Box-Toppers votes eight players to Hall of Fame in internet writers’ ballot

Box-Toppers Hall of Fame ballot

Here are Box-Toppers' ballot selections for the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) 2018 Hall of Fame selections. Shown first in alphabetical order by last name are the eight players Box-Toppers is voting for Hall induction, followed by the list of players Box-Toppers is not voting for Hall induction, also in alphabetical order by last name.
Finally, there is the list of four players the IBWAA has already voted for induction. Those four have so far been passed over for "official" induction by the Baseball Writer Association of America (BBWAA).

YES: Players Box-Toppers is voting for Hall of Fame
Player Career BTP Year on ballot
Lance Berkman 108.1 1
• Most single season BTP for batter (20.8 in 2006 with Astros).
• Four times among top 10 NL batters in season BTP.
Roy Halladay 170.7 1
• 10th among all pitchers since 1995 in career BTP.
• Top NL pitcher 2010 with Phillies (23.4 BTP.)
• Five times among top 10 overall players in season BTP.
Todd Helton 116.4 1
• Top NL batter in 2000 (15.2), 2001 (17.0).
• Top NL 1B 4 times from 1999-2002.
Jeff Kent 109.7* 6
• Top-ranked 2B in career points since 1995.
• Would have estimated 125 BTP if entire career from 1992 were tracked.
• Top NL 2B 6 times: 1997 (11.2), 1998 (10.0), 2000 (12.9), 2001 (9.2), 2002 (10.9), 2004 (7.5).
• Top 5 NL 2B 11 times.
• Top 10 NL batters twice
Mariano Rivera 126.4 1
• Ranked 2nd among all closing pitchers in career BTP since 1995.
• Top AL CP twice 2005 (11.0), 2008 (14.0).
• Top 5 AL CPs 9 times.
• Top 10 AL P 3 times.
Curt Schilling 194.1 7
• Ranked 5th among all players since 1995.
• Five-time top 5 in season BTPs.
• Nine-time top 10 pitcher in league in BTPs.
Billy Wagner 108.7 4
• Ranked 3rd among all closing pitchers since 1995.
• Top NL closer three times: 1998 (12.0), 1999 (15.0), 2010 (13.0).
• Seven times top 5 NL closer.
• Top 10 NL pitcher twice.
Larry Walker 100.1* 9
• Ranked 11th among all OFs since 1995.
• Would have estimated 135 BTP if career from 1989 were tracked.
• Top NL batter 1997 (18.5).
• Top 10 overall twice.
• Top 10 NL batter 3 times.
• Top 10 NL OF 6 times.
NO: Players Box-Toppers is not voting for Hall of Fame
Player Career BTP Year on ballot
Rick Ankiel 32.6 1
• Pitcher from 1999 to 2006, batter after 2007.
• Top 10 NL pitcher in 2000.
Jason Bay 63.7 1
• Top 10 AL batter twice.
• Top 10 AL OF 4 times.
Freddy Garcia 76.7 1
• Top 10 AL pitcher 2002.
Jon Garland 50.2 1
• Top 10 AL pitcher 2005.
Travis Hafner 76.9 1
• Top 10 overall 2006 (15.9).
• Top 10 AL batter 4 times.
Andruw Jones 96.5 2
• Top 10 NL batter twice.
• Top 10 NL OF 6 times.
Ted Lilly 93.3 1
• Best year 2010: 13.7 BTP, 12th among NL pitchers.
Derek Lowe 91.5 1
• Top 10 AL pitcher 2002.
Fred McGriff 57.7* 10
• B-T did not track his career from 1986 to 1994.
• Top 10 NL batter twice.
Darren Oliver 24.0* 1
• Not tracked in 1993 and 1994.
• Best year 1996 4.0 points.
Roy Oswalt 127.2 1
• Top 10 player 3 times.
• Top 10 NL pitcher 5 times.
Andy Pettitte 138.5 1
• Ranks 22nd among all pitchers since 1995.
• Top 10 AL pitcher 4 times, never higher than 8th.
Juan Pierre 28.5 1
