Several story lines in this year's balloting:
1) Roberto Alomar gets in in his 2nd year of eligibility
- He gets 90.0% of the votes after reportedly being denied "first ballot" status because of a spitting incident with an umpire.
- Of course that means 10% (58) still don't think he's a Hall of Famer.
2) Stats vs. "Pitching to the score"
- Bert Blyleven is voted in on 79.7% of the ballots, despite having what some see as an "accumulating" career, rather than a dominant one.
- Jack Morris inches up slightly from 52.3% last year to 53.5%. Often compared to Blyleven, and favored by many of the less sabermetrically inclined voters for playing on many winning teams and for the legendary game 7 of the 1991 World Series. These voters say his high 3.90 ERA is due to his giving up meaningless runs late in games, but studies have shown that he didn't do that any more than other pitchers. Only one player (Gil Hodges) has reached the 50% plateau but failed to eventually get elected, but as sabermetrics gain in acceptance, could Morris become the 2nd?
- Mark McGwire drops from 23.7% to 19.8% after admitting to using PEDs
- Jeff Bagwell (who many suspect, due to significant muscle gain and increased power) gets a surprisingly strong 41.7% in his first year
- Rafael Palmeiro gets only 11.0%
- Juan Gonzales, with 2 MVP awards, barely avoids falling off the list, with 5.2%
4) Campaigns cut short as they fall below 5% of the vote
- Harold Baines, 4.8%
- John Franco, 4.6%
- Kevin Brown, 1.2%
5) Local interest:
- Dale Murphy, who also had 2 MVP awards and was a Phillie in 1990-92, inches up slightly, but at only 12.6% his time is running out
- Benito Santiago, who hit 30 homers in his one season with the Phils (1996), got 1 vote
- Bobby Higginson - Philadelphia's own, and former Temple Owl, did not get a vote
There are probably others I'm missing in this quick rundown.