Archive for January, 2010

Andre Dawson – yes. The rest – NO.

January 6, 2010

Debating who belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame is one of my favorite all-time discussions. I’d like to congratulate Andre Dawson for being elected this year; I have fond memories of watching “Hawk” while growing up. The ninth ballot was the charm!

I’d also like to throw my two cents into the debate of those that were not elected. Bert Blyleven was one of the best pitchers of his era – despite playing for some awful Twins teams. Over 22 seasons, he started 685 games and pitched nearly FIVE THOUSAND innings. He won 274 games, fanned 3,700, and pitched 242 complete games along the way.

Unlike Blyleven, Roberto Alomar had the opportunity to play on some pretty good teams in his 17-year career. He won two World Series with the Blue Jays, and played for Orioles and Indians teams that also made the postseason. Unlike Blyleven, Alomar was never considered to be the best player on his own team, much less MLB. He finished fifth in NL Rookie Of The Year voting in 1988 behind legends Chris Sabo, Mark Grace, Tim Belcher, and Ron Gant and never finished higher than sixth in MVP voting in either league.

Despite his nightly viewing on SportsCenter for making routine plays look spectacular, his lifetime fielding percentage (.984) is equal to his contemporaries Edgardo Alfonzo-.986, Craig Biggio-.984, Chuck Knoblauch-.982, and Jeff Kent-.980 to name a few. Jim Kaat won 15 Gold Gloves and he’s not in the HOF either.

Roberto Alomar may someday be elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame - but not as a first-ballot inductee.

Among current members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Alomar’s career does not stand out. Of course he’s better than Bill Mazeroski – everyone in the HOF is. Joe Morgan played five more seasons then Alomar and was the NL MVP in BOTH seasons the Big Red Machine won the World Series (1975 and 1976). Ryne Sandberg played one season LESS than Alomar, won an MVP and had more home runs and a higher fielding percentage. Nellie Fox won an MVP and was considered among the best fielding second basemen of his era.

One of the bobbleheads on the MLB-Network couldn’t stop talking about Dawson fast enough so he could begin his whine about Alomar’s “overwhelming credentials”. A “new hire” to the network thinks that there aren’t enough HOF voters that actually “watch” baseball. That comment is insulting to those voters who demonstrated objectivity. I’m thankful that they vote and not the rah-rahs who need to resort to name-calling and sensationalism to justify their airtime. Alomar was an above-average second baseman on good teams whose early career apex was negated by his terrible final years where he demoralized teammates and fans with his actions on and off the field.

Alomar needs to take his place BEHIND Gil Hodges as the person most deserving but not in the Baseball HOF. Hodges had seven straight 100+ RBI seasons and was considered the best first basemen of his era as a player. As a manager, he turned the laughable Mets franchise into a World Series Champion. Don Mattingly, Dave Parker, Dale Murphy, and Ron Guidry are others who were considered to be the among the best players in baseball at one time of their career – something that has never been said about Alomar.

Congratulations Andre Dawson. For the rest of you – wait until next year.

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