Originally Posted by Oblong
The BBWAA east coast bias thing is a myth. The reason there appears to be one is because the Veterans committee had lobbying for guys like Rizzuto and because in the early days of baseball the east coast had a lot of teams. But in the last 50 years I can't think of any BBWAA inductee that got in because of east coast bias. There's pletny of marginal HOFers that were not east coast based.
How about Jim Rice? The year he had in '78 was ridiculous, but he didn't hit major milestones like 3,000 hits or 400 HRs. Seems to me a "Hall of Very Good" member, boosted because he played in Boston his entire career.
I recall a thread comparing Rice and Baines, and there were a lot of similaries.