Over at Hardball Times, Craig Jaffe has predicted that four players will be voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Newly-inducted Baseball Hall of Fame managers Tony La Russa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox (l-r) pose for a photo during the MLB Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
For the Class of 2014, Jaffe predicts that the BBWAA will vote in Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, and Craig Biggio. Mike Piazza and Jack Morris fall short. Morris will likely be inducted by the Veterans Committee in the next few years.
It’s not uncommon for the BBWAA to vote in a class of three players. It was done twice in the 1990s with the Classes of 1991 and 1999, and many times prior. However, a class of four players has not happened since the 1950s. The last class of four players came in 1955 when the writers voted Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, and Dazzy Vance into the Hall of Fame. Prior to 1955, the last four player class was inducted in 1947 when the BBWAA elected Mickey Cochrane, Frankie Frisch, Lefty Grove, and Carl Hubbell.
Should Piazza or even Morris sneak in with over 75% of the vote, it could be the first class of 5 players since the very first class was elected in 1936.
Getting as many Hall-worthy players inducted in 2014 is important because this backlog of Hall-worthy players is not going to go away. In 2015, the notable first-timers include Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, Carlos Delgado. In 2016, the notable first-timers include Ken Griffey, Jr., Jim Edmonds, Garret Anderson, Trevor Hoffman, Billy Wagner,
Jaffe has been doing the predictions for quite a few years now and most of the time, he’s correct. There have been some that he’s gotten wrong, as was the case last year when he had Biggio with 76% of the vote. In reality, Biggio fell short with 68% of the vote.
What has really helped in predicting who gets in is the HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo at Baseball Think Factory over the years. When Jaffe wrote his article, the Gizmo had collected 130 ballots. It’s currently at 133 ballots as of 4:30 AM this morning.
The Expansion Era (Veterans) Commitee already voted in managers Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox. They will be joined by Buck O’Neil Award winner Joe Garagiola, Sr., Frick Award recipient Eric Nadel, and Spink Award recipient Roger Angell during Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.