It’s only happened twice before in eight previous votes, but our electorate has elected four new members of the South Side Sox Hall of Fame: Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez.
This year, we had 326 voters, so 245 votes were needed in order to gain enshrinement into the South Side Sox version of the Hall of Fame. None of the four new Hall members got in with a ton of room to spare, making these past two weeks a nail-biter, down to nearly the very last vote cast on Tuesday night.
(Throughout the writeup here, the SSS vote will be contrasted with the results so far at Ryan Thibodaux’s HOF Tracker, which counts up the public BBWAA Hall of Fame ballots in anticipation of the official Hall announcement later this month. Thibodaux’s Tracker had published 161 ballots so far — about 39% of the electorate.)
So, let’s welcome our four new SSS Hall of Fame members!
Get Your Speeches Ready (75% or higher)
Mariano Rivera was our leading vote-getter, and while no one seriously thought the all-time saves leader would fall short of election, his relatively small percentage here may be a surprise. With 266 votes (81.6%), Rivera squeaked in by 21. Rivera was polling unanimously for the Hall of Fame at the HOF Tracker as of Tuesday.
Mike Mussina leapfrogged both Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens from last year’s vote, taking 262 votes (80.4%) and clearing the bar by 17. Mussina is polling at 82.6% on the HOF Tracker.
Roy Halladay joins Rivera as a first-timer elected by SSS, earning 255 votes (78.2%), 10 more than he needed for enshrinement. On the HOF Tracker, Halladay is polling at a very generous 94.4%.
Finally, Edgar Martinez made this election quite the nail-biter, lingering for most of our balloting while sitting just under the 75% threshold, before getting enough of a push late to make it in, on his last year on the ballot. Martinez earned 253 votes (77.6%), just eight more than necessary for election. On the HOF Tracker, Martinez is cruising at 90.7%.
Near Misses (60-74.9%)
Barry Bonds received 216 votes (66.3%), falling 29 shy of election. Percentage-wise, Bonds took a little leap forward from 2018, when he polled at 64.2%. The Home Run King is currently right on the precipice of election on the HOF Tracker, at 73.3%.
Roger Clemens, on the other hand, saw his support dip a touch on SSS, falling to 62%, with 202 votes — 43 short of election. Last year, Clemens earned 64.2% of the SSS voting. At the HOF Tracker, Clemens is polling at 73.9%.
Larry Walker took a huge jump with SSS, which reflects his overall regard in voting (HOF Tracker: 66.5%). After polling at 36.5% in 2018, Walker jumped up to 201 votes (61.7%) on SSS.
Strong Support (50-59.9%)
Curt Schilling reversed his recent downward trending in the SSS vote by getting 183 votes (56.1%). That’s a massive jump from last year’s 40.3%. Detestable though he may be, Schilling seems on his way to rightful SSS Hall enshrinement. On the HOF Tracker, Schilling is at 73.9%.
You Got Some Work to Do (30-49.9%)
Andruw Jones earned 138 votes (42.3%) in his second year on the ballot, a healthy jump from 32.1% in his first year. Well done, SSS. On the HOF tracker, Jones is struggling for his life, at 8.1%.
Scott Rolen took a 10% leap with us, from his first ballot to this second one. This time, Rolen garnered 132 votes (40.5%), far better than his 30.2% in his first run. Rolen is at just 21.1% on the HOF Tracker, so, well done, SSS.
Manny Ramirez duplicated his 37.1% result from last year, earning 121 votes (37.1%) this time around. Two years ago, Ramirez was at 37.9%. Seems he’s going to run out of time, eh? On the HOF Tracker, Ramirez sits at 26.1%.
Todd Helton made a solid showing for his first year on the ballot, earning 119 votes (36.5%). Well done, SSS; on the HOF Tracker, Helton sits at just 19.9%.
Trevor Hoffman received 111 votes (34%), which is a dip from last year’s 40.3%. It’s going to be hard to get Hoffman in our Hall, it seems. Perhaps some voters don’t even think of him on our ballot, as he already made Cooperstown; not sure he shouldn’t be removed from next year’s ballot, forever not enshrined by South Side Sox. Thoughts on the Hoffman dilemma are welcomed in the comments.
Gary Sheffield took a small step forward with us, getting on 104 ballots (31.9%). That’s almost double his support from last year. On the HOF Tracker, Sheff is struggling, at 13.7%.
At Least They Got Double Digits (10-29.9%)
Omar Vizquel was named on 65 ballots (19.9%). The HOF Trackers is regarding Omar much more highly, at 35.4%.
Jeff Kent had 54 votes (16.6%), a slight dip from last year’s 17%. He’s faring even worse among Cooperstown voters, who have him at 11.8% on the HOF Tracker.
Andy Pettitte’s debut, unlike Yankees teammate Rivera’s, was rough: 50 votes (15.3%). The HOF Tracker supports Pettitte even more faintly: 7.5%.
Sammy Sosa experienced a slight bump up, with 46 votes (14.1%). It’s not the best he’s ever done on SSS (17.9%), but a move in a better direction. On the HOF Tracker, Sosa is at 13.7%.
