Andre Dawson Gets into Hall of Fame; Will Jack Morris Ever Get His Due?

Dino MoriAnalyst IJanuary 8, 2010

1991:  Andre Dawson #8 of the Chicago Cubs stand ready inside the batting cage during practice in 1991. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

This past week we heard Andre "The Hawk" Dawson was the only former Major Leaguer inducted into Cooperstown, N.Y., site of Baseball's Hall of Fame.

It was also learned, that it was Dawson's ninth attempt, at earning enough ballots from the Baseball Writer's Association of America (BWAA) to join the likes of ex-Expo greats Gary Carter and Tony Perez at the Hall.

Dawson was the only player chosen for Hall status in 2010, when he received more than the 75 percent threshold needed for induction. "The Hawk" got 420 of 545 ballots sent in by the members of the BWAA.

The manner in which players are selected to baseball's holy land is odd to me. 

Is it not strange that players eligible for the Hall are given 15 opportunities to make it to Cooperstown? That's if they receive at least five percent of the votes cast by the BWAA.

To illustrate my point, I will use Jim Rice, former Boston Red Sox All-Star outfielder, as an example. In 16 seasons with Boston, Rice amassed impressive offensive numbers, hitting 382 home runs and driving in 1,451 runs.

He was the American League MVP in 1978 and appeared in eight All-Star games.

Rice was selected to Cooperstown in his final year of eligibility. That alone makes me scratch my head. If he was worthy of getting into the Hall in 2009, then why wasn't he picked back in 1995? His stats and relationships with the media didn't change during this time. So, what gives?

Not since Ralph Kiner back in 1975 was a player enshrined into Cooperstown on his final attempt. In 1968, St. Louis Cardinals star Joe Medwick was too selected in his final year of eligibility. 

It makes me wonder if certain biases with the media play a huge role in whether a player gets in or not. Rice was never a media darling, which may have played a part in him having to wait so long. 

The same can be said for former Minnesota Tiger and Toronto Blue Jays hurler Jack Morris, who spent 18 truculent seasons in the bigs. Despite being the best pitcher in the American League during the 1980s, and having earned four World Series rings, Morris continues to be denied Hall status. 

This year, Morris earned 282 votes (52.3 percent), which ranked him fourth behind Dawson, Bert Blyleven (74.2 percent), and Roberto Alomar (73.7 percent). This, in itself, is a travesty.

Morris' blatant candor and standoffishness with the media is likely to keep him out of the Hall. The right-hander has only three years left of eligibility.

Who knows how long the BWAA will try to keep Barry Bonds out?