History for the Hall with Unanimity, and Another Quartet

Our long national nightmare is over. For 82 years, in one of the dumbest traditions in all of sports, no candidate in the history of the Baseball Hall of Fame had ever been elected unanimously. If all 226 of the BBWAA voters who participated in the Hall’s inaugural election in 1936 couldn’t completely agree on Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth, the logic went, then some voter somewhere needed to take it upon themselves to ensure that the candidacies of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr. didn’t arrive without blemish either.

In a reflection of the universal respect that he amassed throughout the industry, as not only the greatest closer in the game’s history but also the last wearer of Jackie Robinson’s otherwise-retired jersey number 42, Mariano Rivera slammed the door shut on that dumb tradition. Per the voting results of the BBWAA’s 2019 balloting announced on Tuesday evening, Rivera ran the table, receiving all 425 votes cast in this year’s election. He’s one of four players elected this year, alongside the late Roy Halladay (85.4%), Edgar Martinez (85.4%), and Mike Mussina (76.7%).

This is the second year in a row, and the third year out of five, that the writers have elected four players in a single year. The Cooperstown-bound parade of candidates elected by the writers over the past six years now numbers 20, more than in any other six-year span; the previous record of 15 was set from 1951-1956. This year’s class of six — including Harold Baines and Lee Smith, elected by the Today’s Game Era Committee last month — will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 21.

What follows here is my best attempt to collect several scattered thoughts in a timely fashion. I’ll follow this with a full candidate-by-candidate breakdown on Wednesday.

On This We Can Agree

When the writers first voted in 1936, Cobb led the pack with 98.2%, followed by Ruth and Honus Wagner (95.1% apiece), Christy Mathewson (90.7%), and Walter Johnson (83.6%). Regardless of what the various dissenters objected to about those candidates, the fact that somebody did was enough for at least some voters to justify non-unanimity for future candidates. Ted Williams? 93.4% in 1966. Stan Musial? 93.2% in 1969. When Mays received 94.7% in 1979, his share was the highest since Cobb’s, and the same was true of Aaron, at 97.8%, three years later, but here and there, one of the old guardians of the Cooperstown gates still spit on their ballots. In 1992, Tom Seaver finally surpassed Cobb with 98.84%, and after Nolan Ryan fell short by an eyelash seven years later (98.79%), Griffey came along and set the new standard with 99.3% in 2016.

What was different about Griffey’s share was that it took place in an era of greater transparency. Interested observers could follow along in real time on social media as voters revealed their ballots, and at the point just prior to the announcement of the results, The Kid had been on every one of the 249 ballots published in Ryan Thibodaux’s Hall of Fame Ballot Tracker. In the end, three of the 440 voters left him off their ballots, none of whom ever identified themselves, but Griffey still set the record. While many believed that the BBWAA’s late-2016 resolution to publish every ballot received starting with the 2018 election might open the door for unanimity, the Hall of Fame unilaterally scuttled those plans.

Even as Rivera was named on all 232 ballots published in the Tracker pre-election, it was apparent that some voter, somewhere, might leave him off on purely philosophical grounds. After all, Rivera’s 1,283.2 innings are just over a third of those thrown by Mussina (3,562.2), for example, and 14 players on the ballot accumulated higher WAR totals in their careers (by Baseball-Reference’s version, at least). Along those lines, one voter, the Worcester Telegram’s Bill Ballou, announced in late December that he had reached a similar conclusion but was abstaining rather than be That Guy. Then, earlier on Tuesday, he admitted to reconsidering his position and casting a ballot that included Rivera.

Anyway, here’s the new leaderboard, which should remind us that while the Hall is supposed to reward the best on the basis of merit, the messy process can turn it into a popularity contest along the way. It’s the Hall of FAME, after all, and the wiry Panamanian closer, who set the all-time saves record (652) and sealed four World Series championships for the Yankees, has that in spades, too.