• Earned BTPs from 2000-12. Best year 2003, 4.5 BTP.
Placido Poianco 44.4 1
• Earned BTP 2000-13.
• Best year 2003, 7.7 BTP.
• Top AL 2B in 2008 (5.5).
• Top 5 AL 2B twice.
• Top 5 NL 2B twice.
Manny Ramirez 167.2* 3
• Steroids.
• Ranked 12th among all players since 1995, 3rd among all batters.
• Would have estimated 173 BTPs if career from 1993 were tracked.
• Top 10 players twice, 1998 & 1999.
• Top AL batter 1999 (19.9).
• Top 10 AL batter 7 times.
• Top 10 NL batter once.
• Top AL OF three times 1999 (19.9), 2000 (13.2), 2005 (14.0).
• Top AL OF 9 times.
• Top 5 AL DH three times.
• Top NL OF 2008 (13.9).
Scott Rolen 97.6 2
• Top 10 NL batters three times.
• Top NL 3B three times 2002 (10.0), 2004 (13.5), 2010 (12.0).
• Top 5 NL 3B 6 times.
Gary Sheffield 124.1* 5
• Steroids.
• Ranked 11th among batters since 1995. Would have about 155 BTP if career from 1988 were tracked.
• Top 10 overall in 2004.
• Top AL batter in 2004 (16.2).
• Top 10 AL batter twice.
• Top 10 NL batter four times.
• Top AL OF in 2004 (16.2).
• Top 10 AL OF twice.
• Top 5 AL DH once.
• Top NL OF in 2000 (14.2).
• Top 10 NL OF four times.
Sammy Sosa 113.2* 7
• Steroids.
• Would have 134 BTP if career from 1989 were tracked.
• Top 10 overall 1995.
• Top NL batter twice 1995 (15.9), 1998 (15.5).
• Top 10 NL batter three times.
• Top 5 AL DH once.
• Top NL OF three times 1995 (15.9), 1998 (15.5), 2001 (16.0).
• Top 10 NL OF 7 times.
Miguel Tejada 102.3 1
• Steroids.
• Top 10 AL batter four times.
• Top AL SS twice 2003 (10.2), 2004 (10.7).
• Top 10 AL SS 9 times.
• Top 5 NL SS once.
• Top 5 NL 3B once.
Omar Vizquel 42.2 2
• Top 5 AL SS twice.
• Top 5 NL SS once.
Vernon Wells 75.8 1
• Top 10 AL batter twice.
• Top AL 10 OF four times.
Kevin Youkilis 35.8 1
• Best year 2008—8.5 BTP, 3rd among AL 3B.
• Top 5 AL 3B twice.
Michael Young 73.1 1
• Best year 2011—9.0 BTP, 7th among AL batters.
• Top AL SS in 2007—8.4 BTP.
• Top 5 AL 2B twice.
• Top 5 AL SS four times.
• Top 5 AL 3B once.
• Top 5 AL DH once.
ALREADY IN: Players IBWAA voters have already voted to Hall of Fame
Player Career BTP Year on ballot
Barry Bonds 153.2* 7
• Steroids.
• 4th among all batters since 1995.
• Would have 230 BTP if career from 1986 were tracked.
• Top 10 overall player three times.
• Top NL batter twice, 1999 (15.2), 2002 (20.7).
• Top 10 NL batter 10 times.
• Top 10 NL OF 10 times.
Roger Clemens 164.8* 7
• Steroids.
• 12th among all pitchers since 1995.
• Would have 320 BTP if career from 1984 were tracked.
• Top player 1997 (27.4).
• Top 10 overall player three times.
• Top AL pitcher twice—1997 (27.4), 1998 (25.8).
• Top 10 AL pitcher seven times.
• Top 10 NL pitcher once.
Edgar Martinez 77.5* 10
• BT did not track his career from 1987 to 1994.
• Would have estimated 97.0 BTP if entire career were tracked.• Top 10 AL batter twice.
• Top 5 AL 1B once.
• Top 5 AL DH six times, never higher than third place.
Mike Mussina 155.6* 6
• 18th among all pitchers since 1995.
• Would have 193 BTP if career from 1991 were tracked.
• Top 10 overall players four times.
• Top 10 AL pitchers six times, highest 2nd—2000 (17.7).
*Career began prior to 1995. Box-Toppers tracking did not begin until the 1995 season.

