Okay, not to take anything away from Andre Dawson, I definitely believe he deserves to be in the Hall, and I would have voted for him, but come on. Bert Blyleven, who got tantalizingly close at only 5 votes short, still didn’t make it, continuing to make the election process an absolute joke. And as good as Dawson was, anyone who thinks he was better or more deserving than Roberto Alomar (who fell only 8 votes shy himself) should immediately surrender their vote.
It’s likely that Alomar was kept off of some ballots because of the spitting incident and the mythical prestige attributed to first-ballot induction. He’ll likely get in easily next year. Blyleven who, next to Alomar, were the two most obviously deserving candidates in this list, I’m not so sure about. Barry Larkin, Jack Morris and Lee Smith will all be back and all appeared on around half of the ballots, as well as Alomar. Plus, newcomers Rafael Palmiero, Jeff Bagwell, John Franco, Kevin Brown and Larry Walker are all likely to garner at least some support. I can only hope that some wisdom actually prevails and Blyleven gets in before his 15 years are up. Otherwise, it shames the entire process and the Hall of Fame itself.
But again, congratulations to Andre Dawson. At least the voters got something right.
Yet Another Update:
After perusing the full vote, which you can do here, I made a couple of observations. One is that no one of consequence will fall off of the ballot, although Harold Baines was really close, getting only 6.1 %, just above the 5% minimum threshhold to stay on. Also, considering how close both Blyleven and Alomar were, it makes it that much more ridiculous that such all-time Major League luminaries as Ellis Burks, Eric Karros, Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen and the immortal David Segui all garnered votes. Sure, they were all good players, All Stars even, but this is the Hall of Fame! And while I did really like Edgar Martinez as a player, seriously, do you expect me to believe that more voters actually find him more deserving than Tim Raines, Alan Trammell, Dave Parker, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy? And like I mentioned in my previous piece, Baines was a better, more consistent DH for a much longer period of time than Martinez.
I understand that baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, is a subjective game with many subtle levels to consider, but I seriously have to question the criteria for earning a vote when I see results like these. Maybe it’s time to consider giving current Hall of Famers a vote, like they now have on the Veterans’ Committee. A view from the actual field might be useful, and I would imagine that members would take the responsibility for voting very seriously. At least more seriously than the two folks who voted for Eric Karros.