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SBNATION: Why Ex-Oriole Bobby Grich will never make the HOF (+ why Jeter should not be first ballot)


weams

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Incredible as it seems, Joe DiMaggio wasn't even elected in his first year of eligibility.
I know.

Neither were Whitey Ford or Yogi Berra.

Amazing and strange, but true.

3 of the first 4 names on the list of notables that were not elected in their 1st year of eligibility were:

Joe DiMaggio

Whitey Ford

Yogi Berra

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Must be an anti-Yankee bias.

But really, a lot of the names listed that didn't make it first ballot came up early in the process when the voting process wasn't stable:

- First off guys like Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker and Cy Young had to compete against everyone in baseball history because they had just started and lost out to Cobb, Johnson, Mathewson, Ruth, and Wagner year one.

- Rogers Horsnby, Carl Hubbell, and Mel Ott all gained election during a time before the mandatory five-year wait. Hornsby received votes before he even retired (voting for active players only lasted through 1936).

- There were precisely zero first ballot enshrinees between 1937 and 1961. There was no yearly consistency. Therefore it is not fair to the current system to retroactively say "player X didn't get in first ballot" if that player was eligible during this time.

DiMaggio's case itself is the reason why we now have the five-year waiting period. That it took three tries to elect him alerted the BBWAA that the process needed reform. So that's what they did. By 1964, we had a voting process resembling what we see today, with a five-year wait and a maximum 15 years on the ballot.

The most egregious errors then would be Yogi Berra and Eddie Mathews, perhaps Whitey Ford. They all fell victim to "if Joe DiMaggio" argument despite the recent voting reform. But by the 1970s things had pretty much settled down. There are very few "no-doubt" HOFers that missed out on their first try since then.

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Must be an anti-Yankee bias.

But really, a lot of the names listed that didn't make it first ballot came up early in the process when the voting process wasn't stable:

- First off guys like Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker and Cy Young had to compete against everyone in baseball history because they had just started and lost out to Cobb, Johnson, Mathewson, Ruth, and Wagner year one.

- Rogers Horsnby, Carl Hubbell, and Mel Ott all gained election during a time before the mandatory five-year wait. Hornsby received votes before he even retired (voting for active players only lasted through 1936).

- There were precisely zero first ballot enshrinees between 1937 and 1961. There was no yearly consistency. Therefore, it is not fair to the current system to retroactively say "player X didn't get in first ballot" if that player was eligible early on.

DiMaggio's case itself is the reason why we now have the five-year waiting period. That it took three tries to elect him alerted the BBWAA that the process needed reform. So they did. By 1964, we had a voting process resembling what we see today, with a five-year wait and a maximum 15 years on the ballot.

Thanks.

That explains DiMaggio, but Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford (along with Eddie Matthews and Harmon Killebrew) all failed to gain election on their first try under the current system.

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Must be an anti-Yankee bias.

But really, a lot of the names listed that didn't make it first ballot came up early in the process when the voting process wasn't stable:

- First off guys like Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker and Cy Young had to compete against everyone in baseball history because they had just started and lost out to Cobb, Johnson, Mathewson, Ruth, and Wagner year one.

- Rogers Horsnby, Carl Hubbell, and Mel Ott all gained election during a time before the mandatory five-year wait. Hornsby received votes before he even retired (voting for active players only lasted through 1936).

- There were precisely zero first ballot enshrinees between 1937 and 1961. There was no yearly consistency. Therefore it is not fair to the current system to retroactively say "player X didn't get in first ballot" if that player was eligible during this time.

DiMaggio's case itself is the reason why we now have the five-year waiting period. That it took three tries to elect him alerted the BBWAA that the process needed reform. So that's what they did. By 1964, we had a voting process resembling what we see today, with a five-year wait and a maximum 15 years on the ballot.

The most egregious errors then would be Yogi Berra and Eddie Mathews, perhaps Whitey Ford. They all fell victim to "if Joe DiMaggio" argument despite the recent voting reform. But by the 1970s things had pretty much settled down. There are very few "no-doubt" HOFers that missed out on their first try since then.

Good synopsis. And I believe Derek Jeter will and should be elected on the first ballot. I'd vote for him if I had a vote. But it will still irk me if all the jerks who voted against guys like Cal and Maddux will decide that Jeter's election is the time they are going to vote for a guy on the first ballot.

