Goldman: The Modern Era ballot: march of the fractionals

From SABR member Steven Goldman at Baseball Prospectus on November 12, 2019:

The Modern Era Ballot can be broken into three categories: Marvin Miller, transcendent executive (1); players who had extraordinary careers of mostly ordinary shape (4); and the Fractionals. The Fractionals’ careers had unusual—and some would say incomplete—trajectories. They presented a challenge to the traditional Hall of Fame voters because any time they can’t let numbers do their thinking they default to “no.” The issue each raises is one of ingratitude: You were good, the voters were saying, and maybe even historically significant, but we needed more. Whether any of them gets a plaque or not is of interest only to them and their families; why they matter is of universal interest given they were all key parts of the era in which they played. An unsung song, no matter how great, may as well not have been written. The power to preserve their legacies lies more with us than with any committee of voters, and we can do so by enjoying the many unique facets that made them who they were. 

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Originally published: November 12, 2019. Last Updated: November 12, 2019.