Me vs. reality: 2011 Cooperstown

Well, the results for the BBWAA vote for the Hall of Fame just came out. Congratulations to Roberto Alomar and Rich Lederer, er, I mean – congrats to Alomar and Bert Blyleven. They’re the newest Hall of Famers.

This means something extra special to me because I wrote a column predicting how the vote would go. Let’s see how I did versus the actual vote:

Player	        VOTE	Me	Dif
Robert Alomar	90	87	-3
Bert Blyleven	80	80	 0
Barry Larkin	62	61	-1
Jack Morris	54	59	 5
Lee Smith	45	45	 0
Jeff Bagwell	42	35	-7
Tim Raines	38	36	-2
Edgar Martinez	33	32	-1
Alan Trammell	24	26	 2
Mark McGwire	20	15	-5
Larry Walker	20	14	-6
Fred McGriff	18	20	 2
Dave Parker	15	18	 3
Don Mattingly	14	16	 2
Dale Murphy	13	13	 0
Rafael Palmeiro	11	10	-1
Harold Baines	 5	 6	 1
Juan Gonzalez	 5	XXX	-5
Kevin Brown	 2	 5	 3

I didn’t bother making a prediction on Juan Gone, figuring he’s fall below five percent. He actually did get five percent, so I’ll charge myself the maximum error (all five percent). That said, I should note in my defense that my full prediction included a line for “others” which I figured would work out to seven percent. But no matter.

My average margin of error for the 19 guys listed above: 2.58 percent, which I believe is my best yet. Exclude Juan Gone, and it’s lower still, 2.44 percent. I was within three percent on 14 of my 18 predictions. Oh yeah—and I got the important call right: Alomar and Blyleven. To make a quick comparison, at Baseball Think Factory, Repoz tallied 138 published BBWAA ballots and came out with an average error of 3.63 percent on those 19 guys. Well, beating Repoz is part of my justification for these columns (I can justly bill it as the most thorough and accurate prediction out there). That said, I’d do the predictions anway.

Biggest surprises for me: Alomar became the first non-first year candidate in history to top 90 percent. I didn’t expect that. The election as a whole averaged 5.98 names per ballot (including the guys not listed above). I guesstimated it would be 5.85, and then said, if anything, 5.85 is on the high side. Nope.

Strangely, despite the overall rise, Dave Parker failed to receive the customary bump a man in his last year of voting gets. In election No. 15, Parker got 15 percent, just like he did last year. Similarly, Baines falls off the ballot (he rounds up to five percent, but rounding up won’t keep you on the ballot). I expected him to last until 2013.

I’m sure many are sad to see Bagwell score so lowly in this election, but it’s a good start. Aside from players currently on the ballot, only one scored higher than 31 percent the first time and hasn’t since been elected (Steve Garvey, who – like Bagwell – got 42 percent his first time). Actually, Bagwell even edges Garvey: 41.7 to 41.6 percent.

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  1. Michael Cook said...

    Totally thought the Raffy prediction would be way off – I thought he would get 20+%. Really shocked that McGwire was near double Raffy in votes.

  2. pinball1973 said...

    Those two MVPs of Juan’s look ever worse as time goes by.  Do any of the people who voted him those awards still have a ballot for the HoF as well? 

    I promise not to ask “Why????”

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