Who is Actually Eligible for the Today's Game Era Ballot?Aug 2, 2016 by Adam Darowski
Last week, I wrote about the changes to the Hall of Fame’s Era Committees. For some reason, I was thinking that the Modern Baseball Era election was next on the calendar—probably because I’ve been looking forward to Lou Whitaker getting another chance at induction for so long.
But the bulk of Whitaker’s impact (along with his teammates Alan Trammell and Jack Morris) came during the new “Modern Baseball” Era (1970–87), so he won’t be eligible until next year. How am I measuring impact? Well, systematically of course. Rather than simply going by games or seasons, I’m going by Hall Rating during each era. For example, 71.1% of Dwight Gooden’s career appearances came during the Today’s Game Era. However, only 40.1% of his Hall Rating came during that era. Therefore, I’m classifying him as a Modern Baseball Era candidate. Who knows if the Hall of Fame will follow a similar approach, but I can’t think if a better way to classify players with consistency.
With modern players like Whitaker and Trammell not considered candidates in the Today’s Game Era, I started wondering who was actually eligible for this upcoming ballot. There are eighteen players who made the bulk of their impact in the Today’s Game Era, are eligible for the Hall of Fame, and had a Hall Rating of 100 or more.
Seven are still on the BBWAA ballot:
Seven more were bounced from the BBWAA ballot, but have not had their ten-year clocks run out (meaning they are not yet eligible for the Today’s Game Era ballot):
Only four players who finished their careers in 2001 or earlier have had their ten-year clocks expire (in addition to the five-year waiting period). That means only four players have a Hall Rating over 100 and are eligible for the ballot:
- Mark McGwire (123 Hall Rating)
- Bret Saberhagen (120)
- Orel Hershiser (102)
- Will Clark (101)
Even if you add some non-player candidates such as Bud Selig, John Scheurholz, Jim Leyland, and Davey Johnson, that’s not enough to fill a ballot. Here are the eligible players with Hall Ratings from 75 through 100.
- Mark Langston (94)
- Jimmy Key (94)
- Dennis Martinez (93)
- Frank Viola (90)
- Tony Phillips (89)
- Brett Butler (88)
- Lenny Dykstra (86)
- Devon White (84)
- Tom Candiotti (79)
- Danny Darwin (79)
- Darryl Strawberry (79)
- Tony Fernandez (75)
While there are some players with Hall Ratings under 100 that have a realistic shot at induction (Jack Morris, Gil Hodges, Don Mattingly, etc.), none are from this era. It’s going to be pretty thin.
Who would make your ballot? Who would you vote for?