A 2023 Hall of Fame Ballot of Your Own – and a Schedule of Profiles

Hall of Fame season is underway, and I’ve already completed my review of the eight Contemporary Baseball Era Committtee candidates and gotten a start on the annual BBWAA ballot. With the latter, it’s time to launch what’s become a yearly tradition at FanGraphs. In the spirit of our annual free agent contract crowdsourcing, we’re inviting registered users to fill out their own virtual Hall of Fame ballots using a cool gizmo that our developer, Sean Dolinar, built a few years ago. I’m also going to use this page to lay out a tentative schedule for the remainder of the series as well as links to the profiles that have been published.

To participate in the crowdsourcing, you must be signed in, and you may only vote once. While you don’t have to be a FanGraphs Member to do so, this is a perfect time to mention that buying a Membership does help to fund the development of cool tools like this — and it makes a great holiday gift! To replicate the actual voting process, you may vote for anywhere from zero to 10 players; ballots with more than 10 won’t be counted. You may change your ballot until the deadline, which is December 31, 2022, the same as that of the actual BBWAA voters, who have to schlep their paper ballot to the mailbox.

The ballot is here and contains all 28 candidates (sorry, no write-ins for those fixated on Pete Rose). We’ve got tables of career stats for the ballot’s position players and pitchers, if that helps, as well as a checkbox that allows you to see the stats of those already enshrined. As with last year, I’ll write up the crowdsourcing results sometime before the announcement of the official results on January 24.

As for the schedule, I’m still piecing it together, so what is sketched out below is incomplete and should be regarded as tentative. I do anticipate many of the first-year candidates with no shot at election — the one-and-dones — running sometime in early January, which allows me to focus on the stronger cases before the ballot deadline while continuing to pitch in with our coverage of free agent deals and other winter news. This also lets me go a bit longer with the profiles of those one-and-done candidates, for whom just appearing on the ballot after an impressive career is its own reward. With a smaller ballot than last year as well as less schedule creep from the Era Committee ballot, I don’t anticipate having to double or triple up with brief summaries of the holdovers as I did with the Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens/Curt Schilling/Sammy Sosa quartet — now mercifully off the writers’ ballot — and the Mark Buehrle/Tim Hudson/Andy Pettitte trio. Hopefully, they’ll all get a fresh coat of paint, so to speak.

Rest assured that I’ll be covering every candidate at length or in brief, in keeping with what I’ve done since the start of my JAWS-flavored coverage in 2004 (making this the 20th election cycle for JAWS). I’m not about to miss any now. New profiles below are denoted with asterisks.

Nov. 21: Intro
Nov. 22: Scott Rolen

Nov. 28: Todd Helton
Nov. 29: Jeff Kent
Dec. 1: Billy Wagner
Dec. 2: Jimmy Rollins

Dec. 6: Carlos Beltrán*
Dec. 7: Andruw Jones
Dec. 8: Bobby Abreu

Dec. 12: Gary Sheffield
Dec. 13: Andy Pettitte
Dec. 14: Francisco Rodríguez*
Dec. 15: Mark Buehrle
Dec. 16: Torii Hunter

Dec. 19: John Lackey*
Dec. 20: Alex Rodriguez
Dec. 22: Manny Ramirez
Dec. 23: Omar Vizquel

Dec. 29: My Ballot

Jan. 4: R.A. Dickey*
Jan. 5: Jacoby Ellsbury*
Jan. 6: Andre Ethier*

Jan. 9: Jhonny Peralta*
Jan. 10: J.J. Hardy*
Jan. 12: Matt Cain*
Jan. 13: Jered Weaver*

Jan. 17: Jayson Werth*
Jan. 18: Mike Napoli*
Jan. 19: Huston Street*
Jan. 20: Bronson Arroyo*

Brooklyn-based Jay Jaffe is a senior writer for FanGraphs, the author of The Cooperstown Casebook (Thomas Dunne Books, 2017) and the creator of the JAWS (Jaffe WAR Score) metric for Hall of Fame analysis. He founded the Futility Infielder website (2001), was a columnist for Baseball Prospectus (2005-2012) and a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated (2012-2018). He has been a recurring guest on MLB Network and a member of the BBWAA since 2011, and a Hall of Fame voter since 2021. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe... and BlueSky @jayjaffe.bsky.social.

