It is easy to second-guess or to cry “foul” at the Hall of Fame voting done by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
At least this year they did pick the correct winners. Everybody knew it was only a matter of time before Roberto Alomar punched his ticket. He would probably have been a first-ballot man had it not been for the spitting incident.
He actually was the high scorer on the list with over 90 percent of the sports writers writing his name.
Had Bert Blyleven missed again this year, he would have had only one more shot. He cleared the hurdle this year with a surprisingly small amount of clearance. The “Dutchman” garnered 79.7 percent of the votes.
That was all well and good. My problem comes with a few players I thought would do much better.
Jeff Bagwell received only 41.7 percent of the votes and lagged behind nominee war-horses Jack Morris and Lee Smith.
“Bags” surely has the numbers to be included among the hallowed men of Cooperstown. He was a Rookie of the Year, an MVP, a four time All-Star, won three Silver Slugger Awards and one Gold Glove Award.
He hit 30 homers or more nine times and drove in 100 or more eight times. He finished with .297/449/1529. He had a most impressive OBP of .408, so what was there not to like?
The man was never mentioned in a steroid article or appeared on any list of “questionable” suspects.
Why so little love?
Tim Raines should already be enshrined, but I will go there anyway. Why is he constantly overlooked? He was not just one of the most prolific base thieves in history. He was on every NL All-Star team from 1981 until 1986 inclusive.
He led the NL in batting in 1986 with a .334 clip and also led in OBP with .413. He batted over .300 seven times and won one Silver slugger Award.
37.5 percent of the vote is disgraceful for a player on the ballot for his fourth time, with his credentials.
I was mystified that Larry Walker tallied only 20 percent of votes in his initial campaign. The man is legend. He won an MVP, three batting titles, one HR title and finished his career with an OBP of .400.
Walker was a five time All-Star, won seven Gold Glove awards along with three Silver Slugger awards.
He batted over .300 nine times, hit 30 HR or more four times and once belted 49 and I don’t care that most came at Coors Field. His final numbers are .313/383/1311.
I was shocked that Alan Trammell received just over 24 percent in his 10th year of eligibility. He was my top pick for eligible SS not in the Hall of Fame in April of 2009. It is clear to me that he will not make the HOF and will be snubbed and written off as was Tommy John just a few years ago.
I think the biggest surprise to me was the total lack of respect for Rafael Palmeiro. I understand many have written him off as a “user.” Whatever he was late in his career, he was also on the very short list of players who hit 500 HR and collected over 3000 hits.
That list includes only Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray, Willie Mays and of course Palmeiro. Impressive wouldn’t you say?
It was also alarming to see that two time MVP winner Juan Gonzalez barely made the cut for next year. With a .295/434/1404 line you would think that he would have been more than just a one time appearance which is what he nearly was with only 5.2 percent.
That is my two cents, what’s yours?