Over the last year, the writers of Sports Unbiased (along with several invited guests) have taken it upon themselves to create a Baseball Hall of Fame where the ballot a player is inducted on actually matters. Being inducted on the first ballot means that player was “greater” than a player inducted on the third and so on. Also, many players received “unanimous” induction (unlike the BBWAA voting!).
To accomplish this task, the writers voted on every single player currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York (all players – whether they were inducted via the BBWAA vote, Veteran’s Committee, or were in the Negro Leagues). They also voted on every player currently on the BBWAA ballot (both the 2013 and the 2014 ballots). The criteria each voter used to determine which ballot a player was inducted on was left to each writer (including how they handled the players of the “Steroid Era).
Each voter was given three options in regards to voting for a player – yes, no, or later. Yes meant that player deserved to be inducted on the current ballot (first, second, fifth, tenth, etc.). No meant that player would never receive a yes vote. Later meant that that player would receive a yes vote, just on a ballot in the future.
A player had to receive 75 percent of the vote to gain induction into the Sports Unbiased MLB Hall of Fame. A player also needed to receive 50 percent or greater of combined yes and later votes to remain on the ballot (only applied to those players not currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown).
Over the coming weeks, we will be announcing the Sports Unbiased MLB Hall of Fame, position by position beginning with catchers. Voting through the 2013 ballot encompassed 15 ballots – we broke down the current Cooperstown Hall of Famers and some players on the current ballot as well and decided which of them were first ballot and which were 15th (some players such as Mike Piazza were never inducted on the first 15 ballots but managed to always gain enough “later” votes to remain on the ballot and thus his 16th ballot will be the 2014 ballot – see the next paragraph for more details on the 2014 ballot) .
Also in the coming weeks we will be announcing the Sports Unbiased MLB Hall of Fame class so be sure to come back to see if players such as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, or Frank Thomas are inducted as “first-ballot” Hall of Famers. Also, see how players such as Mike Piazza, Edgar Martinez, Tim Raines, or Barry Bonds (among others) do on their 16th ballot.