Over many years at South Side Sox, we conducted our own yearly Hall of Fame voting, to see how the opinions of White Sox fans matched up vs. Hall of Fame voters (spoiler alert: We’re smarter).
Then, four years ago, we also created our own White Sox Hall of Fame, honoring not only the greatest players in White Sox history, but the most memorable games, teams, contributors, promotions, and so on.
When Harold Baines was elected to Cooperstown via the Veterans Committee ballot in 2018, largely creating furor among writers and fans, it sparked an idea for a third round of voting each year, to correct some of the many oversights Cooperstown has made over the years — and continues to make.
In our first season of voting, while over at South Side Hit Pen, Minnie Miñoso was the sole honoree, with 78% of the vote. And last year, taking the ballot back to South Side Sox, we elected Dick Allen, at 87%.
Last year’s vote also saw Joe Torre (10.8%) and Jim Edmonds (16.2%) lagging, so they will drop off this year. That returns seven candidates, and in honor of the Golden Days Era ballot the BBWAA is voting on right now, we’ll add three choice names from that one to fill out our 10.
All player bios can be found below. WAR figures tend to change a bit, but I’ve only updated WAR numbers I had compiled prior to 2019. And if you can bear it, check out the “closest HOF election” figure ... it is positively painful for every one of these players, whether you think they are Hall-worthy or not.
The ballot is right here, and also at the end of bios. You are strongly encouraged to vote for the maximum of four players. Voting ends on Friday, December 3, with any winners announced in a post on Saturday.
Later in December, or early January, we’ll have our regular Cooperstown vote. In mid-January, we’ll hold our fifth annual South Side Sox White Sox Hall of Fame election.
note: bWAR = Baseball-Reference WAR fWAR = FanGraphs WAR WARP = Baseball Prospectus WAR aWAR = average WAR across the three measures; aaWAR = adjusted average WAR, accounting for time lost due to labor impasses or institutional racism JAWS = Jay Jaffe’s HOF measure of Top 7 seasons vs. Hall average Similar Player = Baseball-Reference/Bill James formula
St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox (1955-69)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 153
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 3B 14
Most Similar Player: Bobby Bonilla (90.7%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 25.5% (1988)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result N/A
Core Stats 282 HR, .287/.349/.462, .810 OPS, 116 OPS+
Core Accolades 1964 NL MVP, 11-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove
Boyer is overlooked as a White Sox candidate! Well, his South Side, end-of-career seasons were not memorable. What was memorable was Boyer’s incredible two-way play, perhaps somewhat comparable to Scott Rolen on the current Cooperstown ballot. While perhaps less of an outright injustice than Minnie Miñoso having been kept out of Cooperstown, Boyer has every bit the right to feel cheated as Dick Allen, and likely even more.
Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles (1972-91)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 139
JAWS All-Time Rank Among RF 15
Most Similar Player: Luis González (90.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 10.4% (1998)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 21.6%
Core Stats 385 home runs, .272/.370/.470, .840 OPS, 127 OPS+
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, eight Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, two Top 5 MVP finishes
Evans has managed to be underrated despite some high-profile postseason appearances and status as nearly a career Red Sox. A devastating all-around player.
Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland, San Francisco Giants, New York Mets (1983-2000)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 234
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 75
Most Similar Player: Bob Welch (97.4%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 11.2% (2006)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 35.1%
Core Stats 204 wins, 3.48 ERA, 1.261 WHIP, 112 ERA+, 3.69 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, 1988 NL Cy Young, NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, 1995 ALCS MVP, Gold Glove, four Top 5 Cy Young finishes
While Hershiser may have somewhat pedestrian regular season stats overall, it was in October he shined, with a career 2.59 ERA and 1.106 WHIP over 132 innings.
Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, Cleveland, Oakland A’s (1963-89)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 207
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 77
Most Similar Player: Jim Kaat (92.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 31.7% (2009)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 51.4%
Core Stats 288 wins, 3.44 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 3.38 FIP
Core Accolades Four-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finishes
John is Exhibit A for the Jamie Moyer-type pitcher who simply never stopped pitching and thus piled up Hall-worthy numbers. That John was effective, even dominant, after the surgery that now bears his name adds an impressive wrinkle to his mere “piling up” of stats.
