As opposed to the 1999 election when we had four no-brainer newbies to elect, 2000 was lacking many slam dunk guys. Goose Gossage was an easy choice and our first true reliever to be elected. In fact, I don’t expect we’re going to see another reliever in the HoME until Mariano the Great. As for everyone else new to this election, they’ll all be getting the axe on Monday.
The Goose takes us to 163 of the greatest players to ever step on a diamond now inducted into the Hall of Miller and Eric.
This is where the numbers get tricky. We had been saying there were 212 players in the Hall, but there were really only 211. I’m not sure why we made this mistake, but we did. For quite a while, we decided that we were going to wait until the 2015 election to alter our number. Since the BBWAA put four guys in the Hall earlier this week, that means there are now 215 players in the Coop. They added four, so we add three. If that makes sense…
We now have 52 more players to put in through our 2015 election, which means a little over 34% of the players who remain up for discussion will eventually find spots in the HoME.
Let’s look at how we voted in 2000.
Miller Eric 1 Goose Gossage Goose Gossage 2 Whitey Ford Dave Bancroft 3 Don Sutton 4 Pud Galvin 5 Sal Bando
The Class of 2000
Rich Gossage: The Goose was the best reliever in the game’s history until Mariano came along, and it wasn’t even close. And his nine All-Star games were more than any reliever until Mariano. He threw a wicked fastball early in his career and a slider that improved as he refined it. He led the league in saves three times and retired with 310, which was good for fourth best ever when he hung ‘em up in 1994. Gossage had his signature season out of the White Sox pen in 1975, worth around 9 eqWAR. He had three other seasons that we adjust as 6 WAR. And his work in the playoffs was outstanding. He was nearly unhittable in the 1978 World Series, pitched 14.1 innings without allowing a run in the 1981 playoffs, and totaled eight saves in his post-season career.
When a player gets a vote from one of us but not the other, we discuss here.
Whitey Ford: I don’t want to overstate his case. I think he’d be the weakest starter elected to the HoME, and if we only planned to elect 200 players total, I wouldn’t vote for him. But we’re electing more than that. He remains in for me.
Don Sutton: Overall, I rank him with Early Wynn and Three Finger Brown. I keep offering up Ford ahead of him, but that may be because of some mystical playoff-i-ness. We have room for more pitchers, and he should be one.
Pud Galvin: I first voted for Gentle Jeems in 1926 and last supported him in 1985. Overall, Eric and I are on different pages on the mound right now. He’s not yet quite sure, while I’m almost set on who should receive a HoME plaque. Of course, a vote today doesn’t mean a vote forever, and there’s a lot of discussion left before we’re through.
Sal Bando: As we’ve said before, our choices at this level are going to have warts and be at least a little controversial. Bando gets my vote this election in large part because there’s still room left at his position and in his era. Neither 3B nor the 1970s has the representation I’d like to see in the HoME. There are reasons Bando may be a hidden HoMEr, particularly the era in which he played. No HoME 3B, save Home Run Baker and Tommy Leach, played in eras as tough on offense as did Bando. One near-MVP-level year, four other All-Star years, and five or six other helpful years get Bando a vote this time around.
Dave Bancroft: Smooth fielding, decent hitting (until the end), an MVP-level year, several All-Star years, a couple solid years behind that, and value similar to Joe Sewell.
That closes the book on our 2000 results. Please visit our Honorees page to see the plaques of those elected and to see plenty more information about the HoME.