Hall of Fame Inductees

Like many other baseball fans, I looked forward to today when the National Baseball Hall of Fame would announce the inductees for the 2010 class of the Hall of Fame. While I do not have a vote myself for the Hall of Fame I have my opinions of who should be included.

Each voter is a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and have been writing on baseball for a minimum of ten years. The ballot was sent to each voter with the instructions they may vote for up to ten players listed.

The nominees are chosen by a selection committee from players who have been retired from the game for a minimum of five years. A player will remain on the ballot for up to 15 years as long as they are named on a minimum of five percent of the ballots. If a player falls below that five percent they are removed from all subsequent ballots.

Of the candidates on the ballot this year there are three clear favorites – Andre Dawson, Bert Blyleven, and Roberto Alomar. Dawson and Blyleven are both holdovers from years past while Alomar is on the ballot for the first time.

In order to be inducted a player must be named on at least 75 percent of the ballots. The Major League Baseball Network broadcasted the Hall of Fame announcement live from Studio 42. In what has to be described as a mild surprise, there was only one player who garnered enough support to be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Andre Dawson who began his career with the Montreal Expos and went on to find success while playing for the Chicago Cubs was elected in this his eighth year on the ballot. It was a relief to see such a great player finally receive his just rewards.

I had the opportunity to see Andre Dawson play in person while he was with the Chicago Cubs and as far as I was concerned he was more than deserving of this honor. “The Hawk” was not only a player who could change the complexion of the game with one swing at the plate; he could also gun down any runner from right field stopping any rally.

I have long been a proponent of Andre Dawson’s inclusion in the Hall of Fame and I stood and clapped as his name was read as the newest member of the shrine in Cooperstown.

The joy for Dawson was tempered by the shock that he would be the only player representative this year. Pitcher Bert Blyleven came within five votes of receiving the necessary 75 percent. What made this even more tragic was five BBWAA voters sent in blank ballots not voting for any nominees. Writers with such disdain for the process should have their votes revoked.

Roberto Alomar fell just eight votes short in this his first year of eligibility. From past votes it seems clear that Blyleven and Alomar should receive the necessary votes to be inducted next season.

Players on the ballot who did not receive at least five percent of the vote and will subsequently removed from future ballots include Andres Galarraga, Robin Ventura, Ellis Burks, Eric Karros, Kevin Appier, Pat Hentgen, David Segui, Mike Jackson, Ray Lankford, Shane Reynolds, and Todd Zeile.

Of this group I was most disappointed to see Robin Ventura fall short. I always thought it would be great if Ventura was elected to the Hall of Fame and as he approached the podium Nolan Ryan would put him in a headlock and beat him to a bloody pulp. I would have paid money to see that.

At the end of the day it was one of celebration for Andre Dawson, the newest member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Congratulations Hawk, you were seven years overdue for this recognition. You are indeed a Hall of Famer both as a player and as a human being.

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