I'm finally back after an extended Winter Break from the blog. The goal in 2010: post more! So, today's post is about baseball, my favorite sport. Today the voting results for the Hall of Fame were announced. Only one player was elected, outfielder Andre Dawson. Bert Blyleven, one of my favorite pitchers, who played most of his career for the Twins, fell just five votes short! Oh well, I guess next year will finally be Bert's year.
I think that Andre Dawson definitely deserved to be elected, he was one of the best players of the 1980's, and he combined speed and power. Dawson played 20 years, despite having terrible knees, (I read today that he had 12 knee operations!) and the numbers he put up are very impressive. 2,774 hits, 503 doubles, 438 home runs, 1,373 runs, 1,591 RBI's, 314 stolen bases. Okay, so his batting average of .279 and on-base percentage of .323 are pretty low...but I would still want him on my time any day. When you add 1 Rookie of the Year, 1 MVP, 8 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Slugger awards and 8 All-Star Games, it's an amazing career that Dawson had.
Bert Blyleven was stuck pitching for some pretty crummy teams throughout his career, which prevented him from reaching 300 wins. He ended his career at 287 wins, which is still impressive. Blyleven also threw 60 shutouts, good for 9th on the all-time list. And, perhaps most impressively, when he retired in 1993, he was 3rd on the all-time strikeout list, with 3,701. The only two pitchers ahead of him were Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan. That's very select company to be in. I'm really glad that it looks like next year will be Bert's year to get in, he's definitely the best pitcher not in the Hall of Fame.
For players on the ballot for the first time, Roberto Alomar came very close to making it in, with 73.7% of the vote, so he'll surely make it in next year. Alomar was a slick-fielding second baseman who also put up great numbers at the plate. Barry Larkin and Edgar Martinez did well in their first years, 51% and 36%, respectively. Larkin could have a chance to get in, as he was a good fielding shortstop, but Martinez could have a more difficult time, as he spent the bulk of his career as a DH. Fred McGriff was the only other first-year player to garner more than 5% of the vote, and thus ensure getting listed on next year's ballot. The "Crime Dog" got 21% of the vote, a rather tepid response to some pretty solid offensive numbers. I think McGriff was a great player, but I'm not quite sure that he's a Hall of Famer. I was sad to see the "Big Cat," Andres Galarraga, drop off the ballot in his first year, he was an awesome hitter who came back in 2000 after missing all of 1999 due to cancer. In 2000 he posted one of his best seasons, hitting .302 with 28 home runs and 100 RBI, at the age of 39.
Most other players on the ballot increased their vote totals, Jack Morris, Lee Smith, and Tim Raines all went up. Dave Parker and Dale Murphy held steady at 15% and 11%, pretty low totals for two great players. And Harold Baines, one of my favorite players growing up, just narrowly avoided falling off the ballot again, moving up slightly from 5.9% to 6.1%!
Well, I'm excited for next year when Bert finally gets in!