The Hall of Fame Vote
Yesterday, the BBWAA announced the results of their Hall of Fame balloting. Only Andre Dawson surpassed the 75% threshold, with Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar coming within less than 10 votes of election. What should we take from this?
First, Dawson is a reasonable pick. If you consider Dawson a center fielder, he clearly does not rate with the absolute elites like Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, or Tris Speaker. That is not the standard. All five of those are among the 25 or so best players ever to play the game. Even a clear Hall of Famer like Ken Griffey, Jr. can’t meet that standard. Dawson has a lousy OBP, and that is part of what delayed his election for 10 years. However, he was an excellent home run hitter and a very good defensive center fielder in a low-scoring era. He got no benefit from his park until late in his career, and the turf in Montreal almost certainly shortened his career. Is he one of the best outfielders in the Hall? No, but he is also nowhere close to the worst. A Hall of Fame that already has Chick Hafey, Lloyd Waner, and Harry Hooper is in no way cheapened by the election of Andre Dawson.
Second, Bert Blyleven should finally be elected next year. My prediction of his election this year was five votes off. It is sad it has taken him so long to approach election. Next year will be his next to last year of eligibility on the BBWAA ballot. What has taken him so long? A lack of Cy Young Awards, a weak winning percentage, and voter stupidity.
Third, though never an Alomar fan, he will unsurprisingly go in next year. He is an easy pick, certainly one of the 10 best second basemen to play the game. He did a bit better than I thought he would.
Below the big three, Edgar Martinez came in the upper 30’s, which is a decent start. He is already in the range with which Bert Blyleven entered the ballot, so his chance of election is decent in the extended term. Barry Larkin, at around 50%, will probably make it in two years in a year with a weak incoming class. I am disappointed that Robin Ventura will drop off the ballot, given the paucity of Hall of Fame third basemen. I don’t think he should be elected, but he deserved a closer look than he got.
What are your reactions?