Results tagged ‘ Bernie Williams ’
The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon that, for the first time since 1996, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) failed to elect a single player, from the 2013 ballot, into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This causing a vast amount of controversy among the baseball world, as everyone seems to have a different opinion in regards to the voting results.
There are those who are glad that no players got in, there are those who are upset that no players got in, and then there are guys like me, who fall somewhere in between. I’m not all that upset that not a single player received the required 75% of the vote needed to get into the Hall of Fame, but, at the same time, I would’ve liked to have seen at least a couple of guys make it into the HOF, from the 2013 ballot.
But it is what it is; there’s always next year.
What it comes down to for me is the fact that this didn’t have to happen. Had the ‘Steroid Era’ never of occurred, the likes of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds would’ve been first ballot Hall of Famers, no question about it. Instead, they might not ever get in, as they only received 37.6% and 36.2% of the vote, respectively, this time around. For them to eventually get a plaque in the Hall of Fame, they will have to amass double the number of votes they did in this year’s vote, and I just don’t see that happening.
While they each have an additional 14 years of eligibility, I feel the voters have already made up their minds, for the most part. While a few members of the BBWAA might’ve merely held off in voting for Bonds and Clemens, in this their first year, just to prove a point, and might end up voting for them eventually, either you think Bonds and Clemens should get into the Hall of Fame or you think they shouldn’t. End of story.
But where does that leave the rest of the players from that era? Guys like Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling, who were never proven to have taken anything, but fall under the cloud of suspicion due to the era in which they played. Well, I see it like this:
They pretty much fall into the same category as those connected to PED use. Either the voters are going to vote for them, or they aren’t. There’s not much grey area here, as far as I can see, but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the voters aren’t going on suspicion alone and just decided not to vote in Biggio, Piazza and Schilling this time around for one reason or another. For the sake of the Hall of Fame, I surely hope so. Leaving out Biggio, Piazza and Schilling would be a real shame.
The other main player I’d like to talk about, that many people feel should be a HOF’er, but didn’t make the cut yet again this year, is Jack Morris. Morris was a great player, but, in my mind, he’s not Hall of Fame worthy.
The thing that gets me the most when people try to make a case for Morris, is their tendency to use the intimidation factor as the reason they feel he deserves to get in; that you didn’t want to face Morris in any given situation. But it’s not the Hall of Intimidation, it’s the Hall of Fame. The place where the games’ all-time greats get enshrined to forever be seen by generations of baseball fans to come. To me, a career 3.90 ERA just doesn’t cut it. Thus, I agree with Morris not getting in–this being his 14th time on the ballot.
While the 2013 Hall of Fame ballot saw no players receiving the necessary number of votes needed to get elected, there are multiple players set to be added to the ballot in 2014 who are shoo-ins to get in on the first go around.
Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are three of the favorites to do just that, with some making the same case for guys like Mike Mussina and Jeff Kent. We’ll just have to wait to see, but no matter what happens, there are sure to be at least a few players who get into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
In addition to the near certainty that several players will be voted in in 2014, next year’s vote should tell the tale once and for all of whether or not Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens stand even a slight chance of ever getting into the Hall of Fame.
If their percentages jump a large amount–due to BBWAA members voting for them that didn’t in 2013–they might have a shot of getting in, several years down the road. If they fail to receive greater than a few more percentage points, however, I’d say it’s a lost cause for two of the best players to every play the game of Major League Baseball.
The Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, New York, first opened its doors back on June 12, 1939. The first five players to be inducted being: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson–who were named in 1936. Since then 296 individuals have been viewed as Hall of Fame worthy. (206 former Major Leaguers, 35 Negro Leaguers, 19 managers, 9 umpires, and 27 pioneers, executives, and organizers.)
With the 2012 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees to be announced on Monday, I wanted to give my predictions and opinions as to which players will make the cut, and which won’t. There are a total of 27 players on this years HOF Ballot. Of those 27, 13 are first timers–including standouts, Bernie Williams and Bill Mueller. To be inducted into the Hall, a player must recieve a minimum of 75 percent of the votes. The number of inductees varies from one year to the next.
Although there are 27 players eligible for induction this year, I’m not going to take time to talk about them all. I’m just going to make cases for the ones which I feel will be selected for the Hall–starting with the newcomers.
FIRST TIME ON HALL OF FAME BALLOT
BERNIE WILLIAMS- I know this is going out on a limb, but I honestly think Bernie Williams is the only newcomer that has a shot at getting into the Hall of Fame the first go around. (Given it is a slight chance.) I know everyone is saying that he was fun to watch play, but isn’t worthy of the Hall, but I have to disagree. Looking at his career stats of 2,336 hits, 1,257 RBI’s, and a .297 batting average, I think he’s worthy of the Hall eventually–if not a first year induction. But that’s just my opinion.
