In April, the Fish Stripes community voted on which players to include in our inaugural Marlins Hall of Fame class.
The process began when I combed through every player who has appeared in at least three separate seasons for the Marlins. To be eligible, players needed to be retired or at least three full years removed from their last Marlins game. Then, 10 staff members and I voted on which of them deserved HOF consideration for their contributions to the franchise. Anybody who received at least three staff votes was placed on the fan ballot, making them finalists for the class of 2020. Twenty-two players qualified.
The Marlins HOF fan voting period was open from Apr. 9-19, with each voter limited to one ballot based on their device’s IP address. They were required to select at least one player but had no limit on how many they could select. We received 311 completed ballots and 108 of them included write-in candidates (outside of the 22 finalists).
The Fish Stripes staff represented 50% of the vote and the fans represented the other 50%. These figures were averaged together to determine the results. Most players on the ballot—from the “Florida era” of Marlins baseball—required 70% of the overall vote for election; players from the “Miami era” (marked below with an asterisk*), whose main contributions came since the start of the 2012 season, required 85% support. That raised bar was meant to mitigate possible recency bias.
Seven players got in: Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, Jeff Conine, José Fernández, Mike Lowell, Gary Sheffield and Dontrelle Willis.
A few notes:
- Castillo and Josh Beckett were the epitome of borderline. It would have taken only two fan votes to swing either of them above/below the threshold.
- Beckett and the 13 players directly trailing him in terms of vote percentage will remain on the ballot for 2021. Longtime Marlins reliever Steve Cishek will not because he received only 3.2% of the fan vote.
- The largest staff vs. fan disagreement on any player was second baseman Dan Uggla (72.7% vs. 30.2%).
- The most popular write-in candidate was Giancarlo Stanton, even though he was ineligible for the 2020 class. Fellow write-ins Iván Rodríguez, Robb Nen and Kevin Brown will also appear on the 2021 ballot. Heath Bell and Mike Piazza were among those who received sarcastic write-in support.