It's looking like four former legends of baseball are going to get the call from Cooperstown later today to inform them that they've been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame. Those four are Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. We know this due to the wonderful work of some of the contributors over at Baseball Think Factory, which has been collecting publicly made ballots and putting them in their HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo. Essentially, they're grabbing all ballots that have been made public by voters and putting them into a spreadsheet to help us figure out how close or far away a candidate is. They've been doing this for several years now and thank goodness because otherwise I would have to read about how Marty Noble didn't study his ballot at all when making his selections.
Here are the percentages (as of Tuesday night) from the Gizmo:
Randy Johnson - 98.9%
Pedro Martinez - 97.8%
John Smoltz - 86.7%
Craig Biggio - 84%
Mike Piazza has 76.2% of the vote, but that's too close to call currently and likely means he won't get the call later today. At the close of business for the Gizmo last year Biggio had a strong 79.4% of the vote and fell an agonizing two votes shy of induction. This year it's looking like he'll get those two votes, but maybe not much more. Scott Lindholm, over at Beyond the Boxscore, took the Gizmo data and did some further analysis on current and past data to try and determine who would get in later today. Again, looking good for Biggio, but only just.
For those curious, Jeff Bagwell is seeing his name on about 7% more ballots when comparing Gizmo data. There's still hope he'll join Biggio in Cooperstown, though it's likely to be a slow agonizing climb for the seventh best first basemen in baseball history.
As I wrote last year, the Hall of Fame does not validate Biggio and Bagwell's career for me. What it really does though is allow the fans, the organization and baseball to celebrate two fantastic careers.