Rotisserie Hall of Fame
Short of bringing in a bulldozer to Cooperstown, NY, there is not much we can do to truly change the current system. However, within the community of fantasy baseball brethren, we can correct the system in our corner of the neighborhood.
For fantasy leaguers, it is all about the stats. We don’t care whether a player exhibited sportsmanship or integrity so long as he helped us win our leagues. That will be our absolute criteria.
And we already have a tool that provides us with a completely objective statistical measuring stick: Rotisserie dollar values.
The calculation of roto dollars puts all players on a level playing field. And since it is driven by the caliber of offense and pitching in each season, it effectively allows accurate player valuations across years. So a 30-HR performance in a high offense season will not generate as high of a roto value as that same performance in a low offense season. Note these two comparable performances from Gary Sheffield:
YEAR TM AB R HR RBI SB BA R$ ==== === === === === === == ==== === 1992 SD 557 87 33 100 5 .330 $40 2001 LA 515 98 36 100 10 .311 $30
Despite scoring more runs, hitting more HRs and stealing more bases, Sheffield earned $10 less during the steroids-fueled 2001 season. The 19-point difference in batting average would not be nearly enough to justify such a drop in roto value.
Rotisserie dollars are the absolute arbiter of a player’s value within the context of the season in which he was playing. It doesn’t matter if the player was a steroids user or if the media had a grudge against him. It doesn’t matter if he was a bad person or if his stats were inflated because of his home ballpark. And it doesn’t matter if he never merited serious consideration for Cooperstown. All that matters is whether his statistical performances helped his fantasy teams during his career.
Here are the criteria for induction into our Rotisserie Baseball Hall of Fame:
BATTERS must meet all of these criteria:
- Minimum of 10 seasons in the Majors.
- Career earnings of at least $250.
- Minimum of $20 average annual earnings over the course of his career.
- Minimum of $25 average annual earnings during his peak* 10 years.
- Ranked among the annual top 15 of all batters at least once.
PITCHERS must meet all of these criteria:
- Minimum of 10 seasons in the Majors.
- Career earnings of at least $200.
- Minimum of $15 average annual earnings over the course of his career.
- Minimum of $20 average annual earnings during his peak* 7 years.
- Ranked among the annual top 15 of all pitchers at least once.
*In most all cases, the “peak” period will be assessed as consecutive years. In some isolated cases, particularly when an injury may have cost a player a full season, the peak year requirement may include non-consecutive seasons.
There is one exception to the above list. If a player falls no more than $1 short on one earnings benchmark but has a lifetime level of $300 or more, they get a pass and gain entry. Clearing the $300 bar is a big deal.
All dollar values are calculated based on a standard 5×5 game, with the player pool constituting approximately 80% of all players across both leagues. A 68%-to-32% offense-to-pitching allocation is used.
The Waiting Period
Isn’t it a bit excessive to have a 5-year waiting period prior to induction? Once a player retires, he is either worthy or not. So our Roto Hall makes its decisions quickly.
For any player who officially announces his retirement, the Roto Hall inducts him during the winter following his last season, or the following winter if his announcement is delayed. For players who do not make an official announcement, we wait two years. If there is no sign that a player will return to the majors after two years, he is inducted at that time.
This system does present the remote possibility of a player coming out of retirement and putting up poor numbers that cause him to fall short of the eligibility criteria. In those cases, we hope he enjoyed his short stay in the Roto Hall as we bid him farewell.
Since this system is based on Rotisserie values, we will begin our Hall at the start of the Rotisserie Era, which would be 1984’s publication of the book, Rotisserie League Baseball. The Inaugural Inductees began their careers before the beginning of the Rotisserie Era but amassed most of their value during the 1980s. They are evaluated for induction based on their average annual earnings, peak earnings and Top 15 ranking only during the post-1980 period of their respective careers.
Each year’s new members will be inducted at about the same time as the BBWAA announces their new members, in early January.
There have been other writers who’ve looked back at history through a Rotisserie lens. The following are other worthwhile reads:
All-Time Roto Team : Which Historical Seasons Would Have the Biggest Fantasy Impact? by Chris Liss, Rotowire.com
The Historical Fantasy Baseball Player Rater by Rudy Gamble, Razzball.com
The Rotisserie Hall of Fame eligibility criteria