Today at 5 pm CT on MLB Network, the 2022 Hall of Fame class will be announced. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, and Curt Schilling – all controversial in their own right – will either be inducted into Cooperstown or fall off the ballot. Newcomers such as David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, and Jonathan Papelbon present interesting cases in what has become a loaded ballot over the years, hurting the chances of guys like Mark Buehrle, Tim Hudson, Scott Rolen, Andy Pettitte, and others. Hopefully, we get some clarity after this year.
As in years past, we asked you, the fans to fill out your Hall of Fame ballots and created a summary of your thoughts below. Thanks to everyone who filled out a ballot!
For the fan ballot, we put out the exact same ballot as is given to the BBWAA. For our internal Diamond Digest Writer team, we track our ballot year-over-year. You will see the changes below.
Let’s start with the fans, however. With the votes tallied, here’s who you would put into the Hall of Fame…..
Congratulations to the Diamond Digest Fan Ballot’s only inductee: Barry Bonds, with 77% of the vote! David Ortiz, Billy Wagner, and Roger Clemens fell just short, while Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, and Andruw Jones sit in striking distance with a much less controversial ballot coming next year. Falling below the 5% threshold to remain on the ballot: Carl Crawford, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Teixeira, Justin Morneau, Jonathan Papelbon, and Jake Peavy.
When compared to the ballot by our Diamond Digest team, you’ll see the initial ballot is a little bit different. This is because on our site, we inducted Barry Bonds, Rogers Clemens, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Scott Rolen, and Billy Wagner last year… listen, we are large Hall proponents.
So, here’s our results from 2022 – yes, we had more guys to put in!
We definitely agreed with the fans and put David Ortiz in the Hall of Fame. In addition to Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez – who only received 50% of the fan vote – were voted in by our writers. Poor Bobby Abreu fell just one vote short of the Hall of Fame, while Michael Bourn, Marlon Byrd, Omar Infante, Kyle Lohse, Angel Pagan, Ryan Howard, A.J. Pierzynski, Juan Uribe, Carl Crawford, and Coco Crisp all fell off the ballot.
So, some similarities in terms of who received a high number of votes. Let’s break down these ballots a bit further and understand why people voted the way they did.
Fan Voting Polls
We asked fans two main questions regarding their voting habits:
- Does a player’s off-the-field character play a role in your voting?
- If you could’ve voted for more than 10 players, would you have?
The results were pretty interesting:
It was nearly a 50-50 split in the consideration of off-the-field character, which helps to explain why players such as Curt Schilling, Alex Rodriguez, and Manny Ramirez fell around 50% or lower in the fan ballots. In addition, almost 60% of all voters believe that there are 10 or fewer Hall of Famers on this current ballot. As we do this year-over-year, it’s going to be very interesting to track this number – especially as controversial names come off the ballot after this year.
Personally, my ballot was as such: Barry Bonds, Mark Buehrle, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, David Ortiz, Andy Pettitte, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Scott Rolen. I consider off-the-field character to a degree, but overall I am a proponent of putting the full history of baseball into the Hall of Fame: the good, the bad, and the ugly. In addition, I would’ve voted for an additional 4 players if possible: Bobby Abreu, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones, and Jeff Kent. In opposition to almost 60% of you, this ballot is absolutely loaded in my mind.
Now, let’s get to some fan-specific responses. Beyond these two questions, we also asked fans to explain how they decide who is Hall of Fame-worthy. Let’s get into some of the responses.
Fan Voter Consideration
The question was as follows: What do you consider when choosing who to vote for (specific stats, number of awards, etc)?
Again, with 272 responses, it would be impossible to list everyone’s responses here. What I did, however, was make a word cloud to incorporate some of the main themes (top 100 words) across all responses:
Some words that stick out: stats, awards, WAR, impact, and peak. I think that’s a pretty nice range of both old school and new school thinking that helps inform fan voting.
In addition, here is a collection of fan responses – again, thanks to everyone who filled it out! As a reminder: everyone who filled out a ballot is eligible to win a prize Hall of Fame hat from our crew! We will announce the winner sometime after the Hall of Fame announcement itself.
@w_gross7: There were many other players on this ballot that I believe are Hall-of-Famers and that I believe will eventually get in, but I tailored my ballot to players who I absolutely believe are HOF and have much fewer years left on the ballot. I felt it was only fair for those players.
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, Billy Wagner
@neglecTED21: I vote by gut, and how dominant or impactful a player was when I watched them play.
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Mark Buehrle, Roger Clemens, Prince Fielder, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner
@Kelpp5: How the players perform at their respective position, comparing others in HOF, ex Hoffman to Wagner and impact they had in the game, ex Sammy Sosa putting baseball back on the map.
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner
@celdred328: If you cannot tell the story of baseball without mentioning them.
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Mark Buehrle, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, Tim Lincecum, David Ortiz, Jake Peavy, Curt Schilling, Omar Vizquel
@htennis98: Note that the key percentage numbers are 100, 75, and 5. A vote is less valuable the farther the totals stray from these. Because of future year effects, a vote for someone in the 50s is more valuable than a vote for someone in the 80s. I would never deprive a player a vote if they had a chance to be unanimous.
Ballot: Bobby Abreu, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Tim Hudson, Andruw Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner
@1999sph: Barry Bonds has 2 HOF careers. Take out his “tainted” one from steroids and he’s still in the HOF. Sammy Sosa never technically was caught, along with David Ortiz. Both had outstanding careers and had an impact much bigger than the game.
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andruw Jones, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Omar Vizquel, Billy Wagner
@BReis__: Career wRC+, fWAR/bWAR, Cy Youngs, MVPs
Ballot: Barry Bonds, Mark Buehrle, Roger Clemens, Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Sammy Sosa, Billy Wagner
@nolantodas: Stats and awards, prominence in their playing days, played the game cleanly (no Bonds, Clemens, Rodriguez for this reason). I chose Tim Lincecum because, despite his short career, he achieved so much and dominated the league during his prime. So many awards in a short amount of time. Overall, an amazing player who sparked the Giants dynasty.
Ballot: Mark Buehrle, Tim Lincecum, Joe Nathan, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner
@Wibowhunter423: Awards, that go along with team wins. For example, a silver slugger award the year a team makes it to a postseason is more important. I refuse to vote for anyone that has been caught for PED’s, however, for the love of god let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame; if betting sites can now be major sponsors he should be allowed in.
Ballot: Prince Fielder, Todd Helton, Ryan Howard, Torii Hunter, Andruw Jones, David Ortiz, Gary Sheffield, Billy Wagner
@mattzach27: Career stats, peak value, off the field legacy. I loved A-Rod when he was on the Yankees, but it is still hard to vote for him knowing he was suspended for a year for PEDs. If I had an actual ballot, I think I’d give him the Bonds/Clemens treatment and make him wait until his last year of eligibility to vote for him.
Ballot: Bobby Abreu, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tim Hudson, Andruw Jones, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Scott Rolen, Billy Wagner
Tonight, we will find out whether or not the BBWAA agrees with us. With the way voting was trending, it appears David Ortiz will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, while guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens really still do have a chance. No matter what happens, however, I’m sure there will be plenty of discourse to keep us busy until the lockout ends.
Thanks again to everyone who voted – looking forward to doing it again next year!
Make sure to tune in for the announcement tonight and follow us @Diamond_Digest for more!