Cameron: The Hall of Fame's standard, and its problem for modern players

From Dave Cameron at FanGraphs on December 19, 2013:

With the baseball off-season moving into a little bit of a lull, the next few weeks of baseball writing often take on a decidedly Cooperstown-centric swing. Hall of Fame ballots have been mailed to the 600 or so voters, and they have until December 31st to decide how to fill those ballots out, so those of us with some semblance of a platform usually try to influence the voters while they have the ballot in their hands. For instance, Jay Jaffe penned this excellent piece on Mike Mussina‘s candidacy, and anyone who is planning to vote for Tom Glavine but not Mussina should read that and reconsider.

I probably won’t join the lobbying for any specific players this year. From my perspective, there are something like 15 to 19 reasonably justifiable candidates on the ballot, so lobbying for one player out of that bunch is necessarily lobbying against some other viable candidate. So, instead, I’m simply going to try and provide some evidence that will hopefully convince my fellow members of the the BBWAA to stop waffling and start voting in worthy candidates.

 I think an important point in deciding whether or not a player is Hall of Fame worthy or not is to know the historical standard for enshrinement. What percentage of players do we think are worthy of immortalizing? The top 10%? 5%? 1%? Before we can argue that a modern player is worthy of enshrinement, we should know what the standard of acceptance has been in the past, and then we can figure out if that player meets the standard relative to his own peers.

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This page was last updated December 19, 2013 at 11:54 am MST.