The Writers’ Hall

I have long viewed the 207 players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for their play in the major leagues as comprised of two entirely separate categories.  There are  the 112 players (36 who were primarily pitchers and 76 who were primarily position players) in the “Writers’ Hall”, consisting of players elected to the Hall by members of the the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  95 other players (26 who were primarily pitchers and 69 primarily position players) have been inducted through the separate mechanism of the  the various veterans committees.

The average career WAR (baseball-reference version) for the 76 position players in the “Writers’ Hall” is 76.9 WAR — or 77.1 if you include Babe Ruth’s pitching WAR into his total.   The median career WAR for those 76 players is 67.7.

The average career pitching WAR for the 36 pitchers in the “Writers’ Hall” is 69.0 WAR.   The median career pitching WAR for those pitchers is 67.7.

With the BBWAA picking most (though not all) of the very best players of all-time, the most obvious choices for a Hall of Fame, before the various veterans committees have had a chance at them, the average WAR numbers for the veterans committees’ selections will of course be lower.   The average career WAR for the 69 position players selected by the veterans committees is 48.5 WAR (the median is 46.5), while the average career WAR for veterans-committee-selected pitchers is 58.7 (the median is 57.5).

The lowest career WARs for position players elected by the BBWAA are Rabbit Maranville’s 39.4, Pie Traynor’s 33.8 and Roy Campanella’s 31.6.   In contrast, there are 15 different position players who have made it into the Hall (based on their major league play) via a veterans committee with career WAR totals lower than Maranville’s.

If I had a vote in the annual BBWAA Hall of Fame balloting, my test of whether a particular player belongs would be whether his accomplishments fit well within scope of the Writers’ Hall — I would not use the looser standard implied by the 207-player number that combines the Writers’ Hall and veterans committee selections.   I have long thought that the size (though certainly not all the individual selections) of the “Writers’ Hall” is close to ideal for a Hall of Fame honoring the greatest major league players.  In part that’s because I find it elegant and appropriate that the number of players in the “Writers’ Hall” (112) lines up rather neatly with the number of years that have passed from the early seasons of the earliest-era players that the writers have elected (Cy Young and Willie Keeler) through the last year a player currently in the Hall could have been active (2006).  That is, broadly speaking, the writers have elected on average about one player for each season that has been played, starting with the era of the earliest players the writers have inducted.   That one-player-per-season result strikes a certain resonant chord with me — it seems a fair, intuitive goal for establishing a truly elite level of the greatest players.   In my next post, I’ll suggest a potential format for High Heat Stats readers to participate in a fresh type of discussion and voting process towards an improved selection of the best players ever, while working within the framework of averaging one player inducted per major league season.

36 thoughts on “The Writers’ Hall

  1. 1
    John Autin says:

    Very interesting take, birtelcom.

    I’ll quibble with the “one-per-year” ratio, though, on the grounds of expansion. There are almost twice as many teams now as there were for the first 60 years of the modern era. Keeping to your elegant goal would set the bar much higher for recent players.

    • 2
      birtelcom says:

      John, the one-per-year ratio is merely intended as an average setting an overall cap on the number of spaces available for the period roughly 1895 through 2006. If in actual application one were to fill the resulting 112 spaces with more players from the expansion era than from earlier years because the prevailing view was that the larger number of teams and players produced a greater number of players deserving of a top-112 designation, that would be perfectly consistent with my Platonic form of a Hall the size of the Writers’ Hall.

      Your point does raise the separate question of how quickly the 112 number should be raised in the future, to reflect the inclusion of new seasons and new candidates going forward. You may well be right that with the current size of the majors, the 112 number should expand faster than one per year going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers themselves recognize that very point in the foreseeable future and therefore elect new members of the “Writers’ Hall” at a pace meaningfully faster than say, just 10 guys over the next 10 years.

      • 3
        Mike L says:

        If we put aside the issue of steroids (difficult, but let’s do it) there are probably 20 hall-worthy or hall-potential players who will be voted on in the next six-seven years. There are periods in history which afford us a considerable number of great players.

        • 4
          MikeD says:

          You indirectly touch on what could be and probably is a substantial problem brewing. Bonds, Clemens and Sosa have now joined McGwire and Palmeiro on the ballot, leaving BBWAA voters with five players who are all Hall-worthy by historical standards (and with the first two representing inner-circle players), yet all five are tainted by PEDs. There is a significant portion of members who won’t vote for them, just as there are a significant portion of members who will vote for them.

