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SnakePit Hall of Fame: Big Papi makes it in at last

David Ortiz will be our first inductee for three seasons

2011 State Farm Home Run Derby Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

SnakePit Hall of Fame Inductees

  • 2015 - Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez
  • 2016 - Ken Griffey Jr.
  • 2017 - Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero, Mike Piazza, Curt Schilling, John Smoltz
  • 2018 - Chipper Jones, Ivan Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez
  • 2019 - Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Jim Thome
  • 2020 - Roy Halladay, Derek Jeter
  • 2021 - None
  • 2022 - None
  • 2023 - David Ortiz

2023 voting

Last year, David Ortiz made it in to the BBWAA with 77.9% of the vote, but fell short here on the SnakePit, getting 64%. That discrepancy was corrected this year, with Ortiz named on 24 of the 30 submitted ballots (five more than we received last year), giving him 80% and being the first player to achieve election to the SnakePit Hall of Fame since 2020. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the surge of approval for Andruw Jones, who came agonizingly close to joining Ortiz. The 75% cutoff means that s player needed 2212 votes - effectively, 23 - to achieve induction. Jones finished on 22, which is 73%: missing out by a single vote, and a sharp increase from the 52% he received last year. Might he make it in 2024?

The three others who came closest last time had more mixed results. Todd Helton and Scott Rolen both saw small upticks in their approval. The ToddFather increased from 64% to 67%, while Rolen improved from 56% to 60%. But Mike Mussina, in his final year of eligibility, fell off significantly, dropping from 60% below the half-way line, to finish at 47%. He will be dropped from the ballot in 2024, under the ten-year rule, along with Jeff Kent, whose numbers were almost unchanged (down fractionally, 28% vs. 27%). The bottom of the ballot, as ever, saw a lot of people who failed to achieve the 5% needed to stick around. I can’t believe nobody voted for Bronson Arroyo. :)

Also interesting to look at the players where there was the biggest difference between SnakePit voters and the BBWAA. Rolen, who made it into Cooperstown was 16% lower on this site, but Billy Wagner fared considerably worse, not getting even half the support from the SnakePit electorate, at just 33% compared to 68% in the BBWAA voting. Conversely, Andy Pettite got close to twice as much love here (33% vs. 17%), but of those present on both ballots, it’s Torii Hunter who was appreciated by the highest margin here, getting close to four times the percentage (27% vs. 7%). That’s the same SnakePit % as Lance Berkman, who was one and done by the BBWAA, getting a mere 1.2% his only time up, in 2019.

There was a wide range of opinions as to how many of the potential candidates deserved to be inducted, with an average of just over eight names per ballot. Quite a few people took advantage of the freedom offered by the SnakePit hall not limiting members to ten names per ballot. Eight of the thirty voters opted to list more than that, with the most liberal (small L!) listing a whopping twenty-one names. At the other end, one person submitted an entirely blank ballot, and there were a number with only two or three names checked. Both options are, of course, entirely valid: if those responsible wish to share their logic in the comments, that’d be interesting - but if not, I’m fine with that as well.

We’ll be back next December with the class of 2024, when the biggest newcomer to the ballot is likely Adrian Beltre. Joe Mauer and Chase Utley will also arrive for your consideration. On the pitching side, it’s a lighter crop, led by Bartolo Colon. Which may be the first time he has been used in the same sentence as “lighter”... :) Not many with D-backs links will be eligible, except for former closer Brad Ziegler.