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Thread: Progressive HoF Project?

  1. #1

    Progressive HoF Project?

    We've tried this a few times in a few forms, but would anyone be interested in conducting a progressive Hall of Fame project? I'm thinking it would be very similar to the project I headed about a year ago in which we had our own mock HoF elections going back to 1979. That worked out pretty well and we regularly had a pretty good turnout. I'm thinking we'd do the same thing but go back much earlier.

    If people are interested, I was wonder about some logistics, such as....

    - How far back should we start? Should we start at the 1936 election, or perhaps even earlier?

    - What about the rules? I'm think we'd just operate as if the current BBWAA rules applied from the first year, as such would make conducting this project a lot easier (as the early BBWAA elections were kind of chaotic in which players were eligible). So there would be a 5 year waiting period, 15 years of eligibility, 75% for election, and 5% dropped. I might modify the 5% rule a little though as at first we might have a number of worthy candidates and I wouldn't want to see anyone dropped due to the overwhelming number, so I'm thinking we'd provide that a person is dropped after being below 5% in two consecutive years, and adopt a lower threshold for one and done (say 2%?). I'd also probably keep the 10 player vote limit, as I think when you open up the ballot, voters could become too liberal with voting, and it makes for some interesting strategy and discussion.

    - What to do with all the players at the beginning? For example, if we start say at 1936, do we only include players that retired as far back as 1916, and would we only give them that one year of eligibility since their 15 years would be up? In many ways it would be easier to conduct the elections to just have the bright line 15 years (+5 waiting) from the beginning, but then again, we'd be arbitrarily slighting a number of players that happened to play a little earlier. So to remedy this, we could either have a presumed VC from the beginning (even if we're not actually conducting VC election, though perhaps freakshow would be interested in doing that in conjuction with this as he did last time), and thus just throw everyone that's been retired for more than 20 years into the VC; or do we waive the 15 year requirement at first, and postpone the 15 year limit for 15 years (thus, everyone in the first election, as long as they meet the 5% rule, would have 15 years of eligibility, regardless of when they retired). I'm favoring the latter, but even then I would want a cutoff. In that case I would suggest a 15 year buffer, so if we're starting with the 1936 election, players who retired in 1901-1931 would be eligible for 15 years (5% being met), and players retiring before 1901 would go the imaginary VC. If we were to start at 1936, the dates would work out nicely as 1901 marks the AL's inception, but I wouldn't be adverse to starting at the elections with an earlier year.

    So if people are interested, to summarize the format I'm proposing:

    - Begin in 1936 (or earlier if people want)
    - 5 year waiting period, meaning the first election will not have anyone that retired after 1931 (if we start at 1936)
    - 15 year eligibility, waived for 15 years, meaning everyone eligible in the first election will be eligible for 15 years regardless if they retired more than 20 years prior
    - Initial eligibility stretching back an extra 15 years to 1901, rather than 1916 (if starting at 1936); everyone retiring before 1901 goes to imaginary VC (unless someone wants to simultaneously conduct that election); players dropped who retired between 1901-1916 (and progressively forward), would immediately be eligible for the VC, so the 15 year eligibility extension would not work against them in this regard
    - Limit to 10 votes per election
    - 75% for election
    - Finishing below 5% in two consecutive years results in dropping. Falling below 2% in initial year results in dropping. This should hopefully keep the initial large number of worthy eligible candidates eligible

    So what do you guys think? If people are interested, I'll try to get it running in the next few days, though I'll probably run an initial candidate list by everyone given the extended period at first, and the fact that I'd rather not have the ballot go beyond 40 or 50 players.
    Last edited by DoubleX; 04-25-2008 at 08:18 AM.

  2. #2
    I think it would be fun to begin before 1936

  3. #3
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    --I think we'd have to begin earlier than 1936 if you are interested in getting a fair shake for 19th century players. Only the inner circle guys from the 1800s are going to have a shot if we start 35-40 years after they were done.

  4. #4
    I'm also thinking now that starting earlier would be good as it would prevent a huge backlog of worthy candidates.

    So what year? I do want to maintain the 10 year ML requirement from the start, thus it would be impossible have an election prior to 1891 (all the notable players that played at the beginning of the NL but didn't make 10 years, would go to the imaginary VC to be considered as pioneers). The problem with starting too early though is that there will be too few good candidates at the beginning.

    I'm thinking 1901 might be a good year start. It's arbitrary but it's a nice benchmark year for baseball as it's when the AL started and dating back 15 years, would reach players that retired in 1886, the 10th anniversary (well 11th season) of the NL. So the numbers work out nicely and we should get a decent crop of candidates.

    So if we started at 1901, players retiring between 1886 and 1896 would be eligible, and I'd still postpone the 15 year rule for 15 years. Thus everyone in the 1901 election, would be eligible for 15 years until the 1915 election, provided they maintain 5%. I'd also probably drop my recommendation for modifying the 5% rule, as it wouldn't be as necessary with an early start and less viable candidates.

