Being a baseball fan, the first week of January is always an exciting time since the Hall of Fame voting results are released. It’s always a favourite venture of mine to try and predict who will be voted in and who will miss out. This year I predicted that Andre Dawson and Roberto Alomar would both be elected, and that Bert Blyleven would once again fall short, but still be close. Two out of three ain’t bad.
I was happy to see that Andre Dawson was finally elected, as he definitely had a career that deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. I always found him to be a great player, and a seemingly genuine person. (Check out this article which speaks to his character). There’s something to be said for that character, especially in an era that we’re generally talking about steroids more than home runs (more on that below). Now, the question arises as to what hat he will wear in the Hall of Fame…will it be the Expos or The Cubs?
There are good arguments for both sides, as Dawson spent 10 years with the Expos, including the years that he built his reputation as one of the National League’s top hitters. But the 6 years he spent with the Cubs were obviously with a higher profile city and team, and therefore garnered him much more exposure than playing in a lost market like Montreal. It will be interesting to see what the Hall of Fame committee decides.
And that brings up another point, that the Hall of Fame decides what cap players wear now, instead of the player selecting it. You can blame Wade Boggs and Gary Carter for this, as they both declared that they wanted to be enshrined as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray and a New York Met, respectively. Boggs specifically requested the Tampa Bay hat to be used for his plaque because he reportedly was going to get financial compensation for it, as well as consideration for a front office job with the club. Because of this, “the Hall decided in 2001 to change its practice of deferring to players' wishes regarding cap logo selection, and reinforced the Hall's authority to determine with which cap the player would be depicted.” (Wikipedia)
I have no problem with the Hall deciding the hat, but it’s unfortunate that it is necessary due to the ridiculous actions of a Hall of Fame player who clearly doesn’t exhibit Hall of Fame character. Personally, I think that Andre Dawson should go into the Hall of Fame as an Expo. What do you think?
I was surprised, but not shocked, to see that Roberto Alomar didn’t get in this year. With 73.7% in his first year, he will undoubtedly get the necessary 75% next year, but I am of the opinion that he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. I’m sure the Hirschbeck spitting incident played in to some of the voting, but I don’t think that one incident can define his career, although it did tarnish his legacy in a big way. From a statistical and overall player standpoint, Alomar is definitely a Hall of Famer, and next year at this time, we will talking about how exciting it is for him to be going in as a Blue Jay.
The next few years are certainly going to be interesting with the Hall of Fame votes. The writers are sending a very clear message with Mark McGwire barely receiving consideration, and with Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens all coming up on the ballot in the next couple of years, it is going to be a very interesting time.
What do you think? When it comes to Hall of Fame voting, should character be considered? If you had a vote, would the spitting incident be relevant to your decision? And could you vote for a player who used performance enhancing drugs?
Let’s start a discussion in the Comments section, I want your thoughts on this one.