One way or another, today is going to be an interesting day for baseball.
This year’s Hall of Fame election results will be announced at 2 p.m. ET. There’s a conference call schedule already in place, and a press conference already planned for Thursday morning in Manhattan.
But there might not be anyone to talk to.
The ballot is full of huge names and undeniable statistics, but it’s also full of steroid speculation and uncomfortable questions. Craig Biggio’s first time on the ballot is being overshadowed by the arrival of Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza and Sammy Sosa. We’ve already seen the way steroid speculation has affected the candidacy of Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and Jeff Bagwell. Jack Morris is the leading returning candidate, having gotten 66.7 percent last year, but voters remained mixed in their opinion of him as a Hall of Famer.
Over the weekend, USA Today ran a story saying that included these two paragraphs:
Early returns from publicly-disclosed ballots indicate there’s a growing chance that no one — that’d be zero, as in Al Oliver’s number — will amass the required 75 percent vote total required from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for Hall of Fame induction.
Granted, the sample size of publicly-disclosed ballots collected by the Baseball Think Factory is small — just 92, an estimated 16.1 percent of last year’s vote pool, which should rise this year as more voters are added. But so far, no one’s hit the magic number of 75 percent.
According to The Associated Press, since 1965, the only years without a BBWAA elected Hall of Famer came when Yogi Berra topped the 1971 ballot with 67 percent of the vote and when Phil Niekro topped the 1996 ballot with 68 percent.
Here’s this year’s ballot. Plenty of Hall of Fame names, but will any of them be Hall of Famers at this time tomorrow?
Sandy Alomar Jr., Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Jeff Cirillo, Royce Clayton, Roger Clemens, Jeff Conine, Steve Finley, Julio Franco, Shawn Green, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko, Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Jose Mesa, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Reggie Sanders, Curt Schilling, Aaron Sele, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Mike Stanton, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Todd Walker, David Wells, Rondell White, Bernie Williams and Woody Williams.
Associated Press photo