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craig biggio

The Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) managed to do something it hadn’t done since 1996: it elected no new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

This is an outrage. Pointing at the “steroids era” in which otherwise-qualified players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were denied entry into the Hall- is what caused the lack of consensus. Astro franchise icon Craig Biggio came closest with 68.2% of the vote, and will likely be elected next year. Jack Morris came the second closest with 67.7%. Eventual inductee Jeff Bagwell (also an Astros franchise icon) came in third at 59.6%.

Players Association director Michael Weiner sums up my feelings on the matter:

“Today’s news that those members of the BBWAA afforded the privilege of casting ballots failed to elect even a single player to the Hall of Fame is unfortunate, if not sad,” said Weiner, the executive director of the MLB Players Association. “Those empowered to help the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum document the history of the game failed to recognize the contributions of several Hall of Fame worthy players. To ignore the historic accomplishments of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, for example, is hard to justify.

“Moreover, to penalize players exonerated in legal proceedings — and others never even implicated — is simply unfair. The Hall of Fame is supposed to be for the best players to have ever played the game. Several such players were denied access to the Hall today. Hopefully this will be rectified by future voting.”

bagwell
While we’re here, let me run down MY Hall of Fame ballot for 2013. These are the ten players (and there are at LEAST ten qualified players on the list this year) who would earn my vote if I had one:

Craig Biggio – 3000 hits, plus his unique status as the only man to make an All Star Game as a catcher AND a second baseman
Jeff Bagwell – one of the top five first basemen statistically in the history of the game.
Mike Piazza – best offensive catcher ever, at least in the 2nd half of the 20th century
Tim Raines – GREAT leadoff hitter in the 1980s penalized by the presence of Rickey Henderson, the best leadoff hitter ever.
Roger Clemens – either the best or 2nd best right handed pitcher ever.
Barry Bonds – Home run king. The Hall is a JOKE without him
Curt Schilling
Sammy Sosa – 609 Homers.
Mark McGwire – 1998, plus 61!
Alan Trammell – best all around shortstop of the 1980s. Better offensively than anyone in his era not named Cal Ripken, and better defensively than anyone not named Ozzie Smith.

Why no Morris? He wasn’t the best pitcher of his Era, never won the Cy Young. He gets consideration entirely for his postseason accomplishments. Reasonable people can disagree, but I’m leaving him off the ballot for me.

Jeff Bagwell: Should he be in the Hall of Fame? I answer that question (and many more) in this episode. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show at http://thebaseballexperience.com/itunes and support the show at http://thebaseballexperience.com/gamefly. You can subscribe to the show through any podcatcher at http://feeds.feedburner.com/thebaseballexperiencespodcast.


About the Author

I'm a 38 year old writer from New Providence, New Jersey, working a "day job" as a data processor in North Carolina. When I'm not slaving away at that job, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool baseball fan who enjoys discussing today's baseball news in a historical context. I'm a former columnist for the Summit Herald in New Jersey and a college radio geek who decided to use the power of podcasting to share my point of view wih the world. Besides baseball, I love horse racing, video games, and good music (who doesn't?). I am a Christian and live with my wife Amy and two cats Reagan and Cassie in our home studio. Expect more writing from me at scotteiland.com, and thank you for listening!

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