Box-Toppers is voting for eight players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) ballot.

Box-Toppers is voting for these players, listed alphabetically by last name:

Among notable players on the IBWAA ballot for whom Box-Toppers is not voting for induction are:

This ballot is separate from the “official” ballot conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) for actual induction into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. While the official writers’ ballot includes 35 players, the internet writers’ ballot includes 31. That’s because four players still on the official writers’ ballot have already been inducted by the internet writers—Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina. (Of those four, Box-Toppers would have voted Mussina for Hall induction, but not for the other three.)

The chart on this page shows a brief Box-Toppers-focused biographical synopsis of each of the 35 players on the official BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot.

In general, Box-Toppers favors players for Hall induction who have at least 100 career Box-Toppers points and/or have led their league’s batters or pitchers in points for at least one season. Box-Toppers also considers players whose career Box-Toppers point total puts them among the few best players of their era or players who consistently led their league in Box-Toppers points at their position. There are some instances of players—especially pitchers—who have more than 100 Box-Toppers points who Box-Toppers didn’t deem worthy of Hall induction. That’s because despite their career accomplishment, they weren’t necessarily ever among the top players in any season or any era.

Here is a look at players Box-Toppers is voting for Hall induction:

Lance Berkman—The first baseman and outfielder primarily for the Astros played from 1999-2013 and has 108.1 career Box-Toppers points, 18th among all batters since 1995, sixth among first basemen since 1995. Berkman holds the record for most single-season Box-Toppers points by a batter with 20.8 in 2006 with the Astros. It was one of four times he was among the season’s top 10 National League batters.

Roy Halladay—The starting pitcher for the Blue Jays and Phillies played from 1998 to 2013 and has 170.1 career Box-Toppers points, 10th among all pitchers since 1995. Halladay led NL pitchers in Box-Toppers points in 2010 (23.4) with the Phillies and was among the overall top 10 players five times. He was among his league’s top 10 pitchers seven times. Halladay was killed in a plane he was piloting in 2017.

Todd Helton—The first baseman who played from 1997 to 2013 for the Rockies has 116.4 career Box-Toppers points, 14th among all batters since 1995 and fifth among all first basemen since 1995. He led NL batters in Box-Toppers points in two different seasons—2000 (15.2) and 2001 (17.0). He led NL first basemen in points four straight seasons from 1999 to 2002. He was among the top 10 overall players in 2001 (ranking eighth with 17.0 points) and was among the top 10 NL batters in five seasons and a top five NL first basemen six times.

Jeff Kent—The second baseman who played from 1992 to 2008 for the Mets, Giants, Astros and Dodgers has 109.7 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began, which is most among all second basemen in that span. Kent’s career started in 1992, before the advent of Box-Toppers tracking, and estimates put his actual career total at 125 points. Still, given his career points since 1995, he ranks 17th among all batters. He led NL second basemen in Box-Toppers points in six different seasons and was among the top five NL second basemen 11 times. He ranked among the top 10 NL batters twice. Despite his sustained offensive excellence and his dominance among all players at second base over the past quarter century (the second-place second basemen since 1995 is Robinson Cano of the Mets with 83.4—more than 25 points behind), Kent has not been elected to the Hall in five previous tries.

Mariano Rivera—The closing pitcher played his entire career from 1995 to 2013 for the Yankees and has 126.4 career Box-Toppers points, which is second among all closers since 1995 (behind Trevor Hoffman’s 129.4). Rivera led all American League closing pitchers in two different seasons—2005 (11.0) and 2008 (14.0). He was among the top five AL closers in nine seasons and among the top 10 overall AL pitchers three times. Rivera is considered by most to be the greatest closer of all time. While Box-Toppers attributes much of his success to his teammates’ performances in helping to win games and considers Rivera as the era’s second-best closer, Box-Toppers still deems his career accomplishments as worthy of the Hall of Fame.

Curt Schilling—The starting pitcher played from 1988 to 2007 primarily for the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox and has 194.1 career Box-Toppers points, fifth among all players since 1995. If his entire career from 1988 were tracked, Schilling would have an estimated 232 career points. Schilling never led his league’s pitchers in Box-Toppers points, despite some impressive season totals, including four seasons with more than 20 points. His best season was 2002 with the Diamondbacks, when he had 28.4 Box-Toppers points (the 10th-highest single-season point total since 1995), which was second among NL pitchers that season, behind teammate Randy Johnson, who had 33.7, most points in a single season by any player. Schilling finished in the top 10 among all players five times, actually finishing among the top four in each of those seasons. He was among his league’s top 10 pitchers nine times (eight times in the NL, once in the AL). Schilling has been passed over for Hall induction six times. Some criticize that he never won a Cy Young Award and never was his era’s dominant pitcher. That’s true, but he pitched at the same time as Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Johan Santana, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and others. Some criticize his public statements after his career about politics and steroids, yet no one seems to have accused him of violating any baseball rules. Schilling had a great career that is Hall of Fame worthy and though he was slightly overshadowed by other sure-fire Hall of Famers in the regular season, he also proved himself in the postseason. He is a three-time World Series champion and a World Series Most Valuable Player in 2001 with the Diamondbacks. Only two retired players rank ahead of him in Box-Toppers “all-time” rankings, Johnson and Martinez, both of whom are in the Hall. Schilling, despite his flaws, got the job done and belongs there, too.

