This post is for voting and discussion in the 132nd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This is the last of four rounds of balloting adding to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1974. Rules and lists are after the jump.
The new group of 1974-born players, in order to join the eligible list, must, as usual, 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). This fourth group of 1974-born candidates, comprising those with P-Z surnames, joins the eligible holdovers from previous rounds to comprise the full list of players eligible to appear on your ballots.
In addition to voting for COG election among players on the main ballot, there will be also be voting for elevation to the main ballot among players on the secondary ballot. For the main ballot election, voters must select three and only three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast in the round inducted into the Circle of Greats. For the secondary ballot election, voters may select up to three eligible players, with the one player appearing on the most ballots cast elevated to the main ballot for the next COG election round. In the case of ties, a runoff election round will be held for COG election, while a tie-breaking process will be followed to determine the secondary ballot winner.
Players who fail to win either ballot 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. One additional round of eligibility is earned by any player who appears on at least 10% of the ballots cast or, for the main ballot only, any player finishing in the top 9 (including ties) in ballot appearances. Holdover candidates on the main ballot who exhaust their eligibility will drop to the secondary ballot for the next COG election round, as will first time main ballot candidates who attract one or more votes but do not earn additional main ballot eligibility. Secondary ballot candidates who exhaust their eligibility will drop from that ballot, but will become eligible for possible reinstatement in a future Redemption round election.
All voting for this round closes at 11:59 PM EDT Sunday, March 17th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EDT Friday, March 15th.
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 1974 Part 4 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-1974 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 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 1974 birth-year players 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.
|MAIN BALLOT||ELIGIBILITY||SECONDARY BALLOT||ELIGIBILITY|
|Luis Tiant||8 rounds||Willie Randolph||10 rounds|
|Dick Allen||7 rounds||Rick Reuschel||9 rounds|
|Manny Ramirez||7 rounds||Todd Helton||8 rounds|
|Bill Dahlen||5 rounds||Bobby Abreu||2 rounds|
|Graig Nettles||3 rounds||Stan Coveleski||2 rounds|
|Bobby Wallace||3 rounds||Monte Irvin||2 rounds|
|Ted Lyons||2 rounds||Minnie Minoso||2 rounds|
|Don Sutton||2 rounds||Andy Pettitte||2 rounds|
|Richie Ashburn||this round ONLY||Ken Boyer||this round ONLY|
|Andre Dawson||this round ONLY||Hideki Matsui||this round ONLY|
|Dennis Eckersley||this round ONLY||Bengie Molina||this round ONLY|
|Ted Simmons||this round ONLY||Reggie Smith||this round ONLY|
As is our custom with first time candidates, here is a factoid and related quiz question on each of the new players on the ballot.
- Jamey Wright’s career spanned 19 years, but he played in the post-season in just one of those seasons. Which contemporary of Wright’s had a longer pitching career and never played in the post-season?
- Miguel Tejada played 1152 consecutive games from 2000 to 2007, a span that included six seasons of 30 doubles, 20 HR and 100 RBI, the most for any shortstop. Who was the first shortstop to record such a season? (Joe Cronin, 1940)
- Shannon Stewart is the only Blue Jay to record consecutive seasons (2000-01) batting .300 with 20 stolen bases and 60 extra-base hits. Who is the only player to match that feat for Toronto’s expansion cousins in Seattle? (Alex Rodriguez, 1997-98)
- Randy Winn played 400 games for the Rays, Mariners and Giants. Which other player played 400 games for two of those franchises? (Omar Vizquel)
- Jarrod Washburn posted a .568 W-L% thru age 30 but only .381 after, despite maintaining a respectable 100 ERA+ in the later period. Who is the only expansion era pitcher to experience a larger such W-L% drop among those, like Washburn, with 1000 IP thru age 30 and 600 IP after? (Roy Oswalt)
- Jose Vidro is the Expos/Nats franchise leader in games played at 2B. Which one-time Expos second baseman recorded the most 2B games for the expansion Senators franchise before it relocated to Texas? (Bernie Allen)
- Richie Sexson played 1B for every inning of every game for the 2003 Brewers. Before Sexson, which first baseman was the last to do this for his team? (Mickey Vernon, 1953)
- Glendon Rusch’s 5.04 ERA is the fourth highest career mark of any pitcher with 200 starts. Among such pitchers playing their entire careers in the 20th century, who had the highest career ERA? (Herm Wehmeier)
- Luis Vizcaino is one of 22 retired pitchers with fewer than 10 saves in a career including 500 relief appearances. Who is the only pitcher in that group to finish fewer than 100 games in his career? (Ray King)
- Ugueth Urbina is the only major leaguer whose first and last names both begin with the letter U. What is the only major league battery with both players having a U surname? (Cecil Upshaw/Bob Uecker, 1967 Braves)
- Mark Redman recorded at least 29 starts for five consecutive seasons (2002-06), each with a different team. For his career, Redman toiled for eight franchises, the most by a pitcher with 200 starts in a career of ten or fewer seasons. Which pitcher with 300 starts has played for the most franchises? (Edwin Jackson)
- Preston Wilson‘s 2000 season featured the rare trifecta of 30 doubles, 30 HR and 30 stolen bases. Which player did the same and, like Wilson, led his league in strikeouts? (Bobby Bonds, 1973)