          This is going to cause gridlock and thus substantial problems for the Hall, and MLB in general, because the group of five will grow locking the ballot as more Hall-worthy yet tainted players come up for vote yet many will never leave the ballot for up to fifteen years. Gary Sheffield will be there soon. Then there’s the whisper cadidates, players who never failed a test, but are strongly believed to have taken PEDs. Mike Piazza on this year’s ballot is one and he’ll soon be joined by Ivan Rodriguez. Consider them part of the Jeff Bagwell group. All it takes is enough voters who are part of the BBWAA segment who won’t vote for any player they suspect. They are the guilty-until-proven-innocent crowd. Jeff Kent? He’s on next year’s ballot and while he’s never failed a test (at least I think, but I’m not sure since it’s difficult to keep track off the top of my head.) There are those who think he fits the profile, and since even in the best of times he’s the type of candidate who is more likely to get elected as his case grows each year, then he might be on the ballot for a decade-plus locking up another slot on some cards.

          Kent’s a good transition point to the next group of players that will be on the ballot for two years to even ten-plus years before election. I don’t want to put Frank Thomas in that group because he’s an obvious HOFer, yet even though he has spoken out against PEDs for years, and his performance actually got worse as he aged, I bet some BBWAA will think he did. He was also a DH for much of his career and faded as his career went on and that could slow his votes. All this means is he could be on the ballot for a few years. Edgar Martinez is dealing with the “DH-only” issue, and btw he has whispers too, so he’ll be on the ballot for a number of years.

          Now add in players like Tim Raines and Lee Smith and Larry Walker and Fred McGriff, and soon newcomers like Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine, and the problem is clear. Ballot glut. A lot of players who have cases and strong support, but not enough for a variety of reasons, will remain on the ballot

          The HOF-calibre players who would normally clear in one or two seasons will end up taking up a larger percentage of the votes a BBWAA can submit. There’s only ten. Within a couple years we can reach a point where any player short of Greg Maddux and Ken Griffey, Jr. will be frozen, and many pushed off the ballot entirely. Perhaps the victims initially will be the Alan Trammell’s, who will find it impossible to gain traction, and thus might start slipping. Kenny Lofton? I’m not in the camp that he’s a HOFer, but I understand the argument. Don’t worry, though, if you’re in the crowd who doesn’t believe he has any right being considered. I suspect he’s gonna be one-and-done, or maybe he makes two. The ballot glut though will push him off before any traction is made.

          It’s going to be interesting.

          • 9
            Ed says:

            Preliminary reports are that Bonds and Clemens will both fall short. Which makes you wonder if anyone will get in this year, given how crowded the ballot is and given the divide between voters who will to vote for steroid users and those who won’t. Biggio probably has the best chance to get in this year given his 3,000 hits. And perhaps Morris given that it’s his 14th season and he’ll be perceived as a “guy who know didn’t take steroids” candidate.


          • 15
            Doug says:

            Great point, Ed.

            MikeL at comment #12 below described the coming “logjam” of HOF candidates, of which this year’s ballot is the vanguard. However, as you point out, a crowded ballot is likely to mean a range of selections by different voters, splitting the vote and minimizing the chances of a player or players meeting the 75% threshold. The other risk is that deserving candidates may fall off the ballot prematurely simply because there were numerous other deserving candidates.

            Difficult situation.

          • 19
            MikeD says:

            Doug, yes. Your to-the-point Lincoln to my Everett oration. The ballot glut will cause of range of selections making it more and more difficult for anyone to achieve 75% short of a Maddux, Pedro and Griffey.

            Someone like a Mike Mussina as one example (who I think is a strong candidate) could get squeezed. He’s someone that was going to require some time to build a case, and players like him have a tendency to make it in when there’s a light year for very strong candidates. That may never happen if the Bonds and Clemens types continue to hang around. Even if Mussina doesn’t drop off the ballot, if his vote percentage is forced down into the 10-15% area, then it will create the perception that he has no chance.

          • 21
            Doug says:

            I suppose it’s good that we have a Veterans Committee now that we’re moving into a period where deserving candidates may not make it. I think the original intention was for this committee to recognize forgotten or overlooked players of long ago. But, it may be appropriate for them in the future to also look at players who got jobbed by the numbers game.

            The counter-argument may be that these players had their chance with the writers, so they weren’t overlooked. Similarly, it might be said that if a player couldn’t rise to the top when evaluated among his contemporaries, why should he get get a second chance. But, I still hope there might be opportunity for the Veterans Committee to take a second look at players who may have suffered because of the numbers game.

