This was intended to be the final post in my 2020 Hall of Fame series, but when planning I forgot that the results of the Modern Era vote would be announced long before the BBWAA vote. As such, this post will be entirely about the Modern Era, and I will unpublish it while writing about the BBWAA after that announcement on 21 January.
With the formalities out of the way, let’s talk about the Modern Era results. Marvin Miller! Ted Simmons! Just, for the sake of your sanity, don’t look at the actual results (actually, you don’t have a choice, I’m going to talk about them later).
I’ll start with the joyous news, though. Marvin Miller has finally made the Hall of Fame. I already outlined Miller’s case (along with everyone else’s) in my article on the Modern Era ballot, which is linked above, but I’ll summarize a little. Before tonight, Miller was the single most egregious omission from Cooperstown. His plaque is incredibly well-deserved and long overdue. A great job by the committee to finally get him his rightful immortality.
Ted Simmons is a candidate who my Score system ranked most deserving of the players on this ballot. A serious contender for being one of the top 10 catchers of all-time, I believe his induction to be an easily worthy one. It’s also worth noting that Simmons is now the first player to be voted into the Hall of Fame after going one-and-done on the BBWAA ballot.
The Modern Era committee is comprised of 16 voters, each of whom can list four names on their ballot; 12 votes (75%) is the threshold for induction. In this voting cycle, Simmons received 13 votes, the most of anyone on the ballot, while Miller squeaked in with 12. Those results are pretty good—both men elected into the Hall are deserving of the honor. Looking further down the voting results, however, is not a task for the faint of heart. Dwight Evans, someone who I listed on my hypothetical ballot, received 8 votes, the most of anyone not above the induction line. Honestly, I’m pretty happy with that result, as I worried Evans’s candidacy would be completely ignored by the committee.
But the next highest vote-getter was Dave Parker with 7, a very strange case. Much worse than that is the two names who tied with 6 votes: Steve Garvey and Lou Whitaker. In my previous article, I suggested that Garvey shouldn’t even be on the ballot, and lobbied pretty hard for the induction of Whitaker. Them receiving the same number of votes is bad, but it’s much worse on an individual basis, as it’s too many votes for Garvey and far too few for Whitaker. The other four candidates, Tommy John, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, and Dale Murphy, all received 3 votes at the most, and will not be returning to the ballot next cycle. This is truly a shame, as Munson is deserving of a plaque, and Murphy and John should at least merit more consideration.
We now know that Miller and Simmons will have bronze plaques at induction weekend. One of the two voting processes is complete. We’ll have to wait for the other before knowing who else will be sharing the stage in Cooperstown on 26 July.