Hall of Fame Eve

Muder_90.jpgBy Craig Muder

It’s Hall of Fame Eve in Cooperstown, the day before the annual Baseball Writers’ Association of America election.

01-05-10-Muder_HendersonRice.jpgAnd just like on Christmas Eve, you can bet there’s going to be a few people who have trouble sleeping tonight.

Take Andre Dawson. The leading returning vote-getter from the 2009 BBWAA election (at 67 percent) is on the ballot for the ninth time after missing election by just 44 votes a year ago.

Or how about Bert Blyleven? The curveball maestro received 62.7 percent of the vote last year, falling just short of the 75 percent needed for election. For Blyleven, this marks his 13th time on the BBWAA ballot – leaving him two more chances (if he needs them) after this election.

01-05-10-Muder_ResultsBox.jpgThen there’s Roberto Alomar, who’s making his BBWAA ballot debut. The 12-time All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove winner could become just the 45th player to be elected in his first year of eligibility.

How about Lee Smith and Jack Morris, who both received a little less than half of the vote last year? Or ballot newcomers Andres Galarraga, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez and Fred McGriff? All are likely to receive support.

It all happens tomorrow. They’ll wake up and head downstairs with their expectations in hand. But instead of looking for the presents under the tree, they’ll wait for a phone call that will totally change their lives.

If the call comes, they’ll once again know the joy of being a kid on Christmas morning.

Craig Muder is director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

1 Comment

Craig, good blog. I just think it’s abominable that some may have to wait too long to get in. For instance, let’s discuss Jim Rice, making it in, on his last year of BBWAA eligibilty.

Now, Jim didn’t express any bitterness last summer – BUT – he did remind all those in attendance that his parents were no longer around to enjoy the honor with the rest of his family.

He was likely deprived of that opportunity because of a legion of writers that just didn’t like him.

Today, Bert Blyleven waits, while some writers who never saw him play are making decisions on his Hall admission based on stat books.

My idea = change the Hall voting process. Allow the living Hall of Famers (not Frick/Spink award honorees) to vote alongside the BBWAA. There are enough writers to prevent player cronyism from taking over, and there are enough players to override any efforts by a few writers to keep a deserving veteran out.

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