Highest BBWAA Voting Percentages
Rk Name Year Votes % of Ballots
1 Mariano Rivera 2019 425 100.0%
2 Ken Griffey Jr. 2016 437 99.3%
3 Tom Seaver 1992 425 98.8%
4 Nolan Ryan 1999 491 98.8%
5 Cal Ripken Jr. 2007 537 98.5%
6 Ty Cobb 1936 222 98.2%
7 George Brett 1999 488 98.2%
8 Hank Aaron 1982 406 97.8%
9 Tony Gwynn 2007 532 97.6%
10 Randy Johnson 2015 534 97.3%
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference

Last Licks

A seven-time All-Star who has a claim as the best designated hitter in the game’s history, Martinez not only helped put the Mariners on the competitive map during an 18-year career spent entirely in Seattle, he may have saved baseball for the Emerald City with “The Double,” his 1995 Division Series-winning walk-off hit against the Yankees. His candidacy followed the path of 2017 honoree Tim Raines: a modest start (36.2% in 2010 in his debut) but then a failure to make headway with the voters (25.2% in 2014, and just 27.0% a year later), the loss of five years of eligibility due to the Hall’s unilateral rule change shortening candidacies from 15 years to 10, and a late surge that carried him over the top in his final year of eligibility.

Martinez is the sixth candidate in modern electoral history (since 1966, when the writers returned to annual voting) to be elected in his final year, after Red Ruffing (1967), Joe Medwick (1968), Ralph Kiner (1975), Jim Rice (2009), and Raines. He’s the first player in modern history to gain at least 10 percentage points in four straight elections, thanks in part to the testimonials he received from his former Mariners teammates now in the Hall, Randy Johnson (2015) and Griffey, as well as a strong boost from the franchise’s PR department and a little love from the stathead crowd, which helped to convince voters that a player who spent 72% of his career plate appearances as a designated hitter could nonetheless produce enough value to match those of the average Hall of Fame third baseman.

Bittersweetness

The joy of election day was tinged with sadness when it came to Halladay, an eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner who died on November 7, 2017 at the age of 40 while flying his Icon A5 light sport airplane. He became the first player elected posthumously by the BBWAA since Roberto Clemente in 1973. The Pirates great, who himself died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while delivering humanitarian aid to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua, was honored via a special election conducted shortly after the announcement of that year’s voting results. The last player posthumously elected by the BBWAA in a regular election was Rabbit Maranville in 1954, while the only other one elected by the writers in his first year of eligibility was Mathewson, who died in 1925, at the age of 45, due to tuberculosis and a respiratory system compromised by exposure to poison gas during World War I.

From a statistical standpoint, Halladay, who had “only” 203 career wins and fewer than 3,000 total innings, may not have had a case quite as strong as the ballot’s other top starters, namely Mussina, Roger Clemens, and Curt Schilling. Nonetheless, the weight of his death lent an urgency to his candidacy. Based upon the results in the Tracker, where he received 92.7% of the pre-election votes but a more modest 76.4% from those ballots yet to be published, some voters might have been uncomfortable with anointing him so quickly, even given the circumstances. That said, his public-to-private drop-off was less than those of the more controversial Schilling (20.3%, from 69.8% to 49.5%) or Clemens (24.4%, from 71.1% to 46.7%).

The Moose Is Loose!

Aside from the question of Rivera’s potential unanimity, the major suspense around Tuesday’s announcement centered around whether Mussina, a five-time All-Star who spent his entire 18-year career in the crucible of the AL East, would sneak over the 75% line or fall just short. Based on the Tracker, he received 81.5% on the published ballots, but several projection systems still had him finishing in the low 70s based upon his falloffs in years past, and Jason Sardell’s probablistic model gave him “only” a 63% chance of reaching the threshold this year.

Both at the outset of this election, when I noted that candidates in his position (63.5% last year) generally need two years to close the deal, and in the hours before the announcement, when I told a few people I thought that he’d finish a handful of votes short, à la Bert Blyleven in 2010, even I was surprised by the results. Pleasantly so, I might add, because I’ve been stumping for Mussina ever since he became a candidate in 2014. And yet another slow starting one, at that, with 20.3% that year, and 24.6% in 2015. Mussina made double-digit gains in three years out of the four since then, and cleared the bar by a mere seven votes.

