I just finished reading the Rules for Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame and I have to wonder how some of the players in this years class have not made it in yet. Each writer can vote up to ten players for the Hall. I see players like Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Steve Garvey, Lee Smith, Dale Murphy…the list goes on and on. All of these players were stars in their time and all I can really think of is the sportswriters that vote have been tainted by power surge starting in the late 90’s. I remember back in the late 70’s and 80’s it was all about pitching. I mean, we all loved the long ball but pitching was king. To have numbers like Jim Rice had during that time was special. In my opinion he should have been first ballot. Take Dale Murphy….not only was he a great player for some sad Brave teams, he was the most popular. One of the nicest guys in baseball needs to get in. I keep referring back to the list of eligible players and I really see at least ten players that should get in, but only a few will.
On to the first year candidates….we have Dwight Gooden that should not get in. Period. He started off with a bang and we always waited for those seasons to happen again but never did. The personal issues he had over the years did him in more than his lack of consistency. I loved watching him play early on but 2 or 3 great seasons doesn’t deserve a Hall ticket. Here’s the big one. Albert Belle deserves to get in. Yes, he wasn’t well liked, but his career stats are phenomenal. You can’t deny it. His career was cut short by a degenerative hip disease and I can only assume he would have continued his dominance if healthy. Chances are he won’t get in, at least on the first try.
And My Dilemma
Cal Ripken Jr. is my favorite players of all time. I’ve followed him pretty much his entire career which would have me being about ten years old when it all began. He will be a shoo-in when the ballots are counted in 2007 and what a class it will be:
Harold Baines, Derek Bell, Dante Bichette, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Brantley, Jay Buhner, Ken Caminiti, Jose Canseco, Eric Davis, Tony Fernandez, Tony Gwynn, Darryl Hamilton, Pete Harnisch, Charlie Hayes, Glenallen Hill, Ken Hill, Stan Javier, Wally Joyner, Ramon Martinez, Mark McGwire, Paul OâNeill, Gregg Olson, Cal Ripken Jr., Bret Saberhagen, Jeff Shaw, Kevin Tapani, Devon White, Bobby Witt
The above list proposes a big problem for me. I need to get to the induction and with this many
great players, it’s bound to be crazy. You see, I always new Cal would get in and I’ve been planning to go to the induction since his retirement. It would cap off what for me as a fan the greatest career an Oriole has had. Cal Ripken defined what it should be to be a player and a person. I want to be a part of the biggest honor a baseball player can receive and you can bet I have some sort of a plan to get there.