Monday, January 6, 2014
IBWAA selects four in Hall of Fame vote
By David Schoenfield
Want an idea how Wednesday's Hall of Fame announcement may go? If the results of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America's Hall of Fame vote is any indication, then good news awaits Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio.
The IBWAA conducted its own vote, with 113 writers participating, and Maddux (111 votes, 98 percent), Glavine (100 votes, 89 percent), Thomas (95 votes, 84 percent) and Biggio (89 votes, 79 percent) cleared the 75 percent threshold that the Baseball Writers Association of America uses for enshrinement into Cooperstown.
Maddux is a lock to get elected on Wednesday, but it will be interesting to see if Glavine, Thomas and Biggio draw the same support. The BBWAA has a history of being tough on first-time candidates and while Glavine won 300 games, so did Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton and it took each of them at least three years to get elected.
The IBWAA has also differed from the BBWAA in past elections: The IBWAA elected Mike Piazza in 2013 (he received 58 percent from the BBWAA) but has yet to elect Barry Larkin, who received 50 percent of the vote this year. The IBWAA writers have been a little kinder to those players alleged to have used PEDs -- or believed to, by some -- but still failed to elect Barry Bonds (58 percent), Roger Clemens (57 percent), Mark McGwire (14 percent) or Sammy Sosa (7 percent). Jeff Bagwell received 69 percent of the vote, slightly higher than the 59 percent he received from the BBWAA.
The low vote totals for McGwire and Sosa suggest both could be in danger of falling off the BBWAA ballot if they fail to receive 5 percent of the vote.
The IBWAA is open to any writer on the Internet and while it may be slightly more sabermetrically inclined than the BBWAA, some of my favorite candidates still fell well short of 75 percent -- Curt Schilling, Mike Mussina and Edgar Martinez were all below 40 percent. Looks like I'll be touting those three for a long time into the future.