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South Side Sox elects three to the Hall of Fame

And, surprise plot twist, Mark Buehrle is not one of them

Don’t touch that head, Melkman: Especially now that Adrián Beltré is headed to the Hall of Fame.
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

A year ago the SSS electorate, free to vote for every player on the ballot if it wanted, barely crossed 50% support for any candidate not named Mark Buerhle.

One year later, fortunes have reversed, as Buehrle — back on the ballot for us this year, as he was not part of the Cooperstown Class of 2023 — fell a single vote short while three other worthy candidates broke through for honors.

None had a cakewalk:

  • No-brainer freshman honoree Adrián Beltré was elected with just 78.9% support
  • Todd Helton got a bump of almost 25% from the electorate, scraping into immortality
  • Another first-year candidate, slowpoke nemesis Joe Mauer, earned 75.5% — one fewer vote, and he would have been outside looking in

Two additional candidates came dangerously close to election, meaning that with just a few more tumbles the other way, SSS could have elected five players to the Hall this year:

  • Buehrle, with 76% support a year ago, fell a vote shy, at 74.4%
  • Onetime White Sox teammate Andruw Jones, benefiting from nearly as big a jump in support as Helton, fell two votes short, at 73.0%

Based on our results, three players would drop off of the ballot for 2025. In his final year on the ballot, support for Gary Sheffield jumped by more than 15% — still landing him well short of immortality, at 53.8%. Among first-year candidates, only Adrián González (five votes of 104, for 4.8%) and José Reyes (one vote of 100, 1.0%) failed to reach the 5% mark to live to see another election.

We had 2,854 votes, with a yes/no ballot that could allow for skips. The most votes this election were collected by Buehrle (121), the fewest Reyes (100).

Here’s a look at our final results, compared to the BBWAA ballot as currently tracked on Sunday night, with 49.7% of the total voting publicly known:

More notes from the vote:

  • We had 973 yes votes, 1,881 nos
  • Beyond Buehrle (we supported his candidacy at a rate 66.5% higher than the BBWAA electorate), we are much bigger fans of Bartolo Colón (+26.4%), Matt Holliday (+18.1%), Manny Ramírez (+16.2%), Torii Hunter (+16.2%) and Andy Pettitte (+10.0%) than the general public
  • In contrast, we are not on board with the candidacies of Billy Wagner (-27.1% from the BBWAA bloc) Sheffield (-20.5%), Beltré (-20.1%), Beltrán (-17.3%) and Chase Utley (-10.6%)
  • Among returning candidates, Helton (+24.2%), Jones (+23.0%), Sheffield (+15.4%), Ramírez (+10.8) and Wagner (+10.2%) all saw significant jumps in support from SSS from 2023 to 2024
  • There were no major dips in support from 2023 to 2024, as Omar Vizquel (-4.0%) was met with the most disfavor
  • We were very close to the anticipated BBWAA final vote for many players: Reyes (1.0% difference), Bobby Abreu (1.5%), Álex Rodríguez (1.6%) and Jones (2.3%) found almost identical support

The most fun vote is still to come, at the start of February: the sixth annual White Sox Hall of Fame vote.

Till then: Congrats, Adrián, Todd and Joe!


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