Update July 23, 2016: At the time of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, July 24, 2016, both inductees—Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza—slipped in overall Box-Toppers rankings. As of July 23, 2016, Griffey ranked 66th among all players since 1995 and Piazza ranked 84th. Both maintained their rank among all players at their position since 1995—Griffey ranked eighth among outfielders and Piazza ranked first among catchers. Other players on this list have likely also dipped in rankings in the six months since Hall-of-Fame voting was announced.
|1||* Ken Griffey Jr.||437 (99.3)||1||cf||89-10||102.2||61||8|
|2||* Mike Piazza||365 (83.0)||4||ca||92-07||95.7||79||1|
|3||Jeff Bagwell||315 (71.6)||6||1b||91-05||100.4||67||9|
|4||Tim Raines||307 (69.8)||9||lf||79-02||17.7||1000||214|
|5||Trevor Hoffman||296 (67.3)||1||pi cp||93-10||129.4||28||1|
|6||Curt Schilling||230 (52.3)||4||pi sp||88-07||194.1||3||3|
|7||Roger Clemens||199 (45.2)||4||pi sp||84-07||164.8||10||7|
|8||Barry Bonds||195 (44.3)||4||lf||86-07||153.2||16||2|
|9||Edgar Martinez||191 (43.4)||7||dh||87-04||77.5||129||14|
|10||Mike Mussina||189 (43.0)||3||pi sp||91-08||155.6||15||12|
|11||† Alan Trammell||180 (40.9)||15||ss||77-96||3.5||2374||113|
|12||Lee Smith||150 (34.1)||14||pi cp||80-97||7.0||1801||224|
|13||Fred McGriff||92 (20.9)||7||1b||86-04||57.7||230||33|
|14||Jeff Kent||73 (16.6)||3||2b||92-08||109.7||51||1|
|15||Larry Walker||68 (15.5)||6||rf||89-05||100.1||68||9|
|16||† Mark McGwire||54 (12.3)||10||1b||86-01||77.3||130||17|
|17||Gary Sheffield||51 (11.6)||2||lf||88-09||124.1||35||4|
|18||Billy Wagner||46 (10.5)||1||pi cp||95-10||108.7||52||3|
|19||Sammy Sosa||31 (7.0)||4||rf||89-07||113.2||48||6|
|20||† Jim Edmonds||11 (2.5)||1||cf||93-10||98.8||70||11|
|21||† Nomar Garciaparra||8 (1.8)||2||ss||96-09||74.9||142||3|
|22||† Mike Sweeney||3 (0.7)||1||dh||95-10||56.4||236||30|
|23||† David Eckstein||2 (0.5)||1||ss||01-10||28.7||634||24|
|23||† Jason Kendall||2 (0.5)||1||ca||96-10||40.9||393||9|
|25||† Garret Anderson||1 (0.2)||1||lf||94-10||86.5||103||22|
|26||† Brad Ausmus||0||1||ca||93-10||25.0||734||30|
|26||† Luis Castillo||0||1||2b||96-10||28.0||652||30|
|26||† Troy Glaus||0||1||3b||98-10||91.6||94||5|
|26||† Mark Grudzielanek||0||1||2b||95-10||25.7||717||37|
|26||† Mike Hampton||0||1||pi sp||93-10||72.0||154||76|
|26||† Mike Lowell||0||1||3b||98-10||65.6||176||11|
|26||† Randy Winn||0||1||cf||98-10||37.2||444||100|
† Player will be off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2017 either because they did not receive 5 percent of the vote or their time on the ballot has expired without election. Alan Trammell exits the ballot after 15 tries. Newer rules have Mark McGwire falling off the writers' ballot after 10 tries.
Note: Most Hall eligible candidates had careers that, in part, preceded the era of Box-Toppers player tracking, which began in 1995. However, 10 of the 32 players listed here began their career in 1995 or later, so their entire career was tracked by Box-Toppers.
Griffey, Piazza elected to Hall of Fame; Schilling, Mussina, Edmonds among players snubbed
Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday.
Both players rank among the top 35 batters in career Box-Toppers points since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began. And Piazza has more career Box-Toppers points than any catcher since 1995.
But overlooked Wednesday in Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting were players with more Box-Toppers points than Griffey and Piazza—and not just the usual suspects who have been ostracized for their association with performing enhancing drugs. Most conspicuously absent was pitcher Curt Schilling who earned 194.1 career Box-Toppers points from 1995 through 2007, the third-highest total since 1995.
Griffey earned 102.2 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2010 with the Mariners (56.9), the Reds (35.9), the White Sox (2.7) and back again to the Mariners (6.7). Griffey ranks 61st among all players since 1995 in Box-Toppers points, 21st among all batters and eighth among all outfielders.
It should be noted that Griffey began his career in 1989 with the Mariners, so his first six seasons were not tracked by Box-Toppers. Were those first seasons tracked, rough projections put Griffey’s career Box-Toppers point total at around 140. That’s in the neighborhood of the career total of David Ortiz (137.9 points from 1997 to 2015, 24th among all players since 1995).
