With Hall of Fame Balloting season upon us, we’re going to emerge from our 10 month slumber and make some posts as we continue towards our goal of getting Mike Mussina elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Most of the posts we’re going make will be ones analyzing the incoming ballots from voters, which the invaluable Ryan Thibodaux collects. It’s a truly impressive spreadsheet, but there are two lines we’re focusing on: Line 24, which track if you’re gaining new support from voters who didn’t vote for you last year, and line 27, which tracks the percentage of votes a candidate received from 1st time voters.
Those are the only two ways for Mussina (or anyone) to gain election: Flipping old voters from no to yes, and collecting new ones. When Ryan and I publish our weekly ballot updates, we’ll usually focus on those two numbers.
For example, if we were referring to Mussina’s 2017 results, we’d say he was +26 from returning voters (line 24) and 80% among first-timers. Both of those things are good signs. If you’re a Fred McGriff fan, his 2017 results of -1 and 13.3% are pretty much a death knell. Sometimes, these numbers can send mixed messages. Larry Walker was +17, but just 46.7%, which probably means his gains will be too small to get in.
This is especially important to remember in the next few weeks, when there’s only a handful of ballots that have been turned in. Just because you see Walker at 83% through 7 ballots doesn’t mean there’s been a sea change. If all five of those writers voted for him last year, then he hasn’t actually gained any ground.
We hope you enjoy the next few months. Go Moose!