With Hall of Fame voting shoved back into the closet for another 11 months, I find it’s always useful to step back and try to get a sense of relativity and context for the 2013 set of Hall of Fame ballots still fresh in our minds. In that spirit, I’ve put together a graphic charting BBWAA voting over the last half-century. Click to enlarge.
Each line corresponds to a player who appeared on at least two BBWAA ballots, or in other words, every player who made it through the five percent threshold in his first year on the ballot. The yellow dots represent every player’s first year on the ballot, which makes the scattering of yellow dots above the 75 percent election threshold correspond to first ballot Hall of Famers. Voting was tracked from 1968, which is the last time the Hall of Fame voting rules were significantly revised. Colored lines refer to players who were eventually elected to the Hall, either by BBWAA ballots or the Veteran’s Committee (which explains the small handful of colored lines which end before touching the 75 percent threshold). Gray faded lines and dots refer to those who were not elected. This includes players still on the ballot.
I have a database full of ballot results and career WAR marks, and I’d like to turn this one over to the comment section down below. What correlations, relationships, patterns, or miscellaneous Hall trivia would you like to see? I’ll try to answer the simpler requests in the comment section, while the bigger, more involved ideas may end up being part of an article down the road.