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1 year ago

If it weren’t already, the backlog is officially dead. No matter how you view the character clause and even if you are a big-hall enthusiast, no reasonable person truly needs more than the 10 spots anymore.

It is nice that we are getting close to the point where at least the PED question will be fairly clear cut. Guys coming onto the ballot now spent all or the vast majority of their careers during testing and punishment. For those that want to punish PED use in voting, this to me makes it much easier as you have a much better chance of correctly identifying who should be excluded. While not perfect, it makes no sense to exclude anyone because you “think they were on PED” if they played for 15 years of testing without getting a single positive.

Of course, I’m probably being naive as the human mind has a great ability to be ridiculous and hypocritical.

1 year ago
Reply to  TKDC

David Ortiz, who tested positive for PEDs, is in the Hall of Fame.
Am I necessarily going to turn that into “he definitely juiced?” Eh, but the simplest argument in the world to make is that MLB already made a personal exception for him because they like the guy.

The Hall of Fame is never going to be objective or lacking in hypocrisy, so I have bad news about the objectivity of the ballots going forward.

Last edited 1 year ago by tipaion
1 year ago
Reply to  tipaion

My point is for players moving forward. Besides the guys that are being kept out for alleged (almost certain) use like Bonds and Clemens that never failed a test, and Sheffield, for instance who had a murkier case and has been kept out, others like Piazza and Bagwell had a tougher time getting in due to “whispers.”

Ortiz is a perfect example of the counter to what I was talking about. The new crop of PED guys won’t have anonymous positive tests when there were no suspensions. Guys like Braun, Cruz, and Tatis will have positive tests and suspensions. However voters want to deal with that, it seems cleaner. And it sure seems a lot less likely that some player (let’s say Trout) could be dinged because “I don’t know, he’s awfully strong and someone said he had backne.”

Again, how people want to treat this is to me a personal decision. But the facts are a lot cleaner in today’s testing/suspension era than it was in the past.

1 year ago
Reply to  TKDC

I have 11 guys I’d support, and that doesn’t include Billy Wagner, who has an easy argument given current HoF closer standards.

1 year ago
Reply to  cookiedabookie

Care to share that list?

Cool Lester Smoothmember
1 year ago
Reply to  TKDC

I have four that I think “belong,” but a Big Hall type who doesn’t care about cheating can get to 11 pretty easily, even without Wagner:


(Especially if you’re a Yanks fan like cookie, haha)

Last edited 1 year ago by Cool Lester Smooth
1 year ago

Well, I think I’ve identified at least one issue. Tim Hudson is not on the fan ballot. That definitely skews my thinking a tad.

And upon further reflection, maybe it isn’t crazy to include all three of the hangers on, and also the steroid guys, too. Adding Hudson, I’m at 11, and would likely leave Francisco Rodriguez off if I had to.

Last edited 1 year ago by TKDC
1 year ago
Reply to  TKDC

Tim Hudson only got 3% last year. He is not on the real ballot this year.

1 year ago
Reply to  TKDC

This year I would support ten candidates and next year, more. I’m in favor of the following players being voted into the Baseball HoF by the BBWAA:

Bobby Abreu
Carlos Beltran
Todd Helton
Andruw Jones
Andy Pettitte
Manny Ramirez
Alex Rodriguez
Scott Rolen
Gary Sheffield
Billy Wagner

In the likely event no candidate is elected, and due to the fact that all ten would be holdovers. There would. be a surplus of HoF worthy candidates because there are three HoF worthy candidates making their debut on the ballot in 2024, next year:

Adrian Beltre
Joe Mauer
Chase Utley

Even if Scott Rolen and/or Carlos Beltran and/or Todd Helton is elected this year, there will be more than ten HoF worthy candidates on the ballot in 2024. There may be more than ten this year if one favors a Jeff Kent, Francisco Rodriguez or Mark Buehrle.

Last edited 1 year ago by pitts1971
1 year ago
Reply to  pitts1971

Yeah, I think my mistake was putting the trio of starting pitchers outside of reasonable, which isn’t really fair.