Jaffe: Whitaker, Evans, and Munson get long-overdue turns on Modern Era baseball ballot

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at FanGraphs on November 5, 2019:

“What about Whitaker?” That question, which has been on my mind for nearly two decades, came to the fore two years ago when longtime Tigers teammates Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, both of whom spent 15 often contentious and sometimes agonizing years on the BBWAA’s Hall of Fame ballot, were finally elected to the Hall by the Modern Baseball Era Committee. With five All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, and a central role on the Tigers’ 1984 championship squad, Lou Whitaker had accumulated similarly strong credentials to Trammell while forming the other half of the longest-running double play combo in major league history, one that did a fair bit to prop up Morris’ wobbly candidacy. Yet Whitaker, who ranks 13th in JAWS among second basemen, did not get his 15 years on the writers’ ballot because in his 2001 debut — the last Hall of Fame election cycle that I did not cover, but a pivotal one in many ways — he failed to receive at least 5% of the vote from the BBWAA and thus fell off the ballot. Like so many other candidates who have suffered such a fate, he had never received a second look from a small-committee process. Until now.

Whitaker is one of 10 candidates on the 2020 Modern Baseball Era Committee ballot, which was announced on Monday and which covers players and other figures who made their greatest contributions to the game during the 1970-87 timeframe. He’s not the only one emerging from limbo, either.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/whitaker-evans-and-munson-get-long-overdue-turns-on-modern-baseball-ballot/

Originally published: November 6, 2019. Last Updated: November 6, 2019.