This year's Hall of Fame ballot is unusual in that five of the 17 position players appearing on it are shortstops. I've put together a position analysis after the jump.
Defensive statistics*
Dave Concepcion2178367065943111290.9714.71
Gary DiSarcina106916313172131671.9734.49
Ozzie Guillen1896291153352221094.9744.35
Alan Trammell2139339161722271307.9774.47
Walt Weiss146220574009190854.9704.15

Gold Gloves:
  • Dave Concepcion 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979
  • Ozzie Guillen 1990
  • Alan Trammell 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984

Offensive statistics
Dave Concepcion.26723263891019509933114
Gary DiSarcina.258966186283554441276
Ozzie Guillen.2641764275286197732261
Alan Trammell.2852365412185100312313442
Walt Weiss.2581207182253866231526

  • This is the first year on the ballot for DiSarcina, Guillen, Trammell, and Weiss.

  • Dave Concepcion made nine All-Star squads and won the Silver Slugger twice. His Cincinnati Reds played in the World Series four times, winning twice.

  • Gary DiSarcina appeared in the All-Star game in 1995.

  • Ozzie Guillen was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1985 and played in three All-Star games.

  • Allen Trammell was named World Series MVP in 1984 after helping the Detroit Tigers beat the San Diego Padres in five games. He was named to six All-Star teams and won the Silver Slugger three times. He led the league in sacrifice hits twice.

  • Walt Weiss was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1988 and played in one All-Star game. He played in the World Series three times, winning once, with the Oakland A's in 1989.

  • Concepcion and Trammell outpace the other nominees both offensively and defensively. They appear to be fairly similar players, with Concepcion getting the nod defensively and Trammell offensively.

  • Concepcion has been on the ballot since 1994, but has never come close to being selected. Support for his candidacy has eroded from a high of 80 votes in 1998 to 55 last year.

  • Two pure shortstops who played during the last fifty years, Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio, have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, as have two other players, Ernie Banks and Robin Yount, who played more than 1000 games at short. Yount, with 3000+ hits, and Banks, with 500+ home runs, would be Hall of Famers regardless of position. Since neither Concepcion nor Trammell put up those kinds of offensive numbers, their Hall cases rest on showing that their offense was good enough given their defensive prowess. Smith and Aparicio, then, are the better comparison. The following table shows how the four stack up offensively and defensively.

Shortstop comparison**
Luis Aparicio9.9724.86.26226773941335
Dave Concepcion5.9714.71.2672326389993
Ozzie Smith13.9785.03.26224604021257
Alan Trammell4.9774.47.28523654121231

Analysis: DiSarcina, Guillen, and Weiss should feel honored just to have made the ballot and will be lucky to pull in ten votes between them. Trammell and Concepcion were nice players, but neither has a real shot at the Hall. Concepcion probably stuck around this long mostly because of his World Series resume, but his time is running out. Trammell's best hope for staying on the ballot another year is to pull in Concepcion voters who think that consistency demands that they cast a vote for Trammell as well.

* Since these defensive statistics may be unfamiliar, here's a brief glossary:
  • G - games
  • PO - Put outs
  • A - assists
  • E - errors
  • DP - double plays
  • FP - fielding percentage [ (A + PO) / (A + PO + E) ]
  • RFg - range factor per game [ (A + PO) / G ]

**GG - gold glove

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