2023 BBHOF Tracker Summary and Leaderboard

View the full 2023 Tracker with all individual ballots: 2023 BBHOF Tracker

Share Button

Where Is the Love?

Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway asked this little question 50 years ago, and I’m thinking of it now as I fill out my 22nd Hall of Fame ballot with Alexa providing background vocals.

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Pete Rose, definition of a Hall of Famer with 4,256 hits, is living out his life at age 81 by signing autographs, doing podcasts and represented with no plaque in Cooperstown.

But you can be sure Ichiro Suzuki, a good guy with 4,367 hits if you include Japan, will have slurpy voters at his feet for a first-ballot selection in 2025.

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Barry Bonds, maybe the best player in the history of baseball, just came and went.

Even the Great Era Sages of Cooperstown let him come and go.

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Roger Clemens, one of the five best pitchers in the history of baseball, just came and went.

Even the Great Era Sages of Cooperstown let him come and go.

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Curt Schilling never had a chance only because his words offended others. It’s like the 3,116 strikeouts, 80.5 WAR and bloody sock never happened.

Even the Great Era Sages of Cooperstown let him come and go.

Where is the love?

Where is the love?

You said, you’d give to me

As soon as you were free

Five year waiting period after retirement. Ten-year eligibility period on the ballot. Great Era Sages of Cooperstown pontifications. In Charlie Hustle’s case, life.

Is this thing really working?

Imagine if Elon Musk got ahold of the Hall of Fame selection process. I detest much of what he’s doing to Twitter, but I’d still love to see him shake the hell out of this thing.

First he would suspend every voter.

Then he would give in to newspaper execs and he would open it up to a public vote.

Then suddenly all of you would decide elections from now on. Hell, you’re the patrons.

I’ve got nothing on you season-ticket holders in the field boxes who attend every home game and travel on the road, who watch your team wherever including Spring Training.

But for now this process is still up to people like me: about 400 of us BBWAA voters who covered the game a long time, and then the rotational Era Committees get their hands on the leftover scraps like Harold Baines or Fred McGriff.

I don’t know about my peers but I read your comments. Does any other organizational body get as soundly trashed as Hall voters? You say nice things, too. But I’m not blind or deaf.

Will it ever be?

Where is the love?

Now I’m looking at the ballot for 2023 Induction Weekend and it’s kind of a blend of privilege and satisfaction, confusion and futility. I read the accompanying materials in the big envelope as usual, including No. 5 on the BBWAA Rules for Election. It reads verbatim:

5. Voting — Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.

If I’m counting right, that’s six criteria, and exactly half of them pertain to whether a guy is a good guy or not. Integrity, Sportsmanship, Character — the “ISC” clause. And the first two on-field criteria are basically the same thing.

We need to start by rewriting that sentence. Morality is clearly being dictated. This is not about raising children, it’s about putting the best players in the Hall of Fame.

We suck at it right now. Some clique-ish press box buds will see it as “mission accomplished” — kept those assholes out of Cooperstown! No, you just denied fans some all-time greats.

Do the best players of our lifetime even have a legitimate chance?

You told me that you didn’t love him

And you were gonna say, goodbye

But if you really didn’t mean it

Why did you have to lie?

Was it a lie?

I’m looking at this ballot and my first thought is that some of these guys who I used to see as sure Hall of Famers don’t have a chance based on what we’ve just seen. It’s not even close. Sorry, folks, but shutout-a-comin’.

Álex Rodríguez jumps off this ballot, head and shoulders above the rest. He could have 1,000 home runs and no shot ever. Wasn’t good guy enough, wasn’t ISC.

Manny Ramírez? I considered putting him in the Lost Causes group and unchecking. He could have 1,000 home runs and no shot ever. Wasn’t good guy enough, wasn’t ISC.

Carlos Beltrán should be a first-ballot pick, second at worst. He’s already getting the ISC treatment. Some voters are doing it just to make a statement, then they’ll hit him up after supposedly making him sweat.

But I also see a lot of REALLY GOOD GUYS, so technically they should have just as good a chance this year. It’s half the criteria! Torii Hunter, best guy ever! R.A. Dickey, I remember him playing Wiffle ball with inner-city kids and writing a book. Bronson Arroyo, WHAT A GUY! Vote them all in. J.J. Hardy speech coming up.

John Lackey, I’m afraid, has virtually everything going against him, but “contribution to his team(s)” does make him stand out. Kind of like Josh Beckett, not a voter friend.

There are only three ways I see this moral ballot mentality changing:

A) Rule No. 5 is rewritten to make sense.

B) Infusion of younger voters as BBWAA 10-year sunset clause purges morality voters.

C) The Elon approach, blow it all up, piss off Elton John, and have everyone vote.

Man, this isn’t covering the 2024 Election. It’s about a baseball pantheon.

Where is the love?

You said, was mine, all mine

Till the end of time

Was it just a lie?

Where is the love?

I thought I would be happy to reach the point where no one was going to ask whether I’m voting for Bonds and Clemens. With those two gone, with Schilling gone and David Ortiz inducted, that’s four of my last 10 check marks that are replaced. I thought it would feel like a “fresh” era in the voting process, and refreshing not to be asked about Bonds and Clemens.

