On January 1st, 2014, we found out that Greg Maddux made the Hall of Fame. He did it by earning 97.2% of the vote. This was a guy won four straight Cy Youngs with an ERA under 2.50 in every one of those years and a WHIP UNDER ONE in two of those seasons, and he didn’t get 100% of the vote.
It made me so angry, that this blog was born. My first ever piece — Happy Freakin New Year from the Hall of Fame — was written and ever since then you have been following along with me and my mery band of writers.
The writer who has been with me the longest is not happy about the Griffey selection. While I have become numb to the fact that I simply don’t believe anyone will ever receive 100% of the votes, Dunton — our long-time golf analyst, fantasy football expert, and ACC basketball guru — is furious. Find out why as Dunton sounds off below.
Let me get this right. There are 440 voters for the Baseball Hall of Fame. 437 of these esteemed writers voted for Ken Griffey Jr, three did not. You read that correctly. Three, as in 1, 2, 3. You only need three fingers to count the number of people who didn’t vote for Junior.
I’m sorry, I know a lot of other guys deserved a higher percentage in the history of the game — and I will get to those in a bit — but for the past few years we have been hearing about the Steroid Era and that list of players connected to it. Those that would have been eligible for the Hall but their link to steroids has cast a shadow on their careers. Now the Hall of Fame voters had an opportunity to send a strong message to Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and others by unanimously voting in Junior, and they blew it.
The Baseball Writers Association of America has been under some scrutiny the past few years. They didn’t even vote one member into the Hall of Fame in 2013. If not for the Veterans Committee, Cooperstown would have gone quiet late July. This year was their chance to silence the skeptics. They had a great opportunity to right some wrongs of the past. Cal Ripken, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, even Babe Ruth come to mind as people on the top of your list who you may think would have been unanimous but they weren’t.
For years the baseball fans have been waiting to see who, if anyone, could be the first unanimous Hall of Famer. Junior was their chance. Imagine the buzz in Cooperstown over a unanimous decision? Leaving no question about the player deserving of the honor? Junior standing on the stage as the one who earned it, the right way… with his hat on backwards.
This is the guy that put baseball on his back after their strike, until McGwire and Sosa added some assistance in ’98. This is the guy who loved to play the game and wore that love on his face with that contagious smile. Most importantly, this is the player who played — and often dominated — during the Steroid Era with never even a whisper of steroid use. Still to this day, have you ever read the name Ken Griffey, Jr and steroids together in a sentence? I think that sentence I just wrote was my first time seeing it.
The writers should have rewarded this sure-ballot Hall of Famer with the honor of being unanimous. And you know what? They almost did, except for three knuckleheads. I demand we know these three people by the end of Friday because we need to remove them from the Writers Association.
Don’t you want to know their reasoning? I sure do. I’m sure if we ever do track down the three blind mice we will hear things like: nobody deserves 100%. Or how can Jr get 100% if _________ didn’t get it. Or The Kid didn’t need my vote, so I gave it to someone else. You know what I say? I call BS.
Did you see this guy’s career? Did you see him hit home run after home run, or save baseball in Seattle, or anything else Junior did on the baseball diamond? Oh wait, I know what it is, you didn’t like that he wore his hat backwards. Shut up and go hit the early bird special. Junior gave 100% and deserved 100% of the votes.
Oh yeah congrats to Mike Piazza. You deserved it too, but not as much as Junior!