Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In Recognition of the Hall of Fame Vote Today...

I wanted to look back at the only season that Sandy Alomar Jr. was on the ballot.  For some reason I did not do a Hall of Fame post that year.  It was 2013.  I am not going to argue that Alomar should have been elected.  I am not even going to argue that he should have received more support than he did.  Frankly, I am surprised he received as much support as he did.  He may have been one of my favorite players, but I am realistic.  His career was not good enough to merit much Hall of Fame support, if any.  Shockingly, he received 2.8% of the vote.  That is 16 votes.  16 people believed Sandy Alomar Jr. was a Hall of Famer.

2013 was kind of a strange year for the Hall of Fame.  Nobody was elected that year, with Craig Biggio coming the closest.  A number of the PED guys appeared on the ballot for the first time and a lot of voters were determined to make a statement.  Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Mike Piazza, and Sammy Sosa all appeared for the first time, none of whom did very well.

Among all this chaos, Alomar received 16 votes.  Did he deserve them?  Probably not.  Alomar's career lasted 20 years, but he only played in more than 100 games four times.  He won the 1990 Rookie of the Year and Gold Glove, and the 1997 All Star Game MVP.  He was an All Star six times, but really only deserved it twice.  He was never among the league leaders in any offensive category.  1997 was a terrific season for him, but it is definitely a fluke compared to his other seasons.  Unfortunately, injuries simply wrecked his career.  But nothing can change that.  If he had been healthy, maybe is career would have been different.

So I was curious how the voting shook out in 2013.  Luckily we have the handy HOF Tracker to help.  With this, we can look at voters who made their vote public and follow their reasoning.  Unfortunately not every voter makes their ballots public.  And in this case, only one ballot for Alomar was public.  So 15 voters who voted for Alomar did not make their vote public.

So who was the one voter we know of who voted for Sandy Alomar Jr.?  Pierre Ladouceur of La Presse, a Canadian newspaper.  How he got a vote, I am not sure.  I can't find much information on him.  But he voted for Alomar, among other players.  His article was in French so I had to use a translation program to read it.  Unfortunately he did not explain why he voted for Alomar, just that he did.  So after all that, I am not any clearer on why Alomar received any votes than when I started.

I am left with conjecture.  Alomar was seemingly clean, there were not whispers of PED usage surrounding him that I ever heard.  I have no idea about that.  He was a very well-respected leader and handler of pitching staffs.  And he was a big factor on two World Series teams.  So maybe some Cleveland Indians writers voted for him.  I really have no idea what happened.  I am not surprised that he dropped off the ballot after just one year.  I am more surprised that he got as much consideration as he did.

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