Hall of Fame 2019 Early Returns Impressions

We wont know who is getting into the baseball hall of fame officially until mid January, but we can get clues as to where the vote will go, thanks to Ryan Thibodaux and his hall of fame vote trackerThibodaux and his crew tally public ballots as they come in and you can get an idea of where things are going. I followed it last year and it made the run up to the vote much more interesting. It’s early right now, but even with just the first 14 ballots counted, you can start to make some sense of the ballot. The private ballots, the ones he never gets to see tend to have a few more no votes, so just factor that in, the final vote percentages will be lower.

Definitely In
Mariano Rivera is  getting in, you don’t need inside information to figure that one out. The only question is how close to unanimous his vote is going to be. Since nobody has gotten 100 percent, he would have to do what Ruth, Gehrig, and Ted Willams could not, to get every single vote, so don’t expect it to happen. It will be interesting to see if anyone who is going to vote no makes it public before the final vote is announced and tries to explain why. Edgar Martinez is off to a 100 percent in Thibodaux’s early showing too. And even though Martinez is on his last ballot, and no full time DH has gotten in before, it would actually be a surprise if he does not make it this time around. Roy Halladay with two Cy Young awards looks to have a good chance of being the third guy in. Halladay passed away in 2017 which makes him a sympathetic case too. He’s running at 85% on the early tally which at least tells you he has a good shot.

Trending Up
Mike Mussina rose to 65 percent in 2018, so he definitely could get in this year, but I wonder if Halladay’s presence holds Mussina back just enough to keep him below 75%. It would also set Mussina up for 2020 which just happens to be Derek Jeter’s first year on the ballot and then they could go in together. Mussina is at 79% right now, it will be close. Omar Vizquel got 37 percent on his first ballot last year, look for an improved tally this time, some purists don’t like to vote a yes the first time on the ballot. Right now he’s showing 64% on the early return, he might be setting up a run that will take a few years to complete.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens got around 57% last year, they have been steadily climbing since starting out down in the 30’s in 2013. They wont get in this year, but even if they get close to 60% the writing might be on the wall that one day they will. If nothing else it proves there is a wearing down of the resistance against them.  Bonds and Clemens are currently in the 70’s on Thibodaux’s early tallies, looks like the trend is continuing and even possibly accelerating.

Curt Schilling has been hovering around 50% for three years, and this is his 7th time on the ballot, so time is running out. Thibodaux’s tracker has him at 70%  so he could be setting up a run for the next year or two. Larry Walker climbed to 34 percent from 15 just a couple years ago, but this is his ninth ballot, so far this time he’s at 42.9% on the early numbers. Probably too little too late but you never

Not For A While
I don’t think either newcomers Andy Pettitte or Todd Helton are going to crack 30%. Helton will face Coors Field mile high air statistics doubters and Pettitte could lose votes over the HGH issue. Pettitte is currently at 28%, Helton 21%. Sammy Sosa is running 28.6%, Sosa has never broken 10% in his first 6 years on the ballot, so either Thibodaux found a bunch of Sammy Sosa fans to count early or Sosa is seeing an increase, Manny Ramirez is at 28.6% too after doing 22% last year. Manny is in his third year and hasn’t moved much on the ballot. If either sees an increase it might also indicate that erosion of the anti steroid vote.Scott Rolen got 10% last year on his first ballot, 15% this time would help him stay in the conversation, he’s showing 14.3%.

Maybe Never
Fred McGriff is on his last ballot and is going to fall short, he did 23% last year and so far he’s at 14%. Gary Sheffield is currently running at 7%, below his 11% last year result so he is not getting any love either. Andruw Jones only got 7% last year, he’s just fighting to stay on the ballot at all, and right now he’s showing 7%. Jeff Kent, Roy, Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Billy Wagner, and Michael Young dont show a single vote cast out of the first 14 ballots, maybe they’ve all just been forgetten, or maybe they are getting squeezed out by the others. Kent got 14% last year.

The balloting is still really early so a lot can change. But we will keep watching the tabulations, and have a good idea what is going on before everyone else.



Leave a comment


  1. Mariano deserves to be a unanimous selection. What if every voter deem that no one should be unanimous decide that they need not to vote for him to insure he’s not unanimous???

    The only solution I see is to make every ballot public. No body would want to be “that” guy lest they’ll have to answer the question the rest of their lives.

  2. Not Mr. Tibbs has a link for a cliff notes version of his tracker here http://www.bbhoftracker.com/2018/12/2019-bbhof-tracker-summary-and-leaderboard/

    In my personal opinion who cares whether he gets 75.01 or 100 percent he gets in. I’m almost afraid to write that because I am going to hear someone say what bestchineserestaurants is already saying, how can you vote against Mariano Rivera. Then I wonder how someone could have voted against Willie Mays or George Brett. Right now Ken Griffey Jr. is currently the highest vote getter percentage wise of all time with 99.32 in 2016, so there is certainly a possibility that Mariano will be the first player to get a unanimous vote. It will certainly get a lot of attention if he does it, and maybe its deserved the guy was incredible, but I still have to wonder what Hank Aaron who didn’t crack 98 percent, or Carl Yastrzemski who didn’t crack 95 will think about it.


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