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BBWAA copies South Side Sox Hall of Fame results, sends four to Cooperstown

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Hey, it’s cool — we elected the same players. Let’s drill down into the differences in the results

All Star Game
Bronze future: A conflux of past and future White Sox luminaries (Freddy García, Robin Ventura, A.J. Pierzynski) slum with future Hall-of-Famers Roy Halladay (far left) and Mariano Rivera (middle) at the 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee — as Miguel Tejada waves to the 14 SSS members who would one day support his Hall candidacy.
Photo By Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Crazy, but this is the way it projected exactly two weeks ago: South Side Sox and the BBWAA elected the same four players in the 2019 Hall of Fame class: Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez.

The BBWAA had 425 voters, SSS got 326, so the vote totals are different. However, our percentages for all players were different, as well. Let’s take a look at how things differed, to see who polled more smartly — the BBWAA or SSS. (Hint: We kicked their ass.)


Mariano Rivera
BBWAA Vote: 100%
SSS Vote: 81.6%
Smarter Call: SSS
It’s a little nuts that Rivera became the first unanimous selection in Hall of Fame history. It’s no dis on the best reliever in history to not have made him a unanimous selection, as SSS did — if for no other reason, on a ballot with close to 20 worthy candidates, some voters surely passed a “gimme” candidate like Rivera in order to attempt to resuscitate a player who was fading fast (Fred McGriff, et al.).

Edgar Martinez
BBWAA Vote: 85.4%
SSS Vote: 77.6%
Smarter Call: SSS
Maybe some astute SSS voters passed on Mariano in order to wedge Edgar in, in fact. I had Martinez as the 13th-worthiest candidate on the ballot, but he should be in. Both electorates did the right thing by ushering Edgar in on his 10th and final ballot.

Roy Halladay
BBWAA Vote: 85.4%
SSS Vote: 78.2%
Smarter Call: SSS
It was a bit of a surprise that Halladay ended up tying Martinez for second place in the BBWAA polling, at 363 votes, because projections had Halladay up at 90%-plus. SSS gets its third straight smarter call, as Halladay projected as the ninth-strongest candidate on the ballot.

Mike Mussina
BBWAA Vote: 76.7%
SSS Vote: 80.4%
Smarter Call: SSS
Thank goodness, after a number of warnings by different projectors this week that Mussina would fall just short of enshrinement, that enough BBWAA voters made the right call. My goodness, Mussina was the strongest non-tainted (Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling ... by his mouth) candidate on the ballot.

Curt Schilling
BBWAA Vote: 60.9%
SSS Vote: 56.1%
Smarter Call: BBWAA
Schilling is a jerk, and it’s really hard to “honor” someone like that jackalope. But he does merit induction, and thus the BBWAA made the better call in bumping the bloody-ankled one past 60%.

Roger Clemens
BBWAA Vote: 59.5%
SSS Vote: 62%
Smarter Call: SSS
Reverse the verbiage above, and credit SSS for pushing an unsavory but worthy candidate farther along, at 62%.

Barry Bonds
BBWAA Vote: 59.1%
SSS Vote: 66.3%
Smarter Call: SSS
Someone asked how 14 voters in the SSS vote could choose Bonds and not Clemens. Turnabout is fair play: How did two more BBWAA voters choose Clemens than Bonds. The two seem intertwined forever now, and in the SSS voting, they were, both pushing into the 60s.

Larry Walker
BBWAA Vote: 54.6%
SSS Vote: 61.7%
Smarter Call: SSS
Everyone is considering Walker to be next year’s Martinez in the Hall of Fame vote, taking a final leap forward in his final year on the ballot. Let’s hope so. Again, SSS was a bit wiser than the BBWAA pack, pushing Walker past 60%.

Omar Vizquel
BBWAA Vote: 42.8%
SSS Vote: 19.9%
Smarter Call: SSS
Vizquel’s trajectory in BBWAA voting, making a modest nudge forward to 42.8% in his second year on the ballot and motoring toward a 2020s induction, is a puzzle. There are significantly better players on the current ballot, among those similar (defensive whizzes), including Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones. Whether our not-20% vote was harsh, 42.8% on a ballot this loaded is a bit nuts.

