This post is for voting and discussion of the eighth round of voting for the Circle of Greats, which adds players born in 1961. Rules and lists are after the jump.

As always, each ballot must include three and only three eligible players. The one player who appears on the most ballots cast in the round is inducted into the Circle of Greats.  Players who fail to win induction but appear on half or more of the ballots that are cast win four future rounds of ballot eligibility. Players who appear on 25% or more of the ballots, but less than 50%, earn two years of extended eligibility.  Any other player in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances (or who appear on at least 10% of the ballots) wins one additional round of ballot eligibility.

All voting for this round closes at 11:00 PM EST on Sunday, February 10, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Friday, February 8.

If you’d like to follow the vote tally, and/or check to make sure I’ve recorded your vote correctly, you can see my ballot-counting spreadsheet for this round here: 1961 COG Vote Tally . I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes. Initially, there is a row for every voter who has cast a ballot in any of the past rounds, but new voters are entirely welcome — new voters will be added to the spreadsheet as their ballots are submitted. Also initially, there is a column for each of the holdover players; additional player columns from the born-in-1961 group will be added as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players. The holdovers are listed in order of the year through which they are assured eligibility, and alphabetically when the eligibility year is the same (Edgar Martinez is the only one of these who is at immediate risk of falling out of eligibility). The 1961 birth year guys are listed in order of the number of seasons they played in the majors, and alphabetically among players with the same number of seasons played.

John Smoltz (eligible through 1955)
Mike Mussina (1956)
Curt Schilling (1956)
Tom Glavine (1957)
Craig Biggio (1958)
Larry Walker (1959)
Barry Larkin (1959)
Roberto Alomar (1960)
Edgar Martinez (1961)

Everyday Players (born in 1961, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
Andres Galarraga
Rafael Belliard
Greg Gagne
Don Mattingly
Vince Coleman
Mark Parent
Spike Owen
Steve Buechele
Jack Howell
Curt Wilkerson
Mike Aldrete
Henry Cotto
Glenn Davis
Mike Felder
Mike Kingery
John Kruk
Bob Melvin
Dan Pasqua
John Russell

Pitchers (born in 1961, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues):
Rick Aguilera
Kevin Gross
Jimmy Key
Mike Maddux
Tim Belcher
Jeff Russell
Storm Davis
Bill Swift
Kirk McCaskill
Jim Corsi
Scott Garrelts
Mike Henneman
Steve Ontiveros
Jeff Parrett
Ed Vosberg

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