Baseball Hall of Fame ballot breakdown: The non-A-Rod gems

The Hall of Fame ballot was revealed Monday. It is a day on the baseball calendar that should be more revered.

It is not like Hall of Fame election day, of course. But think of it like making the playoffs rather than winning the World Series. Simply reaching the ballot signals achievement at an extraordinarily high level — even if it falls short of the highest level.

Think about the winnowing system that takes place just to get onto the ballot. Millions of kids around the world play baseball every year and begin to graduate from Little League to travel squads or to high school or to college. A tiny percentage of that group gets a pro contract to begin at Rookie Ball. Then they begin the climb to Low-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A.

To simply reach the majors is an accomplishment — just 22,000 or so have done it in history. Now spend 10 years in the majors — less than 10 percent of players who reach The Show achieve this milestone. Then there is a committee that receives a list of all players who have been retired for five years who played at least 10 seasons in the majors. That committee decides who gets on the ballot, so you need more than just longevity.