  5. #5
    If we were to start at 1901, here's a list of 35 candidates I've come up with. I've probably missed some players and I wouldn't mind getting the ballot in the 40-50 range anyway (but certainly no more than 50). All these players retired between 1886 and 1896:

    Dave Foutz - 1896
    Tommy McCarthy - 1896
    Doggie Miller - 1896
    Oyster Burns - 1895
    Jack Glasscock - 1895
    Pete Browning - 1894
    John Ward - 1894
    John Clarkson - 1894
    Tony Mullane - 1894
    Charlie Bennett - 1893
    King Kelly - 1893
    Henry Larkin - 1893
    Harry Stovey - 1893
    Bob Caruthers - 1893
    Tim Keefe - 1893
    George Gore - 1892
    Ned Hanlon - 1892
    Tip O'Neill - 1892
    Hardy Richardson - 1892
    Charlie Buffinton - 1892
    Pud Galvin - 1892
    Mickey Welch - 1892
    Fred Dunlap - 1891
    Paul Hines - 1891
    Charley Radbourn - 1891
    Dave Orr - 1890
    Jack Rowe - 1890
    Deacon White - 1890
    Ned Williamson - 1890
    Charley Jones - 1888
    Ezra Sutton - 1888
    Bobby Mathews - 1887
    Jim McCormick - 1887
    Joe Start - 1886
    Will White - 1886

  6. #6

    5-year wait

    The first Cooperstown election for old-time players was a comedy of errors.
    HOF balloting 1936 at wikipedia (see Veterans Committee)

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleX View Post
    If we were to start at 1901, here's a list of 35 candidates I've come up with. I've probably missed some players and I wouldn't mind getting the ballot in the 40-50 range anyway (but certainly no more than 50). All these players retired between 1886 and 1896:

    Dave Foutz - 1896
    . . .
    Note, this is how Cooperstown's 5-year wait would be implemented for December 1901 vote by mail, January 1902 announcement, summer 1902 induction --all usually called "1902". Five-plus years after their last game, they appear on a ballot in the fall.
    The Hall of Merit, which was broadly like this, started with the "1898 election" for people who did not play after 1892 (except token appearances).

  7. #7
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    Sounds like a fun project. I'd recommend going with a 1901 start date to give some of the earlier stars a fair shake.
    "I will calmly wait for my induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame."
    - Sammy Sosa

    "Get a comfy chair, Sammy, cause its gonna be a long wait."
    - Craig Ashley (AKA Windy City Fan)

  8. #8
    . . .
    The Hall of Merit, which was broadly like this, started with the "1898 election" for people who did not play after 1892 (except token appearances).
    <<

    Those appearances can be a pain.
    See Sam Thompson and Jim ORourke for example.

  9. #9
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    I recommend you start with the 1901 election. I also recommend you employ an 8-year minimum rather than 10-year. That would include players last playing in 1883-1895. (A 1886 start omits Tom York, who played ten years and is surely deserving of a ballot spot. Lowering to 8 years is consistent with the HOF's first 20 years and brings Dave Orr, Tommy Bond, et al under consideration.)

    I recommend you make a rule regarding "post-career stunt" appearances, as I like to call them. (The Hall of Merit established a rule.) As Paul mentioned, Jim O'Rourke retired after 1893. He appeared in one more game, in 1904. In fall-1900 you have no idea that he'll pull a stunt like that, so he should be on the first ballot. Examples abound in this era; see Brouthers, Latham, Thompson, later Bender, Evers, of course Minoso, etc.
    Eradicate, wipe out and abolish redundancy.

    Free El Duque!(and Mark Mulder) -- discover how the HOF rules are cheating this renowned member of Torre's Yankees dynasty and ask the HOF to include him on the ballot for the next BBWAA election.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wendt View Post
    Note, this is how Cooperstown's 5-year wait would be implemented for December 1901 vote by mail, January 1902 announcement, summer 1902 induction --all usually called "1902". Five-plus years after their last game, they appear on a ballot in the fall.
    The Hall of Merit, which was broadly like this, started with the "1898 election" for people who did not play after 1892 (except token appearances).
    The date thing was something I was struggling with. Voting is technically five years since the player last played, with the results announced and inductions 6 years after. I think it's a little easier to keep things at 5 years, so when we have the 1901 election, it means that voting was done in 1901 and players that retired five years earlier in 1896 would be eligible. We'll just pretend that the results are announced in 1901 as well, instead of waiting until the first week of 1902.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Freakshow View Post
    I recommend you make a rule regarding "post-career stunt" appearances, as I like to call them. (The Hall of Merit established a rule.) As Paul mentioned, Jim O'Rourke retired after 1893. He appeared in one more game, in 1904. In fall-1900 you have no idea that he'll pull a stunt like that, so he should be on the first ballot. Examples abound in this era; see Brouthers, Latham, Thompson, later Bender, Evers, of course Minoso, etc.
    That's why I need you guys to remind me of things like this.

    So we'll start with 1901 and the 8 year rule works for the first year (Larry Corcoran is another who would come in). I'm envisioning a ballot between 40-50 players, so if anyone has suggestions of who to add to my original 35, that would be great. In fact, I'll start a separate thread for the ballot. Sooner we can come to a consensus on the ballot, the sooner I'll get things going.

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