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.
|Rickey Henderson||535 Win Shares|
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.
|Roberto Alomar||375 Win Shares|
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.
|Rafael Palmeiro||394 Win Shares|
Palmeiro and Bagwell clearly have the numbers but there is a question about how voters will treat power hitters from the steroid era.
|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.
The 2013 ballot, possibly headed by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, could be the strongest and most controversial ever.
|Barry Bonds||705 Win Shares|
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/
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|
|Ken Griffey, Jr.||381|