I love Hall of Fame season. While it might be tiring to rehash the same arguments year in and year out, the conversations about who should and should not be elected, and why, get to the heart of baseball history. Not only that, but the discussions approach the essential component of history, which is it's interpretive nature. The facts of Larry Walker's career don't mean anything without an interpreter, and those facts mean different things seen through different eyes.
This year, 15 Purple Row staffers cast a ballot for the Hall of Fame following the current rules. These rules limit a single ballot to 10 votes, and it is necessary to garner at least 75 percent of the vote in order to be elected. Based on these criteria, Purple Row selected six players to the Hall of Fame, one of them unanimously. The results:
|Player||Percent of Vote|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||100|
When we did this last year, actual inductees Pedro Martínez and Randy Johnson sailed in, while Craig Biggio and John Smoltz did not accrue enough votes. Larry Walker, the best player in Rockies' history, and Mike Piazza accompanied Martínez and Johnson as Purple Row's four selections. If I had to guess—I don't have to but will anyhow—I'd wager that Purple Row will be right about Griffey (not the unanimity part, though) and Piazza. Based on public ballots, Walker is already out of the running. I expect Raines to be elected next year in his final run through the ballot, and Bonds and Schilling will have to wait a few more years before making it, though I do expect both to be voted in before their 10 years are up.
The only player who Purple Row didn't elect who has a very good shot at actual election is Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell received 66.7 percent of the vote. He was two votes shy of being elected. Things were closer for Roger Clemens, who, with 73.3 percent of the vote, fell just one vote shy. He'll also wait a few more years before selection.
From my perspective, the most disappointing results were for Edgar Martínez, who only received 33.3 percent of the Purple Row vote. Martínez was about as valuable as Walker for his career. They are also similar because Martínez suffers from a DH penalty, while Walker often gets dinged for missing so much playing time. Walker is probably the better candidate of the two because he was so good on defense, but I would argue that anyone who voted for Walker should also vote for Martínez. They were remarkably similar hitters.
Dialogue about the Hall of Fame is something that keeps baseball history alive—without it, baseball history wouldn't even be baseball history. Lucky for us, we have the space to continue that conversation right here in the comments, where you can acclaim, decry, and (gently) mock our Hall of Fame choices.