Goldman: A guide to the Hall of Fame’s Expansion Era ballot

From SABR member Steven Goldman at SB Nation on November 5, 2013:

The Hall of Fame today released its Expansion Era Committee ballot, the latest iteration of the voting system that replaced the old, much-derided Veterans Committee, which did so much to correct oversights by the Baseball Writers Association of America but at the cost of giving plaques to a large number of mediocrities. In addition to considering players who have been inactive for at least 21 seasons, the 16-member Committee will also consider managers and executives. On order to receive a spot on the wall, candidates must poll 75 percent or more.

Your guide to the candidates, part one:

Dave Concepcion, SS: Concepcion played 19 seasons in the bigs, all with the Reds, and joined with Joe Morgan to form the double-play combination of the Big Red Machine team that reached four World Series during the 1970s, winning in 1975 and 1976. A five-time Gold Glover, Concepcion was an above-average hitter for a shortstop of the time until his early 30s. His bat fell off a cliff at that point — he hit .251/.314/.318 after his last six seasons — but he kept playing, partially because there was a perception that he still had something to offer on defense, partially because in the Pete Rose neverending-farewell years the team was more about veterans padding out their stats than trying to win.

Concepcion was a very good player and by WAR one of the 20-best shortstops in history, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he should be a Hall of Famer — everything that was said about Concepcion could also be said about Bert Campaneris: played forever, good glove with a decent bat for a shortstop of the day, was a key player on a great team, plus unlike Concepcion, who has no black ink whatsoever on his baseball card, Campy led his league in stolen bases six times. No one is rushing to put Campaneris in, though, probably because the Mustache Gang is far less romanticized than the Big Red Machine. There is also the additional incongruity of enshrining Concepcion while Alan Trammell, a vastly superior player, languishes on the BBWAA ballot.

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Originally published: November 5, 2013. Last Updated: November 5, 2013.