Baseball Still Can’t Get Hall of Fame Voting Right

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Four tremendous baseball players were selected to be enshrined into Cooperstown, on Tuesday afternoon. John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Craig Biggio will be the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame Class.

While there’s no question those four are worthy of being in the Hall, there are plenty of players just as worthy that will not be getting in. This is among the biggest problems in baseball right now. The entire voting system is flawed, because baseball only allows its writers to vote for a maximum of 10 players on their ballots.

This whole process is what baseball still can’t get right, after all these years. Among the biggest players this rule hits hardest, is former Detroit Tiger Alan Trammell.

Let’s be honest. Alan Trammell should be in the Hall of Fame. Will he? It’s almost guaranteed that he won’t be. Why? Because after Tuesday’s ballots were announced, Trammell only has 1 year of eligibility left. And with new players coming onto the ballot next year, and players who were close this time inching closer to getting their call next year, hope is all but lost for the former Tiger.

Hall of Fame candidates are now piling up like an accident on I-75, in the middle of January. How do the baseball writers select just 10? Let’s take a look at one example from ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick:

I think every single one of those players Mr. Crasnick chose is worthy of the Hall of Fame. The 4 that are to be enshrined later this year are all checked off. Crasnick picked 10 players. The best 10? Not necessarily. But the 10 that he thought deserved it MORE than others. Look at some of the names not checked. They include Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire, Carlos Delgado, Fred McGriff, and of course, Alan Trammell.

Now, I’m not going to turn this into a “Well he took steroids so they shouldn’t be in” kind of topic. That’s probably one issue that caused Mr. Crasnick to vote the way he did, but it’s a topic for another day. The point is, all the players checked off on Crasnick’s ballot, and the players I listed above that are NOT checked, are worthy of the Hall of Fame. The fact that baseball only lets writers select 10 is absurd. Baseball should simply come to a writer and put a ballot in front of him/her and ask one simple question: Is this player a Hall of Fame player? Yes or no?

The last issue I have with this “Rule of 10” is that some writers get sympathetic for players who have been on the ballot so long, and they leave out the “shoe-ins” to replace them with a player who might not get in at all. That was the case with Mike Berardino, who left both Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez off his ballot in favor of players like Larry Walker and Alan Trammell. Because of this, odds of us ever seeing a unanimous selection are almost zero.

Baseball history is leaving out some of its most important players. And it’s a darn shame.