There’s one more thing I would like to say about the Hall of Fame. More specifically, I’d like to say something about Hall of Fame voting.
Roberto Alomar was informed yesterday that he received 90% of HOF voting in his 2nd year of eligibility. He will be inducted on July 24th.
When it comes to voting for The Hall, there’s a lot of subjectivity that goes into it. Some guys are 1st ballot and others take time to grow on the voters. Sometimes a guy “just doesn’t feel” like a Hall of Famer. Sometimes a player cheats by using performance enhancers or cybernetic implants.
I understand and will abide those kinds of rationalizations because it’s better to keep the voting subjective, rather than creating strict guidelines (like, you must have over 3000 hits and 300 HRs).
What I cannot abide is when the writers vote based on the perceived character of a player.
As I mentioned above, this was the 2nd year of eligibility for Alomar and by all accounts he should have been elected last year. Why wasn’t he, then?
Well, apparently, one time, in a fit of passionate rage, he spit in an umpire’s face. Granted, you shouldn’t spit in peoples’ faces. I get that.
But I don’t think it’s right that the BBWAA felt the need to “punish” him for this singular act by holding back votes in 2009. As far as I know, this wasn’t something that the commissioner’s office said should happen. It was just senseless group-think amongst the writers.
There was another guy a long time ago, you might have heard of him. His name was Ty Cobb.
Cobb was, for lack of a better term, an angry old bastard. He hated everyone, especially the commissioner. He was a racist, he spiked people with his cleats, and one time he jumped into the stands and attacked a fan that was heckling him.
Mr. Cobb clearly had more than a few character flaws.
So, despite being one of the most prolific hitters who ever lived, poor old Ty probably never made it into the Hall of Fame. Oh, wait, he did.
Well, then, he probably didn’t get voted in right away, right? Wrong. He was part of the inaugural class.
In fact, he got more votes than Babe Ruth and the percentage of the vote that he got (98.2%) is still the 4th highest in history.
So, basically, who cares if Roberto Alomar spit on a guy once? That guy has since forgiven him and it isn’t as if Alomar made a career of it.
Why don’t we leave the Hall of Fame voters to worry about on-the-field performance instead of an arbitrary moral code?
Lastly, here is an amusing (but very long) article that explains why no one belongs in the Hall of Fame.