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Good synopsis. And I believe Derek Jeter will and should be elected on the first ballot. I'd vote for him if I had a vote. But it will still irk me if all the jerks who voted against guys like Cal and Maddux will decide that Jeter's election is the time they are going to vote for a guy on the first ballot.

I believe just like the old-time guy who voted for Jack Morris and that was all this year, Jeter may not appear on a very small number of new age ballots that do have votes for Tim Raines, etc.

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Everyone needs to remember that the first class were First Ballot, literally because there were no prior ballots (duh). And for many years after that the eligibility rules were so ill-defined and candidate backlog was so extensive that nobody got elected on the first ballot. The DiMaggio case illustrates that perfectly, everyone thought he was an obvious HOFer, so much so that he received many votes before he was retired for five years. But many didn't vote for him until later since there were a ton of earlier players who hadn't gotten in yet, or for other reasons.

The voting was so screwed up that in the 50s there were multiple years where no one was elected at all despite guys like Lou Boudreau, Joe Medwick, Luke Appling, Max Carey, Ed Rousch being on the ballot. In 1958 there were 30+ eventual HOFers on the ballot, and exactly zero got elected.

This whole idea that First Ballot selections should be reserved for inner-circle guys didn't come about until the HOF had existed for maybe 30 years.

Edit: Or, what 25 Nuggets said. :)

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Only goes to show how stupid these writers(sic) are.

The writers are goofy, yes, but someone should have stamped out the "First Ballot" crap a long time ago.

It's simple. You're on the ballot once. After that, dream's dead.

The writers wouldn't be able to play their little games, then. If they thought someone was Hall worthy, they'd have to vote them in, since there wasn't going to be a second chance.

They don't put what ballot you were on your plaque...

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The writers are goofy, yes, but someone should have stamped out the "First Ballot" crap a long time ago.

It's simple. You're on the ballot once. After that, dream's dead.

The writers wouldn't be able to play their little games, then. If they thought someone was Hall worthy, they'd have to vote them in, since there wasn't going to be a second chance.

They don't put what ballot you were on your plaque...

I hear that argument a lot and it will simply not work. The BBWAA would need to be revamped first; a number of current "writers" don't even write anymore and have the slightest clue about baseball. We'd have no Ryne Sandberg, Gary Carter, Roberto Alomar, and so on. The supposedly clean candidates during the current backlog would be doubly screwed.

Even if it did work I guarantee you there would be less talk about the Hall of Fame, an institution already treading financial water.

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The writers are goofy, yes, but someone should have stamped out the "First Ballot" crap a long time ago.

It's simple. You're on the ballot once. After that, dream's dead.

The writers wouldn't be able to play their little games, then. If they thought someone was Hall worthy, they'd have to vote them in, since there wasn't going to be a second chance.

They don't put what ballot you were on your plaque...

I think there's a disconnect here. First you say the writers are goofy and play games, then you would revamp the system to a one-and-done. Don't you think the most likely outcome of that would be almost no one getting elected by the BBWAA? And the primary path to entry immediately becoming some version of the Veteran's Committee?

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Good synopsis. And I believe Derek Jeter will and should be elected on the first ballot. I'd vote for him if I had a vote. But it will still irk me if all the jerks who voted against guys like Cal and Maddux will decide that Jeter's election is the time they are going to vote for a guy on the first ballot.

Agree with you here. I hate the MFY as much as anyone but Jeter is and should be a slam dunk 1st ballot HOF.

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If we are going to use WAR to judge who was the best player and deserving Hall of Famer: was Bobby Grich (70.9 rWAR) better than Eddie Murray (68.3)? weams, do you hold that opinion? Roy?

I can't imagine using any one classification to determine who deserves to be in the HOF.

However, I do think being deficient in any one major classification is enough to keep someone from induction on the first ballot.

In the case against jeter, his defense (which is vastly important for a SS) is bad enough to keep him off the 1st ballot.

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I can't imagine using any one classification to determine who deserves to be in the HOF.

However, I do think being deficient in any one major classification is enough to keep someone from induction on the first ballot.

In the case against jeter, his defense (which is vastly important for a SS) is bad enough to keep him off the 1st ballot.

I agree, but the pro Jeter camp will point to his 5 gold gloves and say, his defense isn't as bad as all of us think.

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