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Will we ever see a unanimous HOF vote?

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  • Will we ever see a unanimous HOF vote?

    Two questions for those who know about these things:

    1) Why weren't Babe Ruth (and, for that matter, Ty Cobb and Cy Young) unanimous selections for the HOF? Do we have any quotes from those who didn't vote for them?

    and ...

    2) Is the fact that Ruth wasn't a unanimous selection given as the reason why modern sportswriters didn't vote for Hank Aaron and Willie Mays? I don't see how anyone can not vote for these guys!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Defense Counts!
    2) Is the fact that Ruth wasn't a unanimous selection given as the reason why modern sportswriters didn't vote for Hank Aaron and Willie Mays? I don't see how anyone can not vote for these guys!
    Well, as for Ruth, I read about when the first man didn't vote was tallied that didn't mention him: They turned to the guy and argued for 5 minutes about why they left him off the list
    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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    • #3
      Ty Cobb beat Ruth in votes, and Cy Young didn't make the cut in the 1936 election.
      "I never saw anyone like Ty Cobb. No one even close to him. He was the greatest all time ballplayer. That guy was superhuman, amazing."
      -Casey Stengel

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      • #4
        The early voters had so many great players to chose from that it made it almost impossible to get a unanimous vote. The voters had a large backlog of players who were eligible for the ballot. Cy Young didn't get elected in the first year due to this backlog.

        By today's rules Ruth wouldn't even have been on the ballot as he hadn't been retired 5 years.
        Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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        • #5
          I've always heard that the reason modern players don't get a unanimous selection is because Joe DiMaggio didn't get in on his "first ballot". Hence, some of the voting baseball writers have always held a grudge that says "If Joe DiMaggio can't make it on the first ballot then I'm not voting for anyone on their first ballot."
          ?

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          • #6
            Simple. The voters (BBWA sportswriters) are jerks.

            Bob

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            • #7
              To quote Al Campanis, baseball writers "may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say," a voter for the hall of fame.
              Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

              Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

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              • #8
                Because sportswriters are pompous and want to act like they actually have a say in the game when they really shouldn't.

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                • #9
                  Some writers (can't remember their names off the top of my head) said that since it was a given that "x" was going to be elected in their first year, they wanted to use their votes for other players to "make their own statement" about the validity of their choices.

                  If Mays and Aaron couldn't make it on a unanimous vote, I don't see how anyone can.

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                  • #10
                    there were a few writers who thought nobody should get 100% expecially since Ruth and Cobb didn't. There are also some who believe no player should get in on their first try. That is why nobody has ever been 100%.

                    I originally thought racism when it came to Aaron and Mays, but then I looked at them all and realized nobody got 100%. Then I heard on TV about this. Makes sense, I guess.
                    "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                    -Bill James

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                    • #11
                      In this day and age, it would be the easiest thing to publish every voter's ballot. This would establish accountability for idiosyncratic, unjustifiable travesties to the voting process.

                      Remember, this isn't a presidential election or anything that justifies having secret ballots. This is a privileged electorate, given the task because they are deemed to be those best fit, with expertise exceeding your's or mine. IMO, their results belie this description.

                      If the HOF is fixed in this marriage with the BBWAA, at least they could bring accountability to the process. The worst perpetrators would be outed; most of these would bow to the resulting pressures and would either change their ways or resign.

                      Open balloting for the HOF - the time has come. What do they have to hide?
                      Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam, circumspice.

                      Comprehensive Reform for the Veterans Committee -- Fixing the Hall continued.

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                      • #12
                        There are many startling trends in BBWAA voting that make you think twice about whether these people are "knowledgeable" or not:

                        1.Like this thread says, lack of respect for clear cut HOFers. This tells me that many writers just aren't taking the vote seriously. It should be an honest inquiry of who you think is deserving, not asking who you liked the best or something. I have no sympathy for those sportswriters who leave an obvious guy off their ballot because they didn't like them or something like that.

                        2.Failure to look beyond the triple crown numbers. If you look at trends in voting, it's rather simple who gets in-the guys with impressive BA, HR, and RBI. This trend also shows up in MVP voting. The writers are so fixated on those three statistics than they hardly focus on what else a player can do. Perhaps this trend is reversing, though, as a player like Jim Rice (classic case of gaudy triple crown numbers but little actual value) is rightfully coming up short.

                        3.I've always wondered this-why exactly do so many players start off with about 20% of the vote and then climb up to eventual election? Who cares about the distinction between "first ballot HOFer", and non first ballot? The HOF standard should be a constant, if a guy is good enough one year he should be good enough the next, and if a guy is not good enough one year he should be not good enough the next. I understand some writers change their mind, and that is perfectly fine, but the huge jumps in the voting puzzle me.

                        4.This one is related to the last one, but it is perhaps the most troubling trend to me. I've never understood why it matters who else is one the HOF ballot. For instance, I heard sportswriters last year saying they would vote for Jim Rice, but this is the last year he'll have a shot because of obvious HOFers like Ripken and Gwynn coming up next year. This to me shows that the writers don't truly even understand the standard of the HOF. It should not be something that changes from year to year-but rather should be a constant that never wavers. The line that separates HOFer from non HOFer should not all of the sudden go up with Ripken and Gwynn, it should remain the same. Considering there is no limit of how many candidates you can vote for (or at least I don't think there is, or even if there is I'm sure it's not less than 8 or so), I don't understand why the other people on the ballot effect whether or not you should vote for someone. This to me is perhaps the most disturbing trend in HOF voting.

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                        • #13
                          I understood there was a limit of ten names. Perhaps I am mistaken. Does anybody have concrete information to point to regarding this issue?

                          Jim Albright
                          Seen on a bumper sticker: If only closed minds came with closed mouths.
                          Some minds are like concrete--thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.
                          A Lincoln: I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

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                          • #14
                            Even if there is a 10 name limit, though, I don't see how that would be low enough to effect whether or not you vote for a player. The two automatics on the ballot make there by 8 spots then, and if you're a Jim Rice supporter (or anyone else for that matter), I don't see how that should change your vote.

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                            • #15
                              4. Method of Election

                              BBWAA Screening Committee — A Screening Committee consisting of baseball writers will be appointed by the BBWAA. This Screening Committee shall consist of six members, with two members to be elected at each Annual Meeting for a three-year term. The duty of the Screening Committee shall be to prepare a ballot listing in alphabetical order eligible candidates who (1) received a vote on a minimum of five percent (5%) of the ballots cast in the preceding election or (2) are eligible for the first time and are nominated by any two of the six members of the BBWAA Screening Committee.
                              Electors may vote for as few as zero (0) and as many as ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.


                              Bob

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