JEFF BAGWELL- When you look at Jeff Bagwell’s career stats of 449 home runs, off of 2,314 hits, and 1,529 RBI’s you begin to wonder why Bagwell wasn’t a first year Hall of Famer. His stats are certainly good enough to warrant it, however the speculation that he did steroids is what is holding him back from already having a plaque in the Hall. I do however see the possibilty that the voters look beyond that this year, given his impressive stats. Not a very great chance, but a chance none the less. (Juan Gonzalez, Mark McGwire, and Rafael Palmeiro all fall into this category with Bagwell of great stats, but steroid usage.)
BARRY LARKIN- This is a sure bet for me. Barry Larkin is the best player–in terms of stats without steroid usage–on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. 2,340 hits, 198 home runs, and a .295 batting average in his 19 season career. (While 198 home runs might seem low for a Hall of Fame worthy player, short stops aren’t generally known for their power hitting.)
EDGAR MARTINEZ- While I feel that Barry Larkin is the best player on the Hall of Fame ballot, Martinez isn’t far behind. Having a career batting average of .312, with 2,247 hits, and 309 home runs is good enough to earn him an induction to the Hall. While he wasn’t the best player on the Mariners back in the early 1990′s, he still found a way to stand out amongst teamates Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, by coming up big in big spots.
RECAP OF MY 2012 HALL OF FAME PREDICTIONS
To recap everything that I said above, I feel that Bernie Williams is the best overall player of all the newcomers to the Hall of Fame ballot. Of the players that have been on the ballot at least once before, I feel that Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez are the ones that stand the best chance of making the cut. (Jeff Bagwell and Mark McGwire, only if the voters put the steroid issues aside. Which I don’t think they will.) Be sure to watch MLB Network at 2 o’ clock, Eastern, on Monday, to see the live Hall of Fame election.
So that’s my view on the 2012 Hall of Fame ballot. What’s yours?
When Bernie Williams made his Major League debut, I wasn’t even born. By the time he hit his 100th home run, I was only two. When he stepped into the batters box, for his 4,500th at bat, I was just starting Kindergarten. So how could it be possible that Bernie Williams is my favorite player of all time? The answer lies on a warm July afternoon in Motown, at Comerica Park in Detroit:
It was to be the last event of my family’s two week long trip together. The Yankees were in town to take on the Tigers, and the crowd, as to be expected with a Yankee game, was a sellout. The forecast was sunny. It was a perfect day for a ballgame.
This was the third Major League ballgame that I’d ever attended. (My first Yankees game.) Although it was sure to be an exciting match up, between two great teams, I wasn’t really that excited.
I didn’t really know the names of any of the players on either team. (Not even the stars like Jeter, A-rod, and Ordonez.) I felt out of place. Like I was the only person, out of the 41,000 fans in attendance, that wasn’t enjoying themselves. Baseball is supposed to be enjoyable—America’s Pastime. But I wasn’t enjoying myself at all.
When the first pitch was thrown, to start the 7:05 game, the sun was the only thing on my mind. As a matter of fact, it was the only thing I could see from my section 142 seat. It was nearly unbearable, as I had no sunglasses, and had to squint just to make out tiny shadows, that moved around like I imagined baseball players would. But I really couldn’t tell one team from another.
I wasn’t having a good time before, and I certainly wasn’t having fun now. I found myself thinking, “Is this baseball? Is this the game they call America’s Pastime?” I was confused.
It was the third inning when I finally had the wool, or in this case the sun, pulled from my eyes. I could finally see, both physically and metaphorically. I began to understand why the game of baseball is so great.
Although the third inning brought about my new view towards baseball, it wasn’t until the ninth inning that I became sick with the illness that is baseball fever. An illness that has spread about the nation for the past century, like a pandemic. Though this pandemic doesn’t bring death, but life, in the form of joy. Joy for the game of Baseball.
But what was the cause of this joy? What led me to become a baseball fan for life? The answer: Bernie Williams. Not just the player, but the ambassador. The ambassador who through one swing of the bat, became my favorite player—for life.
A home run to right field by Bernie. That’s the one event that sticks out in my mind from that game.
Even when Mariano Rivera came in for the save, in the bottom of the ninth, my mind was on Bernie’s home run. I couldn’t describe it then, and I still can’t describe it now. But something inside of me clicked on. My baseball switch, I suppose. It was amazing.
I felt like a new person. And in a sense, I was. I was no longer just a kid at a baseball game. I was an actual fan. A fan just like the other 41,ooo in attendance. It was great.
I had no camera, to capture the moment, but it didn’t matter. I can still see the ball flying over the wall, to this day. Everytime I close my eyes, I see it. Like a million dollar painting, stored in my head. Forever.
So there you have it. Bernie Williams is my favorite player of all time, because of that one home run. Although he hit 287 home runs in his career, it took just that one to make me a fan. (Like I said, I can’t explain it.)
So, thank you, Bernie. For not only making me a fan of your’s, but a fan of the game, that I now can’t get enough of. In a weird, distorted, unexplainable, sort of way, you changed my life—for the better.