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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

January 9, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Edgar makes modest progress in HOF vote

hofballot2.jpg

The Hall of Fame vote was just announced, and as anticipated, Barry Larkin of the Reds was the only selection. Congratulations to Larkin, a worthy choice, and someone I’ve voted for in each of his three years on the ballot. Above, you can see the ballot I faxed in this year.

Here are the complete results, which seem to position Jack Morris for election next year after coming very close to the necessary 75 percent (66.7) in his 13th try. He has two more cracks at getting voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Jeff Bagwell, in his second try, made a very nice jump from 41.7 percent to 56 percent, and should get in soon.

As for Edgar Martinez, he received 209 of 573 votes for 36.5 percent. That’s his best showing in the three years he’s been on the ballot, but just barely. In his first year, 2010, Edgar received 36.2 percent of the vote (195 of 539). But last year, he dropped to 32.9 percent (191 of 581), so it’s a positive trend to see him rise back up.

I still think Edgar is going to get there eventually, but as I wrote today, it’s about to get very chaotic, with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling joining the ballot next year, followed by Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina in 2014, and Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz and Gary Sheffield in 2015.

I still like Edgar’s chances to eventually get there, but it’s going to almost certainly be a slow climb, with perhaps a few setbacks along the way. Remember, he has 15 years on the ballot, so he gets 12 more cracks at it. Last year at this time, I did some research into voting trends, and found that since 1968, just six players had, like Martinez, been in the 30 percentile in their first time on the ballot. Of the five previous to Martinez, three made the Hall of Fame (one via the Veterans Committee). The Hall of Famers were Eddie Mathews, Jim Bunning and Goose Gossage, while the two who still haven’t made it were Maury Wills and Luis Tiant.

I believe Martinez has a stronger case than both Wills and Tiant. Martinez supporters shouldn’t give up hope.

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