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In defense of the empty Hall of Fame ballot



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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Sherman: In Defense of the Empty Hall of Fame Ballot

Understand that this is not a binary voice, like Democrats vs. Republicans, where one is going to be mayor or governor or president. Each voter can choose anywhere from 0 to 10 candidates, which means there are all sorts of ranges of outcomes. But the biggest problem is the 75 percent threshold.

It’s hard to get three out of four friends to agree on where to go to eat. Now try to get a few hundred people to determine what they think about whether they should vote for candidates with steroid clouds, especially when those clouds come in different sizes. Factor in those who think the Hall of Fame should be small – the best 1 percent of players ever, roughly speaking – and those who think it should be bigger and spread to the top 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 percent. Do you like old statistics or modern analyzes or a cocktail?

Last year, no candidate picked up the required 75 percent, but four improved 50 percent – a total that most mayoral, governor and presidential candidates would be excited about. Curt Schilling received 71.1 percent of the vote and then blew the ballot. So he broadly painted a group that more than 7 out of 10 thought he should be in the hall. This year’s track cut had six candidates at 56 percent or more and two others nearly 50 percent. If election was about a majority, there would be several Hall of Famers this year.


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