The following article is part of Jay Jaffe’s ongoing look at the candidates on the BBWAA 2021 Hall of Fame ballot. For a detailed introduction to this year’s ballot, and other candidates in the series, use the tool above; an introduction to JAWS can be found here. All WAR figures refer to the Baseball-Reference version unless otherwise indicated.
The surge via which the Baseball Writers Association of America elected a record 22 Hall of Fame candidates over a seven-year span is over, as the voters pitched a shutout on Tuesday, their second in the past decade, fourth since the return to annual balloting in 1966, and ninth since the Hall’s inception in 1936. Collectively the 401 voters who participated showed enough ambivalence towards the top four returning candidates — Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Omar Vizquel, all of whom have non-performance-related marks against them that were increasingly aired during the cycle — to keep them on the outside looking in, and that ambivalence spilled over to the other 21 candidates on the slate. The 5.87 votes per ballot was the lowest average since 2012, and the 14 blank ballots sent in was a record….