Today, Major League Baseball will announce the latest entrants into the Hall of Fame. And the two players that have generated the largest amount of debate are Bert Blyleven and Jack Morris.
The Morris crowd point to his three All-Star game starts (five appearances overall), his three 20-win seasons, his six seasons with at least 250 innings pitched, and his five postseason complete games, including one very memorable World Series Game 7 in 1991 when he pitched 10 shutout innings.
The Circle-Me-Bert backers point to his 3.31 career ERA, his 3701 strikeouts (fifth all-time) and his 90.1 career Wins Above Replacement (WAR*), which is better than guys like Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton and Christy Mathewson.
Neither pitcher ever finished higher than third in the Cy Young Award voting and when both first became eligible for induction into the Hall, neither had very much support, picking up only about 20% of the votes (75% is needed for induction). As time as gone, however, they have slowly crept closer to the threshold.
Below is a look at the percentage of votes each player has received in their years of eligibility (a player is only eligible for 15 years). And their totals are compared to Jim Rice, another player who didn’t get much support early on, but made it to 75% in the final year of his eligibility.
At this point, it looks like Blyleven is going to make it. On the other hand, Morris appears to be a little below the curve and may come up just short.
* data via Baseball-Reference.com
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