Neyer: Hall of Fame ballot is getting mighty crowded

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on November 30, 2012:

This story has been brewing for a while, but we brilliant humans have a tendency to ignore brewing stories until they’ve actually come to a head. And this one’s coming to a head …

As I said, this shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention. You don’t even have to do any actual work, as publishes lists of eligible Hall of Fame candidates some years in advance. For example, the 2016 ballot will include first-timers Ken Griffey, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner, and Jason Kendall. Oh, and a WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER GUYS.

Which is the problem, assuming that you’re a fan of the greatest players getting elected to the Hall of Fame with some degree of timeliness.

This season, there’s a large ballot with a huge number of candidates who will receive significant support. I would vote for eight candidates with no compunction: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Jeff Bagwell, Curt Schilling, Alan Trammell, Tim Raines, Craig Biggio, and Mike Piazza. Before you yell at me, I would also spend a great deal of time considering Larry Walker, Kenny Lofton, Mark McGwire, and Edgar Martinez.

That’s 12.

We know that Jack Morris, Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, and Bernie Williams will all receive — because they have before — meaningful support to various degrees.

That’s 19.

The more candidates on the ballot who will draw meaningful support, the lower the chance of any particular candidate actually getting elected.

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Originally published: November 30, 2012. Last Updated: November 30, 2012.