Jaffe: A deeper appreciation of Roy Halladay’s Hall of Fame case

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at Sports Illustrated on November 8, 2017:

In January 1973, just days after Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash while delivering humanitarian aid to Nicaragua, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted to waive the customary five-year waiting period for the Pirates’ superstar, whose 3,000 hits and standard-setting defense made his future election a foregone conclusion. Two months later, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced that Clemente had received 93% of the 423 ballots cast in a special stand-alone election, with most of the objections owed to the precedent set by the procedure. In the wake of that, the BBWAA and the Hall established a rule allowing for the acceleration of a deceased candidate’s eligibility “in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death.” Unfortunately, the clause has been invoked a few times, including for two players active at the times of their deaths, Yankees catcher Thurman Munson (who died in August 1979 and debuted on the 1981 ballot) and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile (died in June 2002, debuted on the 2003 ballot), and for retired reliever Rod Beck (died in June 2007, debuted on 2008 ballot).

With those precedents in mind, the Hall of Fame eligibility of two-time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, who himself died in a tragic plane crash on Tuesday, will likely remain unchanged despite some calls for his immediate enshrinement. Halladay, who retired after the 2013 season, is on track to appear on the 2019 ballot, released next November.

Read the full article here: https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/11/08/roy-halladay-death-plane-crash-hall-fame

Originally published: November 9, 2017. Last Updated: November 9, 2017.