Introducing the Hall of Consensus

Sep 27, 2013 by Adam Darowski

I love Hall of Fame debates. But I find them less informative when I don’t know what the Hall of Fame actually means to my fellow debater.

For example, I can say that I support Alan Trammell for the Hall of Fame. Someone else may not. I happen to think the Hall of Fame should be relatively large, honoring many of the game’s greats. I also don’t think that a Hall of Fame needs to be very large to fit Alan Trammell.

You may think the Hall should only honor the Top 50 players in history. If that’s your opinion, that’s fine. Trammell probably wouldn’t belong in your Hall. I wouldn’t agree with you (and I would also find your approach useless, given that there are already more than 200 Hall of Famers). But if that’s how you feel, you don’t have room for every guy I support.

A little while back, I published my own Personal Hall of Fame. Several other bloggers I know did the same. What this helped me do is show where each player fits in the context of my own Personal Hall. It helps me when other people do the same.

Recently, I’ve been drawn to the idea of consensus around Hall of Fame snubs. I’ve compiled the Personal Halls of Ross Carey, Bryan O’Connor, Dalton Mack, and Dan McCloskey (and mine) alongside the Hall of Fame, Hall of Stats, and Hall of Merit. What’s interesting to me is that there are 31 players who are not in the Hall of Fame, but are supporters by all seven alternate Halls. To me, this much consensus means these guys pretty clearly belong. They are:

Name Hall Rating Next Chance at Hall
Barry Bonds 364 2014 BBWAA Ballot (2nd year)
Roger Clemens 292 2014 BBWAA Ballot (2nd year)
Jeff Bagwell 165 2014 BBWAA Ballot (4th year)
Larry Walker 152 2014 BBWAA Ballot (4th year)
Pete Rose 150 Ineligible
Mike Piazza 148 2014 BBWAA Ballot (2nd year)
Bill Dahlen 145 2016 Pre-Integration Ballot
Lou Whitaker 145 2017 Expansion Era Ballot
Alan Trammell 144 2014 BBWAA Ballot (13th year)
Bobby Grich 141 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Kevin Brown 137 2026 Expansion Era Ballot
Rick Reuschel 136 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Edgar Martinez 136 2014 BBWAA Ballot (5th year)
Shoeless Joe Jackson 129 Ineligible
David Cone 128 2026 Expansion Era Ballot
Tim Raines 129 2014 BBWAA Ballot (7th year)
Craig Biggio 128 2014 BBWAA Ballot (2nd year)
Graig Nettles 127 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Rafael Palmeiro 126 2014 BBWAA Ballot (4th year)
Reggie Smith 126 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Mark McGwire 125 2014 BBWAA Ballot (8th year)
Dwight Evans 125 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Bret Saberhagen 121 2023 Expansion Era Ballot
Dick Allen 116 2015 Golden Era Ballot
Dave Stieb 114 2020 Expansion Era Ballot
Keith Hernandez 116 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Ted Simmons 113 2014 Expansion Era Ballot
Joe Torre 112 2014 Expansion Era Ballot (as manager)
Sherry Magee 112 2016 Pre-Integration Ballot
Wes Ferrell 110 2016 Pre-Integration Ballot
Jim Wynn 110 2015 Golden Era Ballot

There were some additional close calls who almost made this list. Only Bryan (and the actual Hall of Fame) failed to support Jack Glasscock, Ken Boyer, Sal Bando, Urban Shocker, Charlie Bennett, John McGraw (as a player), Al Spalding (as a player), and Ross Barnes.

There are some controversial names on the list. Two (Rose and Jackson) are banned from the game. Four others (Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, and McGwire) are connected to performance enhancing drugs. Others are only in the outside because they are suspected of PEDs.

There are also 30 players in the Hall of Fame who are not in any of the other seven Halls. Maybe these guys don’t belong.

It’s obvious that Ross, Bryan, Dalton, Dan, and I all have a very similar approach to Hall-worthiness. The list of 31 players might shrink dramatically if I included the Personal Halls of some less stat-leaning folks.

I’ve created a page—the Hall of Consensus—to record each of these Halls, who has the most support, who’s missing, and more.

Among our Personal Halls:

There are some quirks, though. For example, Ross lets just about everyone in, but he’s the only one of the eight Halls to exclude Red Ruffing. Bryan is rather stingy with his picks, though he supports Hack Wilson—only he and the “real” Hall support him.

Personally, I support only two players who are not in the Hall of Fame and not in any other Personal Halls—Paul Hines and Joe Start. Both are in the Hall of Merit.

Dalton and the Hall of Stats are the only ones to include Kevin Appier. Interestingly, Dalton and the Hall of Stats are also the only ones to exclude Roy Campanella.

I know. Appier, but not Campanella. Kids these days…

There’s a clear “consensus” cutoff among those of us who selected Personal Halls. Basically, Kevin Appier is that cutoff. The Appier line—right around a 110 Hall Rating—is where you start to see more and more players we don’t collectively support. Ross, Dan, and I both support everyone above the Appier line. Bryan doesn’t support Clark Griffith or Bando and Boyer. Neither Bryan nor Dan support Willie Randolph. Randolph has the highest Hall Rating outside of Dan’s Hall. Bryan’s Hall, however, excludes Glasscock (who’s 131 Hall Rating ranks 108th all time). I’m working on convincing him—especially given my new role.

Please check out the Hall of Consensus and let us know what you think. And feel free to publish your own Personal Hall and let us know in the comments!

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