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Monday, May 20, 2013
The voting must be really difficultPosted Monday, January 14, 2013, at 8:41 AM
Voting each year for induction into any hall of fame must be very difficult.
For example, for years, I've wondered why the band Chicago has been denied access into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
After the mistake the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) recently made, perhaps someone else should be voting.
Recently, the writers turned in their ballots for 2013 voting. Not a single player was voted in.
The Veterans Committee voted in three, including former umpire Hank O'Day, former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and former player Deacon White.
I can understand why some of the "steroid era" players have been denied access into the hallowed doors of the Baseball Hall of Fame, located in Cooperstown, N.Y., but some of the other players left out this year were just mind-boggling.
For years, it has long been known there were certain "benchmarks" players could reach and become a member of the hall of fame.
Take for example these two numbers: 3,000 and 500.
The first number, 3,000, is for hits.
The second is for home runs.
Regarding hits, there are only 28 players in history who have recorded more than 3,000 hits.
Of the 28, 24 are in the Hall of Fame.
One is still active.
Pete Rose, Major League Baseball's all-time hit leader, will -- more than likely -- never get into the hall of fame. After being accused of gambling while managing the Cincinnati Reds, he was banned from baseball.
Players who are banned from the game are denied access.
The active player with 3,000 hits? He's New York Yankee Derek Jeter, a sure bet to make the hall of fame on his first ballot.
There are two more players in history with 3,000 hits who are not in the hall: Craig Biggio and Rafael Palmeiro.
Palmeiro became famous for wagging his finger at legislators, stating he had never taken steroids.
After being pointed out by former player Jose Canseco in the book, "Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits and How Baseball Got Big," Palmeiro had this to say at a Congressional hearing:
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."
This was in March 2005.
On Aug. 1, 2005, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days during the regular season after testing positive for steroids.
He retired from the game later that year.
Biggio came into the game in 1989 as a catcher for the Houston Astros.
After a few years, Biggio eventually played second base and also saw time in the outfield.
He played his entire career with the Astros and reached the 3,000-hit plateau.
Yet, he was denied access into the hall of fame this year, his first year of eligibility.
I recently heard some "sports analysts" discussing how Biggio stayed in the game long enough to reach 3,000 hits.
Essentially, they were saying he was a "collector."
There are plenty of "collectors" in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Former pitcher Don Sutton comes to mind.
While Sutton was a four-time all-star, he had only one season in his career where he won 20 games. Sutton played 23 seasons and amassed 324 wins. He was elected to the hall of fame in 1998.
As far as the "steroid era" players -- Jeff Bagwell, Mike Piazza, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Palmeiro -- election may never come.
It can be argued Clemens and Bonds had hall of fame careers before the "steroid era."
Both were arguably the best of the best before the astronomical numbers started to climb.
Do they deserve to be in the hall of fame? It's a good question, which should eventually be answered.
In my opinion, they should. After all, the BBWAA allowed access for several former players who were "dirty," or just flat out mean.
Ty Cobb was painted as a racist during his playing days. He's in the hall of fame.
Orlando Cepeda served time in prison. He's in the hall of fame (but was elected by the Veterans Committee).
Ferguson Jenkins had some trouble with drugs while playing. He's in the hall of fame.
But the "steroid era" players will probably never gain access.
Perhaps they will, but probably not.
In all honesty, it's a shame Fred McGriff, Lee Smith, Biggio and Dale Murphy were not elected into the hall this year.
For Murphy, a two-time National League Most Valuable Player, he will no longer be on the ballot.
After 15 years of being on the ballot, players are removed.
Hopefully, the veterans committee will elect him, and soon.