Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why Is Jim Rice a Hall Of Famer This Year ... But Not Last Year?

Here is the dumb thing about Halls Of Fame ... particularly the Baseball Hall Of Fame: why is a player worthy of induction later in his retirement than when he was first eligible?

I can understand if you can only induct X-amount of people each year that some will have to wait a year or so. I can even kinda-sorta-maybe get the fact that some voters value the "first ballot" status and wait for the 2nd year to vote on a certain guy. But why does a guy have to wait 15 years to finally get in?

Jim Rice retired in 1989. Every year since he became eligible for the Hall Of Fame, he has failed to get enough votes. In his first year on the ballot, only 29.8% of the writers voted for him. Yesterday, 76.4% voted for him. What happened in 15 years that made Rice's career any better?

Did he hit any more home runs? Any more RBIs? Did his batting average go up? Was what he accomplished during his career viewed differently in a new light? Of course not. So why did his vote total keep climbing each year until he finally got in?

It is stupid. Normally, I'm the one who says "if you aren't voted in within the first four years of eligibility, then you are off the ballot". That was until I saw the travesty of Art Monk getting passed over for the Pro Football Hall Of Fame until last year. He should have been in there and it took politicking to get him where he belonged. Still, what did Monk do 2008 that made his career any more worthy of induction? Nothing.

My other gripe is the fact that Rickey Henderson got just 94.8% of the vote. That's a lot to be sure, but which writers think that he is NOT a Hall Of Famer? According to my calculations, 28 writers didn't vote for Henderson. Seriously?!?!? Who in the heck thinks that Rickey isn't one of the greatest players who ever lived? I've gone on record on this blog in saying that I think Henderson may be the 2nd best player during my lifetime (all 33 years of it). It is ridiculous to think that some writer sitting somewhere decided not to vote for Rickey because ... well ... why wouldn't you vote for him????

It is a freakin' joke.

No comments: