This post is for voting and discussion in the 39th round of balloting for the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats (COG).  One year ago, in December, 2012, we started the Circle of Greats voting by selecting our first inductee from among the players born in 1968.  Since then we’ve moved backwards in time with the birth years we’ve added, and as of now we’ve reached the 1938 birth year.  But with a full twelve months of voting now complete since we began, we can add a later birth year, while remaining within the original parameter of inducting only players 44 years old or older.  So this round, in honor of the first anniversary of the beginning of the COG voting, adds to the ballot those players born in 1969. Rules and lists are, as usual, after the jump.

The new group of eligible players born in 1969 joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full group eligible to receive your votes this round.  The new group of 1969-born players must, as always, have played at least 10 seasons in the major leagues or generated at least 20 Wins Above Replacement (“WAR”, as calculated by baseball-reference.com, and for this purpose meaning 20 total WAR for everyday players and 20 pitching WAR for pitchers).

Each submitted ballot, if it is to be counted, 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 added future rounds of ballot eligibility. Players who appear on 25% or more of the ballots cast, but less than 50%, earn two added future rounds of ballot eligibility.  Any other player in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances, or who appears 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 Wednesday, December 18, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EST Monday, December 16.

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: COG 1969 Vote Tally.  I’ll be updating the spreadsheet periodically with the latest votes.  Initially, there is a row in the spreadsheet 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 new born-in-1969 group will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.

Choose your three players from the lists below of eligible players.  The 15 current holdovers are listed in order of the number of future rounds (including this one) through which they are assured eligibility, and alphabetically when the future eligibility number is the same.  The new group of 1969 birth-year guys are listed below in order of the number of seasons each played in the majors, and alphabetically among players with the same number of seasons played.  For the third round n a row, we have one player who makes the ballot via the 20 WAR threshold without having played at least 10 seasons in the majors – this time it’s Rusty Greer.

Holdovers:
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 10 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
Bobby Grich (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for 3 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Gaylord Perry  (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Ron Santo (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Dick Allen (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Roberto Alomar (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Rick Reuschel (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Dave Winfield (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)

Everyday Players (born in 1969, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):
Ken Griffey
Brad Ausmus
Damion Easley
Juan Gonzalez
Jose Hernandez
Bret Boone
Jeromy Burnitz
Jeff Cirillo
Scott Hatteberg
Todd Hundley
Mark Sweeney
Dan Wilson
Greg Colbrunn
Delino DeShields
Mike Difelice
Travis Fryman
Orlando Palmeiro
Eduardo Perez
Tony Womack
Joe Randa
Fernando Vina
Kevin Young
Darren Bragg
Tim Laker
Mark Lewis
Dave McCarty
Damian Miller
Troy O’Leary
Craig Paquette
Matt Walbeck
Rusty Greer

Pitchers (born in 1969, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR):

Arthur Rhodes
Mariano Rivera
David Weathers
Bob Wickman
Troy Percival
Frank Castillo
Mike Myers
Ricky Bottalico
Hector Carrasco
Kevin Jarvis
Ricky Bones
Jason Christiansen
Pete Schourek
Brian Boehringer
Alex Fernandez
Robb Nen
Hipolito Pichardo

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