The 2010 voting results were announced today for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The BBWAA members managed to foul up the process once again. The only player elected by the writers this year was Andre Dawson. Bert Blyleven, who’s exclusion continues to baffle me, fell four votes short of the necessary 75 percent. Roberto Alomar also made a strong run at 73.7 percent in his first ballot.
Last year, the Hall welcomed Jim Rice into its club. Like Dawson, Rice was a feared slugger in his time. Like Dawson, Rice waited a long time to be elected. Like Dawson, Rice should not have been voted in. Both Rice and Dawson were good players. They both had great power, Dawson had better speed and played better defense. The conventional wisdom would say that if Rice is a HoFer, Dawson should be too, as he was markedly better than Rice. I don’t disagree with that, but the writers haven’t righted a wrong here, they have only compounded the problem.
If Jim Rice hadn’t been elected a year ago, would Dawson have gone in this year? Maybe, maybe not. But Dawson simply was not Hall of Fame great, he was a very good player for a long time. Sure, injuries robbed him of some of his tools, but the same can be said about literally hundreds of former players. Having bad knees should not be used as an excuse to put him in. That said, what’s done is done. Like Rice last year, Dawson is now a Hall of Famer. I can’t help but feel like the writers simply felt bad that they had made him wait so long. That’s the only rational theory I can come up with for a vote for either of them.
Blyleven and Alomar will get in, they both should have this year, but it will happen. The bigger news for Tiger fans is that both Jack Morris and Alan Trammell saw big jumps in their vote totals from a year ago. Morris had gotten 44 percent last season, and was up to 53 percent this year. He may not have enough time to make up the difference, but perhaps the writers will feel bad for him in another couple years, too.
Trammell managed 22 percent, his previous high was 18. It’s not likely Tramm will ever get in, but his career was essentially similar to that of Barry Larkin, who got better than 50 percent on his first ballot. A big step forward for both former Tigers, but I don’t think they will ever generate enough support from the writers.