HoF Voting Update

This year’s BBWAA Hall of Fame vote will be announced in one week. Approximately 41% of the expected ballots have been revealed as published at http://www.bbhoftracker.com/2022/11/2023-bbhof-tracker-summary-and-leaderboard/#main-navigation

Right now Scott Rolen and Todd Helton are hovering in the 80% range. That doesn’t mean for sure they will get in. A large percentage of the, um, grumpier voters don’t reveal their ballots, so it won’t be a surprise if their percentages drop.

We can say a couple things definitely: (1) Jeff Kent will not be selected in this, his 10th year on the ballot. (2) The only first year on the ballot player who will again be on the ballot next year is Carlos Beltran.

So far 4 blank ballots have been turned in, actively voting against every player on the ballot. Now, I’ve no issue this year with not using all 10 allotted voting slots—my own mythical vote that I published last month used 7. However, viting for zero is not reasonable. It’s not being a “small hall” guy—Rolen and Helton, for example, are both above average among Hall of Famers at their positions. They are not borderline candidates. One can only argue keeping them out by also arguing several others at their positions should be evicted. I’ve seen some argue that blank ballot voters ought to forfeit their right to vote. Let me nuance it’s a bit: they ought to voluntarily surrender their vote because they obviously are not fans of baseball.

Getting back to Todd Helton for a moment—he’s one of 18 players all time to have a career .300/.400/.500 slash line. 15 are in the Hall of Fame. The only other two not enshrined: Shoeless Joe Jackson (not eligible) and Manny Ramirez (caught using PEDs twice). Anyone not voting for him is doing so because he played at Coors. Should one’s home stadium being in Denver be a disqualifier really? Granted his career home OPS was a Lou Gehrig-like 1.048. However, his career road OPS was .855, not exactly chopped liver. Indeed, it’s better that the career overall OPS for Eddie Murray and Tony Perez, both Hall of Fame first basemen, for example. Let’s also remember he was good with the glove, too.

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