Womack: Why Joe Carter might be a future Hall of Fame selection

From SABR member Graham Womack at The Sporting News on September 22, 2015:

It shouldn’t have been hugely surprising when Joe Carter received just 3.8 percent of the Hall of Fame vote in 2004, his only year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballot. Since 1956, the Hall of Fame has had a rule forbidding automatic induction for players who’ve had an iconic moment or achieved some statistical milestone. It’s why Don Larsen will likely never get in the Hall of Fame despite his perfect game in the 1956 World Series and why Roger Maris remains a long shot, 61 homers or no.

The writers have held the line for many players with iconic moments beyond Larsen. While World Series stars from Bill Wambsganss to Bobby Richardson to Kirk Gibson have drawn Hall of Fame votes, the only players inducted have had more on their resumes. And it’s gotten tougher to garner votes as this kind of Hall candidate since the advent of the 5 percent rule in the mid 1980s, removing anyone from the writers ballot who fell below that vote total.

In another era of Hall voting, Joe Carter may have stuck around the fringe of the writers ballot for 10 to 15 years, consistently drawing a few percent of votes. Players used to do this, such as Bobby Thomson who was on the ballot 14 years but never topped 5 percent of the vote. Carter’s series-winning home run in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series ranks as one of the more thrilling moments in baseball history. And for a certain type of fan, Carter offers more: 10 seasons with 100 RBIs, six seasons with at least 30 home runs, and a reputation for clutch play.

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2015-09-22/joe-carter-hall-of-fame-veterans-committee-selection-blue-jays

Originally published: September 22, 2015. Last Updated: September 22, 2015.