Griffey had five seasons with 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points. His best season was 1997 with the Mariners when he had 15.3 Box-Toppers points, ranked second among AL batters, behind Juan Gonzalez of the Rangers (16.3). Griffey won the American League Most Valuable Player Award that year.
Griffey was traded to his hometown Reds in 2000 and earned 10.7 Box-Toppers points that season. However, he suffered through injury after that, earning no Box-Toppers points in 2001 and 2002 and only 1.0 in 2003. His best season after that was in 2004 when he had 7.5 Box-Toppers points with the Reds.
Piazza earned 95.7 career Box-Toppers points, the most of any catcher since 1995 (second place is Jorge Posada who earned 79.5 points with the Yankees from 1997 to 2011). Piazza earned 37.0 points with the Dodgers from 1995 to 1997, 57.7 with the Mets from 1998 to 2005 and 1.0 with the Padres in 2006. He also played with the Marlins and Athletics. Piazza ranks 79th among all players in Box-Toppers points since 1995 and 32nd among all batters.
It should be noted that Piazza began his career in 1992 with the Dodgers, so his first three seasons were not tracked by Box-Toppers. Were those first seasons tracked, rough projections put Piazza’s career Box-Toppers point total at around 110. That’s in the neighborhood of the career total of Lance Berkman (108.1 points from 1999 to 2013, 54th among all players since 1995).
Piazza had seven seasons with 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points. His best year was 1997 with the Dodgers when he had 13.5 points, ranked sixth among National League batters. Piazza won the 1993 NL Rookie of the Year Award and twice finished second in NL MVP voting (1996, 1997).
Here is a look at other notable players who missed the cut:
- Curt Schilling, in his fourth year of eligibility, received 52.3 percent of the vote, his highest vote total. Schilling played from 1988 to 2007 and had 194.1 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked third on the “all-time” list, behind only 2015 Hall-of-Fame classmates Randy Johnson (278.8 Box-Toppers points) and Pedro Martinez (244.8).
- Mike Mussina, in his third year of eligibility, received 43.0 percent of the vote. Mussina has 155.6 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 15th among all players and 12th among all pitchers.
- Gary Sheffield, in his second year of eligibility, received 11.6 percent of the vote. Sheffield has 124.1 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 35th among all players and fourth among all outfielders.
- Jeff Bagwell, in his sixth year of eligibility, received 71.6 percent of the vote. He had 100.4 career Box-Toppers points, 67th among all players and ninth among first basemen.
- Trevor Hoffman, in his first year of eligibility, received 67.3 percent of the vote. Hoffman has 129.4 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranking 28th among all players and first among all closing pitchers.
- Jeff Kent, in his third year of eligibility, received 16.6 percent of the vote. Kent has 109.7 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranked 51st among all players and first among second basemen.
- Jim Edmonds, in his first year of eligibility, received only 2.5 percent of the vote, not enough to keep his name on the ballot in 2017. Edmonds had 98.8 Box-Toppers points since 1995, ranking 70th among all players and 11th among all outfielders. While he trailed near-unanimous Hall-electee Griffey by only 3.4 career Box-Toppers points, he was far behind in baseball writers’ votes—437 to 11. Edmonds had the most Box-Toppers points of the 15 players who will not return to the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot because of lackluster voting results.
- Mark McGwire, in his 10th year of eligibility, received 12.3 percent of the vote. McGwire had 77.3 Box-Toppers points since 1995, 130th among all players and 17th among first basemen. Rules changes in recent years meant this was McGwire’s final year on the writers’ Hall ballot. Once considered a future Hall-of-Famer, McGwire’s candidacy was affected by the performance enhancing drug scandal.
A few players on the writers’ Hall ballot played the bulk of their careers before Box-Toppers tracking began in 1995, including Tim Raines (who played from 1979 to 2002) and Alan Trammel (who played from 1977 to 1996). But there were 10 players on the ballot who played their entire careers with each game they played tracked by Box-Toppers, including Billy Wagner (1995-2010), Nomar Garciaparra (1996-2009), Mike Sweeney (1995 to 2010), David Eckstein (2001 to 2010) and Jason Kendall (1996 to 2010). (Of the 10, only Wagner will return to the 2017 Hall ballot—the other nine will not be on the ballot in 2017 because they did not receive enough votes in 2016.)
The usual suspects associated with baseball’s performance enhancing drug scandal, including McGwire, mentioned earlier, were again not elected to the Hall:
- Roger Clemens received 45.2 percent of the vote in his fourth year of eligibility. His career began in 1984 and he earned 164.8 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 10th among all players and seventh among all pitchers.
- Barry Bonds received 44.3 percent of the vote in his fourth year of eligibility. His career began in 1986 and he earned 153.2 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 16th among all players and second among all outfielders (behind only Manny Ramirez with 167.2).
- Sammy Sosa received 7.0 percent of the vote in his fourth year of eligibility. His career began in 1989 and he earned 113.2 Box-Toppers points from 1995 to 2007, 48th among all players and sixth among all outfielders.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers points are a measure of how much a player provides key contributions to his team’s wins. Specifically, Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.