Monday, January 12, 2009

Some Hall of Fame Voters are Dicks

Rickey Henderson was voted into baseball's Hall of Fame today. That shouldn't surprise anyone. After all, it would be exactly five years after Rickey finally decided he was finished playing baseball (it took a while, but still) that he would become a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. But there's always gotta be a few cranks out there (present company excluded).

From the 539 eligible Hall of Fame voters, Henderson received 94.8% of the vote. That amounts to 511 ballots. That also means that 28 voters out there determined that Rickey Henderson, the greatest lead-off hitter of all time, wasn't good enough this go-round to be inducted. Well, there must have been some reason. Perhaps his career numbers were lacking?

  • 25 seasons, 3,081 games played (4th all-time)
  • 1,406 stolen bases (1st all-time)
  • 2,295 runs (1st all-time)
  • 2,190 walks (2nd all-time)
  • 3,055 hits
  • 1990 AL MVP
  • 2 World Series titles
Didn't think so. No, it comes down to the long-held, old school (very old school) notion that no one should be a unanimous selection. It's never happened, though Tom Seaver came the closest.

The real problem I have is that for the Baseball Hall of Fame, voting is anonymous. Votes are tabulated but the ballots are not released. Not one of the 28 holdouts has to explain himself, why a stupid "tradition" trumps simple logic, or why he thought Rickey Henderson didn't qualify for the Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

dpost1 said...

Barry Stanton didn't vote for him, but he explained it thusly:

He firmly believes Ricky is a HOF, but saw him dog too many games and hot dog too much to vote him in the first ballot. It was in effect, a penalty no vote. He also was aware that Ricky would be voted in anyway with no problem.

Maybe not a great reason, but at least it's not "nobody deserves to be unanimous."