Walker’s Jump

Among the 31 candidates who did not get 75%, none made more headway than Walker, who jumped 20.5 percentage points from last year, the ninth-largest jump in modern history:

Largest 1-Year Gains on BBWAA Ballot Since 1967
Rk Player Yr0 Pct0 Yr1 Pct1 Gain
1 Luis Aparicio+ 1982 41.9% 1983 67.4% 25.5%
2 Barry Larkin+ 2011 62.1% 2012 86.4% 24.3%
3 Gil Hodges 1969 24.1% 1970 48.3% 24.2%
4 Nellie Fox+ 1975 21.0% 1976 44.8% 23.8%
5 Hal Newhouser+ 1974 20.0% 1975 42.8% 22.8%
6 Jim Rice+ 1999 29.4% 2000 51.5% 22.1%
7 Don Drysdale+ 1976 29.4% 1977 51.4% 22.0%
8 Vladimir Guerrero+ 2017 71.7% 2018 92.9% 21.2%
9 Larry Walker 2018 34.1% 2019 54.6% 20.5%
10 Johnny Sain 1974 14.0% 1975 34.0% 20.0%
11 Early Wynn+ 1970 46.7% 1971 66.7% 20.0%
12 Minnie Minoso 1985 1.8% 1986 20.9% 19.1%
13 Phil Cavarretta 1974 16.7% 1975 35.6% 18.9%
14 Early Wynn+ 1969 27.9% 1970 46.7% 18.8%
15 Yogi Berra+ 1971 67.2% 1972 85.6% 18.4%
16 Ralph Kiner+ 1966 24.5% 1967 42.5% 18.0%
17 Billy Williams+ 1982 23.4% 1983 40.9% 17.5%
18 Luis Aparicio+ 1983 67.4% 1984 84.6% 17.2%
19 Bob Lemon+ 1972 29.5% 1973 46.6% 17.1%
20 Eddie Mathews+ 1977 62.4% 1978 79.4% 17.0%
+ = Hall of Famer

Similarly, Walker’s two-year jump of 32.7 points (from 34.1%) ranks fourth, while his three-year jump of 39.1 points (from 15.5%) ranks fifth.

That’s the good news, as is the fact that he’s crossed the 50% threshold, a virtual guarantee of future election; current candidates aside, only Gil Hodges has received at least 50% and never gained entry. The bad news is that Walker, who was polling at 65.9% in the Tracker prior to the election, will need to almost exactly replicate this year’s boost to get to 75% next year, his final year of eligibility for election via the writers. Those of us who have chewed our fingernails while sweating out every single ballot on behalf of Raines and Martinez might need to pay more regular visits to the manicurist.

Going Big Yet Again

Last year, BBWAA voters set a new modern record by averaging 8.46 names per ballot, the third time in five years they’ve set a new standard. This year, they were not quite as generous, nor did as high a percentage use all 10 spots, but the numbers from these past six cycles remain in the stratosphere:

Recent BBWAA Ballot Trends
Year Votes Per Ballot All 10
2013 6.60 22%
2014 8.39 50%
2015 8.42 51%
2016 7.95 42%
2017 8.17 45%
2018 8.46 50%
2019 8.01 43%
SOURCE: Baseball-Reference
“All 10” figures via BBWAA.

And what of Clemens? Schilling? Barry Bonds? Scott Rolen? For now, I’ll leave you with a table of the results, and my promise that I’ll write about ’em all in my next installment.

2019 BBWAA Hall of Fame Voting Results
Player YoB Votes %vote
Mariano Rivera 1 425 100.0%
Edgar Martinez 10 363 85.4%
Roy Halladay 1 363 85.4%
Mike Mussina 6 326 76.7%
Curt Schilling 7 259 60.9%
Roger Clemens 7 253 59.5%
Barry Bonds 7 251 59.1%
Larry Walker 9 232 54.6%
Omar Vizquel 2 182 42.8%
Fred McGriff* 10 169 39.8%
Manny Ramirez 3 97 22.8%
Jeff Kent 6 77 18.1%
Scott Rolen 2 73 17.2%
Billy Wagner 4 71 16.7%
Todd Helton 1 70 16.5%
Gary Sheffield 5 58 13.6%
Andy Pettitte 1 42 9.9%
Sammy Sosa 7 36 8.5%
Andruw Jones 2 32 7.5%
Michael Young* 1 9 2.1%
Lance Berkman* 1 5 1.2%
Miguel Tejada* 1 5 1.2%
Roy Oswalt* 1 4 0.9%
Placido Polanco* 1 2 0.5%
* ineligible for future consideration on BBWAA ballots. Zero votes (and also eliminated): Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland, Travis Hafner, Ted Lilly, Derek Lowe, Darren Oliver, Juan Pierre, Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis

