This post is for voting and discussion in the 133rd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This is the first of two rounds of balloting adding to the list of candidates eligible to receive your votes those players born in 1975. Rules and lists are after the jump.
The new group of 1975-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 first group of 1975-born candidates, comprising those with A-J 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 EST Sunday, February 9th, while changes to previously cast ballots are allowed until 11:59 PM EST Friday, February 7th.
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 1975 Part 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 in the spreadsheet is a column for each of the holdover candidates; additional player columns from the new born-in-1975 group will be added to the spreadsheet as votes are cast for them.
Choose your three players, for both the main and secondary ballots, 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 1975 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|
|Manny Ramirez||8 rounds||Willie Randolph||11 rounds|
|Luis Tiant||8 rounds||Todd Helton||9 rounds|
|Dick Allen||7 rounds||Bobby Abreu||3 rounds|
|Bill Dahlen||5 rounds||Stan Coveleski||3 rounds|
|Bobby Wallace||3 rounds||Monte Irvin||3 rounds|
|Andre Dawson||2 rounds||Minnie Minoso||3 rounds|
|Ted Lyons||2 rounds||Ken Boyer||2 rounds|
|Graig Nettles||2 rounds||Andy Pettitte||2 rounds|
|Ted Simmons||2 rounds||Don Drysdale||this round ONLY|
|Don Sutton||2 rounds||Gary Sheffield||this round ONLY|
|Richie Ashburn||this round ONLY||Reggie Smith||this round ONLY|
|Rick Reuschel||this round ONLY||Billy Williams||this round ONLY|
Everyday Players (born in 1975, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, A-J surname):
Pitchers (born in 1975, ten or more seasons played in the major leagues or at least 20 WAR, A-J surname):
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.
- Torii Hunter recorded 9 consecutive qualified seasons aged 30-38 with OPS+ in the narrow range of 110 to 129. Which two players have the second longest streaks of such seasons during that period of their careers? (Sam Rice 1920-26, Raul Ibanez 2002-08)
- Tim Hudson posted a .600 W-L% in six consecutive qualified seasons (2000-05) before age 30. Which pitcher has the only longer streak of such seasons in the live ball era (since 1920)? (Roger Clemens, 1986-92)
- Livan Hernandez in 2004 became the most recent pitcher to post a losing record while leading his league in IP, BF and CG. Who is the last AL pitcher to do this? (Dennis Martinez, 1979)
- Mark DeRosa played over 500 games and compiled over 2000 AB aged 31-34, both marks exceeding his career totals through age 30. Which expansion era player did the same, after debuting before age 25 (like DeRosa) and playing fewer games than DeRosa through age 30? (Mike Easler)
- Vladimir Guerrero in 2002 became the second NL player (after Duke Snider in 1950) to lead his league in H, TB and CS. Which two AL players did the same? (Ty Cobb 1915, Snuffy Stirnweiss 1945)
- Randy Choate’s 14 seasons with fewer than 50 IP are the most for any pitcher. Among pitchers with 10 or more such seasons, who recorded the most career IP? (Jesse Orosco)
- Chris Carpenter posted a 3.07 career ERA in the NL, but a 4.83 mark in the AL, a 1.76 run difference between leagues that is the largest among pitchers with 2000 IP careers including 800 IP in each league. Which pitcher in that group has the biggest ERA difference favoring his AL service? (Barry Zito, 1.04 ER better in AL)
- Luis Castillo’s 1683 games at 2B ranks as the third highest total among players with no games at any other position. Which player leads that list? (Bobby Doerr: 1852 games; or, allowing DH games, Lou Whitaker: 2308 games)
- Francisco Cordero is the only player to pitch 200 games for the Reds and Rangers. Which teammate of Cordero’s also played 200 games for each of those franchises? (Laynce Nix)
- Rod Barajas is the only non-pitcher to compile a 1000 game career and hit only one triple. Which non-pitcher had the longest career without hitting any triples? (Johnny Estrada, 612 games)
- Carlos Guillen recorded a qualified .300/.400/.500 season in 2006. Before Guillen, who was the last shortstop with such a season aged 30 or older? (Lou Boudreau, 1948)
- J.D. Drew ‘s 2004 season is one of only fourteen with 115+ walks, runs and strikeouts. Who was the first player to post such a season? (Mickey Mantle, 1958)
- Alex Cora’s 1273 game career is the shortest among players with 500 games at both 2B and SS. Whose record did Cora break? (Mariano Duncan, 1279 games)
- Russell Branyan is the only player with 1000 strikeouts to post a 50% career TTO. Among players, like Branyan, to play for 10 or more franchises, who compiled the most career strikeouts? (Royce Clayton)
- Doug Davis is one of only three left-handers to pitch in the current century and post career totals including 1500 IP, SO/BB under 1.65 and HR/9 under 1.0? Who are the other two? (Mike Hampton, Shawn Estes)
- Ronnie Belliard stroked 328 doubles in a 5641 PA career, a 5.8% rate that is 5th highest among retired second basemen with 5000 PA careers. Which of those second basemen with a higher career doubles rate was active before the 1992 season? (Nap Lajoie)
- Rafael Betancourt posted five 50+ IP seasons aged 30-37 with 150 ERA+ and ERA under 3.00. Which two relievers posted more such seasons during that period of their careers? (Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan)
- Brian Fuentes’ 115 saves as a Rockie is a franchise record. Which two pitchers hold franchise saves records for more than one franchise? (Jonathan Papelbon: Phillies/Red Sox; Rob Nen: Marlins/Giants)
- Shawn Camp is one of 14 relief pitchers to record 65 IP and 100 ERA+ each season aged 33-36. Which of those pitchers was the first to do this? (Bobby Shantz, 1959-62)
- Pedro Feliz played over 600 games from 2004 to 2007 but totaled only 0.5 oWAR for those four seasons, each of which featured fewer than 150 hits, OPS under 0.800 and an OBP of less than two times ISO. Which other two players have posted four such qualified seasons consecutively? (Jody Davis 1983-86, Rob Deer 1988-91)
- David Eckstein is one of 14 shortstops with 150 games played in a debut season. Which of those players led his league in games played in his debut season? (Topper Rigney, 1922)
- Jacque Jones played 250 games in both LF and RF for the Twins. Which other Twin outfielder did the same? (Bob Allison)
- Felix Heredia is the youngest player to pitch in relief in the 9th inning of a World Series game 7 with a score differential of one run or less. Who is the youngest pitcher to win a sudden death World Series game in relief? (Smoky Joe Wood, 1912)
- Karim Garcia leads all Mexican-born players in career World Series games played. Who is the youngest Mexican-born player to appear in a World Series game? (Fernando Valenzuela, 1981)