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VEB community elects Walker, Jeter to Hall of Fame

Just two more people join the currently small Hall of Fame.

National League Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers vs St. Louis Cardinals - Game 1 Photo by Jon Soohoo/Getty Images

Another healthy response from the VEB community for Round 2 of the VEB Hall of Fame. 220 people responded with their own Hall of Fame ballot. Technically, three other people also submitted ballots but I had to delete them. They went over the 11 vote limit unfortunately. But three people out of 223 breaking the rules is pretty good, so most of you actually paid attention.

Last time, VEB elected three Hall of Famers. Starting pitcher Roy Halladay, closer Mariano Rivera, and third basemen Scott Rolen. Four people were elected in real life, and one of them wasn’t Rolen, so VEB proved to be harsher than real life voters. It’ll be interesting to see what the real life ballot in 2022 produces, because VEB has elected two people this time - and neither is on the 2022 ballot. Shortstop Derek Jeter and right fielder Larry Walker both received over 75% of the vote.

Here’s how harsh VEB is: Jeter sneaked into the Hall. He had 75.6% of votes. Methinks some people were letting their personal dislike of Jeter impact their vote. Jeter has a great resume, despite being overrated. Doesn’t matter if you prefer Baseball-Reference (71.3 bWAR) or Fangraphs (73 fWAR), Jeter is safely in the Hall. With a five-year peak of 31.6 fWAR, Jeter has 10 seasons with at least 4+ fWAR, and an additional four seasons with at least 3 fWAR. He has the peak, the longevity, and the consistency of an easy Hall of Famer.

Also an easy Hall of Famer? Larry Walker, who got 80.5% of the vote. One quick way to get elected on VEB Hall of Fame? Play for the Cardinals for some time. Lance Berkman got 35.5% of the vote when not even getting past the first ballot in real life. Back to Walker, he has 68.7 career fWAR (72.7 bWAR). He has a five year peak of 32.4 fWAR, 9 seasons with at least 4+ fWAR, an additional three seasons with at least 3 fWAR. His only seasons below at least 2 fWAR were 1996 (1.3 fWAR in 304 PAs) and 2000 (1.9 fWAR in 372 PAs).

And that’s the list. The rest of the results:

50 percent or higher

Barry Bonds - 61.8%

Roger Clemens - 60.9%

Well they both got a little bit higher than last time. But not by much. Both had effectively 59% of the vote last time. I got to say, I don’t think Bonds or Clemens would get elected by VEB no matter how many times they’re on a ballot.

At least a third of the votes

Andruw Jones - 46.8%

Curt Schilling - 44.5%

Mike Mussina - 43.6%

David Ortiz - 42.3%

Todd Helton - 40.5%

Lance Berkman - 35.5%

Manny Ramirez - 34.1%

Mike Mussina got less votes than last time. Huh. Mussina got 54.2% of the vote three years ago, now he’s down to 43.6%. Well he’s off the ballot for good now. Schilling gets essentially the same vote total (44.2%). Andruw Jones jumps from 35% to 46.8% which is a healthy jump, but still far from getting elected. Helton also jumped from 33% to 40.5%. Manny Ramirez was at 27.5%, jumps up as well. Less crowded ballot this year could be to blame. Ortiz will not be a first ballot Hall of Famer on this site.

The Double Digit Percentages

Billy Wagner - 31.8%

Garry Sheffield - 29.5%

Sammy Sosa - 23.2%

Jeff Kent - 18.6%

Bobby Abreu - 16.8%

Roy Oswalt - 11.8%

Andy Pettitte - 11.8%

VEB may very well not be a “voting in relievers” group. Except for Rivera, which is a perfectly good exception. Fun fact: Gary Sheffield has a higher career wRC+ than David Ortiz. Oswalt and Pettitte get the same amount of votes, which is interesting. Both represent the almost Hall of Famer for different reasons - Oswalt doesn’t have longevity, Pettitte doesn’t really have a Hall peak.

Will be returning on future ballots

Mark Buerhle - 8.2%

Omar Vizquel - 8.2%

Torii Hunter - 5.5%

Joe Nathan - 5.5%

Mark Buerhle probably gets the St. Louis bump, even though I know he’s more deserving than you’d think. Vizquel gets 0.2% more votes than last time, so I think there’s no danger of him making this Hall. Hunter and Nathan managed to get just enough to be on next year’s ballot.

The Rest

Ryan Howard - 3.6%

Prince Fielder - 3.2%

Tim Lincecum - 3.2%

Tim Hudson - 1.8%

Jimmy Rollins - 1.8%

Jonathan Papelbon - 1.4%

Mark Teixeira - 1.4%

Justin Morneau - 0.9%

AJ Pierzynski - 0.9%

Carl Crawford - 0.5%

Jake Peavy - 0.5%

Everybody got at least one vote. Last time just two players got shut out, but this time we have zero. You see a St. Louis bump of sorts for Howard and Pierzynski. I am surprised Jake Peavy didn’t get more than one vote?

Thus concludes the 2nd installment of the VEB Hall of Fame.

One final thought: a commenter brought up doing some sort of Veterans Committee type thing to correct wrongs, which I thought was a good idea. But when I tried to think of how to make that happen, I realized technically speaking there are only five people in the VEB Hall of Fame.

So this is me feeling the commenters out about this idea: what if we expand the VEB Hall of Fame and vote on it historically? So here’s the idea. I create a list of the greatest players of all time. I don’t have the exact number of how many players I’d use, but it would be any player with at least 40 bWAR or 40 fWAR, anybody who actually made the Hall of Fame, and the 30 greatest relievers by both bWAR and fWAR. At least. Any active players or players who have appeared on either of the first two Hall of Fame ballots posted is ineligible.

And then I’d list those players in alphabetical order, use a random number generator, and select about 40 players to put on a ballot. Then voting. I haven’t decided if there will be a voting limit yet. If people are interested, the initial rollout would be four rounds of 40 players this year to vote on, maybe a 5th round to cover people from the first 4 rounds who got a significant percentage of the vote but didn’t make it. It won’t be 5%, but I’d be aiming for another ballot with 30-40 people, so whatever percentage makes that happen.

Yay or nay to that idea? Something to do during the lockout really.