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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. Follow him on Twitter @jay_jaffe.

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Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

We spent like 30 years penalizing DH’s and basically keeping them out of the hall of fame because “they dont play the whole game” and then a guy who only pitched an avg of 67 innings a year comes along and gets 100% on his first ballot.

Ladies and gentleman, the Baseball Hall of Fame. lol.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Were any of the DHs penalized the most productive hitter, on a rate basis, in the history of baseball?

And also, of course, the most dominant postseason hitter in the history of baseball?

Edgar absolutely deserves to be in the Hall.

It’s also entirely unsurprising that the most dominant reliever in history got in before the 30th best hitter, when that hitter made literally no defensive contribution for the final 10 years of his career.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

It’s also entirely unsurprising that the most dominant reliever in history got in before the 30th best hitter, when that hitter made literally no defensive contribution for the final 10 years of his career.

The most dominant reliever who only pitched the ninth inning of games his team was winning by between 1 and 3 runs.

But yeah, Edgar didnt stand in the field doing nothing most of the game so screw him. lol.

The unwillingness to even admit how the wildly inconsistent the voting is what makes me laugh.

tung_twista
Member
tung_twista

Just for the record, out of 96 postseason appearances by Rivera, only 10 were cases when he entered the game with the Yankees winning by 1~3 runs in the 9th inning.

AJS
Member
AJS

That’s actually amazing.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

I mean…if “he only pitched the 9th!!!!” is your first argument against Rivera, that offers a greater indictment on your knowledge of his career than it does Rivera’s status as a first-ballot HoF.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

I mean, 72.9% of his career innings during the regular season came in the 9th (and that includes his time as a starter ad set-up man).

I’m honestly not sure what the issue is here. He was a closer. Like most modern closers he pitched the vast majority of his innings in the 9th. That’s not exactly a controversial statement is it????

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

The issue, of course, is his assertion that Rivera’s Hall of Fame credentials are based off, in this child’s words “only…the ninth inning of games his team was winning by between 1 and 3 runs.”

The issue, of course, is that the only people who would ever describe Rivera’s career as such…are idiots who have never read Rivera’s FG page, and people who are genuinely illiterate.

I’m pretty sure SBG is capable of reading…meaning the only rational explanation is that he’s an idiot who’s never having read Rivera’s FG page.

Either way…both his comments are fvcking hilarious.

Shirtless George Brett
Member
Shirtless George Brett

I see we have reached the final stage of internet debate “hurling baseless insults at a complete stranger because they refuse to admit I’m right”

Take a lap.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

I’m not sure “anyone who bases his primary argument against Rivera on his being a ‘one inning reliever’ is either illiterate or entirely unfamiliar with Rivera’s career” is a “baseless insult” against someone whose primary argument against organized baseball’s career leader in 4+ out finishes is his being a “one inning reliever.”

I’m…sorry you don’t research topics, before providing hawt taeks that do nothing but display amusing ignorance of the subject at hand?

Is that the “lap” you want me to take, hon?

Or would you prefer I pretend that anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Rivera’s career would parrot critiques that even Dan Shaughnessy would be embarrassed by?

Sammy Sooser
Member
Sammy Sooser

I absolutely love it, all those guys who didn’t vote for Maddux, Johnson, Griffey Jr, Seaver, guys who were clearly first ballot HOFers, no question, this unanimity hill was the one they chose to die on. They could have voted for those guys – they chose not to. And now, their hill was undermined by a pitcher who is tied for 167th in pitcher fWAR, and there wasn’t exactly a campaign to make him unanimous. A reliever, as good as he was, is still a failed starter. Now, he is the precedent for unanimity. This is amazing.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Maybe they realized that only thing dumber than the unanimity rule is regressing BABIP over a 1000+ inning sample size?

