Gilbert: Analyzing the 2016 Hall of Fame vote

From SABR member Bill Gilbert at the Pecan Park Eagle on January 13, 2016:

The Baseball Writers Association of America elected 2 players to the Hall of Fame this year, Ken Griffey. Jr. (99.3%) and Mike Piazza (83.0%). Griffey’s percentage was the highest ever recorded, exceeding Tom Seaver’s 98.84% in 1992.

Of those on the ballot who were not elected, Jeff Bagwell (71.6%) and Tim Raines (69.8%) were the closest and should be in good position for election in 2017.

Fifteen of the seventeen holdovers on the ballot received a higher percentage of the votes in 2016 than in 2015 led by Mike Mussina (+18.4%), Edgar Martinez (+16.4%), Bagwell (+15.9%) Alan Trammell (+15.8% in his final year on the writers ballot), Raines (+14.8%), Curt Schilling (+13.1%) and Piazza (+13.1%). The only holdovers to lose ground were Gary Sheffield (from 11.7% to 11.6%) and Nomar Garciaparra (from 5.5% to 1 8% which removes him from future ballots)

The voters are still largely negative with regards to players associated with Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds each picked up about 7.5% but are mired in the mid 40% range.

There was a significant change in the voting population in the 2016 election. Writers who have been inactive professionally for 10 years are no longer eligible to vote, reducing the total number of ballots cast from 549 in 2015 to 440 in 2016..   Thus, some players on the ballot who received a higher percentage of votes actually received fewer total votes.

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Originally published: January 13, 2016. Last Updated: January 13, 2016.