If you need to think about whether or not a player is a hall of famer, then he's not.
It really is that simple.
The players elected to the Hall of Fame should be the guys who give you goosebumps. The hitters who, when they stepped into the batter's box, you stopped to watch. The pitchers who, when they took the mound, gave you a chance to see a no hitter or perfect game.
Lou Gherig. Hank Aaron. Willie Mays. Sandy Koufax. Satchel Paige. Those guys.
Today, Bert Blyleven was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His name was included on 79 percent of the ballots (75 percent is required for election).
Wait, 79 percent? So that means 21 percent said "No." If there are voters who don't think you are a hall of famer—not just fans, but voters—then you aren't a hall of famer.
Blyleven won 20 games once. It happened in his fourth year in the majors (1973) and he never did it again in his 22-year career. He didn't win 300 games (287). From 1976 to 1992, Blyleven tallied 200 strikeouts just twice (1985, 1986).
Is that a hall of famer? Obviously the answer is yes, but did he have the kind of stats to have his name next to the all-time greats?
I'm not saying that everyone in the Hall of Fame deserves to be there. That's obviously not true.
But that's my point.
Is Ken Griffey, Jr. a hall of famer? Of course he is. You can answer that question without thinking or looking up any stats.
Is Greg Maddux a hall of famer? Yes. No need to look up stats. Yes, he is.
Pedro Martinez? Yes.
But there are guys that will be eligible for the Hall of Fame in the next few and people are going to be debating whether or not they're hall of famers. There shouldn't be any debate. What would be the harm in NOT voting anyone into the HOF one year? Why does someone have to go in every year?
Jeff Bagwell didn't get in this year. There are guys who are going nuts that he's not in. Then there are guys who are so sure he's not a hall of famer. There should be no debate.
On top of that, you don't get in on the first ballot...you don't get in. What is this second chance stuff? Roberto Alomar was elected to the Hall of Fame this year, after falling short in 2010. He spit on an umpire and could be a bit curt with the media, so that same media kept him out as punishment.
Now, a year later, he gets 90 percent of the votes. Come on. So he wasn't last year, but he is this year?
Don't get me wrong. I think Alomar is a hall of famer. But the idea that he was this year but not last year as some sort of punishment is ridiculous.
When voting for the Hall of Fame, the players who get inducted cannot possibly be questioned. Will there always be debate? Sure. But there are guys who are not debatable, not in any way, and those are the hall of famers.