Lance Berkman got a relatively large amount of support, given how poorly some other players fared. Perhaps he’s a first-year novelty. Fat Elvis got 33 votes (10.1%), while he’s polling at just 1.2% at the HOF Tracker.
Still on the Ballot (5-9.9%)
Roy Oswalt had a rough go of his first SSS vote, grabbing 27 votes (8.3%). It’s a shame, as he is a Hall-worthy pitcher. At least he remains on our ballot; the HOF Tracker has Oswalt at just 1.2%.
Johan Santana lives to see a third SSS ballot, earning 27 votes (8.3%), like Oswalt. Both pitchers are worthy, so it’s a shame their chances seem dead from the get-go.
Billy Wagner totaled 23 votes (7%). It doesn’t look good for him in the SSS Hall. On the HOF Tracker, Wagner is clocking in at 15.5%.
Off the Ballot
After 10 years on the ballot without election, players fall off the ballot. Any player otherwise eligible for the Hall must earn at least 5% of the vote (this year, 17 votes) to remain on the ballot.
Like Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff was on his last ballot with this vote, having reached his 10th year of eligibility. Unlike Martinez, McGriff fell well short of election, receiving 105 votes (32.2%). That was a healthy bump from the 22% the Crime Dog earned last year, but not nearly enough. It’s bad news for McGriff on the HOF Tracker as well, as he’s polling at just 36%.
Jamie Moyer survived his first vote on SSS last year (unlike the Cooperstown balloting) but pulled just 15 votes (4.6%) this year.
Miguel Tejada fell just short of surviving his first SSS ballot, earning 14 votes (4.3%).
Freddy García: nine votes (2.8%). On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Jon Garland: seven votes (2.1%). On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Carlos Lee somehow earned 5.7% of our vote last year, his first on the ballot, but El Caballo fell to Earth on this go-around, getting just six votes (1.8%).
Juan Pierre: six votes (1.8%). On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Rick Ankiel: three votes (0.9%). On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Travis Hafner: two votes (0.6%). On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Jason Bay: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Ted Lilly: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Derek Lowe: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Darren Oliver: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Placido Polanco: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Vernon Wells: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Kevin Youkilis: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 0%
Michael Young: zero votes. On the HOF Tracker: 1.9%
Our results are falling in line with the BBWAA electorate. Although like last year, when we failed to vote in Hoffman, SSS may prove to be the tougher sell for players; per early BBWAA results, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling all stand a chance of joining Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay and Edgar Martinez in Cooperstown this year.
Unlike with last year’s vote, it feels like SSS is pretty well in line with voting trends. There’s still enough anti-PEDs bias here that Bonds, Clemens et. al may never cross the line for us, though. But they and other scarred players of the past are getting mildly-increasing support overall.
Finally, a relatively small percentage of voters weighed in on whether to expand our future ballot beyond the 10-player limit. With a 54% majority, South Side Sox has voted to not expand our ballot beyond 10 players.
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2011: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Tim Raines
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2012: Barry Larkin
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2013: Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2014: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2015: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Craig Biggio, John Smoltz
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2016: Ken Griffey, Jr., Tim Raines, Mike Piazza
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2017: Tim Raines, Vladimir Guerrero, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2018: Jim Thome, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero
SSS Hall of Fame Class of 2019: Mariano Rivera, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay, Edgar Martinez
Ex-White Sox who could make their debuts on next year’s ballot include Jose Contreras, Octavio Dotel, Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and J.J. Putz.
Other debuts could include Bobby Abreu, Jason Bartlett, Josh Beckett, Heath Bell, Eric Chavez, Ryan Dempster, Kyle Farnsworth, Chone Figgins, Rafael Furcal, Jason Giambi, Alex Gonzalez, Raul Ibanez, Derek Jeter, Cliff Lee, Ryan Ludwick, Nate McLouth, Lyle Overbay, Brad Penny, Carlos Peña, Brian Roberts, Joe Saunders, Marco Scutaro, Alfonso Soriano, Yorvit Torrealba, José Valverde, Jake Westbrook and Jamey Wright.
Larry Walker, trending upward but still falling short this year, will be on his 10th and final ballot next year.
One final thing that I forgot to mention while putting this together late last night.
Next year, we will have a second HOF vote, perhaps concurrent with the regular vote, maybe before, to potentially right the wrongs of past votes. I’m going to scrape together the 10, 20, 30 ignored candidates from past votes and give South Side Sox a “veteran’s committee” ballot as well. There are dozens of valid candidates, but one I’m sure will be a 2020 SSS HOF inductee will be ... well, his name starts with M and ends in “oso.”
(One possible solution for the “Trevor Hoffman Paradox” as outlined above would be to immediately place any player inducted into Cooperstown — but not into the SSS HOF — on our “veteran’s committee” ballot. Dunno, just spitballing ...)
Thanks to all for participating! Next up, our second annual White Sox Hall of Fame vote!