Minnesota Twins, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees (1959-83)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank outside of the 235-member Hall
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 109
Most Similar Player: Tommy John (92.3%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 29.6% (1993)
Core Stats 283 wins, 3.45 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 1.259 WHIP, 108 ERA+
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, 16 Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish, one Top 5 Cy Young finish
Quite possibly the best fielding pitcher of all time, Kaat threw more than 4,500 innings as a rare, four-decade pitcher. His two best WAR seasons, by far, came with the White Sox (7.1 and 7.7).
Cleveland, Braves, Dodgers, Phillies, White Sox, Pirates, Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Giants, Astros (1991-2007)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 100
JAWS All-Time Rank Among CF 10
Most Similar Player: Jimmy Ryan (87.6%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 3.2% (2013)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 32.4%
Core Stats 622 stolen bases, .299/.372/.423, .794 OPS, 107 OPS+, 15.5 dWAR
Core Accolades Six-time All-Star, four Gold Gloves, one Top 5 MVP finish
An elite defender who roamed the challenging turf of center field for an uncommonly long time. Lofton’s mercenary status hopping cities after Cleveland likely dinged his status among voters.
Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, San Francisco Giants (1945-64)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 227
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 91
Most Similar Player: Vida Blue (95.7%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 1.9% (1971)
Core Stats 3.27 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 1.260 WHIP, 1,999 K, 119 ERA+
Core Accolades Seven-time All-Star, one Top 5 MVP finish, one Top 5 Cy Young finish
Pierce is so underrated, even White Sox fans themselves tend to overlook his greatness. His 1955 season (1.97 ERA, 200 ERA+, 2.83 FIP, 1.099 WHIP, all league-leading) is one of the great pitching seasons ever, and perhaps the best of the 1950s.
First Baseman/Left Fielder/Third Baseman/Second Baseman/Right Fielder
Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos (1963-86)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank ineligible
JAWS All-Time Rank Among LF 5
Most Similar Player: Paul Molitor (67.9%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 9.5% (1992)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 40.5%
Core Stats 3,562 games, 4,256 hits, 2.165 runs, .303/.375/.409, .784 OPS, 118 OPS+
Core Accolades All-time games and hits leader, 1973 NL MVP, 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, 17-time All-Star, two Gold Gloves, Silver Slugger, four Top 5 MVP finishes, 1975 World Series MVP
Obviously Rose has the numbers to be in the Hall as an all-time great, so his inclusion here is more a referendum on whether unsavory and/or banned actions off the field should affect enshrinement status on it.
Boston Red Sox, Cleveland, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, California Angels (1964-82)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 116
JAWS All-Time Rank Among SP 44
Most Similar Player: Catfish Hunter (94.2%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 30.9% (1988)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 29.7%
Core Stats 3.30 ERA, 1.199 WHIP, 114 ERA+, 3.47 FIP
Core Accolades Three-time All-Star, two Top 5 Cy Young finish, one Top 5 MVP finish
Tiant’s case is bolstered (though not a determination for his inclusion here) by some heroic postseason pitching and extremely colorful personality.
Detroit Tigers (1977-95)
Hall of Stats All-Time Rank 76
JAWS All-Time Rank Among 2B 13
Most Similar Player: Ryne Sandberg (90.1%)
Closest to Hall of Fame Election 2.9% (2001)
2020 SSS Veterans Ballot Result 51.4%
Core Stats 2.369 hits, .276/.363/.426, .789 OPS, 117 OPS+
Core Accolades 1978 Rookie of the Year, five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, three-time Gold Glove
While not the biggest lock of a candidate on this list necessarily, his idiotic bypassing by the Veterans Committee in 2019 helped to create this SSS vote. You’d think almost no one thinks Whitaker is not a Hall-of-Famer at this point, certainly not if Alan Trammell is. But just enough folks on a solitary, punch-dunk Vet Committee did in their last gathering, so labor on we must.
If you didn’t click on the link before the list of player bios, here’s your chance to access the ballot again without scrolling up.
Vote for up to four players. Last year, readers averaged well more than three selections per ballot, which tells me you guys are plenty smart. As with all BBWAA voting, 75% is necessary for induction.