Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why is it so hard to elect players to the Baseball Hall of Fame?

The other day the Golden Era Committee failed to elect anyone into the 2015 Class of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

All the players on the ballot were active between 1946-1972, and the committee is made up of HOF players, broadcasters,  and media members who know the game.

Two players, Tony Oliva and Dick Allen, received 11 of 16 votes,  just one vote short of the required 12 votes(75%), to be elected.

This is not a post to detail the merits of any one player, but I found it frustrating as a lifeling baseball fan that Gil Hodges, the former Brooklyn Dodger first baseman and Manager of the 1969 Miracle Mets received just 3 votes.

Hodges three votes,  and the fact that no player was selected is the reason I'm writing this.

In addition,  two BBWAA members have already announced that they will not even bother to cast a ballot for 2015 because the ballot will not be increased to 15 names.

I'm a baseball blogger, and am honored to be able to cast a HOF ballot every year as a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

Every year I vote for players that I believe belong in the HOF, and there has never been a year in which I couldn't find worthy HOF candidates.

It's almost tine again to vote for the Class of 2015, and I will again place Jack Morris, Alan Trammell,  Dale Murphy, and Tim Raines, to name a few, on my ballot.

It amazes me that year after year the various writers and committee's entrusted to vote for baseball's highest honor fail to accomplish the simple task of placing 10 players names, or 12 in case of the Golden Era, in selevtion to Cooperstown,.

Craig Biggio collected over 3,000 base hits in his career, and yet has failed to appear on the required 75% of the BBWAA voters ballots.

Why do voters find it so hard to vote for 16 time Gold Glove Award winner Jim Kaat, or pinch hitter extrodinare Minnie Miniso.

According to baseballreference.com  18,408 players have officially been a part of big league baseball since 1871.

According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame just 211 ballplayers have been enshrined at the HOF in Cooperstown, New York.

Just 211 players out of 18,408, and only 306 total members when you include owners, Negro Leaguers, umpires, and managers.

0.01146241%.... 211/18,408.

Yes, it should be hard to get into the HOF.

But 0.011%?

Now that's exclusive.

And ridiculous.

In the days since the failure of the Golden Era Committee,  there have been plenty of articles and posts on social media denouncing the committee for it's neglect, including this one by  Rolling Stone Magazine.

211 of 18,408.

I know there are baseball purists out there who like the limited number, and there are new baseball Sabrmetrics fans and writers who believe many in the HOF don't belong.

Here's a terrific post at Baseball Past and Present by my Twitter friend Graham Womack on why no player shoukd be kicked out of the HOF.

Yes, there have been players who've gotten into the HOF because of friends, fellow ballplayers, but there has also been many snubs for the same reason.

Look at the original HOF Class of 1936.

The most hated, mist despised player in baseball between 1871-1936, one Tyrus Raymond Cobb,  received the most votes,  and was the very first player ever elected into the HOF.

If player's back in the day can put in the one man they despised the most, then surely voters on the Golden Era, Veteran's Committee,  and the BBWAA can start doing their job and elect deserving baseball players into the HOF.

Play Ball!

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