On Monday, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its annual ballot, with voting to be conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The ballot has 25 names, which is smaller than usual. A typical ballot usually has more than 30 names. Every year, a screening committee selects a host of players from a list of eligible first-time players.
Results will be announced on Jan. 26th and the induction ceremony will take place July 25. The question is: will anyone be elected this time?
That would seem like a question worth asking. Among holdovers from the last ballot, only one player collected more than 61 percent last year. And the additions to this year's ballot do not include any obvious candidates for first-year admission.
This year's ballot has 11 new names: Mark Buehrle, A.J. Burnett, Michael Cuddyer, Dan Haren, LaTroy Hawkins, Tim Hudson, Torrii Hunter, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Swisher, Shane Victorino and Barry Zito. Of those, only Victorino ever played for the Red Sox.
From the list of first-timers, it would seem that Buehrle might have the best case. He was remarkably durable, with 14 consecutive seasons of 200 or more innings for the White Sox. Even in the final year of his 16-year career, he fell just shy of the milestone with 198.2 innings.