwire

  6

115

19.8

112

19.5

  -3

 -0.3

Don Mattingly

12

  79

13.6

102

17.8

  33

  4.2

Dale Murphy

14

  73

12.6

  83

14.5

  10

  1.9

Raphael Palmiero

  2

  64

11.0

  72

12.6

    8

  1.6

Bernie Williams

  1

  55

  9.6

Juan Gonzalez

  2

  30

5.2

  23

  4.0

   -7

 -1.2

Vinny Castilla

  1

    6

  1.0

Tim Salmon

  1

    5

  1.0

Bill Mueller

  1

    4

    .9

Brad Radke

  1

    2

    .7

Eric Young

  1

    1

    .3

Javy Lopez

  1

    1

    .2

Jeremy Burnitz

  1

    0

     0

Rubin Sierra

  1

    0

     0

Phil Nevin

  1

    0

     0

Brian Jordan

  1

    0

     0

Terry Mulholland

  1

    0

     0

Tony Womack

  1

    0

     0

573 writers participated in the voting this year, down from 591 in 2011.  Participants voted for an average of 5.1 players in 2012, down from 6.0 last year.

Larkin received, by far, the largest increase in votes but several other candidates also received big increases.  Jack Morris, with only 2 more years on the ballot, made a strong move with an increase of 72 votes to 66.7 %.  He appears to be taking a similar track as Bert Blyleven two years ago.  However, his career ERA of 3.90 apparently remains an issue with some voters and he will need to garner about 50 more votes to gain election.  Jeff Bagwell posted a 79 vote increase to 56% in only his second year on the ballot. He appears to be on track for election, possibly with his 15-year teammate, Craig Biggio in 2013.

Lee Smith, the all-time leader in saves when he retired was the 4th player to receive over 50% of the votes with 50.6%, an increase of 27 votes.  Tim Raines is finally gaining some traction with 48.7%, an increase of 61 votes from last year.  Alan Trammell made an even bigger move, picking up 70 votes to 36.8% but he is in his 11th year and is running out of time.  Edgar Martinez is at 36.5% and will probably have trouble convincing enough voters that a designated hitter deserves election.

The remaining holdover candidates do not have enough support to be serious candidates for elections in the next few years. Fred McGriff picked up 33 more votes this year but suffers from a comparison with other outstanding first basemen.  Larry Walker put up great numbers but some voters discount his performance because of the Coors Field effect.  Mark McGwire continues to slip and his disappointing showing may be a harbinger of what can be expected when Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens appear on the ballot next year.  Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy had very high peaks but their careers were not long enough to put up numbers that would gain support from enough voters.

Rafael Palmeiro has the same problem as McGwire.  Bernie Williams’s initial appearance on the ballot gained only 9.6% of the votes which probably reflects that many voters don’t consider him a first ballot Hall-of-Famer.  Juan Gonzalez lasted only 2 years on the ballot before dropping off with only 4.0% this year.

The other 12 members of the incoming class didn’t come close to the 5.0% required to remain on the ballot.  This should change next year when the ballot will include the names of Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling.

Comments

2 Responses to “Analyzing the 2012 Hall of Fame Vote”
  1. Dennis Corcoran says:

    Nice job Bill. We are on Linkedin since January 11. You might want to check out my book on the history of the induction ceremony.
    Also, I believe we have met a couple of times at SABR conventions.

  2. Good article. Bagwell’s increase in votes from 2011 to 2012 almost certainly guarantees controversy next year when the big guns are first-year eligible. I have my own thoughts regarding the Hall of Fame and the process http://wp.me/pV4Gn-Sc

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