This was a fun little thing we did, was it not?
It wsa about two months ago that I first got the idea to take the end-of-year awards that I did, and expand the voting base. This idea evolved into the Halos Heaven Voting Board, to which 34 members, as well as Baseball Prospectus' Sam Miller, committed. We received 23 ballots for this countdown, and I'm sure for other various countdowns and awards we vote upon, this number will fluctuate.
Over two weeks have passed since the countdown first started, and over a month since votes started trickling in. I consider this countdown to have been a monumental success in curing offseason boredom, for voters and readers alike, and next month I will conduct one more countdown to tide us over until Opening Day (although I won't reveal the category just yet).
37 players garnered votes for this countdown. Some were snubs, some were questioned. Let's take a look at the list of the top 15 AND of those who failed to make the cut, just for review's sake:
1) Nolan Ryan 2) Vladimir Guerrero 3) Brian Downing 4) Bobby Grich 5) Albert Pujols 6) Jim Fregosi 7) Torii Hunter 8) Rod Carew 9) David Eckstein 10) Don Baylor 11) Reggie Jackson 12) Dean Chance 13) Chone Figgins 14) Mark Teixeira 15) Adam Kennedy
16) Doug DeCinces 17) Mark Langston 18) Chili Davis 19) Josh Hamilton 20) Scott Spiezio 21) Fred Lynn 22) Frank Robinson 23) Zack Greinke 24) Mo Vaughn 25) Orlando Cabrera 26) Bartolo Colon 27) Don Mincher 28) Bo Belinsky 29) Alex Ochoa 30) C.J. Wilson 31) Kelvim Escobar 32) Dan Haren 33) Bob Boone 34) J.T. Snow 35) Aaron Sele 36) Darren Oliver 37) Bobby Abreu
Just for fun, what if, with this pool of players, we had comprised the top 15 simply by WAR totals with the team? How different would it look? Actually...VERY.
1) Jim Fregosi, 43.3 2) Nolan Ryan, 37.6 3) Brian Downing, 35.3 4) Bobby Grich, 32.9 5) Mark Langston, 24.4 6) Vladimir Guerrero, 20.9 7) Chone Figgins, 20.8 8) Torii Hunter, 19.7 9) Dean Chance, 19.1 10) Doug DeCinces, 17.5 11) Adam Kennedy, 16.5 12) Rod Carew, 16.2 13) Kelvim Escobar, 13.3 14) David Eckstein, 12.0 15) Chili Davis, 10.6
Um...yeah. Kelvim Escobar was among the top 15 among these 37 acquisitions in total WAR. He of the rotted arm was 13 wins better than a replacement-level pitcher. Whoever cast his or her ballot for him...wow, good job. Seriously.
I could go on to arrange several different criteria for top 15 re-orders, but I won't. The point is, this countdown was a success.
If you voted, and haven't done so already, you can now publish your ballot. Feel free to discuss the results (and the WAR reordering of the list), or anything whatsoever. Maybe later I'll even disclose the next countdown category for discussion fodder.