Circle of Greats 1966 Results: Sitting Dux
As expected, Greg Maddux was the winner of this round by an enormous margin, essentially by acclamation, and becomes the third Circle of Greats inductee, joining Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell.
–Our first three inductees collectively generated 232.3 career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) (b-ref version) in the NL and -0.1 WAR in the AL.
–Christy Mathewson and Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander were rather clearly the two greatest NL pitchers over the 1900 to 1930 period. Since then, 1930-2012, its seems to me a very close call for “Best Pitching Career in the NL” between Seaver and Maddux. Maddux may get a slight edge, with Seaver having spent a few of his late, but still productive, years over in the AL. What do you think? Tom and Greg did have somewhat contrasting styles: Seaver more the strikeout pitcher, Maddux more the contact/groundball guy, though really they were both great all-around. Both had spectacular peaks as well as long-term value, and were also respected as individuals. More election result details after the jump.
75 ballots were cast in this round of COG voting. Frank Thomas got the “big hurt” yet again, ahead of everyone except eventual inductees for the third time in three elections. His consolation prize is he is now assured a spot on the ballot as needed through the 1956 round. Three pitchers, Curt Schilling (on 29% of the ballots), Tom Glavine (32%) and Mike Mussina (39%), are the first beneficiaries of the new rule granting a two-round exemption for those appearing on 25% or more of the ballots. They are each eligible through the 1964 ballot. John Smoltz got heavy support last round, but given that he was holding a four-round exemption, many voters used their ballots spots for other guys this time. Yet Smoltz was still easily within the top 9 (at 19%), so he maintains his full, four-round eligibility, which now extends to 1962. Larry Walker, a newcomer this round, got enough votes (15%) to survive easily to the next vote. Roberto Alomar (13%) and Kenny Lofton (7%) hung on again to survive at least another round.
Jeff Kent appeared on a total of 10 ballots over the three rounds of voting, but his 10th place finish this round with two votes was not enough to keep him in the running. Trevor Hoffman and Omar Vizquel received support in the 1967 round, especially Hoffman with six votes, but neither received even a single vote this round, so they are out. Mike Timlin and David Justice each got a shout-out from one voter this round but no other support, so they are done.
This was a strong pitchers’ round, especially for Braves fans. Guys on this ballot threw 43% of all the innings pitched by Atlanta pitchers in the 1990s, and 44% over the 10-year period from 1993 through 2002. Among your 75 three-man ballots, the average ballot included 1.4 Atlanta Braves pitchers. Maybe Leo Mazzone deserves a spot in the Circle of Greats.
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