Dore: A dive into Hall of Fame ballot trends

From Adam Dore at FanGraphs on January 15, 2019:

To get the obvious point out of the way, the Cooperstown stage is going to be crowded at this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony on July 21. All signs point to the trio of Mariano Rivera, Roy Halladay, and Edgar Martinez earning induction and joining Lee Smith and Harold Baines — both of whom were elected to the Hall of Fame by the Today’s Game Committee this past December — in the 2019 Hall of Fame class. It is also possible that Mike Mussina will join them as well.

This year’s class will, in all likelihood, have the unique distinction of being the first class ever comprised of two or more first-ballot selections (Rivera and Halladay) to go along with one candidate (Martinez) who received at least 75% of the vote in his final year of eligibility. On two previous occasions, the BBWAA selected one first-timer and one other inductee whose eligibility window was set to expire: the 2017 induction class featured Ivan Rodriguez (first year on ballot, 76.0%) and Tim Raines (10th year, 86.0%), while the Class of 2009 consisted of Rickey Henderson (first year, 94.8%) and Jim Rice (15th year, 76.4%).

As of Tuesday morning, we have published 177 ballots in our Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker, and it is clear that Fred McGriff and Larry Walker have gained the most ground of any of the returning candidates since the last voting cycle.

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Originally published: January 17, 2019. Last Updated: January 17, 2019.