Today's Hall of Fame results are a mixed bag. On one hand, three no-doubt, best-in-the-business players were voted in during their first year of eligibility: Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. On the other hand, Craig Biggio fell two votes shy of enshrinement (74.8%), and other well-deserving players such as Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines (not to mention super humans Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds) fell short of the needed 75% as well.
Maddux's name was absent on 16 ballots, which is a bit mind-boggling. Any justification you could come up with for leaving Greg Maddux off of the ballot is false. There are very few things that are black and white in life, much less baseball, but one of them is that Greg Maddux is a first-ballot Hall of Fame pitcher.
Here are a few other brief items of interest.
- Somebody voted for Jacque Jones. It's probably a friendly gesture and nothing more, but I think some people will see it as a joke and as another sign that the voters really don't take their duty seriously.
- With 97.2% of the vote, Maddux is one of the most complete ballots in Hall of Fame voting history. But he falls short of Tom Seaver, whose 98.8% is the highest mark in history.
- Armando Benitez and Kenny Rogers joined Jacque in the One Vote club.
- Rafael Palmeiro picked up 25 votes, for a total of 4.4%. Unless I'm mistaken this means he's now off the list going forward, since he failed to garner at least 5% of the voters to put his name on the ballot.
- In his 14th year on the list, Don Mattingly came in with a total of 8.2%. He'll have one more chance to get in next year, but he won't make it. That's probably the right thing, but 15 years of lingering on the list for the Hall of Fame has to be a bit of torture.
- The only other two players who have been on the list for more than ten years - Alan Trammell (13 years) and Lee Smith (12 years) - were both under 30% and seem unlikely to make the grade before their time runs out.
- Drug use is clearly tainting the ballots for Clemens (35.4%), Bonds (34.7%), McGwire (11.0%), and Sosa (7.2%).
|Greg Maddux||555 (97.2%)||1|
|Tom Glavine||525 (91.9)||1|
|Frank Thomas||478 (83.7)||1|
|Craig Biggio||427 (74.8)||2|
|Mike Piazza||351 (62.2)||2|
|Jeff Bagwell||310 (54.3)||4|
|Tim Raines||263 (46.1)||7|
|Roger Clemens||202 (35.4)||2|
|Barry Bonds||198 (34.7)||2|
|Lee Smith||171 (29.9)||12|
|Curt Schilling||167 (29.2)||2|
|Edgar Martinez||144 (25.2)||5|
|Alan Trammell||119 (20.8)||13|
|Mike Mussina||115 (20.3)||1|
|Jeff Kent||87 (15.2)||1|
|Fred McGriff||67 (11.7)||8|
|Mark McGwire||63 (11.0)||8|
|Larry Walker||58 (10.2)||4|
|Don Mattingly||47 (8.2)||14|
|Sammy Sosa||41 (7.2)||2|
|Rafael Palmeiro||25 (4.4)||4|
|Moises Alou||6 (1.1)||1|
|Hideo Nomo||6 (1.1)||1|
|Luis Gonzalez||5 (0.9)||1|
|Eric Gagne||2 (0.4)||1|
|J.T. Snow||2 (0.4)||1|
|Armando Benitez||1 (0.2)||1|
|Jacque Jones||1 (0.2)||1|
|Kenny Rogers||1 (0.2)||1|
|Sean Casey||0 (0)||1|
|Ray Durham||0 (0)||1|
|Todd Jones||0 (0)||1|
|Paul LoDuca||0 (0)||1|
|Richie Sexson||0 (0)||1|
|Mike Timlin||0 (0)||1|
|Jack Morris||351 (61.5)||15|
Jack Morris I left to the bottom, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because it means he drops off the ballot. But secondly, because it's going to be a talking point.
I don't believe that Morris was a Hall of Fame pitcher, because in spite of the loose rules by which a player must abide to be enshrined I still don't think he lives up to the standard. Great moments do not make great players. It doesn't tarnish my memory of him, and it doesn't tarnish what he helped the Twins accomplish in the best World Series of all time. And I'm fine with that.
It seems inevitable that the Veterans Committee will vote Morris in at some juncture in the future, but for now he falls short. Congratulations to Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas, however - all three players have earned a spot in baseball's Hallowed Hall.
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