CL1NT
Member
CL1NT

What’s amazing is how anyone could seriously use WAR to compare a closer and all other pitchers, like it’s the same.

Maybe when you noticed that a HOF closer is ranked 167th in pitcher fWAR, you should’ve also noticed that WAR is a horrible metric to use in your complaint.

But nah, lets continue the current narrative since it’s easier. ?

Sammy Sooser
Member
Sammy Sooser

Did you miss the part where he’s a failed starter? In what world does someone pick Mariano over Maddux? Or Johnson? Or Griffey Jr? They don’t, and don’t give me the rings thing, he got to close out leads that other people handed to him, he didn’t get or protect the lead along the way.

Using fWAR was intentional. It’s a cumulative stat, and relievers compile so little because their impact is so small. That’s the point of using fWAR, to highlight how little of an impact the first unanimous selection has made, overall, and the irony for those reporters who didn’t vote for guys like Maddux to protect this unanimous hill, that is now blown to smithereens.

Fillmore
Member
Member
Fillmore

On the list of things in the world to care about, the fact that the first MLB player to be voted into the hall of fame unanimously isn’t the one you wanted is so far down the list that it’s laughable.

Is Rivera a deserving hall of famer? Undoubtedly. Is it, in and of itself, a *bad* thing that he was voted in unanimously? Not at all. So what if a tiny subset of HOF voters did the wrong thing in the past? This time they didn’t. Stop complaining.

Sammy Sooser
Member
Sammy Sooser

You have this backwards, I’m feeling nothing but joy borne out of schadenfreude.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Using fWAR to determine the value of over 1000 IP is also, of course, something only a moron would do..because it presupposes that Ichiro was wildly overrated, because his batting average was entirely based on “luck”…and that the same “luck” is the only reason fewer runs were score on Mark Buerhle than Ricky Nolasco.

Are you willing to stake your rep on either assertion?

Because both claims form the basis or pitching fWAR.

The only complicating factor that fWAR offers is the idea that exit velocity and launch angle have, quite literally, nothing to do with balls in play other than IFFBs or HRs.

The available data outgrew DIPS theory a few years ago.

Why pretend otherwise?

Sammy Sooser
Member
Sammy Sooser

Holy crap! My “rep” is at stake here? Why, I had no idea! Thank you, white knight! I will now re-think everything I have and haven’t done!

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Yeah, “rep” was the wrong word (I’m 5 hours ahead of US time, so it was a bit late).

The fact that DIPS theory became obsolete with the introduction of Statcast, however, stands.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Was using a stat that pretends that pitchers have zero control on batted ball outcomes, and that we have no access to exit velocity data, “intentional”?

Or do you just not know what “fWAR” actually means?

Asking for a friend.

Come Down Easy
Member
Come Down Easy

WPA has only been around since 1974 but among relievers Rivera has 55.75 and second is Hoffman at 32.78. He was more then bit better than the rest. He’s 3rd in career WPA if you count starters, just behind Maddux and just ahead of Randy Johnson. He certainly helped his team win.

ItsPoPtime
Member
ItsPoPtime

I don’t want to say it…but shouldn’t we look at the evidence? The first unanimous is a Yankee? Wouldn’t that point to some evidence that the one of the people withholding votes is a Yankee writer? Speculation but I refuse to believe baseball writers consider Rivera the best, most accomplished, most deserving Hall of famer of all time….

Pepper Martin
Member
Pepper Martin

These are reporters who are voting on this. A lot of it has to do with how well liked the person was. Rivera was universally, unanimously liked by everybody who dealt with him. That helps a lot. Throw in the fact that he was unquestionably the best pitcher of all time on an inning-for-inning basis, and the best reliever of all time by miles, and literally the only negative mark was that he was a reliever rather than a starter. We’ve already established that relievers can make the Hall of Fame. Therefor, there just isn’t any conceivable argument against the guy.

emh1969
Member
emh1969

“he was unquestionably the best pitcher of all time on an inning-for-inning basis”

Sure, if we’re talking about pitching 1-2 innings a game. But since guys like Seaver, Clemens, Johnson, Grove, etc. never got to do that, I don’t think we can really say it’s “unquestioned”.