          • 25
            bstar says:

            I think only Jack Morris is going to get in. Biggio will be close but some voters will get hung up on his lack of an MVP, World Series ring, bad postseason play overall, and playing in the steroid era. I like Biggio as a second or third-year guy. I don’t see any other player with even a mild steroids stigma attached getting in this year.

            I don’t think Bonds or Clemens have even a 10% chance.

      • 8
        Doug says:

        There are 199 retired position players with career WAR of 41 or more since 1901 (this does not include players for whom 2012 will be their final season, or players who last played prior to 2012 but have not yet retired).

        Looking at when these 199 players played their final season, we see:
        – no more than 2 players in any season prior to 1937
        – more than 2 players in a season only once from 1948 to 1973
        – average of 3 per season (2.92 to be precise) since 1974
        – last year with no such players retiring was 1970
        – most such players retiring was 6, in 1986 and 2004

        This is not to say that every player with 41 WAR deserves to make the HOF, but just to say that the noted average of one per season should at the very least be preserved going forward, and will probably increase.

        • 12
          Mike L says:

          Putting aside steroids, there are 21 players who had bWar of 50+ active at the end of 2012. Virtually every one of them will get serious consideration and votes, more than half are likely to be fairly obvious first or second ballot choices. Then 10 more recently retired greats above 70; Bonds, Clemens, Maddux, Randy Johnson, Pedro, Griffey, Mussina, Glavine, Bagwell and Schilling. Of those 31 players, no more than half a dozen (x of steroids) would really be considered controversial, and some of the retired folk above 65 (Frank Thomas, Larry Walker, Palmerio, Smoltz, would clearly fit in. That’s a big log jam coming.

          • 17
            Ed says:

            Just looking at this year’s ballot, there are 11 players with 60+ WAR. That’s the most ever, at least since the current voting rules were put in place in 1967. The previous high was the 2011 ballot which featured 10 players who were above 60 WAR. Then the next highest was 1999, when there were 8 such players. So yes, the ballot is crowded and using the cutoff of 60+ WAR doesn’t include players like McGwire, Piazza, Sosa. Or Jack Morris or Lee Smith who were both above 50% the prior year.

            And none of the 60+ WAR players are going to “age off” until 2016 when Trammel hits his 15th year on the ballot. (though I suspect Kenny Lofton will fall off the ballot due to receiving less than 5% of the vote).

            BTW, the fewest WAR 60+ on the ballot was 1. This happened in 1984, 1985 and 1987. Drysdale was the lone 60+ guy on the ’84 ballot and he was elected that year. Santo was the lone 60+ WAR player on the ’85 and ’87 ballots.

  2. 5
    no statistician but says:


    Your approach of dividing the current Hall player population between BBWAA selections and others made me curious to know exactly who the others were, and so I strained my ancient eyes to scan down the list to find out who was on it elected by the generally maligned Veterans Committee and, I suppose, the Old Timers committee (or what ever it was called) that preceded it. Barring players who were 1)mainly or solely 19th Century stars; 2) Negro League selections; 3) chosen by the Old Timers in 1939 or earlier, I came up with 21 choices that I thought the BBWAA slipped up on, although 5 who were inducted by the Old Timers in the 1940s might eventually have made it through the BBWAA process if they’d been allowed. Am I being sufficiently unclear?

    At any rate, that left 15-21 Veterans choices that I felt the writers should definitely have seen the light on, plus 6 to 8 more borderline cases.

    This is not to argue that the majority of the other Veteran’s choices were bad, just that my 15-21, plus 6 or 8 possibles, were, to me, undoubtedly Hall worthy. Some names: Goose Goslin. Sam Crawford. Johnny Mize, George Davis. If the writers missed the accomplishments of these guys, then, although I like your idea of (basically) tiering the Hall, I’m a little dubious about letting the writers have the only say.

  3. 7
    Hartvig says:

    While there’s little doubt that the writers have done a better job overall than the Veteran’s Committee there’s also little doubt that the BBWAA still screws up (Jim Rice in and Kevin Brown 1 & done only 2 years apart) and the Veteran’s Committee still serves to correct gross injustices (Ron Santo) so I don’t see the system changing anytime soon. The BBWAA does particularly poorly when there’s either an abundance of qualified candidates or a dearth of same.

    While Bonds, Clemens, etc. coming on line next year will probably (I think) save us from from Jack Morris it will also probably set back the candidacies of Bagwell, Raines & Trammell at the same time.

