Seems like a week’s gone by since the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame voting was announced but it’s barely been more than 24 hours. Late on Thursday when the day job wrapped up, I wrote up diatribe No. 1.
Today it’s time to get down to basics. Who got votes and ways in which their careers can be evaluated, starting today with the players’ division ballot, the one I have a vote for.
Players’ division results
The results are given as a percentage of valid ballots cast, with 75 percent needed for induction. The voters are baseball journalists with 15 to 29 years of experience. The real lifers vote on the experts’ division candidates.
Players can stay on the ballot for 15 years or until they are named on less than 3 percent of the ballots.
The biggest losers on the ballot were three guys with great careers who failed to get three percent: Hirokazu Ibata, Kenshin Kawakami and Norihiro Nakamura.
Players who get cut can then be added to the experts’ division 21 years after they’ve finished playing and six months after they are out of uniform. Tatsunori Hara, who barely missed induction as a player in 2015, with a 73.2 percent approval rating, was elected in the experts’ division three years later–when voters were allowed to consider his seven CL and three Japan Series pennants.
To prevent players from being unfairly disqualified, the ballot selection committee can hold players off the ballot rather than see good candidates fail to get any support and get eliminated from consideration too quickly. This is the reason Kazuhiro Kiyohara is currently not on the ballot.
There were 358 valid ballots cast in the players’ division, with 269 needed for election. Shingo Takatsu, led the voting for the second straight year, coming up 10 short.
Experts’ division results
I’m going to keep this just to the results this time, since people were keen on seeing them and shouldn’t have to wait any longer. Randy Bass, the runner-up in the 2020 voting that elected slugging Hanshin Tigers catcher Koichi Tabuchi, was No. 1 this year. 134 votes were cast and 101 needed for election with Bass getting 95.
As I did last week, I’m going to give some context to the candidates. I want to evaluate the pitchers and position players separately and have supplied five measures to do so.
- Batters Eye: An “eye-test” point system for position players that gives players credit for tangible accomplishments that require no big math such as batting home run and RBI titles, playing for pennant winners, winning Best Nine and MVP awards, amassing large numbers of hits and home runs and so on. I don’t really think these are more important than other things but they’re the ones that get mentioned in every story.
- Pitchers Eye: The same for pitchers, although they don’t work to scale with the batters formula. Some day they will.
- Career value: Expressed in Win Shares.
- 5 Peak: The average win share value of the best five-year stretch in the player’s career.
- 3 Best: The average win share value of the three best seasons in the player’s career.
The day the results came out, I mentioned other questions we need to ask about a player, whether he was considered the best player in his league at any time, or the best player at his position for any length of time, or could a team win a pennant with this guy as its best player. I’m not going to try and answer those questions now, but you can for an extra-credit homework assignment.
Position players on the ballot
|Name||Pos||2021||2020||Bat Eye||Career||5 Peak||3 Best|
Pitchers on the ballot
|Name||2021||2020||P Eye||Career||5 Peak||3 Best|
Here are the formulas I used for the Batters Eye and Pitchers Eye points.
- 9 points per MVP award
- 5 points per Best Nine award
- 1 point per Golden Glove for players whose main position was shortstop or catcher
- 1 point for every 2 Golden Gloves at any position
- 1 point for every 150 home runs
- 1 point for 400-plus career home runs
- 1 point for 500-plus career home runs
- 1 point for every 1,000 career hits
- 3 points for 2,000 career hits
- 1 point for each time leading the league in batting, home runs, RBIs or stolen bases.
- 1 point for every two 250-plus plate appearance seasons for a league champion.
- 3 points for each MVP Award
- 2 points for each Sawamura Award or Best Nine Award
- 2 points for each time leading the league in wins or saves
- 1 point for each time leading the league in ERA or strikeouts
- 1 point for every two times leading the league in innings pitched
- 5 points for every 100 career wins
- 1 point for every 40 career saves
- 1 point for every two seasons with 40-plus games or 100-plus innings in a league championship season.