Who’s on Deck for Consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame?


Who’s on Deck for Consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame?
By Bill Gilbert
            Now that Goose Gossage has finally been elected to the Hall of Fame, it’s a good time to look ahead at the candidates that will be on the ballot in coming years.   The 2008 ballot was very unfriendly to newcomers with the 543 members of the BBWAA awarding this group of 11 players only 143 votes, 132 of them to Tim Raines. None of the other 10 received as much as 1% of the votes and, as a result, will be eliminated from further consideration. 
            For convenience in identifying potential candidates in coming years, I chose to use Bill James Win Shares. James has stated that, in the past, 300 Win Shares makes a player more likely than not to be a Hall of Famer but he further states that it may not be the case in the future. To be inclusive, I used a cut point of 250 points for position players and 200 points for pitchers in this study.
            Here are the players who meet my criteria and are eligible to appear on the Hall of Fame ballot in the next five years.
2009 Ballot
Rickey Henderson 535 Win Shares
Mark Grace 294
David Cone 205
            Unless he succeeds in another comeback, a possibility that can’t be eliminated with Rickey, Henderson will finally be eligible and should easily be elected with the likelihood of one of the more entertaining acceptance speeches in recent years.
            None of the other 2009 newcomers is a strong candidate, opening the door for holdover, Jim Rice, to make it in his final year of eligibility.
2010 Ballot
Roberto Alomar 375 Win Shares
Barry Larkin 347
Fred McGriff 326
Edgar Martinez 305
Robin Ventura 272
Ellis Burks 260
Andres Galarraga 251
            The 2010 Class is strong with several players likely to remain on the ballot for a number of years. While none may make it on the first ballot, the top four all have a chance with the passage of time.
2011 Ballot
Rafael Palmeiro 394 Win Shares
Jeff Bagwell 387
Larry Walker  307
John Olerud 301
Kevin Brown 241
            Palmeiro and Bagwell clearly have the numbers but there is a question about how voters will treat power hitters from the steroid era.
2012 Ballot
Bernie Williams 311 Win Shares
            The 2012 ballot shapes up as one even weaker than 2008 which could provide an opportunity for some holdovers to cash in.
2013 Ballot
            The 2013 ballot, possibly headed by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, could be the strongest and most controversial ever.
Barry Bonds 705 Win Shares
Roger Clemens 437
Craig Biggio 428
Mike Piazza 325
Sammy Sosa 322
Luis Gonzalez 309
Steve Finley 297
Kenny Lofton 288
Julio Franco 280
David Wells 210
            This class is likely to shrink since it contains several free agents who hope to continue their careers. The only one who has officially retired is Biggio/
Active Players
            An impressive group of players are still active who have enough Win Shares to qualify for these lists when they retire.
Gary Sheffield 418 Win Shares
Frank Thomas 400
Greg Maddux 392
Ken Griffey, Jr. 381
Alex Rodriguez 377
Manny Ramirez 348
Jeff Kent 330
Chipper Jones 326
Jim Thome 325
Tom Glavine 289
Randy Johnson 309
Ivan Rodriguez 308
Derek Jeter 301
Jason Giambi 289
John Smoltz 286
Jim Edmonds 283
Carlos Delgado 275
Moises Alou 275
Vladimir Guerrero 272
Bobby Abreu 267
Brian Giles 266
Omar Vizquel 262
Mike Mussina 254
Curt Schilling 252
Todd Helton 252
Pedro Martinez 251
Jamie Moyer 202
Kenny Rogers 202
Bill Gilbert


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