    It really is too bad that someone didn’t put more thought into this back in the beginning so there would have been some consistency from the start.

  4. 10
    Bill Johnson says:

    At the risk of being “shouted down” for the umpteenth time (here or on the old baseball reference board), I thought I would point out to people that Tom Verducci made an eloquent (IMO) argument in support of Jack Morris’ candidacy a few days ago on He explained better than I ever have the concept of Jack as an ace- and why that was so valuable.


    • 14
      Doug says:

      Bill, can you post the link?

      • 16
        Ed says:

        Doug: This is the Verducci article. His argument seems to be “Morris was a workhorse and he accepted being a workhorse”. Not buying it myself.

        • 18

          Compelling piece from Verducci. Thanks for sharing, Ed and Bill. I think this argument hinges on the belief that if two pitchers throw six innings and give up two runs, but one comes out after six and the other throws two more and gives up another run, the latter is more valuable because he didn’t leave the game in the hands of lesser pitchers (relievers). ERA, of course, disagrees, as does a run-based WAR, so we may be selling Morris short by overlooking the value of those extra innings in sparing the bullpen.

          On the other hand, if two fresh relievers throw the sixth and seventh, there’s about a 55% chance they’ll give up no runs (assuming each has a run average of 3), which is better than “average Morris” would’ve done. If WAR is selling Morris short, it’s not by the 14 wins it would take to make him Eppa Rixey or even the 9 it would take to make him Waite Hoyt.

          I like this argument much better than “most wins in the ’80s” or anything based on a single game, but I’d still vote no on Morris.

          • 20
            Bill Johnson says:

            I thought that another point he made was that those highest on Jack were the players who played with and against him as well as the managers that managed him or against him.

            The going deep into games trait should be considered not just in the impact of his own games i.e. comparing the potential 7th and 8th inning relievers to what he did, but also in their increased availability/rest/strength for the games pitched by the other starters.

          • 22
            Ed says:

            Bill – You’re right that Verducci makes that point re: players or managers valuing Morris However, I’ll offer two counterpoints:

            1) How do we know what Verducci says is accurate? He’s offering his recollection of events that happened 20-30 years ago and we all know how faulty memory is. Even if his recall is accurate, it’s doubtful the information he gathered is in any way scientifically valid.

            2) Managers and players value lots of different players for lots of different reasons. That doesn’t mean they’re hall of famers.

            What I find compelling is this….when Morris first because eligible for the Hall he did quite poorly in the voting (his first 5 years on the ballot, he never got more than 26.3% of the vote). This was before some of the more more advanced SABR metrics (e.g., WAR) came out. So the reporters who probably watched Morris the most and talked to lots of other players and managers about him clearly didn’t see him as a Hall of Famer. I’m actually surprised that he’s risen so much in the voting in recent years. I would think that something like WAR would have been the final nail in the coffin for Morris.

          • 23
            Doug says:

            To your point Bryan about whether it’s better to have Morris go eight, or go six and be relieved.

            #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO WHIP
            248 150 74 .670 2.38 248 175 28 1.03
            Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
            Generated 12/3/2012.

            In his few ND games when going 8+ innings, his teams were only 12-11.

            A subset of the games above are those when Morriss allowed 4 or fewer runs when going 8+ innings.

            Rk #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO WHIP
            1 215 Ind. Games 139 57 .709 1.95 215 159 28 0.98
            Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
            Generated 12/3/2012.

            The team’s record in the ND games above is 8-10.

            Now, for Morris going 5+ innings but less the 8 innings, and allowing 3 or fewer runs.

            Rk #Matching W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO WHIP
            1 105 Ind. Games 72 9 .889 2.23 105 0 0 1.19
            Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
            Generated 12/3/2012.

            The team’s record in his ND games above is 13-11.

            It would appear, then, that your supposition is correct, and Morris’s teams may have been better served by not leaving him out there until his arm fell off. While there may be some romanticism about being a workhorse, it probably was not an optimal strategy. That being said, it was the manager making the strategy calls, not Morris.

          • 24
            MikeD says:

            I’m with you. I don’t believe Morris is a HOFer, but this is one of the more sane counter-arguments I’ve read in support of Morris in tryint to articulate his value to a team. I’ve always believed that Morris (and Catfish Hunter) delivered more value than was captured in stats like OPS+, yet they still fall short for me.

            Expanding on one of your points. I don’t think it’s just that he didn’t leave the game in hands of “lesser pitchers,” but instead relates to the cascading impact a workhorse can have on saving a bullpen so that those two relievers are available for other, lesser pitchers.

