Even for a process designed to reconsider long-retired players not elected via the writers’ ballot (managers, executives and umpires are included as well)— this feels like a particularly reheated slate. Six of the candidates have been considered via at least one Era Committee ballot before, namely Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, Luis Tiant and Marvin Miller, the lone non-player. While Don Mattingly, Jack Morris, Dale Murphy and Alan Trammell are all first-timers here, each spent the maximum 15 years on the BBWAA ballot, with Morris the only one coming anywhere close to the 75% needed for election by the end of his run:
Garvey, Mattingly and Tiant received their highest shares of the vote in their ballot debuts, with Parker and Murphy doing so in their second years. When the Hall announced the truncation of the 15-year eligibility window to 10 in the summer of 2014, Mattingly — who along with Trammell and Lee Smith was grandfathered in, as he was past the 10-year point — was down into single-digit percentages. In short, the candidacies of those players were arguments for a mercy rule.
Part 1: Tommy John, Luis Tiant, Ted Simmons
Part 2: Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Dave Parker
Part 3: Alan Trammell
Part 4: Jack Morris
Part 5: Marvin Miller
Results: Morris and Trammell elected
For all of the contentious debate that surrounded Jack Morris’ 15-year run on the BBWAA ballot, his election to the Hall of Fame via the Modern Baseball Era Committee—whose results were announced Sunday evening, from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Florida—was inevitable, given the history of candidates who fell just short of 75% from the writers. On the other hand, the election of Morris’ longtime teammate, shortstop Alan Trammell, was a pleasant surprise given the lackadaisical support he received during his ballot tenure.