It’s not how I pictured it, though. It feels moot and ridiculous. But I still take it seriously. So without further ado, here are the 10 checks on my ballot. Since I’m just listening to Roberta Flack, you can refer to last year’s column for actual supporting baseball data:

1. Álex Rodríguez.
If you had, had a sudden change of heart

I wish that you would tell me so

2. Carlos Beltrán.
Don’t leave me hangin’ on the promises

You’ve got to let me know

3. Manny Ramírez.
Oh, how I wish, I never met you

I guess, it must have been my fate

To fall in love with someone else’s love

All I can do is wait

That’s all I can do, yeah yeah

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

4. Jeff Kent.
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

5. Andruw Jones.
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

6. Andy Pettitte.
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

7. Gary Sheffield.
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

8. Scott Rolen.
What a guy!

9. Todd Helton.
What a guy!

10. Billy Wagner.

What a guy!


11. Omar Vizquel.
Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

Where is the love? (Where is the love?)

So, where IS the love?

It is right there, a stroke of a pen, the freedom of Pete Rose and the acknowledgement once and for all that the Hall of Fame is for the best players in history. Open the door.

He is already past average life expectancy. Continuing to punish him for ethical reasons is arrogant and not in the Best Interest of Baseball.

Will it ever be?
Where is the love?

Mark Newman is a recipient of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence and author of No. 1 bestseller Diamonds from the Dugout. He has been a pro sports beat writer for The Miami Herald, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and San Jose Mercury News; VP/GM at The Sporting News, and from 2002-2018 was a familiar byline to millions of baseball fans as Enterprise Editor and lead national writer for MLB.com plus the first 26,000 tweets & first 1.2 million followers as @MLB. The Indiana University graduate is a longtime Hall of Fame voting member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America working 25 World Series.

Share Button

TRACKERJAX: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Scott Rolen, Álex Rodríguez, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz, Manny Ramírez, Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones.

Yes, that’s the headline. Because if you’re writing the first-ever Hall of Fame Ballot explainer column hosted on the BBHOF Ballot Tracker, and that guy Ryan Thibodaux is technically your new publisher, then you’re writing about the candidates as you check their names on the BBWAA ballot before signing it and mailing it back. And you’re going to write about a lot of voting trends, because all we care about here are four things really:

1. November 22, 2021, Hall of Fame ballot is officially announced and mailed.

2. December 31, 2021, the deadline for about 400 ballots to be returned.

3. January 25, 2022, when new Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch announces voting results.

4. July 24, 2022, Hall of Fame Inductions.

That’s it. This column doesn’t care about Management vs. Union, except in the ramifications a possible work stoppage might have for any future Hall of Fame cases. Albert Pujols and Mike Trout are first-ballot no matter what, but what about some perennial All-Star who might slink one spot lower in the all-time JAWS rankings at his position, and maybe wind up on the bubble as someone’s No. 11 like Gary Sheffield is on mine?

Continue Reading
Share Button

2022 BBHOF Tracker Summary and Leaderboard

View the full 2022 Tracker with all individual ballots: 2022 BBHOF Tracker

Share Button

2021 BBHOF Tracker Summary and Leaderboard

View the full 2021 Tracker with all individual ballots: 2021 BBHOF Tracker

Share Button

2020 BBHOF Tracker Summary and Leaderboard

View the full Tracker with all individual ballots: 2020 BBHOF Tracker

Share Button

2019 BBHOF Tracker Summary and Leaderboard

View the full Tracker with all individual ballots: 2019 BBHOF Tracker



Share Button

2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker

The 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker can be found at bit.ly/hall19.

Share Button

The 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker is Live!

And can always be found at:


Share Button

Coming to the Tracker for the 2017 Season

I have a few improvements to the Tracker in mind for the coming year. Have a look at the preview available at bit.ly/hof2017 and let me know what you think.

  • I’ve “hidden” candidates who are expected to receive less than ~10% support in a group (which can be revealed by clicking the “+” above column AH). This frees up screen real estate for candidates expected to receive higher vote totals, and makes data in their columns easier to read.
  • After expanding the hidden group, a summary of ballots with X number of players is available. I’ll likely move this elsewhere later.
  • Rows 9 and 10 detail actual final percent versus the percent a player received on pre-results public ballots, as well as public ballot percent versus private ballot percent from last year.
  • Xs instead of 1s for votes.
  • “Net +/- among returning voters” is now automated instead of manually tallied. Now it’ll be accurate!
  • Anonymous ballots separated out from the true public ones.
  • A landing page (tab) with top line information only: players’ current percentages, number of ballots revealed, and net +/-. See the “Summary” tab for a simple version of the idea.

Other suggestions? Let me know @NotMrTibbs or ryan@bbhoftracker.com.

Update 1/20/16 – additional implementations from reader suggestions:

  • Gained votes and lost votes given individual rows, 20 and 21 (thanks @sarsdell)
  • Added “Projected Net Gain Needed for 75%” at row 23 (thanks @flubs68 and many others).
    • As noted on the sheet, this is based on numerous assumptions: Total ballots cast will be 450 (likely to be updated later this year when more is known), total first-time voters will be 15 and each candidate will receive the same % among them as he received among first-time voters last year, returning # of voters will be 435
    • Formula: 338 votes needed for 75% – ((435 * actual % from 2016) + (15 * % among first-time voters last year)) = # of net gained votes needed this year for 75%
  • Pre-announcement, post-announcement, and anonymous ballots have individual tallies, currently at B29, B33, and B36 (thanks @stabilio1)
Share Button