Congrats to Ripken and Gwynn

The Hall of Fame really feels mighty when you just look today at the only two names that were announced: Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn. As I blogged before, I drove up to Cooperstown just before New Year’s and spent the afternoon in the Gallery room of plaques, and there is plenty of blank wall space just waiting for two former players who fit so beautifully. Ripken and Gwynn. That’s really how this is supposed to work. It’s supposed to sound like that — not a bunch of maybe/"I’d like you to please consider" candidates.

My ballot, revealed by my trusty MLB.com colleagues the past 48 hours, included those two as well as Mark McGwire and Goose Gossage. I was actually very surprised earlier today to find out that Gossage was not going to be among the names Dale Petroskey would announce. He made every MLB.com voter’s ballot. Barry Bloom and T.R. Sullivan were the only other two MLB.com voters who went with McGwire. Now it will be interesting to see whether Big Mac has to wait over a decade like a Bruce Sutter until the landscape and tectonic plates move, or whether a first-year’s punishment sufficed for many, or indeed whether McGwire himself will come forward. Either way I feel good about my vote and always have utmost respect for my BBWAA colleagues.

Someone asked how I became a Hall of Fame voter. I’m one of 500-something, and cherish the moment when the ballot arrives in my mail each December. I covered the Giants for the San Jose Mercury News in the 1990-91 seasons, spent virtually all of the remaining 1990s as a writer/managing editor/VP at The Sporting News, and after the required 10 years received my Lifetime Honorary membership as a BBWAA voter. I take it seriously and respect all of the voices that spoke loudly during the the most remarkable "voting season" that I can recall. I also don’t hold any negative thoughts toward the two voters who mailed in blank ballots so that they could ensure neither Ripken nor Gwynn would be the first unanimous inductee. To each his/her own. I think the "unanimous" issue is silly, anyway. Who cares??? This whole voting process has spawned so many silly news stories (such as the AP survey story a while back) that I have to laugh. Babe Ruth was just another inductee in the first class, when you look closely at Cooperstown. Ty Cobb led the way.

The voters have spoken, and that’s a beautiful announcement: Ripken and Gwynn. The system worked again.

Mark

6 Comments

http://freewebs.com/charlieairlines
answer the poll!

it’s also got a game on it!

What does it matter whether McGwire comes forward and admits his steroid use? If he does come forward, will that negate the fact that he used performance-enhancing drugs? His testimony is not the point here. It is obvious that he used performance-enhancing drugs for most of his career, and that altered his statistics. True, steroids don’t provide the hand-eye coordination to hit, but they do give you the ability to gain the added strength to provide you with an advantage you wouldn’t have if you didn’t take them. That is cheating. A vote for McGwire, Canseco, Sosa, Bonds and any other player associated with these drugs is a slap in the face against baseball and the integrity of the game. Ripken and Gwynn very much deserved enshrinement. That was a no-brainer. What will happen down the road when Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro and Giambi are all eligible? Will you cast a ballot for including them in the steroids wing of the Hall? I am so disgusted with the prospect of anyone even voting for these guys. If you reward guys like McGwire with Hall of Fame plaques, you will continue to see guys juice and post tainted numbers.

Jeff

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Yes, yesterday was a very exciting day here in San Diego! Although, honestly, none of the Padres fans were exactly surprised, we all had faith that Tony Gwynn would get the call.

I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to see both Gwynn and Ripken play.

http://sandiegopadresmom.mlblogs.com/

First of all, thanks for linking my blog to Ripken’s name on the MLBlogs homepage. Secondly, I kinda like that there won’t be a bunch of other guys getting into the HOF at the same time as Ripken. Thirdly, I think the people who cast blank ballots are disgusting; they’ve put themselves above the game and the great men who played it.

-The Baseball Collector

http://snaggingbaseballs.mlblogs.com/

I meant, his numbers….

Congrats to Gwynn and Ripken. They epitomize what baseball is all about, as does Jim Rice, who once again should have been elected but was ignored. I’m glad McGwire was left out. He is a stain on the game, and the last thing we need in this steroids-scandal era is rewarding someone like McGwire with a Hall of Fame honor. His number, with the exception of home runs, are not that impressive anyway.

Jeff

BoSox Banter

http://www.bosoxbanter.mlblogs.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: