The Problem With The Hall: Rice, Henderson In, Dawson Out

Noel PurcellCorrespondent IJanuary 12, 2009

Today the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame inductees for 2009 were announced.

As expected, Rickey Henderson was inducted. However, in the final year of his eligibility, a player who has deserved this for so long finally got it.

Jim Rice

Rice was one of the most feared hitters of his time, hitting 382 Homers and 1451 RBI's in 16 seasons with Boston. He was a nine-time all star and won the 1978 AL MVP.

However, it took Rice 20 years, in his final year of eligibility, to get in.

This kind of thing shouldn't happen. Andre "The Hawk" Dawson didn't get in, he was 8.0 percent of the vote short. Do you know how little 8.0 percent of the vote is? 43 Votes, 43 out of 539 votes. Now, this "all-knowing baseball entity" these "Hall Despots" have made their "oh-so enlightened" opinion known to the public, and left him off the ballot. Who are they you ask? The Baseball Writers Association of America.

Now, BBWAA, I'm calling you out. Use your "infinite baseball wisdom" and answer this question for me. Why is Andre Dawson not in and Jim Rice is (this is NOT a knock on Jim Rice, who rightfully will have his plaque, complete with Red Sox hat, enshrined in Cooperstown).

If its by a pure statistical point of view, Dawson is better. 438 homers and 1591 RBI, and 314 steals.

Maybe it's by hardware. MVP in 1987, ROY honors in 1977 and winner of the Hutch award for the player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire to win, in 1994, when he played in 75 total games for Boston.

Maybe it's by championships. Neither have won one. (Although if Dawson had stuck around in Florida for one more season, he'd have his ring).

Did I mention the fact that the league colluded against him and he played in Montreal on turf destroying his knees early in his career? No? Well I just did. Does this mean that Dawson is a better player than Rice, not necessarily. But the point is, if Jim goes, The Hawk should be in as well.

So BBWAA, why not Dawson?