We all know Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame are hallowed places that only a small sample of players will ever enter. But there is a problem, every year there are new players eligible or voted in without truly knowing who the “Best of the Best” really are. How do we solve it?
We here at Sports Unbiased have decided to come up with our own Baseball Hall of Fame. We set out three months ago to begin the voting and the first ballots have been completed and tabulated, and the first ballot inductees have been determined. What the Sports Unbiased Hall of Fame will do, that Cooperstown cannot, is truly reward the inner sanctum, the greatest of the great, and the undisputed best at their positions.
Before the inductees are announced, let me first describe what the Sports Unbiased Baseball Hall of Fame is and the voting process we used.
In the Sports Unbiased Baseball Hall of Fame, the ballot a player is inducted on matters. A first-ballot Hall of Famer is the best of the best of the best. These are the greatest of the great. They are the “inner circle” of baseball’s all-time greats. Each voter used their own criteria to determine who received a “first ballot vote” and they voted accordingly. This will allow us to basically rank all the players in baseball history – at least allow us to group them based on the ballots they are inducted on.
We also do not have any set rules regarding PED use (either confirmed or suspected); we left it up to each voter to determine whether or not a player associated with PEDs received their vote.
We followed the voting percentage guidelines for induction as the actual Hall of Fame – a player needs to receive 75 percent of the votes cast to be inducted and must receive over five percent to remain on the ballot.
The ballots list all players currently in the actual Hall of Fame (including Negro League players, all players voted in by the various Veterans’ Committees, and the players inducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America) and any player on the current Hall of Fame ballot (through the 2012/2013 ballot that was voted on last December).
We also decided to allow Shoeless Joe Jackson to be on the ballot – he received a lifetime ban from baseball but has been dead for decades so we figured the lifetime ban should be over in regards to Hall of Fame induction. Pete Rose, while still alive, will never appear on our ballot.
Any player currently in the actual Hall of Fame will never drop from the ballot – they will remain on the ballot forever until they are inducted.
The voters will be given three options when voting on future ballots – yes, no, or later (only yes or no was used for this first ballot). Yes meant they believe the player should be inducted now, No means they believe the player should never be inducted, and Later means they believe the player deserves to be inducted on a future ballot or that they need more time to determine if they are a Hall of Famer. A yes or later vote counts towards the five percent needed to remain on the ballot.
The directors of the Sports Unbiased Baseball Hall of Fame are Rich Stowe and Adam Solowiei.
The first ballot consisted of 274 players. Each player was listed at the position they are listed at in the actual Hall of Fame or the position they played the majority of their career at. So players like Stan Musial or Ernie Banks are listed at first base even though many people consider them left fielder (Musial) or shortstop (Banks). Edgar Martinez is listed at third base even though he was a designated hitter (there are no other pure designated hitters in the Hall of Fame or on the ballot so we put him at third simply for voting purposes). Starting pitchers and relief pitchers were all considered pitchers and were on the same ballot.
The first ballot voting was done position by position over the span of three months. This allowed each player to be considered against others at the same position (and the voters also considered each player’s place in baseball history). Each position had at least two inductees on the first ballot with one exception (that position had one inductee).
The first ballot had a total of six voters – Rich Stowe, Adam Solowiei, Fred Phillips, Kimani Gregoire, Kureen Paige, and Sammie Wright. To be inducted, a player needed to receive five yes votes (for a total of 83 percent).
We encourage you to comment and let us know what you think of our Hall of Fame, if we didn’t induct someone as a “first-ballot” inductee that you believe we should have, or any other thoughts or comments you may have regarding the Sports Unbiased Baseball Hall of Fame.
The following pages will list the inductees (in alphabetical order) with their vote totals and percentages and the complete ballot for each position.
Up first are the catchers.
Up next – Catchers