There's been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame elections.
This isn't news to you if you've been following all the BBWAA members who have been revealing their ballots online. I posted who I would have voted for if I had a ballot, 10 days ago; some of you disagreed with my choices, but that's what this is all about. I have some respect for many of the BBWAA choices, but as Josh wrote this morning:
I can't think of a single reason not to vote for Craig Biggio except that he hung around too long. And one voter won't vote for Mike Piazza because he had "back acne."
Deadspin had a great summary of all the writers wringing their hands over their ballots. (I should note that at least two of the writers quoted, Rick Telander and Phil Hersh, both Chicago writers, no longer cover baseball on an everyday basis, and Hersh doesn't really cover it at all. It's ridiculous that those guys get votes and Vin Scully doesn't.)
Anyway, as a result of all the writer angst, no one on the BBWAA ballot was elected this year; it's the 16th time that's happened since 1940:
Just imagine how lousy Cooperstown, N.Y. was feeling from '4O-'43, and in '58 and '6O when nobody new — not from the writers, nor from a veterans committee — got elected. That really must have been great for tourism. The most recent time the writers elected no one was in 1996, when knuckleball king Phil Niekro, slugger Tony Perez and right-hander Don Sutton all received percentages in the 6Os to lead the field.
Craig Biggio came closest to induction, with 68% of the vote, coming 39 votes short of induction. You can read the complete BBWAA ballot here.
That's really the point, isn't it? The Hall of Fame has its biggest tourism boost of the year on Induction Weekend, when fans of the player(s) inducted make pilgrimages to baseball's shrine. It's not likely many people who were fans or followers of Hank O'Day, Jacob Ruppert and Deacon White, who died in 1935, 1939 and 1939, respectively, will be in Cooperstown for the July 28 induction ceremony. That leaves Tom Cheek, winner of the Frick award, and Paul Hagen, winner of the Spink award, as the only living 2013 honorees who will speak.
Here's hoping the Hall fixes the almost irretrievably broken voting system before 2014.