The Baseball Hall of Fame Post

The results of this year's Hall of Fame voting were announced by the BBWAA at 3pm this afternoon. To be elected, a player must be named on 75% of returned ballots. The only player who will be inducted based on this year's vote is former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin, who was named on 86% of ballots. This year was Larkin's third on the ballot; he went from being named on 51.6% of ballots in 2010, when the BBWAA elected only Andre Dawson, to 62.1% of ballots in 2011, when the BBWAA elected Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven. Among Larkin's other merits as a player, across his 19-year career he batted .295/.371/.444. That spans a little over 9000 plate appearances. The Orioles, for instance, have not had any players with higher than a .371 OBP in any one year since the 2008 season.

Former O's on the ballot this year were Rafael Palmeiro, Lee Smith, Javy Lopez, and I guess we can count Tim Raines' four-game stint in 2001. Smith was the O's closer in strike-shortened 1994 and apparently came in 5th in Cy Young voting with 33 saves despite a 3.20 ERA. In his tenth year on the ballot, he managed 50.6% of the vote. Raines, whose HOF cause is the poster for those who want the value of OBP to be recognized, received 48.7% in his fifth year. He reached base at a .385 clip across a 23-year career. Palmeiro went from 11% to 12.6% in his second year. Lopez will not appear on the ballot again, failing to reach the 5% threshold to remain. One person actually gave Lopez a HOF vote.

The top two players who weren't inducted were Jack Morris, who went from 53.5% of ballots last year to 66.7% this year, and Jeff Bagwell, a cause celebre for those writers who don't feel that it's fair to have vague, unsubstantiated steroid suspicions be the reason to keep a player out of the Hall of Fame. Bagwell got only 41.7% of the vote last year, but went up to 56% in the 2012 voting. The cases for and against both Morris and Bagwell have been hashed out across the entire baseball-focused corner of the Internet. Both are on an upward trajectory and perhaps both will end up being elected in the future. A full list of results can currently be found on the BBWAA website, with a partial list of ballots - 69 of the 573 returned - being located here. No sign of the mystery Javy voter on this list, but a source familiar with the situation can confirm that Camden Chat editor-in-chief Stacey does not have a HOF vote, so we can cross her name off the list of suspects.

Hall of Fame voting starts getting interesting next year as more of the star names from the 1990s and early 2000s, some of whom have had their names linked to PEDs and some have not, work their way onto the ballot. Next year's first time eligibles include Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling and Craig Biggio. Schilling and Sosa are not the only ex-Orioles joining the ballot next year; also eligible will be Steve Finley, Jeff Conine and Tony Batista. I'm not making that up about Batista. He's really going to be on the ballot. Those who vote for many players will have crowded ballots in a hurry, as writers are limited to naming only ten players.

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