Wood paneling was cool in the 20th century. We didnt' have the internet.
Wood paneling was cool in the 1980s.  We didn’t have the internet.

For the first time since 1999, the baseball writers elected three men to the Hall of Fame. In 1999, Nolan Ryan, George Brett, and Robin Yount got the call. What this post will look at is how the voting turned out the next year when the ballot was cleared of three big names. Hopefully this can give us some indication of what to expect for Mike Mussina’s 2015 vote total.

1999 offers a number of similarities to 2014. Like Greg Maddux, Nolan Ryan was a near unanimous selection. His 98.8% put him just ahead of Brett’s 98.2% (we’ll call him 1999’s Tom Glavine). Robin Yount brought up the rear with 77.5% (our Frank Thomas). It’s the down ballot guys and what happened to them the next year that are relevant to Mike Mussina.

Mussina’s 20.3% put him in 15th place on the 2014 ballot. In 1999 Bert Blyleven finished 15th with 14.1% of the vote. It was only his second year on the ballot. Minnie Minosa finished 14th with 14.7% on what was his final year on the ballot. Similar to Mussina this year, pitcher Jim Kaat got 20.1% and finished 10th. Tommy John was also close to 20, pulling down 18.7% of the writer’s votes.

So what happened the next year?

Player Year on Ballot 1999 2000 Change
Jim Rice 5th 29.4% – 8th 51.5% – 6th +22.1 pct points
Bruce Sutter 6th 24.3% – 9th 38.5% – 5th +14.2 pct point
Jim Kaat 11th 20.3% – 10th 25.1% – 12th +4.8 pct points
Dale Murphy 1st 19.3% – 11th 23.2% – 10th +3.9 pct points
Tommy John 5th 18.7% – 12th 27.1% – 8th +8.4 pct points
Dave Parker 3rd 16.1% – 13th 20.8% – 12th +4.7 pct points
Bert Blyleven 2nd 14.1% – 15th 17.4% – 13th +3.3 pct points
Dave Concepcion 6th 11.9% – 16th 13.4% – 7th +1.5 pct points
Luis Tiant 12th 10.7% – 17th 17.2% – 13th +6.5 pct points

This is a look at everyone from the 1999 ballot that got between 10 and 30 percent of the vote (or +/- 10 points from Mussina’s 2014 finish). Jack Morris and Goose Gossage joined the ballot and earned 22.2% and 33.3% of the vote respectively. None of the other first timers earned enough to stay on the ballot (sorry Steve Sax!). Blyleven ticked up a hair to 17.4%. Jim Kaat took a decent step forward (20.1 to 25.1), as did Tommy John (18.7 to 27.1). Bruce Sutter and Jim Rice were the real beneficiaries of the ballot cleaning up.

If this example for 1999-2000 is to be repeated in 2014-2015, it doesn’t bode well for Mussina. Like Blyleven, Kaat, and John, Mussina can expect a little bump in his vote total with three names coming off the ballot due to election. But we shouldn’t expect anything more than three in five percentage points.

The average jump between ’99 and 2000 for the those who finished between 10th and 17th place was 4.6 percentage points. If we add in Bruce Sutter, the average increase is 5.8 percentage points with a comfortable standard deviation of 3.8. In short, we shouldn’t expect much from Mussina’s vote total next year. 2016 is hopefullywhen we will see some movement.

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4 thoughts on “Comparing 1999’s HOF vote totals to 2014

  1. I’d bet Ryan an order of wings that Moose gets a 10% jump in vote totals. I think this post in fantastic, but it doesn’t account for the uniquness of this ballot: Writers has publicly stated they did not have room for Mike Mussina on their ballot because of the 10-vote limit. With four high-vote getting players removed from in front of him (Remember, our pal Jack Morris is gone too) and only two new guys likely to jump ahead of him, not to mention the end of the “He’s not a first-ballot guy” nonsense that a few guys probably used, I expect Mussina to be around 30%, at least, next year

  2. Deben entrar: Ken Griffey, Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman; deben esperar Tim Raines y Mike Mussina.
    Las estadisticas son las que justifican todo. Saludos.

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