Congratulations to Roberto Alomar and (at long last) Bert Blyleven for their election to the Hall of Fame.
Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were chosen to the baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday, in an election in which voters again rejected candidates closely identified with baseball’s steroid era.
Alomar got 523 votes and Blyleven 463, with 436 of 581 votes (75%) required for election.
Rafael Palmeiro got 11%, in his first year on the ballot.
Palmeiro is one of four players in major-league history with 500 home runs and 3,000 hits, along with Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray. His 568 home runs rank 12th on the all-time list, one spot ahead of Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and one spot behind Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.
Palmeiro also was the first star suspended after owners and players agreed to test for performance-enhancing drugs and penalize first-time offenders with mandatory suspensions.
Mark McGwire got 19.8%, in the first election after he admitted to using steroids. In his previous four years on the ballot, he received between 21% and 24%.
I felt that Palmeiro fell short despite his traditionally qualifying 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, so that doesn’t bother me. McGwire will be the player that the BBWAA loves to crap on the most until Barry Bonds becomes eligible. Other results of interest, via SBNation:
Barry Larkin, 62.1%
Jack Morris, 53.50%
Lee Smith, 45.30%
Jeff Bagwell, 41.70%
Tim Raines, 37.50%
Edgar Martinez, 32.90%
Alan Trammell, 24.30%
Larry Walker, 20.30%
Larkin ought to have an excellent shot at election next year when there are no likely inductees on the ballot. I’m not a fan of Morris, and I think Lee Smith is overrated, but I can live with their candidacies, and at least they wouldn’t make it before Blyleven. Bagwell had a decent first showing – to address Bubba’s comment, quite a few players have made it in despite less than 50% support on their first ballot – and now that he’s not a first-timer, perhaps some of the bizarre animosity towards him for not ratting out teammates (a standard that would exclude the likes of Greg Maddux and Derek Jeter, by the way) will fade. Still not enough love for Raines and Trammell, Edgard Martinez does about as well as you’d expect – I wouldn’t have voted for him this year, but Jay Jaffe has me reconsidering – and Larry Walker will likely hang on over the years but not get any momentum, which is okay by me.
So there you have it. Congrats again to Alomar and Blyleven, and better luck next time to the deserving hopefuls that fell short this year.