Welcome to our third, final, and most important Hall of Fame ballot preview. The reason that we’re here, as it were. Let’s talk some Mike Mussina.
Prior to the 2016 vote, Ryan and I had a debate: When would Mike Mussina get elected to the Hall of Fame. You can read the full details here, but the gist of it is, I predicted Mussina would get elected three years later, which coincidentally is this very year. Ryan said it would take longer.
Well, here we sit, heading into Year 3, and Mike Mussina earned 63.5% of the vote last year, which represented a jump of 11.7 percentage points from 2017. He continued to make massive gains with returning voters (a net of +31) and he continued to poll above 75% with first time voters (84.6%) last year.
Perhaps more importantly, four names were cleared off the ballot last season, and with only three strong candidates (at best) on the ballot next year, there should be more room for Mussina on more crowded ballots.
I’ll let Ryan chime in with a rebuttal, but I’m confident my prediction will pay off.
Patrick’s prediction: 75.1% and in
Ryan’s thoughts: I think Patrick is too optimistic. HOF voters are a picky bunch. Historically it’s taken awhile for players like Mussina, that is those whose candidacy’s build slowly (think Blyleven, Tim Raines, and Edgar Martinez), to finally get to 75%. I think Mussina gets to about 70% this year, though I will be happy to be proven wrong by the voters.