In approximately half an hour the Baseball Writers’ Association of America will announce the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
Without question there will be two in their new class: Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guererro. Beyond those two it’s looking as though former San Diego Padres’ closer Trevor Hoffman, slugger Jim Thome and, while this would be a new and unprecedented move, famed Seattle Mariner and designated hitter, Edgar Martinez will be joining them in what would be the largest Hall of Fame Class since the first HOF class in 1936.
That inaugural 1936 class included the best of the best, the greatest of the great, in Major League Baseball history. When the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY opened it’s doors for the first time, it opened its doors to Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.
“That is the royal class … the group of players meant to represent what this new Hall of Fame was all about,” writes MLB.com’s Joe Posnanski and I agree.
That royal class was filled to the brim with baseball legends, baseball legends who most certainly did not use performance enhancing drugs. Luckily this year’s HOF class will very likely not have any PED users in it.
The problem is that the names of people who undoubtedly used steroids – aka Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens – are gaining votes. Younger, newer voters have begun to replace older voters who were adults during the careers of Clemens and Bonds. These newer HOF voters, who were maybe 12 when these men were cheating in the game of baseball, seem to have lost their sense of morality, at least in my opinion.
The Internet Baseball Writers Association of America announced their Hall of Fame class earlier this morning. The IBWAA has even more young members than the BBWAA and I am very disappointed in their announcement (I cast my vote for the IBWAA).
The IBWAA voted in six new members to its separate Hall of Fame: Chipper Jones was the top vote-getter, with 168 out of 170 ballots cast (98.82%). Jim Thome was the runner-up, with 154 votes (90.59%), followed by Mike Mussina (146 votes, 85.88%), Roger Clemens (133, 78.24%), Barry Bonds (130, 76.47%) and Trevor Hoffman (128, 75.29%). (Edgar Martinez was elected by the IBWAA in 2016 and Vladamir Guerrero in 2017).
The fact that the IBWAA elected Bonds and Clemens is disturbing and shows a trend that is also running through the BBWAA voters. In the BBWAA vote, Bonds and Clemens have been climbing in their quest to get (unlawfully – again in my opinion) inducted into the HOF. Both have been predicted to have approximately 67% of the vote, while 75 % is the cutoff to join other great players in Cooperstown.
Why these younger voters are moving towards allowing cheaters into the HOF, I certainly don’t know. Maybe it’s because they were young and impressionable during the 1998 home run race or remember when Bonds hit his 73 home run in a single season.
Perhaps they just don’t consider PED use to be cheating. I’ve heard many kids say that PED use shouldn’t count because there are many players in the Hall of Fame that used amphetamines, which are also illegal in baseball unless they are prescribed by a physician.
However, it is NOT the same. Players who used amphetamines back in the day did not come back from the three to four month offseason having gained 30lbs and showing super-human abilities. They just didn’t. How are the two even comparable? They are not.
These younger voters are taking the very important HOF and making it a joke. If Bonds or Clemens ever make it into the HOF, then I say they re-vote for players like Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Yet, I don’t believe that any of those players should ever have been eligible to be on the HOF ballot.
It’s extremely disappointing to see that younger voters are forgetting that players like Barry Bonds, while they could have been HOF worthy without having used PEDs – the fact is that they cheated. I hope that younger voters will come to their senses and see that voting for cheaters is not right and those players do not belong in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.