Today, we’re going a little meta. We’re tearing away the fourth wall to let you see what we see. We’re data guys, and WordPress kindly gives us data on how many clicks each of our posts and pages receives. So we’re going to show you what content on our site that you all liked the best.
Now when we say “liked the best,” what we mean is in as far as our stats suggest. Clicks by themselves are a far cry from “likes,” but they at least give us decent insight into what you, our readers, find most appealing. Or at least what is our best search-bait. [You were supposed to laugh at that, we’re not gray hats.]
We’ve published nearly 500 pieces since we, uh, slinked onto the scene in 2013. Not bad if we can brag a little. We’ve done three a week for dang near four years and missed just two deadlines that we remember. Yes, we’d get fired from a newspaper, but in the self-published and self-paced world of blogging, we feel great about it. We thank our most loyal readers for joining us each time out, and we get lots of search traffic that draws in new folks too. Before we get into specifics, let’s quickly note how many clicks we’ve gotten each year to give you some perspective:
- 2013: 1783
- 2014: 4331
- 2015: 4267
- 2016 (so far): 2457, which is a pace of 5,400
Yay! We’re growing thanks to you.
So, let’s have a look at our top 10 articles each year through the middle of last week.
- 1926 New Candidates: 38
- 1941 HoME Election Results: 26
- 1936 HoME Election Results: 22
- 1931 HoME Election Results: 19
- 1951 New Candidates: 18
- Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance-to-Brown-to-Sheckard…: 17
- 3,000 Hits and Tough Paddling: 16
- 1901 New Candidates: 14
- 1916 HoME Election Results: 14
- When Men Were Men and Catchers Were Ground to Bloody Stumps: 14
I think I know a little bit about the answer to why the 1926 newbies rank so highly, but we’ll look at that in a few moments. We provide a nice balance at the HoME of deep research pieces, predictable process content, and slightly less heavier reflections on our favorite game. It’s interesting to see how much process articles dominated your interest in 2013. Perhaps that makes sense, too. As a new alt-Hall, you’d want to know what we’re up to and test our selections against your perceptions of great players.
- 1926 New Candidates: 97
- Eric’s 25 Most Important People in Baseball History: 52
- Miller’s 25 Most Important People in Baseball History: 40
- 1936 HoME Election Results: 39
- Examining the Pud Galvin Arguments: 37
- 1997 HoME Election Results: 33
- It’s Tough Out There, Sometimes: 32
- What Future HoMErs Are Playing Right Now?: 28
- How the Hall Failed, Catfish Hunter: 27
- 1998 HoME Election Results: 24
There’s those 1926 Newbies again. Indulge me while I hit the pause button on that. I promise I’ll get to it. Articles 2 and 3 for 2014 were helped by a little plug from ace baseball dude Graham Womack gave us. We participated in a poll he conducted on the same topic, and published our ballots. His hat tip drew visitors, and we thank him and you if you were one of them. The remainder appear to be a nice mix of different kinds of content.
- Dirty Black Sox Laundry—Some Stains Are Stubborn: 69
- 1999 HoME Election Results: 63
- 1926 New Candidates: 48
- Baseball’s Most Underrated Player Ever?: 37
- Comparing the Halls: 36
- Who Is Right About Whitey Ford: 35
- 1936 HoME Election Results: 39
- How the Hall Failed, Jim Rice: 31
- Carl Yastrzemski, Underrated: 28
- 2003 HoME Election Results: 26
Our man Miller is dominating this list! Nine of the 12 articles you guys liked best were his. [Eric doffs his Phillies cap in Miller’s direction.] Here are seeing a little migration away from process articles and toward articles taking a stand about individual players. Miller and I are trumpeting or tramping on the cases for five different players here (actually, seven if you count the Black Sox article in this bucket). This trended up nicely from 2014, when only two of our top pieces were about specific players.
- The Hall of Consensus: 52
- 1926 New Candidates: 50
- Who Is Right About Whitey Ford: 33
- Carl Yastrzemski, Underrated: 32
- What Did Getting Fat Cost Tony Gwynn: 29
- 2016 Election Results: 22
- Phase II, Final Election: 21
- Pioneer/Executives #6, Doc Adams: 21
- What Happened to Mickey Mantle’s Doubles: 17
- Baseball’s Most Underrated Player Ever?: 17
Much like Graham’s nod to our 25 Most Important… articles, clicks onto “The Hall of Consensus” was aided by a hat tip from the mayor of the Hall of Stats, Adam Darowski. Thanks, Adam! For you dear reader, please know that he’s one of the nice guys, and you should immediately look him up and visit the Hall of Stats if you’ve never been there. Moving on down the list, there’s Whitey and Carl again, joined by chubby Tony Gwynn as well as The Mick and our mysterious underrated man. Once again, we see a strong interest in articles where one of us gets down and dirty with the case for or against a baseball great. Also, I suspect that Doc Adams’ sudden surge in popularity out there benefits our article on him. (Yes, the idea that a seriously obscure someone dead three times as long as I’ve been alive can have a surge of popularity on the internets is pretty weird.)
