Welcome back to another year of Hall of Fame vote tracking!
I’m not planning on blogging this year, but ballots are streaming in and the Tracker is tracking. Special thanks to co-conspirators Darren Viola (aka Repoz, the OG ballot collector responsible for the renowned HoF Ballot Collecting Gizmo) and Ilychs “The Panamanian Sensation” Morales.
The Tracker can be viewed at bit.ly/BBHoFTracker
Because Google is an fledgling upstart with few resources at its disposal, only 50 people can view the “live” tracker at once. If the Tracker is full, use this alternate version, which automatically updates every five minutes: bit.ly/BBHoFTracker2
A few notes about this year’s Tracker:
- Voters whose names are bold were added today.
- I’m tracking votes gained and lost vs. last year for multiple players. This is shown as red (lost that voter’s vote) and green (gained) colored cells.
- Light red and light green are used for first-time Hall of Fame voters. A first-time voter’s ballot has a different impact on +/- than a veteran voter with a changed mind. Let’s say Player X got 300 votes last year out of 571 (52.54%). This year, a veteran voter gives X a vote when s/he didn’t last year. X now has 301 of 571 votes (52.71%). On the other hand, if a first-time voter gives X a vote, X has 301 votes, but the total number of voters is now (theoretically) 572. X has 52.62% of the vote. The percentage bump is smaller than he got from a veteran voter’s “changed mind”.
- In the gained/lost totals at the top of the sheet, voters who are abstaining this year are included, which is why counting up the red and green cells for a given player may not match the gained/lost total I have displayed. First-time voters are also included in the gained/lost totals.
- No, I don’t know who the anonymous voters are in Repoz’s Gizmo. Yes, sometimes those ballots become public information later on (some voters don’t want to publicly share their ballot until after election results are announced, or they give their ballot to Repoz to keep anonymous until they finish and publish their HoF column, etc.). Sometimes Repoz’s anonymous ballots are never publicly revealed. Ilchys and I work hard with our incessant Googling and Twittering to minimize the ballots in the “never revealed” category while Darren laughs at us in chat threads.
For all the latest, follow me at @NotMrTibbs.
I finally found the elusive 286th ballot this morning, putting known ballots at 50.09% of all ballots cast.
Never before have we had more revealed ballots than anonymous ones.
I haven’t confirmed each and every one of these writers as full 10-consecutive-year BBWAA members, but this is the list of BBWAA badges issued in 2005. Assuming they remained dues-paying BBWAA members since then, this is the 2015 freshman Hall of Fame voting class (eligible to vote for Hall of Fame candidates in December, 2014):
Last year, five writers submitted blank ballots (which doesn’t count as a non-vote, it counts as a vote against everybody, and brings every player’s percentage down). One of those voters has managed to remain anonymous. The other four came forward: Jorge Ebro (who famously didn’t realize that sending back a blank ballot would harm all candidates), Chris Jenkins (who wrote a column explaining why he did it), Mark Faller (whose explanation is now behind a paywall), and Howard Bryant from ESPN.
This year, one voter submitted a blank ballot according to the BBWAA. Was it the same anonymous voter as last year? Nobody knows except for that voter. It could be Chris Jenkins, who has yet to reveal his ballot this year in the San Diego Union Tribune or to me when asked via email.
The other three 2013 blank ballot submitters have revealed their ballots again this year:
- Jorge Ebro told me via email that he voted for 6 players this year: Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Piazza, and Thomas.
- Howard Bryant told me on Twitter that he voted for Glavine, Maddux, Morris, and Thomas.
- Mark Faller went from zero to the maximum 10, as he detailed in a column last week: Bagwell, Biggio, Glavine, Maddux, Morris, Piazza, Raines, Schilling, Smith, and Thomas
So all that’s left is Jenkins and our anonymous Blank Ballot Bandit(s). I’ll update this post if Jenkins (or any other blank balloter) reveals his 2014 ballot.
‘Tis the season to tell the BBWAA they’re doin’ it wrong.
I’ll leave it to others to solve the big picture problem of how to fix the Hall of Fame voting process (assuming there’s even a problem). My complaint is smaller and far narrower. It’s also much easier to fix.
I contacted a Hall of Fame voter, one of only 157 to reveal his/her ballot on BBWAA’s famously Web 1.0 site, to ask how a voter gets their ballot published on the site in the first place. Do they somehow opt-in to having public ballots? Do they log in to BBWAA and click a “Make Me Public!” button? Do they call BBWAA headquarters to authorize someone to publish their ballot? We’ve seen plenty of Twitpic’d ballots, and the official documents don’t ask about privacy, so we know the act of making them public isn’t accomplished when the ballot is faxed into the BBWAA office.
So how does it happen? According to this Hall of Fame voter, the BBWAA “sends every voting member an email,” and that email contains a link where the member can manually publish their ballot. And by manually, I mean manually. “I physically typed in the names, I believe.” Say what?
First, a baseball luminary gives them a nod:
Then, another baseball luminary compliments their character:
Moises Alou (6), Hideo Nomo (6), Luis Gonzalez (5), Eric Gagne (2), J.T. Snow (2), Armando Benitez (1), Jacque Jones (1), and Kenny Rogers (1) received a total of 24 votes between them.
I’ve collected 49.21% of the ballots that were cast. Nearly half.
We know where exactly 1 of those 24 votes came from. The other 23 remain anonymous.
With 281 ballots collected (49.2% of total known ballots), here’s how much support players received from voters based on the number of players included on ballots:
- Bagwell received almost no support from voters who had fewer than 7 players on their ballots.
- Biggio received little support from writers who voted for fewer than 5 players.
- Frank Thomas was not a Hall of Famer to 3 and 4 vote ballot casters.
- Tim Raines received well over 50% support from writers who voted for 6 or more players, but received just 2 of 35 other votes.
- Ken Gurnick is the worst. (So far, anyway. Apparently there was at least one blank ballot submitted.)