Jaffe: JAWS and the best Hall of Fame classes ever

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at SI.com on January 2, 2014:

For all of the concerns about the backlog of outstanding candidates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot, the early returns from voters who have published theirs are encouraging. With 101 ballots reported as of this writing via Baseball Think Factory — nearly 18 percent of the electorate based upon last year’s total of 569 votes — four players have received at least 75 percent support: Greg Maddux (100 percent), Tom Glavine (97.0 percent), Frank Thomas (90.0 percent) and Craig Biggio (80.2 percent), with Mike Piazza (72.3 percent) near the 75 percent threshold as well. It’s tempting to think that we may be in for a bumper crop come induction time.

That said, history shows that the rates reported at BTF will probably come down by a few points, though last year Biggio was overreported only by 1.9 percent and Piazza by 2.5 percent. That’s because many of the unpublished votes tend to come from retired writers (and editors) who no longer have to fill column inches and don’t need to publicly justify voting for a small slate of candidates.

Even assuming Biggio and/or Piazza falls short, the prospect of three or four inductees in a single year is encouraging for those of us who feel that voters have dragged their feet for far too long.

Read the full article here: http://mlb.si.com/2014/01/02/jaws-and-the-2014-hall-of-fame-ballot-the-best-classes-ever/

Originally published: January 3, 2014. Last Updated: January 3, 2014.