Billy Wagner—The closing pitcher played from 1995 to 2010 primarily for the Astros, Mets,  Phillies and Braves and has 108.7 career Box-Toppers points, third among all closing pitchers since 1995 (behind Hoffman and Rivera). He led NL closing pitchers in Box-Toppers points three times, 1998 (12.0) and 1999 (15.0) with the Astros and in 2010 (13.0) with the Braves. He was among the top five NL closers seven times and was among the top 10 overall NL pitchers twice. Wagner has been passed over for Hall induction for three years.

Larry Walker—The outfielder played from 1989 to 2005 with the Rockies, Expos and Cardinals and has 100.1 career Box-Toppers points, 11th among all outfielders since 1995. He would have an estimated 135 Box-Toppers points if his entire career from 1989 were tracked, which would be more than Hall-of-Famer Vladimir Guerrero (128.3). He was top NL batter in 1997 with the Rockies with 18.5 Box-Toppers points. He was twice among the overall top 10 players in a season, three times among the top 10 NL batters in a season and six times among the top 10 outfielders in a season. This is his ninth year on the Hall ballot, as he’s been passed over by voters for eight years. Some say his stats are elevated because he played at a higher altitude and a hitter-friendly ballpark in Denver much of his career.

Here are notable players Box-Toppers is not voting for Hall induction:

Roy Oswalt—The starting pitcher played from 2001 to 2013 primarily for the Astros and Phillies and has 127.2 career Box-Toppers points, 28th among all pitchers since 1995. He never led his league’s pitchers in Box-Toppers points in any season, but ranked among the overall top 10 players three times and top 10 NL pitchers five times. Very good career numbers, just not dominant enough for the Hall.

Andy Pettitte—The starting pitcher played from 1995 to 2013 for the Yankees and Astros and has 138.5 career Box-Toppers points, 22nd among all pitchers since 1995. He was among the top 10 AL pitchers four times, but never ranked higher than eighth place, including his best season of 2002, when he had 11.7 points. Despite being a key piece of the Yankees dynasty, helping to win five World Series championships, Pettitte’s regular seasons, while commendable, are not dominant enough for Hall induction.

Manny Ramirez—I’m disqualifying Ramirez for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era. Other voters are, too, as this is his third year of Hall eligibility. He played from 1993 to 2011 for the Red Sox, Indians, Dodgers, Rays and White Sox and has 167.2 career Box-Toppers points, 12th among all players since 1995 and third among all batters. (He would have an estimated 173 points if his career from 1993 were tracked.) He was top AL batter in 1999 with the Indians (19.9), top AL outfielder three times and top NL outfielder once. He ranked among the overall top 10 players twice, his league’s top 10 batters eight times, his league’s top 10 outfielders 10 times and was a top five AL designated hitter three times. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Ramirez for the Hall.

Gary Sheffield—I’m disqualifying Sheffield for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era. Other voters are, too, as this is his fifth year of Hall eligibility. He played from 1988 to 2009 for the Marlins, Dodgers, Brewers, Yankees, Braves, Padres, Tigers and Mets and has 124.1 career points since 1995, 11th among all batters. He would have an estimated 155 career points if his entire career from 1988 were tracked. Sheffield led AL batters in 2004 with the Yankees when he had 16.2 points. He led NL outfielders in 2000 with the Dodgers when he had 14.2 points. He was among the top 10 overall players once, was among his league’s top 10 batters six times, his league’s top 10 outfielders six times and was a top five AL designated hitter once. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Sheffield for the Hall.

Sammy Sosa—I’m disqualifying Sosa for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era. Other voters are, too, as this is his seventh year of Hall eligibility. Sosa played from 1989 to 2007 for the Cubs, White Sox, Rangers and Orioles and has 113.2 career Box-Toppers points, 16th among all batters since 1995. He would have an estimated 134 points if his entire career from 1989 were tracked. Sosa led NL batters in points in two seasons, both with the Cubs—1995 (15.9) and 1998 (15.5). He led NL outfielders three times. He was among the top 10 overall players once, a top 10 NL batter three times, a top 10 NL outfielder seven times and a top five AL designated hitter once. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Sosa for the Hall.

