If I told you there was a situation in baseball where no one could agree on how things should be handled, everyone was constantly mad about it, no one felt justly rewarded, and every participant had opinions on how to improve things, you’d probably think I was talking about the MLB/MLBPA labor dispute.
You’re not WRONG, but in this case, I’m actually talking about the annual rhetoric that surrounds Hall of Fame voting, voters, and those who gain entry into Cooperstown’s hallowed halls.
This year only one man surpassed the 75% of votes required to get himself a plaque, and that’s former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who is likely best known to Tigers fans as “that guy whose grand slam in October 2013 ruined our collective lives.”
Ortiz is, of course, probably better known for being beloved by Bostonians, for not remembering Dustin Pedroia’s name, and for some incredible career numbers and commendations. Home Run Derby winner, World Series winner (three times), World Series MVP, seven-time Silver Slugger, and 10-time All-Star. There is little dispute Ortiz had the accolades to make it into the Hall. But he went without Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, who early voting numbers suggested might also make the cut, and both of who were on their final year on the ballot.
Ortiz shared his thoughts on going in alone:
Asked David Ortiz if he believes Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens belong in the Hall of Fame: “Not having them join me is hard for me to believe, to be honest with you.” He added, “These guys, I did not even compare myself with them.”— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) January 26, 2022
There’s plenty to be said about Ortiz, his career, the failings of the HoF voting system, and more, but there are plenty who have said it better than I can, so I’m going to throw in some reading material below.
- Jay Jaffe shared the FanGraphs crowdsourced Hall of Fame vote ahead of the release of the real deal.
- Tom Verducci talks about integrity still mattering when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
- Nick Selbe looks at those who will leave the ballot after this year’s vote. He also writes about Ortiz getting in.
- Selbe also shared Roger Clemens’ take on not getting into the Hall (he doesn’t seem too bothered).
- Jeff Passan has some very strong opinions on the exclusion of Barry Bonds from the Hall.
- The staff over at The Athletic discuss who got in and who was left out in the cold. ($)
And here’s something Hall of Fame related, but TIGERS Hall of Fame related to wrap this up with a smile.