Now let’s look at our most clicked articles of all time, combining every year:
- 1926 New Candidates: 233
- 1936 HoME Election Results: 98
- Dirty Black Sox Laundry—Some Stains Are Stubborn: 84
- Who Is Right About Whitey Ford?: 84
- Eric’s 25 Most Important People in Baseball History: 83
- 1999 HoME Election Results: 80
- Carl Yastrzemski, Underrated: 77
- Baseball’s Most Underrated Player Ever?: 67
- Examining the Pud Galvin Arguments: 54
- The Hall of Consensus: 52
I promised you the answer to the 1926 riddle, and here it is. 1926 was our Joe Jackson election. Simple as that. The Black Sox remain a topic of massive interest. They are one of baseball’s most mythologized teams and the great morality tale of our sport. We tagged this article with “Black Sox,” so we’re getting a little SEO help there, I guess. And yet it is a mere wisp of an article. Unlike some years where yours truly went on a jaunty rant or took up a humorous reminiscence over the year’s candidates, this was cut-and-dried. It might be our lamest post, in fact. Whatever gets you in the door, my friends!
Article 3 in this list is the one where we make our stance toward the Black Sox explicit and go into some detail about why we can’t not vote for Shoeless Joe. So, clearly that team remains popular, our site benefited by that popularity, and we hope that you enjoyed the piece.
Then comes Whitey Ford. Miller and I tussled for about a year on the guy. I’m still not certain I did the right thing to vote for him. He’s in the lower reaches of our institution by my accounting. Well, I can’t speak for what all you think, but my ditty about his surprising lack of credentials ranks number 4, so someone perhaps agrees with my skepticism about him. We’ve gotten a lot of search-engine traffic from that article as well as from the Fat Tony Gywnn article.
I wanted to visit the 1936 results post that’s in second place all time. We elected probably the best class ever: Cobb, Johnson, Speaker, Collins, Alexander, Heilmann, Hines, and Wright. It’s possible that we have simply benefited by lots of searchable names appearing here. More likely: The Hall of Fame’s inaugural class was 1936, so we’re getting some bleed-through from folks searching for its members or similar information. If that’s you, we hope you felt sufficiently welcome to stick around a while!
Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at some of our more programmatic content. Which of our recurrent features have gotten the most action?
- Results (96 posts): 1275, 13.3 clicks per post
- New Candidates (68 posts): 783, 11.5 clicks per post
- Obits (56 posts): 515, 9.2 clicks per post
- How the Hall Failed (20): 357, 17.9 clicks per post
- Hall of Fame Commentary (31): 256, 8.3 clicks per post
- SABERHAGEN (16): 229, 14.3 clicks per post
- Hall Logic (7): 75, 10.7 clicks per post
- HoME Standings (7): 72, 10.3 clicks per post
- Process Updates (4): 40, 10 per post
- GM Updates (7): 33, 4.7 clicks per post
You dudes dig a good player argument!
Finally, we figured we’d tally up which pages in the menu on our front page that you visit most often. Of the 6,592 clicks on our pages, this is how they rank:
- Main Page: 5,643
- HoME Honorees: 425
- About Us and Our Methods: 150
- HoME Election Schedule: 123
- About the Hall of Miller and Eric: 98
- HoME Rules: 79
- Resources: 50
Obviously, you want to know who we elected, and we’re glad you do!
Miller and I should have done this eons ago, because this is really interesting stuff. You like knowing who we’ve elected. You like in-depth analysis of borderline players as well as arguments for and against some better known players. And if this year’s numbers so far hold up, you like our content better now than you ever have.
Well, we hope to keep you edutained as best we can on all things related to Halls of Fame and our own special brand of deliberations. Most important, we want to hear more from you! Tell us if there’s anything you’d like us to write about. Or about your own favorite posts here. Or even the stuff you wish badly that we’d change! We need to know that stuff!
Thanks again for reading our sometimes long and winding prose, and we hope you enjoy this process as much as we do!