Posts Tagged ‘BBWAA’

No One Inducted to the Hall of Fame for 2013

January 9th, 2013 by AmyMac | Comments Off on No One Inducted to the Hall of Fame for 2013 | Filed in Baseball, General, Phillies

By Amy McGinnis

For the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected zero candidates into the Hall of Fame.  There were 37 candidates on the ballot this winter, and not one of them will be a 2013 inductee. I have to say that I think the BBWAA got it right, although personally, I would have elected Fred McGriff.  It’s hard for me to believe that the Crime Dog will be 50 this year; it doesn’t seem like 20 years ago that he took over at first base in Atlanta.  (Incidentally, it’s also strange for me to see Ryan Klesko on the ballot, because I remember his first game in left field for the Braves when he was 21.  I suppose the bottom line here is that I’m just old.) McGriff’s numbers over his 1986-2004 career are certainly Hall of Fame worthy – he hit a career .284 with 493 home runs.  Aside from his statistics, though, Fred McGriff should be recognized for the way he played and the context in which he played.  McGriff was a slugger during an era when power hitters broke records by way of needle injections.  In fact, I find it somewhat insulting to McGriff that his name is mixed with those of cheaters (looking at you, Piazza, Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire …).

The argument can be made that those who used steroids during their careers should not be included on the Hall of Fame ballot.  I’ve heard many people cite the unfairness that Pete Rose is disqualified due to gambling, but PED users are not.   The thing we need to remember, though, is that Rose gambled while it was explicitly forbidden.  The PEDs that were used in the late 1990s and early 2000s were not illegal in MLB at the time.  As much as I hate that steroid users from that time are permitted on the Hall of Fame ballot, I understand that it wouldn’t be fair to exclude them on the basis of syringe usage. (As a side note, I’d like to see Pete Rose’s ban lifted.)

That being said, I’d submit that the Hall of Fame election is a solidly constructed selection process.  Unlike for the All-Star Game, which has developed into a bit of a joke, Hall of Fame ballots cannot be completed by random baseball nerds and other morons.  It’s not the Gold Glove awards, either, where there’s a winner for each position (ahem … even outfielders in 2005).  What I like most about the Hall of Fame induction process is that a candidate cannot be selected by statistics or popularity alone.  Votes are not given; they are earned.  I’m able to put a quarter in my Faith in Humanity Restoration fund today, knowing that the BBWAA made a sound decision.  Cooperstown should not be tainted by the likes of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.  I like the message that the Baseball Writers’ Association of America sent to players today:  An election needs to be earned, and no one did that. They’d simply rather have no one inducted this year.

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