Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame voting is getting weird

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Is Jimmy Gobble worthy of the HOF?
  • Is Jimmy Gobble worthy of the HOF?
What is going on with this year's voting for the Royals Hall of Fame? The museum has enshrined 24 former Royals greats (or pretty goods), and every other year the team opens voting for new members to the fans. As with all online voting, the process is prone to strange results and possible rigging. And as we noted in 2011, the HOF's standards for appearing on the ballot are woefully low.

The 2013 ballot is here, and the current vote tallies are pretty screwy. Bo Jackson, Royals legend, perhaps the only member of the team to ever be a nationwide cultural icon and subject of a recent ESPN documentary, is a distant second as of this morning. And Jimmy Gobble fans might be trying to stuff the ballot box.

At 19 percent, Jackson is chasing Darrell Porter, a designated hitter who played for the Royals 1977-80, who has amassed 55 percent of the vote. What's going on here? Porter was solid with the club, but he never hit over .300 or more than 20 homers. Well, it can possibly be attributed to the voters in Joplin, Porter's hometown, being, er, homers. This doesn't explain why Jackson is lagging behind so far though.

Another anomaly in voting is pitcher Jimmy Gobble, who played 2003-08 for the Royals, with several trips back to the minors. Amazingly, Gobble is solidly in third place in the vote with 9 percent. Gobble has a 5.29 career ERA. His best year was probably 2007, when he went 4-1 in 74 appearances with a 3.02 ERA. As Yahoo Sports' Big League Stew points out, Gobble was at 21 percent of the vote on Tuesday. Given today's numbers, it appears that actual Royals fans are starting to skew the vote toward reasonable results.

The votes of Royals fans likely don't have too much of a say in who gets into the Kauffman hall anyway. Forty electors fill out ballots for each candidate. The top player for whom fans vote gets three votes, second place gets two, and third place gets one vote. So, Jackson and Porter are probably safe from the Gobble threat.

You can vote here until noon on March 29.

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