            We’ve all watched enough games over the years to understand what happens to a team’s bullpen when it becomes overworked. It begins to collapse. Having a Morris-type pitcher is quite useful, and it’s also of value to a manager who can plan his bullpen use around a Chuck Norris-like figure (yes, that’s a joke) as Morris. I’m sure as the Red Sox were collapsing down the 2011 stretch, when even their go-to guys like Beckett and Lester were coming up short, having a pitcher go out there and gut out eight or nine innings might have been what they needed.

            Now, that still doesn’t mean he’s a HOFer, but there is great value there, which is no doubt why many managers, coaches and players are behind Morris’ election. We spend so much time talking down players like Morris that it’s nice to see something on the positive.

            Mostly, I’ve given up thinking greatly about Morris and if he should be elected or not. In a little more than a month the debate will be over. Jack Morris is going to be elected to the HOF.

          • 27
            Ed says:

            Here’s what I see as the flaw in Verducci’s analysis. Sure Morris is 1st among AL pitchers in games of 8+ innings since 1973. But guess what? He’s also 8th in starts of less than 5 innings (72 total). Morris got shelled a lot! So yeah, he saved the bullpen sometimes by pitching deep into the game but he also hurt the bullpen a lot as well. Looking at the list of “most shelled AL pitchers since 1973”, there’s not a single Hall of Famer (current or future) until we get to #30 on the list (Blyleven with only 52).

            And when Morris got shelled, he really got shelled! Of the 35 AL pitchers with 50 or more shellings since 1973, Morris has the 7th worst ERA (13.99) in his shellings.

            (btw, if we include NL starts, then Nolan Ryan has 74, two more than Morris. And Tom Glavine has 69, 3 fewer than Morris. But both made a lot more starts than Morris as well.)

          • 28
            Mike L says:

            I’d vote no on Morris as well. It’s not that he wasn’t a good and durable pitcher, but I think Ed’s post @27 is telling. Morris was beat up far more than I would expect from a first rank star. Andy Pettitte is better, and I’m not sure he was a Hall of Famer either. Morris I see as a B+ pitcher, Pettitte a B+/A-. That being said, Morris is probably going to get in.

          • 29
            Hartvig says:

            While I haven’t done (nor do I know how to do except to go season by season) a breakdown of when Morris pitched less than 5 innings but I suspect that they’re primarily concentrated into 6 seasons and 4 in particular: 89 & 90 and 93 & 94. I suspect that like Steve Carlton, Morris was given a lot more chances to fail than other pitchers may have.

            I’m a big fan of Jack Morris and Verducci has done an outstanding job of articulating what I’ve tried to say for years.

            But that said, if I was a Hall of Fame voter, I wouldn’t vote for him.

          • 30
            Richard Chester says:

            Hartvig: Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of the number of Morris’ starts which lasted less than 5 innings.


          • 32
            Ed says:

            One interesting thing about Morris being the ace of those Tiger’s teams is that he really shouldn’t have been.

            We all know about Fidrych of course. But what about Dave Rozema? Rozema, like Morris, was a rookie pitcher for the Tigers in 1977. But Rozema was actually two years younger than Morris and as a 20 year old rookie, pitched over 200 innings, accumulated 5.4 WAR and finished 8th in the Cy Young balloting. The following season Rozema again threw 200+ innings and accumulated 3.7 WAR. But it appears that Rozema got hurt the following year and while he remained a quality pitcher for several years he never again reached even 150 IP in a season.

            Then there’s Kip Young. Young was the same age as Morris though he reached the majors in 1978, a year after Morris. But whereas the Tigers used Morris as a swing guy in 1978 (28 games, 7 starts), Young was used almost exclusively as a starter in 1978 after he was called up (14 games, 13 starts). And Young pitched quite well that season, with a 138 ERA+ in just over 100 innings. But the next year he was terrible (69 ERA+) and was never heard from again.

            Another name is Pat Underwood who was the second overall pick in the 1976 draft. Underwood never had much success in the majors but obviously the Tigers wouldn’t have drafted him so high if he wasn’t perceived as having a lot of talent.

            So without injuries (Fidrych, Rozema), loss of ability (Young) and not reaching potential (Underwood), Morris may have been the 3rd or 4th or 5th starter on those Tiger’s teams.

            (BTW, I realize that I’ve just induced all the Tiger’s fans on this board to throw large objects through their computer screens).

          • 33
            Hartvig says:

            One thing that strikes me in looking at Morris’s record is his inconsistency – which is kind of the polar opposite of his reputation and something I hadn’t realized before.