“We’ve already established that relievers can make the Hall of Fame.”

I’m not sure who “we” is. I don’t have a HOF vote (do you???). Anyway, I’m sure there were voters who had never voted for a reliever before Rivera. So they might dispute the idea that it was “already established”.

Moate
Member
Moate

I don’t think it’s baseless to say “a relief pitcher has been elected to the HoF before, therefor it’s established that a reliever can make it to the hall of fame.” I think he’s just framing/setting terms of the discussion, not saying he’s included in the group that put the reliever in the hall.

Your first point is fine. I disagree, but that’s just opinions. There are relief pitchers in the hall though. This is a fact and not disputable.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Is “the universe has established that relievers can make the a
HoF” preferable, honey?

bly
Member
bly

I’d take peak Walter Johnson over Rivera, inning for inning. Take 1912-1915, Johnson pitched more innings in those four years than Rivera pitched in his carer. He also has a higher ERA+ than Rivera, career. Then there’s the fact that Johnson had to hold back to pitch complete games. So, inning for inning, I’d take peak Walter Johnson over Rivera.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth

Well, we’ll never know how Rivera would have performed in Walter Johnsons’s era.

Quite literally, too – even if we put Rivera in a time machine, and sent him back to 1912, he wouldn’t be allowed to pitch!

Jetsy Extrano
Member
Jetsy Extrano

Yes. But at the same time, this taboo about 100% had to be busted, and he’s as good a guy as any for that. At least Jeter won’t be the first, oh heavens the special slobbering over that. Rivera is a fun player to root for (when he’s not beating you) — sharing the cutter around, seeming genuinely humble, praising Edgar. And everyone knows he’s nothing like the greatest player in history so maybe now voters could start voting based on “is this player a HOFer y/n” without the taboo.

Jetsy Extrano
Member
Jetsy Extrano

Though the “first ballot” distinction has to die too. In or out, yes or no, get it right and let’s go listen to some induction speeches. Momentum is not a good thing to have here and any voter who deliberately says “no” on a candidate they think should be second-ballot is failing at Categorical Imperative 101.

Yeah I know Edgar would probably have failed a one-shot up-or-down vote in 2010. Okay, we could have a one-shot vote held ten years after retiring instead of five years after? There can be value in more perspective.

Though I guess there can be value in a repeat vote, if it gives people a chance to see the low first result and say hold on, please listen to why he’s better than you think.

SteveSherman161
Member
Member
SteveSherman161

If there’s a limit of 10 per ballot, there have to be multiple ballots.

slipperypete
Member
slipperypete

“have to”?????????????????????? No one “has to” do anything of the sort. Try again.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

he was unanimous because the hall publishes the ballots now, so if you’re the one chump who denies him the 100%, everyone will know it’s you now. that’s got to be the reason, right?

sadtrombone
Member
sadtrombone

I don’t think the Hall publishes the ballots, but I do think that in the era where nearly every sportswriter is expected to reveal who they voted for and why they did it, nobody wanted to be “that voter.”

Bip
Member
Member
Bip

RE public ballots: this is what i’m thinking of: https://www.mlb.com/news/anonymous-hall-of-fame-balloting-ends-in-2018/c-210445566

In that election, Griffey received a record 99.3 percent of the vote, with three voters keeping Griffey, who hit 630 career homers, off their ballots.

There was a social media storm this past January after the election results were made public, but the names of those three writers never surfaced. Under the new rules, such anonymity would be impossible.

I may be missing something though.

Joey Butts
Member
Joey Butts

“While many believed that the BBWAA’s late-2016 resolution to publish every ballot received starting with the 2018 election might open the door for unanimity, the Hall of Fame unilaterally scuttled those plans.”

Explained in the article.