The five types of Hall of Fame candidates on the 2023 ballot

Since the first vote into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, the results have been fraught with controversy and argument. Almost 100 years have passed, and most voting is still an exercise in anything from polite disagreement to contentious disputes. That felt particularly true in the past decade, when electorates have publicly argued for or against polarizing candidates like Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. All are off the ballot, for the first time since 2012, but there is no shortage of players to debate and numbers to analyze before the results are revealed on Tuesday.

Between the lingering questions of the PED (performance-enhancing substance) era and the blurry line of what makes a Hall of Famer that has risen in part due to some surprising vets committee selections in recent years, years, it has become more difficult than ever to compare players directly against each other. .

Not that it was easy in 1936. The committee in charge of tabulating those initial ballots had correctly calculated that Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb would face each other for the most votes, and “When the first 100 votes were counted, both Cobb and King of the home runs were unanimous,” reported the Associated Press. “Ruth was the first to fight, losing a vote to a writer who had seen him achieve some of his best records. The committee was in awe. The vote count was paused momentarily for a discussion about how anyone could leave the great Ruth out. from the immortal list. The same thing happened when Cobb lost his first ballot.”

Cobb finished with 222 votes out of 226 ballots, seven more than Ruth and Honus Wagner. Cobb was crowned baseball’s “number 1 immortal,” as the headlines say, and the Cobb vs. Ruth filled the papers, as did Bonds’ in-and-out cases last year.

With all that in mind, let’s take stock of the current state of voting for the Hall of Fame, dividing this year’s ballot into a few categories that allow us to examine how the best candidates stack up against others with similar cases in Cooperstown.

Go to a category: The PED era debate | High performance players | Defensive stars | Longevity matters | closers vs. center fielders

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