Hall of Fame Set to Induct Two Players in 2011

January is always a difficult time for baseball fans. The off-season has seemed to drag on forever and Spring Training is still six weeks away. Temperatures in most of the country are frigid and the thoughts of green grass and warm summer weather seem like distant memories.

In an effort to help fans everywhere try to deal with this depressing time of year the Baseball Hall of Fame brings a little sunshine into the fans’ hearts with the announcement of the newest inductees to the Hall of Fame.

This year the Baseball Writers Association of America voted in two new members to the Hall of Fame. Pitcher Bert Blyleven and second baseman Roberto Alomar were elected.

For Blyleven it has been a long road to the Hall of Fame. This year marked the 14th year he has been on the ballot and the writers finally recognized his accomplishments electing him with a 79.7 percent vote.

Alomar who was in his second year of eligibility was elected with a 90 percent vote well over the 75 percent necessary for inclusion in the Hall of Fame. His percentage is the third highest total in voting history and is a marked increase over his totals last season where some voters chose not to vote for him as a statement for the spitting incident that marred Alomar’s otherwise stellar career.

With the election of Alomar, it marks the first time in Hall of Fame history where a player was elected who played for the Arizona Diamondbacks albeit a short tenure with the team.

Before the 2004 season the Diamondbacks signed Alomar to play second base. While he was well beyond his prime he was still amazing to watch. Whether it was the graceful defensive plays in the middle of the diamond or the amazing switch-hitting feats he was an incredible athlete and perhaps the best second baseman I have ever seen play. He played just three weeks into the season before breaking his hand that would ultimately land him on the 60-day disabled list.

Alomar’s tenure with the Diamondbacks was short-lived. After being re-activated and with the team in the midst of a franchise worst 111-loss season Alomar was traded to the Chicago White Sox just after the trade deadline. In what amounted to a trivia answer he was traded for cash considerations and the proverbial player to be named later. That player was left-hander Brad Murray.

It’s doubtful Alomar will be wearing a Diamondbacks hat on his plaque in the Hall of Fame but at least the Diamondbacks can now say that they had a Hall of Famer on their roster even if it was during the darkest time in their history.

Congratulations to Blyleven and Alomar who are both very deserving of being elected into the Hall of Fame.

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