IBWAA Votes and I Disagree: Alan Trammell Deserves MLB Hall of Fame Nod

ball-copy.jpg

I am a lifetime member of the IBWAA. As part of the membership, I get to cast my vote for the MLB Hall of Fame which is combined with all the other members’ votes into one vote. There are our results:

Los Angeles – In its 2015 Hall of Fame election the IBWAA selected Randy Johnson (with 98.24% of the vote), Pedro Martinez (95.15%), John Smoltz (82.82%), Jeff Bagwell (81.94%) and Tim Raines (79.30%). A 75% threshold is required for election.

Curt Schilling finished in sixth place, with 65.64%. Roger Clemens garnered 64.76% (after receiving 56.64% in 2014) and Barry Bonds received 63.44% (57.52% last year).

There are 338 members in the IBWAA, of which 227 voted in this election, both essentially doubling last year’s totals.

Per a group decision in January, 2014, the IBWAA allows members to vote for 15 players, instead of the previous 10, beginning with this election. With their first opportunity to do so, 136 members voted for more than 10 candidates. Fifty-two members voted for 15 players. The average vote per member was 11.084.

The 2015 IBWAA Hall of Fame ballot compared identically to the BBWAA ballot, with the following exceptions:

  1. Craig Biggio’s name did not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2014.
  1. Mike Piazza’s name did not appear on the IBWAA ballot because he was elected by the group in 2013.
  1. Barry Larkin’s name did appear on the ballot because he has not reached the 75% threshold in an IBWAA election.

 

unnamed

 

I disagree with this list. While I agree with our choices, I feel that the voting is lopsided, in favor of more recent players. To put this as succinctly as I can: Alan Trammell got the shaft. Yes, of course, I am a Tigers fan. Been one for my entire life. Listened to the great Ernie Harwell tell the story of the game. But my concern is that Trammell deserved induction this year.

The issue for some time has been that voters are getting younger. Many of them have never seen the like of Alan Trammell play. I think we might best find justice for the older players by breaking voting into eras or decades. Granted, some players won’t be voted in even then, but if we look at the player in terms of their time period versus comparing them to more recent players, we’d be able to contextualize their accomplishments. I get that not all of the best and most qualified players will get in, but come on. It’s Alan Trammell for crying out loud.