Last year’s election was so unique, we just had to double our fun in 2022!
For the second time in the 12 years of the South Side Sox Hall of Fame voting — and the second straight year! — we have elected zero candidates from our regular Cooperstown ballot. The fewest prior inductees had been way back in 2012, when Barry Larkin was enshrined all by his lonesome.
As opposed to previous years, where we ran an off-site ballot that was limited to a maximum of 10 votes, this year’s different approach means we can’t provide the number of players who were voted for the Hall, per voter. But clearly, we didn’t abuse the right to vote for an unlimited number of players, because with just two exceptions, no player came close to election this year.
The two near-misses were Mark Buehrle and David Ortiz. While these two names paired as near-misses for 2022 election don’t necessarily indicated homerism ... wait, who am I kidding, of course this pairing does! While with 45% of the ballots now known Ortiz is on track for BBWAA election this year (83.7%), Buehrle is barely hanging onto the BBWAA ballot, at 5.1%.
Here are the full results from this year’s voting, with the voting trend from 2021 to 2022.
Get your speeches ready
Mark Buehrle (73%, +18%)
David Ortiz (71%, first year)
Todd Helton (57%, -1%)
Andruw Jones (55%, +2%)
You got some work to do
Manny Ramirez (39%, -15%)
Scott Rolen (39%, -10%)
Billy Wagner (39%, +18%)
Gary Sheffield (38%, -4%)
Jeff Kent (30%, -6%)
Álex Rodríguez (31%, first year)
Omar Vizquel (31%, +3%)
At least they got double digits
A.J. Pierzynski (26%, first year)
Torii Hunter (22%, +8%)
Jimmy Rollins (21%, first year)
Bobby Abreu (18%, -14%)
Andy Pettitte (18%, -12%)
Tim Hudson (11%, -16%)
Tim Lincecum (11%, first year)
Ryan Howard (10%, first year)
Still on the ballot
Joe Nathan (9%, first year)
Prince Fielder (8%, first year)
Justin Morneau (7%, first year)
Jake Peavy (7%, first year)
Off the ballot
Curt Schilling (43%, +5%, final year of eligibility)
Barry Bonds (41%, -15%, final year of eligibility)
Roger Clemens (38%, -9%, final year of eligibility)
Sammy Sosa (21%, -11%, final year of eligibility)
Mark Teixeira (4%, first year)
Jonathan Papelbon (3%, first year)
Carl Crawford (2%, first year)
Let’s say first that the electorate actually got much stingier with the 10-player limit abolished, as most players saw their totals drop. In fact, just six players saw an increase in support this vote.
Offered without judgement as far as you know, it’s curious that four of those players with increased support are the most reprehensible candidates on the slate: Toriii Hunter (+8%), Curt Schilling (+5%), Omar Vizquel (+3%), and Andruw Jones (+1%).
Given the surprising support for ex-Twins on the ballot (A.J. Pierzynski, Joe Nathan, Hunter, Justin Morneau), one suspects a small Twinkie Town contingent checking in on our vote. With relatively small vote totals, it wouldn’t take much to move the needle.
But more broadly, one way the unlimited ballot might have helped candidates is a surprising number of first-year players surviving the 5% support cutoff; I can’t think of another year where as few as three players fell off of the ballot for lack of immediate support.
Of course, joining the three first-year eligibles who will fall off the ballot are the tainted group of Schilling, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens, who now have exhausted their allotted time on the ballot.
On the plus side, it appears that Buehrle has a chance at election (providing he remains on the BBWAA ballot in 2023) and it is only a matter of time for Ortiz. Billy Wagner also enjoyed a huge push this year; still a long way off from election to the SSS Hall, it’s feasible.
Next year brings no new candidates of note, especially with Carlos Beltran’s connection to the cheating scandals of a couple of years ago torpedoing what was once a shoo-in candidacy. So we will be confronted with the same, mostly humdrum, slate a year from now.
Thanks to all who voted, and stay tuned, for in February we’ll roll out our final phase of Hall of Fame voting, the most fun one of all: the fifth annual White Sox Hall of Fame election!
South Side Sox 2011 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2012 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2013 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2014 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2015 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2016 Hall of Fame Class
Ken Griffey, Jr.
South Side Sox 2017 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2018 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2019 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Hit Pen 2020 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2021 Hall of Fame Class
South Side Sox 2022 Hall of Fame Class
(and no, I don’t know why the prior administration kept electing and re-electing Tim Raines to the HOF, although the voters were right each time)