Fixing The Baseball Hall Of Fame, Via The Vote

Baseball, The Cheap Seats — By on December 28, 2012 at 1:15 am

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Back in 2010 before I landed at TSFJ, I had the good fortune of joining up with the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, a national pool of freelance beisbol writers that has since fed some rather reputable outlets the last few years. As part of this affiliation, I’ve cast an internal Baseball Hall of Fame ballot the last two years, following the official voting procedures.  And ever since that began, I’ve dreaded what 2013 was to bring: a decision that makes LeBron’s look like the call between soup and salad.

The Steroid Era needs no introduction, and neither does the ethical war on Hall affiliation it’s spawned. So let’s get this out here in a hurry: I don’t care. With a few very clear exceptions, I am largely unaffected by steroid users … especially ones that were great before this was even an issue. So with the exception of one ex-Cub right fielder, whose assent was far too quick and overpowering to be coincidence, I’m not blocking anybody from my ballot.

But like with any vote, there’s opinion. Ten folks can get in on each ballot, which makes a ton of difference voter to voter. Will the real ballot look like mine? Absolutely not. Most likely it will be a very small class, with a ton of turnover. But I guarantee that starting this year, there will never be a more hotly debated ring of fire around baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Here’s my not-so humble opinion on who should be in the fold this year, and why.

Be sure to check out the full ballot as well to see what a tough call this is this time around.

Matt Whitener

I'm a firm believer that the closest I've gotten to Heaven is Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. In the meantime til we cross paths again, I'll pass along the gospel of the Field of Dreams here, Cheap.Seats.Please, I70 Baseball, and 'Live From The Cheap Seats'.

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    6 Comments

  • I am totally, 100 percent in favor of this. Bottom line, these guys deserve to be in the Hall. They are some of the greatest players of all time, and they are absolutely famous. It is the Hall of Fame, after all. If a large portion of players were doing it, then they still were the best of the “cheaters.” Also, it’s so bogus to go back and try to wipe history clean when only god knows what happened and what happened back in the day.

    HOWEVER, I got a problem with you deciding to pick and choose who you deem benefited the most from steroids. Excluding Sosa is completely counter to your argument. It’s gotta be an all or nothing thing, in my opinion. I mean, you keep Big Mac on there when Jose Canseco, the whistleblower of all whistleblowers, said he was injecting him back in the day in Oakland.

    Truth be told, you, I, or anyone else has no idea who definitively was and was not taking steroids, or how/when/why they were. You can’t have it both ways and say that’s fair.

    I am, though, all in favor of inducting the “steroid era” players. It was a sign of the times.

    • Rev, I feel the sentiment, but there’s something in me that see a red light as different than a yellow one. From 1998-2001, Sosa averaged .310/61 homers/149 RBI per year. Before then, he’d only hit 40 homers once, and never hit over .260 any season where he played 140 games. That’s the bridge over troubled waters there.

      There’s a few folks that are in this fold with him: Bret Boone, Ken Caminiti and Brady Anderson as well, but Sosa made the biggest, most blatant mockery of it all. And the jump from being an All-Star or even MVP (which gets forgotten), to Hall of Famer is something off putting for me.

  • JAG says:

    Have to agree with Rev – from this point of view. Keeping them out makes them more famous and controversial than letting them in. Pete Rose can earn more at a signing than Aaron, Schmidt and Gibson put together. Shoeless Joe Jackson is just about as famous as Ruth and Gehrig. Look at Lawrence Taylor. He was let in; there was a bit of sniping, then it was forgotten. Let them in; don’t make martyrs out of them.

  • Dill Friday says:

    I love the so called “character clause” that keeps certain players out. There are cheaters in the Hall, drug users in the Hall, racists in the Hall, and Ty Cobbs in the Hall. It is likely there are steroid users in the Hall as well. No point in turning the whole voting process into a hodgepodge of hypocrites by deciding who did and did not juice.
    I’d vote everyone in. Hopefully the implicated men realize the error of their ways and politely decline the invitation to join baseball’s immortals. Alas, there never was much honor in the game.

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