Between a very interesting Modern Baseball Era Committee ballot and Thanksgiving travel (which in my case took a turn for the worse), it’s taken me longer than usual to shift into high gear with my JAWS-flavored profiles of the 32 candidates on the BBWAA’s 2020 Hall of Fame ballot. While the navigation bar atop each profile can guide you to the series’ installments thus far, it’s worth laying out a tentative schedule as well as providing a clearinghouse for a bit of business, including the reprise of a very cool feature our developer, Sean Dolinar, helped us pull off last year.
In the spirit of our annual free agent contract crowdsourcing, FanGraphs invites registered users to fill out their own virtual Hall of Fame ballots. You must be signed in to vote, and you may only vote once. 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, 2019, 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 32 candidates (sorry, no write-ins for those fixated on Pete Rose). We’ve got tables of career stats for hitters 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 in early January, when we’re all jonesing for Hall news in advance of the announcement of the official results on January 21.
As for the schedule, here it is below, broken into five-day weeks, as we’re not planning to publish these on weekends, or on the several days around Christmas and New Years Day, during which the site will be dark. Please keep in mind that the schedule is tentative and subject to change, particularly when it comes to the new profiles (denoted with asterisks), which take time to do justice. There’s also the chance that I’ll want to weigh in on trades, signings, or other current events, which is still part of my job here.
Nov. 18: BBWAA Ballot intro
Nov. 21: Larry Walker
Nov. 22: Omar Vizquel
Nov. 25: Scott Rolen
Nov. 26: Todd Helton
Nov. 27: Curt Schilling
Nov. 28-29: Thanksgiving Break (site dark)
Dec. 2: Andy Pettitte
Dec. 3: Derek Jeter*
Dec. 4: Manny Ramirez
Dec. 5: Gary Sheffield
Dec. 6: Bobby Abreu*
Dec. 8 (Sunday): Modern Baseball Era Committee results
Dec. 9: Billy Wagner
Dec. 10: Barry Bonds
Dec. 11: Roger Clemens
Dec. 12: Too Much Winter Meetings
Dec. 13: Jeff Kent
Dec. 16: Andruw Jones
Dec. 17: Jason Giambi*
Dec. 18: Sammy Sosa
Dec. 19: Cliff Lee*
Dec 23-25: Christmas Break (site dark)
Dec. 26 One-and-Dones, Part 1*
Dec. 27 My Virtual Ballot*
Dec. 30-Jan 1: New Year’s Break (site dark)
Jan. 2: One-and-Dones, Part 2*
Jan. 3: One-and-Dones, Part 3*
Jan. 6: One-and-Dones, Part 4*
We hoped you liked reading A 2020 Hall of Fame Ballot of Your Own — and a Schedule of Profiles by Jay Jaffe!
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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.
I put Jeter, Walker, and Rolen down in pen. I also tentatively penciled in Sheffield and Jones and have put in and erased and entered Schilling’s name so many times the ballot is disintegrating. I could go either way on all three of them, for various reasons.
I keep thinking about Jeff Kent, and I’m tempted to put Helton on for no other reason that I have the space, but I am not going to do either one. It’ll be interesting to see how my ballot will change as Jay writes up the rest of these. Also, I added Adam Dunn for his incredible exploits in the Clone Baseball League, and his inclusion is non-negotiable–it doesn’t matter what Jay says.
Which Adam Dunn?