Thoughts on the HOF voting

Posted By on January 12, 2009 11:15 am

Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice got in, which is really no surprise. Henderson was a slam-dunk and Rice came so close last year that that he was almost a lock in this, his final year of eligibility on the writers’ ballot.

Henderson was named on 511 of 539 ballots (94.8 percent), which is shockingly low. I guess the guy in Arizona who got so much heat for omitting Henderson has company. I wonder if the other 27 also made a “mistake”?

(Incidentally, the issue of which player got the highest percentage of votes is silly. Right now it’s Tom Seaver, at 98.84 percent. Uh, does that mean Tom Seaver was the greatest player in the history of baseball? Better than Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays? Of course not. It’s just a silly bit of trivia.)

Rice squeaked in with 76.4 percent, which is just over the 75 percent required.

Andre Dawson, who I voted for, came closest among the rest, with 67 percent. Bert Blyleven, who I didn’t vote for, got 62 percent, about the same total as he got last year. Blyleven seems to be the posterboy for the “Writers Are Idiots” case. I’m sure he’ll be on the radio and TV complaining today. As I wrote earlier on my blog, I think he’s very very very close, and I may vote for him next year. Of course, the more I hear him denigrating anyone who doesn’t vote for him — which I’m sure I will — the less I want to vote for him.

Mark McGwire, who I also voted for, is losing support, down to 21 percent this year. He’s never getting in.

As another aside, there will be much hand-wringing about people who didn’t vote for Rickey, but what about the ones who did vote for Mo Vaughn (6), Jay Bell (2) and Jesse Orosco (1)? Seriously?


4 Responses to “Thoughts on the HOF voting”

  1. Murph says:

    Great to be reading you again Fletch! One question about the Hall voting — do writers get lifetime voting rights? How in the world was that guy who writes for the Arizona retirement community newsletter (who didn’t vote for Rickey) still have a vote? Seems if baseball wanted to maintain some credibility, they’d make some new writers at places like the Hardball Times eligible. At least they wouldn’t vote for Matt Williams of Jay Freakin Bell. For all of baseball’s talk about maintaining the integrity of the game, that seems a little ridiculous.

  2. Jeremiah says:

    I’m curious about something you wrote in regard to voting for Blyleven. What is the thought process behind not voting for a guy who’s been retired for more than a decade one year, but voting for him the next. I’m not just talking about Blyleven (who, if Don Sutton has a bust, definitely deserves one too), but any of these guys who seem to pick up steam as their eligibility wanes. I guess I could see how Rice’s accomplishments seem more impressive because of how his numbers seem better when considering the fact that he played in a pre-steroids era, but this happens all the time. Your thoughts?

  3. hal says:

    Perhaps Big Mac was a HOF steroid user, but I think he still deserves to be in the hall. I would vote for him too. As the years go by, maybe there won’t be such a stigma associated with the players wrapped up in the steroid era. Baseball, however people want to hold it in their minds, was what it was, and it should be acknowledged rather than swept under the rug.

  4. Motorbreath2000 says:

    Fact is, nobody has proven that McGwire ever did use steroids. You have him denying to talk about anything in front of a grand jury (which doesn’t exactly prove anything), and you have Jose Canseco’s allegations. Sure, Jose played with the guy, but I wouldn’t trust him not to throw a teammate under the bus in order to make a few bucks (plus, he isn’t exactly the most trustworthy guy on the planet, either). I say if you can’t prove it, then you can’t deny him something because of something you have no proof of (just like Pete Rose, who finally had to come out in a plea in order to try to make the hall, and it still didn’t work).

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