The Interactive 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

Nov 27, 2013 by Adam Darowski

This is my fourth year creating the Interactive Hall of Fame ballot—a ballot with “bullseye” visualizations of every player on the ballot. You can drag the visuals around to compare players to each other.

The outer ring represents Wins Above Replacement (WAR, or an approximate measure of the player’s career value) while the inner ring represents Wins Above Average (WAA, or an approximate measure of the player’s peak value).

Previous ballots: 2013, 2012, 2011

Key
Wins Above Replacement
Wins Above Average
Barry Bonds 359
162.6
123.6
Roger Clemens 291
140.3
95.7
Greg Maddux 218
107.1
67.2
Curt Schilling 170
79.9
53.4
Jeff Bagwell 163
79.8
51.9
Mike Mussina 162
83.1
48.9
Larry Walker 150
72.7
48.3
Tom Glavine 147
81.6
46.7
Mike Piazza 145
59.4
35.6
Alan Trammell 141
70.7
40.1
Frank Thomas 138
73.7
38.9
Edgar Martinez 134
68.4
38.7
Tim Raines 127
68.9
35.0
Hall of Stats Median 128
67.4
35.9
Craig Biggio 126
65.2
28.6
Rafael Palmeiro 124
71.8
30.0
Mark McGwire 123
62.0
37.2
Hall of Fame Median 119
63.2
30.9
Sammy Sosa 115
58.4
28.0
Jeff Kent 102
55.0
26.4
Kenny Rogers 95
51.6
20.5
Fred McGriff 94
52.5
19.7
Luis Gonzalez 89
51.6
19.5
Don Mattingly 77
42.3
17.3
Jack Morris 76
44.2
9.7
Moises Alou 70
39.9
15.9
Lee Smith 62
29.7
13.9
Ray Durham 53
33.7
6.5
Mike Timlin 42
19.9
7.8
Hideo Nomo 41
21.2
4.5
Armando Benitez 40
17.7
8.8
Paul Lo Duca 36
18.0
4.9
Richie Sexson 28
18.1
-0.8
Eric Gagne 27
11.9
5.0
Sean Casey 25
16.4
-1.3
Todd Jones 24
11.1
1.2
Jacque Jones 17
11.5
-5.3
J.T. Snow 17
11.1
-9.6

The players are sorted by Hall Rating. Why do some players’ bullseyes appear smaller while their Hall Ratings are larger? That’s likely because they are a catcher or reliever. Those players receive special adjustments.

I have included the median for the Hall of Fame and the Hall of Stats. This helps show how much more value the Hall of Stats players provided than their Hall of Fame counterparts. The median Hall of Stats player has 4.3 more WAR, 5.1 more WAA, and a Hall Rating nine points higher. That’s interesting that the difference in WAA is a bit higher, showing that the Hall of Stats may value peak a bit more than the Hall of Fame.

So, click and drag (or tap and drag on your favorite mobile device or tablet!) and let me know what you think.

Who’s not there?

Last year, the best players left off the Hall of Fame ballot were Bob Wickman (36 Hall Rating) and Mike Lieberthal (28). This season, it looks like it’s Keith Foulke, which is mind-boggling considering his 50 Hall Rating and 6-year peak of 20+ WAR. Closers don’t do that very often. Foulke is followed by Esteban Loaiza (42), Jon Lieber (41), and Shannon Stewart (39).

From a personal perspective, it would have been nice to see Trot Nixon make it on the ballot. He’s no Hall of Famer, but he had a respectable 36 Hall Rating and was one of my favorite players ever.

How would I vote?

Chances are, you know my stance on many of these players. Given the opportunity, I would vote for:

  1. Barry Bonds
  2. Roger Clemens
  3. Greg Maddux
  4. Curt Schilling
  5. Jeff Bagwell
  6. Mike Mussina
  7. Larry Walker
  8. Tom Glavine
  9. Mike Piazza
  10. Alan Trammell
  11. Frank Thomas
  12. Edgar Martinez
  13. Tim Raines
  14. Craig Biggio
  15. Rafael Palmeiro
  16. Mark McGwire
  17. Sammy Sosa

That’s 17 players. Voters can only pick ten. This, of course, is a problem. Who should voters leave off? Qualified players who have no chance (like Trammell)? Players who likely won’t need the vote (like Maddux and Glavine)? Anybody associated with PEDs? That would help trim the list. If the voters aren’t voting based on merit, it makes it really hard to reach consensus.

My 17 (which might be 18, depending on my current feelings about Jeff Kent) doesn’t even count popular holdovers like Jack Morris (in his fifteenth year of eligibility) and Lee Smith (who always receives a lot of support). Fred McGriff is also a compelling candidate and Kenny Rogers wins this year’s David Wells Award for being “better than you remember”.

I don’t see a solution for the overflowing ballot. That’s why I made the Hall of Stats.

We will have inductees this years. Maddux and Glavine will make it. Thomas should be clear of PED suspicion. Biggio should make the jump from 68% to 75%. We should have Joe Torre and Bobby Cox (and perhaps Lou Piniella and Marvin Miller) making it via the Expansion Era ballot.

If we do actually induct these candidates, it still won’t be enough. That’s why Trammell and Whitaker—Raines and Edgar… Dahlen and Glasscock… even Bonds and Clemens— will always have a home with me.

Just wait—we get to do this again next year (with the added complexity of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, Brian Giles, Nomar Garciaparra, and Carlos Delgado hitting the ballot). Even if we clear four players off his year’s ballot, the problem still won’t get better.

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