Two longtime Detroit Tigers were on this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame ballot – as they have been for over 10 years each – but neither was inducted by the Base Ball Writers’ Association of America. In fact, no player on this year’s ballot received the required vote total to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Jack Morris was seemingly on the cusp after receiving votes from 66.7% of the BBWAA’s voting membership (75% is needed for induction), but he gained minimal ground this season, rising to only 67.7%. There was an abnormally large number of reports of writers filing blank ballots – an apparent protest to the large number of “steroid era” players now included – and perhaps Morris’ cause was hurt by these. Had these voters simply voted for the supposedly clean players (like Morris) they felt were worthy – rather than take the opportunity for a “look at me” grandstanding effort – then he may have made a more significant stride in the voting. Public opinion is split on Morris’ qualifications (basically high win total vs. high ERA total), but no one would argue that he was tainted by PEDs.
The advanced stat crowd may not love Morris’ resume, but for them Alan Trammell is a shoe-in selection (as would be Lou Whitaker if he hadn’t inexplicably fallen off the ballot). The writers of Baseball Prospectus released their collective (hypothetical) ballot this morning and, while none of them voted for Morris, over 81% voted in favor of Trammell’s induction. Alan Trammell earned the support of 36.8% of voters in last year’s “real” BBWAA Hall of Fame balloting and actually slipped a bit this year – he’s now down to 33.6%.
For my part, I wouldn’t be in favor of Jack Morris entering the hall, but Alan Trammell (and Lou Whitaker) really should be in there.
Both Trammell and Morris received enough support to remain on the ballot next year, so we’ll have these same discussions in twelve months. It’s like Miguel Cabrera versus Mike Trout, but drawn out over a 12+ year span.