Hall of Fame voting for the Class of 2024 is official now, with Joe Mauer, Todd Helton, and Andrian Beltre being inducted into Cooperstown. With all the debate over the last several years using heavy sabermetrics to defend players' cases for the Hall of Fame, there have been some notable snubs over the decade. It is becoming blatantly clear that former Cardinals center fielder Jim Edmonds is one of the biggest snubs in Hall of Fame history.
Hall of Fame voting is becoming soft with the game changing over time. Players are being rewarded for short-term dominance versus a long-standing career. This is no problem at all, as I personally would prefer a player of short-term dominance like Tim Lincecum over a player who was around for a long time like C.C. Sabathia. Both are great players and both deserve major recognition. But the changing landscape of the game is now recognizing smaller quantity numbers and not heavily relying on large sums of data to make Hall of Fame judgment calls. With that in mind, let's look back at the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot.
2016 might have had the most stacked Hall of Fame ballot in the history of the game. Here is a list of notable names on the ballot:
Ken Griffey Jr, Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Alan Trammell, Lee Smith, Fred McGriff, Jeff Kent, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner, Sammy Sosa, and Jim Edmonds.
Of the 32 players listed, 11 are current Hall of Farmers, and 2 players remain on the current ballot in 2024. Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Sosa, McGwire, and Sheffield are all Hall of Fame talents but are penalized for their alleged performance-enhancing drug history. Many older writers do not want to recognize cheating within the game as all-time greatness within baseball lore. But many younger writers, who witnessed this level of dominance during a time when baseball was on the precipice of fading away, want to glorify what these players meant to the revival of America’s Pastime. The balancing act of split votes created such a cluster on the ballot that only two players were even elected in 2016. Congratulations to Griffey Jr and Piazza.
But what this created was a jumbled pile up in the ballots for years to come that blocked deserving players from getting in. Jeff Kent has been hurting from this issue for years and eventually ran out of time over a decade to get in. Fred McGriff faced the same harsh reality until the Veterans Committee did the right thing and voted him in. But one player got the blunt end of the stick and will never see the light of day again because of this long-time issue. Jim Edmonds was robbed of serious Hall of Fame consideration.