1899

The 1899 ballot isn’t quite as crowded as last year’s, but there are some huge names being added. Let’s go with 4 days again, just to give us all a little extra time if needed. This election will close Wednesday night.

1 Mark Baldwin
1 Charlie Bennett
1 Cliff Carroll
2 Fred Carroll
1 Bob Caruthers
3 Abner Dalrymple
3 Fred Dunlap
2 Pud Galvin 2nd
1 Charlie Getzein
2 George Gore 3rd
6 Charley Jones 7th
1 Tim Keefe
1 King Kelly
1 Henry Larkin
15 Joe Leggett
7 Bobby Mathews 9th
10 Levi Meyerle
1 Jocko Milligan
2 Tip O’Neill 8th
1 Jim O’Rourke
4 Dave Orr
13 Lip Pike
1 George Pinckney
2 Hardy Richardson 4th
3 Pop Snyder
1 Harry Stovey
1 Cub Stricker
6 Ezra Sutton 9th
1 Curt Welch
2 Mickey Welch 6th
4 Ned Williamson 5th
1 Sam Wise

This is quite possibly the strongest ballot we’ve seen. Maybe the strongest we’ll ever see. Five who are in the real HOF; another 5-10 really strong candidates; and another 5-10 that an argument, a legitimate argument, can be made for. To choose from, we have possibly the premier strictly 19th century pitcher (Keefe), 300 game winners (Welch, Galvin and Mathews), a Carl Yastrzemski type player (O’Rourke), a guy who was considered by some the greatest player in the century (Williamson), guys with huge peak numbers (Caruthers, Gore, Stovey, Dalrymple, Dunlap, Jones, Larkin, Meyerle,, Orr, O’Neill, Richardson and Pike), a couple of solid, long career types (Sutton and Bennett). And the Babe Ruth of Adulation for the 19th century, King Kelly.

Good luck, guys, getting the “right” ten, let alone getting them in the “right” order. I really suggest using the “Write-In” option this year, or else some really good candidates will be dropping off.


Bob’s ballot:

This was a tough one for me, but before I give you my ballot, I thought I’d explain my thought process.

I started with the 32 names and made a list of the guys who I thought had a legitimate claim to being in the Top Ten. I ended up with 24 names. I quickly realized that there seemed to me to be three candidates for the #1 spot. So I ranked them, but without a lot of confidence that I got even these three in the correct order. Any one of the three is a super-strong candidate.

Next, I put the remaining 4 pitchers in order. Then I took the hitters from my 1898 ballot, re-evaluated, put them in order, and merged that with the 4 pitchers. Then I took the guys who were on last year’s ballot that didn’t make my ballot, double-checked to be sure I didn’t mis-rank anyone (Dunlap was the one I took the longest look at), and adjusted my work-in-progress ballot. Only then did I look at the new names that I as yet hadn’t ranked.

Normally, I spend between 10 and 30 minutes making my ballots. I’m pretty sure I spent close to 2 hours this time ’round. And I am absolutely sure I don’t have it right. I am going to “save” my write-ins for later. No point using them now, when some one else might put them on their ballot. As I said, I can make an argument for 24 of these guys. I’d hate to see any of them drop off.

My ballot:
1. King Kelly
2. Tim Keefe
3. Jim O’Rourke
4. Pud Galvin
5. Bobby Mathews
6. Harry Stovey
7. George Gore
8. Mickey Welch
9. Ned Williamson
10. Hardy Richardson

Cast of thousands that I seriously considered (in alphabetical order): Bennett, Fred Carroll, Caruthers, Dalrymple, Dunlap, Jones, Larkin, Leggett, Meyerle, Milligan, O’Neill, Orr, Pike and Sutton.


Terry’s ballot:

1. King Kelly
2. Harry Stovey
3. Jim O’Rourke
4. Tim Keefe
5. Joe Leggett
6. Charley Jones
7. Bobby Mathews
8. Lip Pike
9. George Gore
10. Hardy Richardson

Honorable mention, in order for write in purposes:
Welch
Galvin
Bennett
Caruthers
O’Neill
Dunlap

In my opinion it’s a good idea that we will start electing 2 per year next election. The worthy candidates are stacking up; I would be just fine with electing anyone on this list, down to maybe O’Neill and Dunlap.

I ranked Stovey over O’Rourke because of black ink and ops+. I’m sure O’Rourke is a Hall of Famer, but I’d put Stovey in first. The glut of qualified pitchers, with the backlog, will be a popular discussion for the next several “years”. Keefe, in my opinion, is the standout. Welch is a reasonable choice, but those 3 points of black ink make him, at best, a Don Sutton type to me.


Results:

83 King Kelly
*************
75 Tim Keefe
72 Jim O’Rourke
45 George Gore
40 Harry Stovey
37 Pud Galvin
21 Hardy Richardson
17 Ned Williamson
16 Mickey Welch
11 Charley Jones
11 Tip O’Neill
10 Bobby Mathews
7 Charlie Bennett
7 Lip Pike
6 Bobby Caruthers
6 Joe Leggett
4 Fred Carroll
4 Ezra Suton

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