MLB Cooperstown Conundrum: Baseball Drops the Ball with Hall of Fame Letdown

Andrew PhillipsCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2013

HOUSTON - JUNE 28:  Second baseman Craig Biggio #7 of the Houston Astros reacts after getting his 3,000th career hit against the Colorado Rockies in the 7th inning on June 28, 2007 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

For the first time since 1996, no one has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Now granted, with filler names on the ballot such as Kenny Lofton, Jeff Cirillo, Rondell White, Ryan Klesko, Shawn Green, and Aaron Sele to name a few—the voting process proved to be as ineffective as ever.

Needing 75 percent of the vote in order to gain enshrinement into Cooperstown is difficult enough for the 37 people on this year's ballot without ESPN's Howard Bryant turning in a blank ballot.

A blank ballot.

Think about that.

Not a single vote on his card. This is someone who has a job to, you guessed it, vote for the players that deserve the reward of entry into the Hall of Fame from a hugely successful career.

Instead, he decided to finish his test first and hand it in blank. Then he wrote an article about it, complete with a "cute" title. Drawing a blank on a HOF ballot. What a disgrace. What a shame. What an unequivocal slap in the face to guys like Jack Morris, who have been on the ballot longer than I can remember.

Morris, a guy who won 254 games, was a five-time All-Star, four-time World Series Champion, World Series MVP, and even threw a no-hitter in 1984.

But leaving a ballot blank, is so much cooler than voting Jack Morris into the Hall of Fame.
How about Craig Biggio? A member of the Astros for 19 years, a seven-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove Award winner, someone who stole 414 bases, and, oh yeah, had 3,060 hits.




Biggio finished his final season with 130 hits in 141 games, and probably could have played a couple more years but decided to call it quits. No one can fault him for that after 19 years in the organization.

Every member of the vaunted 3,000 hit club is in the Hall except for Pete Rose—who is banned from baseball for life, Rafael Palmeiro—who is a known steroid user, and now Craig Biggio—who is not even close to either of those categories. But remember, a blank ballot is much better than voting for a guy like Craig Biggio.

Aaron Sele got a vote. Shawn Green got two votes. Steve Finley got four, David Wells five, Julio Franco six. Great job guys, really. 15 votes right there that were pretty much wasted.

It's a nice gesture to throw a vote David Wells' way. But in all reality, did the people who voted for Green, Finley, Wells, and Franco really think that those names would garner 75 percent of the common vote?

I get it, it must be cool to be the writer that gets to boast he voted for Julio Franco because he played forever and was named an All-Star three times in 25 years.

Or maybe you're the guy that voted for Aaron Sele, someone who finished his illustrious career with an ERA of 4.61. Warren Spahn would be spinning in his grave if Aaron Sele joined him in the Hall of Fame.

It's not a stretch to say that he may even ask to be removed.

The Hall is supposed to be the pinnacle of the baseball world. Names like Mantle, Ruth, Hornsby, Cobb, Clemente. Not Green, Sele, Franco, Wells.

Maybe one day Bonds, Rose, McGwire.

But until then, how about Morris and Biggio? Guess we'll have to wait to see if sanity prevails next year.

I sadly doubt it.