Update: The only 2010 Hall of Fame inductee will be Andre Dawson in what was his ninth try. Blyleven missed the cut by only five votes (400 total), which has to be heartbreaking. Alomar was just behind him with 397 (one has to wonder if he was held out this year because of the umpire incident). McGwire received 128.
The official numbers from the BBWAA.com:
Rickey Henderson's 2009 induction into the Hall of Fame and the subsequent ceremony at the Coliseum was one of the most amazing experiences in my baseball life. Flawed voting system or not, it is still the highest baseball honor a player can receive. Let's take a look at 2010.
Remember that a player must have played at least ten seasons in the majors, and is only eligible for HOF election after he has been retired five years. Those who have been members of the Baseball Writers Association for at least ten years will have up to ten votes from the list of candidates, and players need 75% of votes to be elected to the Hall.
If a player does not receive at least 5% of the votes, he is not eligible for the next year's election. With 5% or more of the votes every year, he can be eligible on the ballot up to 15 years.
SB Nation took a site-wide vote from our baseball sites, and I have the results here (the official vote is announced today at 2PM ET):
|Player||% Vote||Total Votes|
|Not receiving votes: Andres Galarraga, Pat Hentgen, Mike Jackson, Eric Karros, David Segui, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile|
As you can see, the highest percentage of SB Nation votes went to Twins starting pitcher Bert Blyleven (now in his 13th year on the ballot). One would also think that first-time-eligible Toronto second-baseman Roberto Alomar will get in this year--but he might have his very public incident with John Hirschbeck working against him. However, those fences have been mended over the years, and even Hirschbeck has publicly stated that he hopes Alomar is elected.
If Alomar had a vote, it would be no contest:
"I'm not nervous, I'm excited," a confident Alomar told MLB.com recently. "I'm looking forward to it. I think it's going to be a big moment for all Puerto Ricans, especially my family. We're all expecting me to get elected."
Today's article on MLB.com cites the Red's Barry Larkin as a front-runner as well.
MLB.com's top candidates:
Roberto Alomar (2B): A twelve time all-star and ten time gold glove winner, Alomar was probably the best second baseman of his era. He hit .300/.371/.443 over his 17 year career. He had some pop, as exhibited by his 210 career home runs and 502 career doubles, and could swipe a base, with 474 in his career. His ability to hit for average, get on base, steal bases, and field his position like few others combine to make Alomar one of the best second baseman of the last 25 years.
Barry Larkin (SS): Also a twelve time all-star, Larkin played his entire 19-year career for one team, the Cincinnati Reds. The 1995 NL MVP, Larkin also won three gold gloves, and likely would have won more if he was a contemporary of Ozzie Smith. Hit .295/.371/.444 for his career, with 397 steals against only 77 caught. It all adds up to an excellent Hall of Fame case for a middle infielder. The one knock against Larkin is that he was injury prone; of his 19 seasons, he appeared in more than 150 games in a season only four times.
Andre Dawson (OF): Expos: .278 BA, 438 HR, 1591 RBI, 314 SB, 1987 NL MVP
Dawson was the definition of a five tool player, and he had a fantastic career. Aside from his stellar offensive numbers, Dawson also won eight Gold Gloves as a cannon armed right fielder. His 67.0 percent support last year was his highest yet.
Bert Blyleven (SP): Twins: 287-250, 3.31 ERA, 118 ERA+, 6.7 K/9
Many people think that Blyleven deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. However, since he only raised his vote percentage 0.8 percent from 2008 and 2009 (from 61.9 percent to 62.7 percent), it would be surprising to see him improve that number by 12.3 percent this year.
Close to home, we have Mark McGwire in his fourth year of voting (21.9% last year). Do you think he'll receive a higher percentage this year?
And low on the SB Nation list, but high on Jayson Starks' is Fred McGriff:
McGriff didn't hit 500 homers, but he missed by only seven. He didn't rack up 2,500 hits, but he missed by only 10. He slugged over .500 (.509), drove in 1,550 runs and fell just short of a .900 career OPS (.887). And if you don't think those are Hall of Fame numbers, answer me this:
How many players in history have displayed those numbers on any Hall ballot and not gotten elected?
The answer is zero. None.
So, who gets in? Anyone I'm/we're missing? Stay tuned for the vote...