Empty Cooperstown

Nobody for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Hard to believe, Harry.

Granted, this year’s ballot featured some of the greatest names in the game’s history who allegedly used illegal substances. Seems as if there is no middle ground on these guys, writers either liked them or didn’t. Five writers didn’t vote, apparently in protest. Guess that’s alright because people don’t have to vote in political elections.

Spitballs are illegal yet Gaylord Perry is in Cooperstown. Ty Cobb wasn’t an angel. There was the dead ball era, the WW II era and the 1990s, different periods of time that featured different stars. Some old-timers were alcoholics and they are in Cooperstown.

Biggest beef is with the voting system. Understand that the Baseball Writers Association of America has a history in the voting, something like 77 years. BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of major league coverage are eligible to vote and 569 ballots were cast. Of those 569, how many are still active? How many have been selling lollypops since they stopped covering baseball?

A writer with less than 10 years who is currently covering the game doesn’t get to vote. There are writers who saw more of Piazza, Biggio, Schilling, etc, than the lollypop salesman.

BBWAA members get time off during the season. They don’t cover all 162 games as was the case 40-50 years ago. Baseball broadcasters work all 162. They see the players perform way more often than writers or columnists but they have no vote because that exclusive right belongs exclusively to the BBWAA.

Time has changed and perhaps it is to change the system. Proof that times have changed… Hershey bars no longer cell for 5 cents.

David Murphy, in today’s Daily News, made an interesting comment: “The writers were no longer part of the story. They were the story and that just doesn’t make sense.”

There are numerous Phillies in Cooperstown, some elected by the writers (Alexander, Schmidt, Carlton). Some were voted in by the Veterans Committee (Klein, Ashburn, Bunning).

When a certain Phillies outfielder retired in 1901, he was the game’s stolen base leader and a career .349 hitter after 12 .300 seasons. He held the all-time record for runs scored in a single season (1894) and still does. Yet, it took 60 years for him to be enshrined, posthumously by the Veterans Committee, not the writers.

Hard to believe, Harry.

Who is this man? Check out the Past Profile in http://www.phillies.com/alumni.

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