This post is for voting and discussion in the 52nd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round begins to add those players born in 1928. Rules and lists are after the jump.
Players born in 1928 will be brought on to the COG eligible list over two rounds, split in half based on last names — the top half by alphabetical order this round and the bottom half next round. This round’s new group joins the holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full set of players eligible to receive your votes this round.
As usual, the new group of 1928-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must 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 EDT Sunday, March 30, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:00 PM EDT Friday, March 28.
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 1928 Round 1 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 candidates; additional player columns from the new born-in-1928 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 13 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 holdovers list includes the two winners of the just-completed redemption round. The new group of 1928 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. In total there were 20 players born in 1928 who met the “10 seasons played or 20 WAR” minimum requirement. Ten of those are being added to the eligible list this round (alphabetically from Gus Bell to Billy Klaus). The ten players further down in the alphabet will be added next round.
Sandy Koufax (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
Lou Whitaker (eligibility guaranteed for 7 rounds)
Ernie Banks (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Juan Marichal (eligibility guaranteed for 4 rounds)
Bobby Grich (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Willie McCovey (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
John Smoltz (eligibility guaranteed for 2 rounds)
Craig Biggio (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Harmon Killebrew (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Kenny Lofton (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Edgar Martinez (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Eddie Murray (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)
Ryne Sandberg (eligibility guaranteed for this round only)