What's become The Great Tease came and went again Tuesday and, still, luminaries Ron Santo, Gil Hodges, Tony Oliva, former ump Doug Harvey and Marvin Miller, the first players union boss, remain on the outside of the Hall of Fame looking in.
Judging by a growing track record, they may want to save their emotions and steel themselves for good at the thought of never being elected.
Following the 2001 election, the Hall revamped its Veterans Committee, which acts sort of as a historical oversight committee to look at candidates that didn't make the cut on the writers' ballot and non-uniformed personnel.
The Veterans Committee now consists of 84 voters, including living Hall of Famers, living members of the writers' and broadcasters' wings of the Hall and former executive John McHale, a holdover from the last Veterans Committee whose term ends with this election (or, as it were, non-election).
This was the third time the "new" Veterans Committee voted -- it looks at retired players every two years and at non-uniformed personnel, such as umpires and executives, every four years. The revamped Veterans Committee has pitched a shutout now on all three occasions.
Most interesting might be this: While fans sometimes wonder -- rightly so -- how the same writer can't vote for an eligible player in one Hall election and turn around and vote for the same player in the next, this Veterans Committee consisting of Hall of Famers themselves appears to be doing so.
Ron Santo fell just five votes short of election at 69.5 percent (75 percent needed for election). Which means, when looked at by the "new" Veterans Committee, Santo received 46 votes in 2003, 52 in 2005 and 57 in 2007. Deaths could account for some of that -- for example, the late Kirby Puckett was voting in '03 and '05 but, obviously, not this year.
Hodges, meanwhile, was at 61.7 percent of the vote in '03, 65 percent in '05 and fell to 61 percent this year.
As is the case with many elections, there are some things that are difficult to decipher here. But there is one thing that isn't: The current Hall of Famers who make up the Veterans Committee are loath to expand their club.
That is the resounding verdict from Tuesday's revelation of votes. And the resounding message to those eligible to be considered by the Veterans Committee is, don't hold your breath.