From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on September 30, 2016:
Bret Saberhagen wasn’t disappointed, just a little surprised when he debuted on the writers ballot for the Hall of Fame in 2007 and received only seven votes, barely one percent of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Saberhagen said in 2006 that he would decline induction so long as Pete Rose remained ineligible for betting on baseball, so he didn’t expect to get in. But he hoped for a little more consideration.
While injuries curtailed the career of the former Royals ace, limiting him to 167 lifetime wins, Saberhagen ranks by other measures as one of the best pitchers in baseball history not in the Hall of Fame. His 36.8 Wins Above Average are seventh-best among all pitchers retired since 2010 who aren’t enshrined. Saberhagen’s 59.1 WAR ranks 14th among unenshrined pitchers retired since 2010.
In November, Saberhagen will be eligible for Cooperstown for the first time with the newly-created Today’s Game Committee, which will review players who made their greatest contribution to the game between 1988 and 2001. There’s a chance Saberhagen could be the best pitcher on the ballot, though his eligibility and strong sabermetric case were news to him when reached this week by Sporting News.
Originally published: September 30, 2016. Last Updated: September 30, 2016.