Thursday, January 24, 2008

Great moments in HOF voting

On the heels of Goose getting elected and the requisite hue-and-cry about Jim Rice not, I present this (belatedly, sorry), from This Day in Baseball History for January 23rd, courtesy of (emphasis mine):

1979 - Outfielder Willie Mays, considered one of the greatest players of his generation, is elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Mays garners 409 out of 432 votes and becomes the 14th man to gain election in his first year on the ballot. Mays will officially enter the HoF on August 5, along with Veterans Committee selections Warren Giles and Hack Wilson.

That Willie Mays could only muster 95% of the votes, or 23 voters thought otherwise, is a ridiculous joke. Goes to show, even back then, in the good old days that the BBWAA were so incredibly full of themselves, so self-important, so self-appointed guardians of the game. Know who else got 95%? Carl Yazstremski. That seems about right, doesn't it? (banging skull on corner of desk)

A further look at B-R's HOF vote tallies illustrate some other surprising, shocking (insert your adverb here) results. Rather than list them all, I have taken some of the biggest names in MLB's history and here are their HOF voting results. Tell me, what on Earth were these voters thinking?

Name Votes Pct. Ballots

Willie Mays 409 95%
Babe Ruth 215 95% Initial HOF Class
Honus Wagner 215 95% Initial HOF Class
Bob Feller 150 94%
Jim Palmer 411 93%
Roberto Clemente 393 93%
Stan Musial 317 93%
Ted Williams 282 93%
Brooks Robinson 344 92%
Christy Mathewson 205 91% Initial HOF Class
Joe DiMaggio 223 89%
Mickey Mantle 322 88%
Sandy Koufax 344 87%
Yogi Berra 339 86%
Nap Lajoie 168 84% 2nd HOF Class
Walter Johnson 189 84% Initial HOF Class
Warren Spahn 315 83%
Joe Morgan 363 82%
Roy Campanella 270 79%
Jimmie Foxx 179 79%
Jackie Robinson 124 78%
Cy Young 153 76% 2nd HOF Class
Seriously, Big Train got "only" 84%? Mickey Mantle and Joltin' Joe could only muster 88% and 89%, respectively?!? Cy FREAKIN' Young, in the 2nd HOF class ever, got only 76%? Talk about a writer bias, huh? Speaking of bias, how does Jackie Robinson only get 78%? And someday, when I am long gone from this world, maybe I'll get a chance to meet some of these writers and ask which 5% thought Babe Ruth wasn't HOF worthy, in the INITIAL HOF CLASS EVER!

The rant is over, please resume your normal activities.

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