Major League Baseball is buzzing with the news that will shortly be delivered about the next round of inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Each year, as millions of people watch, the announcement comes with a mix of happiness and resentment.
Those who get voted in certainly deserve the honor. But, what about those who are left behind without having received enough votes?
We are all left to wonder why some athletes who deserve to be enshrined are so often overlooked. We can’t help but wonder if there is some form of bias. Is it intentional?
Jeff Bagwell, a 15-year veteran who played his entire career with the Houston Astros, is one of those deserving athletes who has felt that bias.
Bagwell almost played his career for the Boston Red Sox, having been a top prospect for the club. However, on August 30, 1990, he was traded to Houston.
The trade was one that Boston would soon regret, and it has been labeled by some as one of the worst trades in MLB history.
In his first year with the Astros, Bagwell hit .294 with 15 home runs, 82 RBI and was named the 1991 National League Rookie of the Year.
Bagwell was named the National League MVP in 1994, batting .368 with 39 home runs, 116 RBI and 104 runs in only 400 at-bats. He holds the record for fewest plate appearances needed to reach at least 100 runs and 100 RBI in one season.
The first baseman also had nine seasons with over 30 home runs and over 100 runs scored, and eight seasons with 100 or more RBI.
He achieved those numbers over six consecutive seasons from 1996 to 2001.
Unfortunately, Bagwell had to bring his career to an end due to arthritis in his shoulder. He attempted to continue to play with his deteriorating condition, but his production weakened.
Bagwell announced his retirement in December 2006.
Bagwell was eligible to be placed on the Hall of Fame ballot last year. As we all know, he did not receive the necessary number of votes for induction.
His failure to be inducted had to do with nothing more than simple rumors. The voters have suspicions that Bagwell used steroids or some form of performance enhancing drugs.
He has denied these accusations, and there has never been any proof that he used anything. Voters have stated that they did not vote for him simply because of a rumor.
I find actions such as this to be deplorable. Any voter who takes such a stand should, in my opinion, be stripped of the ability to vote athletes into—or keep them out of—the Hall of Fame.
Jeff Bagwell deserves the honor of enshrinement, and he should not have to be subjected to such nonsense.