            Compare him to Warren Spahn- another pitcher known more for his consistency than for necessarily being the best pitcher in the league in any one particular season. In Spahn’s first 18 full seasons (he didn’t start until he was 25 years old because of WW2) he had 2 seasons with an ERA+ above 130 (170 & 188 leading the league both times) and 2 seasons below 115 (106 & 98). The other 14 seasons he ERA plus stayed between 115 & 130.

            In Morris’s 17 full seasons he was between 117 & 133 seven times and 101 or below 9 times.

          • 34
            bstar says:

            Just piling on here, because it’s so much easier to make a case against Morris than it is make a half-baked case for him. Jack Morris has one 5+ WAR season. Kevin Brown had 5 straight 5+ WAR seasons and he’s off the ballot. Huh?

            I think the best comp to Morris, without looking at similarity scores or anything, is Catfish Hunter. They both won a lot of games pitching for really good teams, didn’t have enough wins overall to be an automatic selection, have excellent postseason records, but overall in the regular season are barely above average pitchers.

            Morris career ERA+ 105
            Catfish career ERA+ 104

          • 35
            Hartvig says:

            Posted before I was finished.

            So regarding comparing Morris & Spahn.

            I’m certainly NOT saying that Morris needs to be as good as Spahn to get into the HOF.

            But the knock on Spahn when people argue about who was the greatest pitcher ever is that he was a very, very good pitcher who was very consistent but not a great pitcher except for maybe a couple of years.

            Morris meets the very, very good criteria for about half of his career but without ever rising to what you could call great even for a single season. And for the rest of his career he was a middle of the rotation starter or mostly worse.

            I just don’t see the argument for Morris being a Hall of Famer holding any water. Kevin Appier has at least as good a case and he got exactly 1 vote for the Hall of Fame.

          • 36
            Mike L says:

            This site gives me more new ideas for my political blog than almost every other thing I read, mostly because of just how smart the posters and the people who comment are. The whole Morris debate sits at the center of a fault line between two types of “anchoring bias”; which is a tendency to have an initial impression, or value, bias future decisions. For Morris, we have the “contemporary” evaluation of a workhorse who came up big in big games, winner of the most games in the 1980’s, etc. etc. He is very likely going to get elected by writers who want to value what was highly valued during the time he pitched. On the other side of the equation are the more stats-minded people (present company included) who look at modern metrics like WAR and ERA+ and see Morris as not qualified. I would make the argument that a strict adherence to WAR is also an anchoring bias, because, to an extent, it may not reflect players performing in a manner that was highly valued in the era they played in. Personally, having seen Morris pitch and been a baseball fan through his era, I didn’t seem him as a sure HOF. The modern metrics confirm that. But I certainly think the two arguments are fascinating. Thanks again, all.

  5. 11

    Birtelcom, I like the idea of dividing the Hall by method of induction, but I can’t see the Hall ever making that distinction, which is why I take issue with the standards you would apply as a voter. If the plaques on the right were for players inducted by the writers and they were a little bigger or a little better illuminated than the VC plaques on the left, it would make perfect sense for the writers to elect only players of that caliber. As it is, I think the VC was established not to add a second tier of players, but to adjust for the problems inherent in the 75% threshold and the ten-player cap on ballots.

    The intention of the VC is to apply a more consistent standard than the flawed BBWAA applies. The average VC electee is only weaker because the Ruths and Mayses and Morgans and Schmidts were never eligible to join that group (interestingly, the Bondses and Clemenses may be). They’ve made a lot of mistakes, but they’ve corrected a lot of injustices too. If I had a Hall vote, I’d be inclined to apply the standard set by the Hall in aggregate and try to make the BBWAA group more reflective of the Hall as a whole (which, by the way, includes Negro Leaguers and 19th century guys who are worthy of the Writers’ Hall).

    Now, since neither of us does have a Hall vote, but both of us and scores of other commenters here write about and love baseball, we can apply whatever standards we want to our mythical Hall arguments, which is why I’m excited to read your next post.

  6. 13
    Baltimorechop says:

    Slightly off top since it’s the Vet’s Committee, but:

    Deacon White got in the hall of fame! Unfortunately, Bill Dahlen did not. Ruppert & O’Day also got in (only interested in players, personally).

    Even more off topic: I have an account at baseball-fever, but no one ever actually activated my ability to post there (I assume a moderator needs to OK it), and it’s been months. Any chance anyone can help me out there? (user ID baltimorechop).

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