Miguel Tejada—I’m disqualifying Tejada for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era. This is his first year of Hall eligibility. Tejada played from 1997 to 2013 for the Athletics, Orioles, Astros, Royals, Giants and Padres and has 102.3 career Box-Toppers points, which is most by any shortstop since 1995, far ahead of second-place Derek Jeter’s 76.4. Tejada led AL shortstops in Box-Toppers points twice—in 2003 with the Athletics (10.2) and 2004 with the Orioles (10.7). He was among the top 10 AL batters four times, his league’s top five shortstops 10 times and top five NL third basemen once. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Tejada for the Hall.

There are four other players on the “official” BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot who do not appear on the IBWAA ballot because they already received the necessary 75 percent of internet writers’ vote for unofficial induction.

Of those four, Box-Toppers would only vote to induct one of them, Mike Mussina.

Mussina played from 1991 to 2008 for the Orioles and Yankees and has 155.6 Box-Toppers points since 1995, 18th among all pitchers since 1995. Mussina would have an estimated 193 Box-Toppers points if his entire career from 1991 were tracked. While he never led his league’s pitchers in points in any season, he finished among the top five AL pitchers six times and the top 10 overall players four times. His long, consistent tenure and high career Box-Toppers point total is enough to consider him a Hall of Famer. He is on the BBWAA ballot for the sixth time this year. He received 63.5 percent of writers’ votes in 2018, short of the 75 percent he needed. 

Here are three players considered Hall-worthy by the IBWAA that Box-Toppers would still not vote for:

Barry Bonds—I would disqualify Bonds for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era, as BBWAA voters have done so far for each of the six years of his Hall eligibility. Bonds played from 1986 to 2007 for the Giants and Pirates and has 153.2 career Box-Toppers points since 1995, fourth among all batters. He would have an estimated 230 career points if his entire career from 1986 were tracked. Bonds led NL batters in points twice, both with the Giants in 1999 (15.2) and 2002 (20.7). He was a top 10 NL batter and top 10 NL outfielder 10 times and was an overall top 10 player three times. Bonds received 56.4 percent of BBWAA writers’ votes in 2018, short of the 75 percent needed for election. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Bonds for the Hall.

Roger Clemens—I would disqualify Clemens for consideration because of his ties to the steroids era, as BBWAA voters have done so far for each of the six years of his Hall eligibility. Clemens played from 1984 to 2007 for the Red Sox, Yankees, Astros and Blue Jays and earned 164.8 Box-Toppers points since 1995, 12th among all pitchers. He would have an estimated 320 points if his entire career from 1984 were tracked. Clemens led all players in points in 1997 with the Blue Jays (27.4) and led AL pitchers in points twice, in both 1997 and 1998 (25.8), both the the Blue Jays. He was among the top 10 overall players three times and was among his league’s top 10 pitchers eight times. Clemens received 57.3 percent of BBWAA writers’ votes in 2018, short of the 75 percent needed for election. Without the steroid cloud, Box-Toppers would vote Clemens for the Hall.

Edgar Martinez—The designated hitter played from 1987 to 2004 for the Mariners and has 77.5 Box-Toppers points since 1995, which ranks ninth among designated hitters over that span. If his entire career from 1987 were tracked, Box-Toppers estimates he would have about 97.0 career points. Martinez never led even his league position in Box-Toppers points, with his highest finish being third among AL designated hitters in 2000 (with 12.0 points). He was a top five AL DH five times and a top 10 AL batter twice. Because he likely would have fallen short of 100 career Box-Toppers points and because he never led his position in points in any season, Box-Toppers has him falling just short of being a Hall of Famer. However, IBWAA voters disagree and have already inducted Martinez to the Hall. And BBWAA voters seem likely to officially induct Martinez in the Hall in January. In his ninth year of eligibility in 2018, he received 70.4 percent of the vote, just short of the 75 percent needed for induction. This is Martinez’s 10th and final year on the BBWAA writers’ ballot.

Players are eligible to be included on the Hall of Fame ballot if they played at least 10 years and have not been playing for five years. They require a 75-percent vote to be inducted in the hall. If they do not reach 75 percent, they remain on the writers’ ballot for 10 seasons. Also, if they don’t receive at least 5 percent of writers’ votes, they are removed from the following year’s ballot.

BBWAA voters are allowed to vote for up to 10 candidates for official Hall induction. IBWAA voters are allowed to vote for up to 15. Box-Toppers is voting for eight of the 31 listed candidates. (On the BBWAA ballot, Box-Toppers would vote for nine of the 35 candidates, including Mussina.)

About Box-Toppers—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.

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