Today, the Baseball Hall of Fame opens its doors to two new inductees—Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. Griffey also becomes the newest member of the Hall of Stats—but not Piazza. Piazza, of course, has been a Hall of Stats member for years. In his place, we welcome Jim Edmonds.
As a reminder, the Hall of Stats always carries the same number of players as the Hall of Fame (by “player”, I mean specifically inducted with the “Player" designation). That number raised from 215 to 217 this year. The Hall of Stats is populated with the top 217 eligible players by Hall Rating. Edmonds has a Hall Rating of 120, which ranks 138th among eligible players. Therefore, he and Griffey are the two new additions to the Hall of Stats.
Kudos to Ryan Thibodaux
This Hall of Fame season felt a bit more fun than recent seasons (despite the depressing Pre-Integration Era Committee shutout). I think a lot of that had to do with the daily bits of optimism we received from Ryan Thibodaux.
Ryan (@NotMrTibbs on Twitter) runs the BBHOF Ballot Tracker. If you weren’t following his tweets over the last couple months, you missed out. Ryan managed to secure a record number of ballots before the announcement. That provided us with many insights along the way—many of them we can feel positive about.
As soon as last year’s results were announced, we assumed this year’s class would be Griffey and Piazza. But Thibodaux’s daily tidbits let us know things were changing. Many candidates were gaining votes from voters who hadn’t supported them previously (or, more likely, couldn’t fit them within their ten slots). Between this and the fact that 100 or so voters had been purged since last year, and things were suddenly looking better.
In particular, it looked like Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines actually had a chance at induction. That didn’t hold up as more ballots were made public, but the pair seems to have a strong chance at induction next year after finishing around 70% (which would be ideal for Raines since next year is his final one on the ballot).
Many candidates made great progress this year (Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez in particular), so the Hall of Fame voting process may be showing signs of emerging from the mess it has been the last few years.
Three new candidates hit the ballot next year—and they’re complex ones. Ivan Rodriguez will have PED accusations. Manny Ramirez actually was suspended twice for PEDs. Lastly, Vladimir Guerrero feels like he’ll take a little while to gain momentum. I think that opens the door for Bagwell and Raines next year.
Who knows, though. Maybe we’ll get even more good news.