Barry Bonds wins induction as the fifth member of the Circle of Greats, appearing on 55 of 88 ballots. No one else appeared on more than 30 ballots this round. More on Bonds and the voting after the jump.
Most Career WAR since 1903 by a player with 0 World Series Championships Won:
1. Barry Bonds 158.1
2. Ty Cobb 144.9
3. Ted Williams 119.8
4. Phil Niekro 90.7
5. Carl Yastrzemski 90.1
6. Gaylord Perry 84.5
7. Robin Roberts 80.1
8. Ferguson Jenkins 79.4
9. Ken Griffey, Jr. 79.2
10. Jeff Bagwell 76.7
How many World Series championships did our first five Circle of Greats inductees win during their careers? A collective total of exactly one. Bonds, Bagwell and Piazza never played for a World Series-winning team. Frank Thomas played for the 2005 World Series-winning White Sox during the regular season, but because of injuries the last game of his White Sox career came in July that season — and he was not on the post-season roster. Among our COG inductees thus far, only Greg Maddux, with one, lone World Series championship in 1995, has had the pleasure of playing on a World Series-winning team.
As to the Circle of Greats voting, the number of ballots cast continued to increase this round — we were up to 88 ballots, and the ballot thread topped 300 comments. So thanks all for your participation in the project — I for one am having a blast with it.
With a determined effort by a cadre of large-ballot fans, nine guys survived to the next round, including Kenny Lofton, who finished tenth in the voting but moves on by appearing on 11% of the ballots, exceeding the 10% minimum for ballot survival. And seven, count’em seven, different guys won two-round eligibility extensions. I’ll update the full eligibility status of all the holdovers in the 1963 voting post.
Kevin Brown appeared on only three ballots, but as was pointed out by some commenters, he is perhaps the first guy to drop off our ballot who actually has a pretty good argument (at least based on uber-stats such as WAR) that he might seriously belong in the Circle. Although Jeff Kent and Trevor Hoffman, from past rounds, and Rafael Palmeiro and Will Clark, from this round, might have their partisans as well. In any event, I’ll post a proposal this week for future “redemption rounds” where we can vote on bringing one or more of this type of guy back into eligibility.