Fred McGriff
BBWAA Vote: 39.8%
SSS Vote: 32.3%
Smarter Call: BBWAA
McGriff was the biggest borderline player on the ballot, and though I would stop just short of enshrining him, these totals in the 30s are a sad result. Look for McGriff to be one of the first benefactors of the “Baines effect” in future Veteran’s Whatever ballots.

Manny Ramirez
BBWAA Vote: 22.8%
SSS Vote: 37.1%
Smarter Call: SSS
Even our 37.1% for Ramirez was lousy; the BBWAA at 22.8% is pathetic. I had Ramirez with the sixth-best case for induction this year.

Jeff Kent
BBWAA Vote: 18.1%
SSS Vote: 16.6%
Smarter Call: BBWAA
If you’re a big Hall voter, Kent gets in. Hard to argue with him being far from induction at this point, with more worthy players in front of him, but we failed the feisty infielder with our SSS total.

Scott Rolen
BBWAA Vote: 17.2%
SSS Vote: 40.5%
Smarter Call: SSS
Oh, this BBWAA vote is beyond embarrassing. Our two votes basically flip-flopped Vizquel and Rolen, and ours is the far smarter stance.

Billy Wagner
BBWAA Vote: 16.7%
SSS Vote: 7%
Smarter Call: SSS
Wagner is a fine closer, and there’s a line of thinking that accommodates closers for the specialist’s role they play in the game. I’m not one of those dudes. Seven percent might be light, but I’m giving SSS the edge here, because even though we cast more votes per ballot than the BBWAA did, we chose to steer our endorsements to more worthy candidates.

Todd Helton
BBWAA Vote: 16.5%
SSS Vote: 36.5%
Smarter Call: SSS
Holy cats, the BBWAA is filled with dorks. Helton at 16.5%? Embarrassing. I tabbed Helton as the 11th-best player on the ballot this year. Yikes.

Gary Sheffield
BBWAA Vote: 13.6%
SSS Vote: 31.9%
Smarter Call: SSS
We’re still a little light on Sheff, but at least we’re not 13.6% light.

Andy Pettitte
BBWAA Vote: 9.9%
SSS Vote: 15.3%
Smarter Call: SSS
Pettitte had the 12th-best case on the ballot. For him, a longtime Yankee, to poll at less than 10% on his first ballot, is sorta stunning.

Sammy Sosa
BBWAA Vote: 8.5%
SSS Vote: 14.1%
Smarter Call: SSS
Sosa didn’t make a dent in this year’s balloting, and time will run out on him — but he is Hall-worthy. Once again, we were a little bit smarter than the BBWAA.

Andruw Jones
BBWAA Vote: 7.5%
SSS Vote: 42.3%
Smarter Call: SSS
Wow. Jones is in grave danger of falling off of the BBWAA ballot next year. At SSS, he’s slowing motoring ahead toward enshrinement. How is it that we can be this better than the “real” voters?

Michael Young
BBWAA Vote: 2.1%
SSS Vote: 0%
Smarter Call: SSS
Young received only 21 fewer votes from the BBWAA than Andruw Jones.

Lance Berkman
BBWAA Vote: 1.2%
SSS Vote: 10.1%
Smarter Call: SSS
Berkman is very borderline for a big Hall, but he makes the cut in my book. That he’s one-and-done with the BBWAA is foolish.

Miguel Tejada
BBWAA Vote: 1.2%
SSS Vote: 4.3%
Smarter Call: BBWAA
We were pretty sweet to Tejada, needlessly.

Roy Oswalt
BBWAA Vote: 0.9%
SSS Vote: 8.3%
Smarter Call: SSS
Like Berkman, Oswalt is a borderline (but, big Hall, in) candidate who should not have been one-and-done with BBWAA.

Placido Polanco
BBWAA Vote: 0.5%
SSS Vote: 0%
Smarter Call: SSS
Andruw Jones got just 30 more BBWAA votes than Placido Polanco. Really, BBWAA?


So, with Derek Jeter the only real shoo-in on the 2020 ballot, there seems a real chance to see Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, or Walker break through; maybe more. What are your early calls on next year’s class?