This is the second installment in my series on the 2010 BBWWA hall of fame election. There are 3 different phases in this series. Phase 1 is the analysis of returning players to the ballot. This is the second post in phase 1. I will continue to review these players in descending order based on their years in the ballot. Click here to see my analysis of Dave Parker, Bert Blyleven, Dale Murphy and Jack Morris. I also want to reiterate that my analysis is based on previous voting patterns and not my view on the individuals hall of fame worthiness. I will be discussing those points in phase 3.
Don Mattingly is on his 10th year of the ballot. Mattingly played his entire career (1982-1995) as a first baseman for the New York Yankees. In Mattingly’s 14 seasons for the Bronx Bombers he hit 222 home runs, maintained a lifetime average of .307 and had 2153 career hits. Mattingly made 6 all star teams, won 9 gold glove awards (85-89 + 91-94) and 3 consecutive silver slugger awards (85-87). He was the American League MVP in 1985 and the runner-up in 1986.
Mattingly has been on the ballot since 2001 garnering 28.2 % of the vote that year. 2001 was also the year he received the most support. He has only been on 20% or more of the ballots twice (the other year being 2002). He has actually lost 1 percentage point of support in the past 5 years (12.8 in 2004 and 11.9 in 2009).
Anaylysis and Outlook. Mattingly’s 28.2% in 2001 would have made a good point to build on, instead his % decreases for a few years then increase for a few and then goes back down Jack Morris and Bert Blyleven both had less votes than Mattingly did in 2001 but by 2009 Blyleven had 5 times the votes Mattingly had and Morris had almost 4 times more. With 6 elections left Mattingly’s only legitimate chance of being voted in by the BBWAA is by increasing his support about 10 percentage points each year and given his up and down history that does not seem likely.
Andre Dawson is on the ballot for his 9nth year. Dawson played for the Montreal Expos form 1976 to 1986. He played foe the Chicago Cubs from 1987 to 1992. He played 2 years for the Boston Red Sox in 1993 and 1994 and finished his career with the Florida Marlins in 1995 and 1996. Dawson was a lifetime outfielder save his 2 years in the American league where he was a designated hitter. Dawson had a career batting average of .279 and had 2774 hits. He is one of only 6 players to have over 300 home runs (438) and 300 stolen bases (314). Dawson won 6 consecutive gold gloves with the expos (1981-1985) and 2 more with the Cubs (1987-1988). He made 3 consecutive all star teams with Montreal (1981-1983) and 5 consecutive with Chicago (1987-1991). Dawson was good at making a first impression as he won the N.L. Rookie if the year award with the Expos in 1977 and won the NL MVP in 1987 his first year with the Cubs.
Dawson has been on the ballot since 2002 where he received 45.3% of the vote. He was voted for by 50% of the electorate in 2003 and again in 2004. He has received more than 65% support in the last 2 elections receiving his highest total last year with 67% of the vote.
Analysis and Outlook: Dawson previous 8 years on the ballot read like a textbook on how to make the hall. He has increased his % in every year but 2 maintaining 50% in 2004 and going from 61% in 2006 to 56.6 in 2007. With 7 more elections left to him he should easily make the 75% he needs. Also very promising is that everyone who had more votes than him in any of his previous elections has already made the Hall.
Alan Trammell is on the ballot for the ninth year. He played his entire career for the Detroit Tigers from 1977 to 1996. While he played occasional other positions for the Tigers including DH, He predominately played shortstop and did so each season he was in the major leagues. Trammell was a 6 time all star (80, 84,85,87,88, & 90), 4 time gold glove recipient, (80,81,83 and 84), 3 time Silver Slugger winner (87,88 &90) and the 1984 World Series MVP. In 1987 He was runner up for the AL MVP award. Alan hit .285 for the Tigers with 2365 hits and 185 Home Runs.
Like Dawson, Trammel has been on the ballot since 2002. Unlike Dawson, Trammell has never even come close to the 75% needed for election. He was on 15.7% of the ballots in his first year of eligibility, Hit a high water mark of 18.2% in 2008 and was down to 17.4% in last years balloting.
Analysis and outlook: In his 8 past elections Trammels support has been consistently in the teens. This seems to mean that there is no wide spread appeal for putting Trammell into the Hall.
Lee Smith the lone returning relief pitcher is on his 8th year on the ballot. Smith pitched from 1980 to 1997. Beginning with the Chicago Cubs (1980-1987), then playing 2 and a half seasons with the Boston Red Sox (88-90), parts of 4 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (90-93). His later years he played on the New York Yankees (93), Baltimore Orioles (94). California Angels (95,96), Cincinnati Reds (96), and Montreal Expos 1997. He had a lifetime ERA of 3.03, 1,251 strike outs and 478 saves. Smith was chosen for 7 all star games (83,87,91-95). He was second in Cy Young voting in 1991 the year he won the first of his 2 consecutive NL Rolaids Relief awards for the Cardinals. He won the AL version of the award in 94 with the Orioles.
Smith has been on the ballot in 2003 when he received 42.3% of the vote. He dropped down to 36.6% of the vote in 2004 and in the last 5 years has seen that percentage rise to 44.5% in the last election.
Analysis and Outlook: Smith’s initial vote count and his current standing bode well for eventual enshrinement when viewed separately. Looking at them together makes one wonder why he has only moved up 2 percentage points in 7 elections. If whatever has been keeping him stuck in the 40’s resolves himself there is plenty of time for Smith to get to Cooperstown.