A winning candidate did not emerge from the Hall of Fame balloting conducted by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. There were 569 ballots cast, the third highest total in the history of the voting, yet none of the 37 candidates in the 2013 vote gained mention on the required 75 percent for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Craig Biggio, who totaled 3,060 hits and was a seven-time All-Star while playing three positions (catcher, second base, outfield), topped the ballot with 388 votes – 39 shy of the 427 needed for election. His total reflected 68.2 percent of the electorate, which consists of BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of Major League Baseball coverage. Five blank ballots were among those submitted. Other players named on more than half the ballots were pitcher Jack Morris with 385 (67.7 percent), first baseman Jeff Bagwell with 339 (59.6), catcher Mike Piazza with 329 (57.8) and outfielder Tim Raines with 297 (52.2).
Commenting on the election, Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said, “The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide.”
This is the eighth election by the BBWAA that did not produce a Hall of Famer and the first since 1996. That year, the top three vote getters were Phil Niekro (68.3), Tony Perez (65.7) and Don Sutton (63.8). All were subsequently elected; Niekro in 1997, Sutton in 1998 and Perez in 2000. The other BBWAA elections without a winner were in 1945, 1946, 1950, 1958, 1960 and 1971.
Biggio and Piazza were each on the ballot for the first time, Morris for the 14th year, Bagwell the third and Raines the sixth. Players remain on the ballot for up to 15 years provided they receive five percent of the vote in any year. There were 19 candidates who failed to make the cut this year (29 votes) – 18 of the 24 players who were on the ballot for the first time, plus outfielder Bernie Williams, who was on the ballot for the second time. First-year candidates who received sufficient support to remain in addition to Biggio and Piazza were pitchers Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens and outfielders Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Outfielder Dale Murphy, in his 15th and final year on the ballot, received 106 votes (18.6).
Other holdovers that will remain on the ballot in addition to Biggio, Morris, Bagwell, Piazza and Raines are first basemen Mark McGwire, Fred McGriff, Don Mattingly and Rafael Palmeiro; pitcher Lee Smith; shortstop Alan Trammell; designated hitter-third baseman Edgar Martinez and outfielder Larry Walker.
As part of the Induction Weekend ceremony Sunday, July 28, at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y., in which three Pre-Integration Committee electees – umpire Hank O’Day, New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and 19th-century player Deacon White – will be inducted, the Hall of Fame will recognize 12 individuals previously counted among its roster of members who never had a formal induction due to wartime restrictions. They are BBWAA electees Lou Gehrig (1939) and Rogers Hornsby (1942), along with the entire class of 1945 selected by the Committee on Old Timers: Roger Bresnahan, Dan Brouthers, Fred Clarke, Jimmy Collins, Ed Delahanty, Hugh Duffy, Hughie Jennings, King Kelly, Jim O’Rourke and Wilbert Robinson. Paul Hagen, the J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner for baseball writing, and the late Tom Cheek, the Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting, will be honored during the Awards Presentation Saturday, July 27, at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown.