So far, this section has discussed two players, Jim Kaat and Tommy John. It has left out the most often talked about “snub” from the Hall of Fame, Bert Blylevyn. This is not because we feel Mussina is inferior to Blylevyn, although admittedly, Moose’s numbers don’t stack up as well against his as they do against John’s or Kaat’s. It’s due instead to the fact that, in all likelihood, Blylevyn will be in the Hall soon, whereas John and Kaat will not.
Bery Blylevyn has been on the ballot for eleven years. During that time, his percentage of votes has climbed significantly. His first year, he appeared on only 17.5% of ballots–75% is needed for election. However, this number has climbed to 61.9% in 2008, up 14% from the previous year. While 2009 may not be the year for Blylevyn, we’re confident that he will make his Cooperstown speech soon.
By comparison, Tommy John appeared on 21.3% of the ballots in his first year and has seen that number rise to only 29.1% in 14 seasons. If he gets in, it will be through the veterans committee.
Kaat has already come and gone on the ballot, coming in at 19.5%, peaking four years later at 29.6%, and exiting in 2003 at 26.2%. Like John, Kaat never picked up the momentum, and will need to get in on the veterans committee.