Dan's Dugout: Still No Unanimous Winner • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Still No Unanimous Winner

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As long as writers continue to vote, the Baseball Hall of Fame will never have an electee win by unanimous vote.

Junior Griffey got the highest percentage but it wasn't perfect

Junior Griffey got the highest percentage but it wasn’t perfect

Ken Griffey, Jr. came close last week, when he had a record 99.32 per cent of the vote.

But three writers, in their infinite wisdom, refused to list him in any of the 10 slots on their ballots.

Some voters refuse to elect any first-time candidates. Others want to be sure players whose ballot time is expiring get their last chance. And a few are just bad applies — a polite way of saying something else that begins with the same letter.

How else could you explain that home run king Hank Aaron was left

How could NINE voters omit his name from their 10-man ballots?

How could NINE voters omit his name from their 10-man ballots?

off the ballot by nine writers? Were some of them the same good-hearted souls who sent him hate mail laced with death threats because he was a black man chasing a white man’s record?

Aaron did get 97.83 per cent of the vote in 1982 but probably deserved unanimous election more than any other candidate. He was modest, soft-spoken, and clean, without any hint of involvement in the twin drug perils of cocaine or performance-enhancing substances.

Only nine other players, including Griffey, even topped 97 per cent of the vote: Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., Ty Cobb,

Randy Johnson reached over 97 per cent in last year's vote

Randy Johnson reached over 97 per cent in last year’s vote

George Brett, Tony Gwynn, Randy Johnson, and Greg Maddux.

Willie Mays polled 94.68 per cent, a notch below the 95.13 per cent of both Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.

And men like Rogers Hornsby and Joe DiMaggio couldn’t even get the 75 per cent required for election in their first few years on the ballot.

Simply put, the Hall of Fame is a tough nut to crack. Getting elected is harder than hitting a fastball or throwing a curve. In fact, the Hall throws too many curves of its own.

Why else would Rick Ferrell be included but brother Wes denied? Why yes to Bert Blyleven but no to Tommy John, who more more games? Why yes to Al Kaline, who never won an MVP, but no to

Two-time MVP Dale Murphy remains outside the Hall of Fame

Two-time MVP Dale Murphy remains outside the Hall of Fame

Dale Murphy, who won two in a row?

Maybe the notorious Butterfly Ballot somehow migrated north with a Florida snowbird and switched places with the Cooperstown ballot.

If there’s a more logical explanation, I’m waiting to hear it.

Elsewhere in baseball:

New Washington pilot Dusty Baker is salivating at the thought of having Ben Revere and Daniel Murphy setting the table for Bryce

Dusty Baker's Nationals lineup will score runs

Dusty Baker’s Nationals lineup will score runs

Harper and Ryan Zimmerman at the top of his batting order . . .

Former Nationals centerfielder and leadoff man Denard Span is a perfect fit for San Francisco, which signed him for three years . . .

Any team that needs a veteran innings eater could do worse than trade for Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey . . .

After adding the powerful bat of free agent first baseman Chris Carter, most recently with Houston, the Milwaukee Brewers are more willing to discuss moving catcher Jonathan Lucroy . . .

Even though he’s coming off Tommy John surgery, righthanded starter Bronson Arroyo has multiple offers at age 39 — including one from his original team, the Cincinnati Reds . . .

If they’re willing to change positions, free agents Ian Desmond and Jimmy Rollins could sign before the end of the month . . .

The Cubs still want to move promising young slugger Jorge Soler so

Jason Heyward's arm fits best in right field

Jason Heyward’s arm fits best in right field

that Jason Heyward can play right field instead of center . . .

Kansas City would still like to pry Nick Markakis loose from Atlanta to succeed Alex Rios in right field . . .

Now that the Braves have reacquired Kelly Johnson and Jim Johnson, they could also bring back free agent third baseman Chris Johnson in the hope that last year was just an aberration.

 

 

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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