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Andre Dawson inducted to the Hall of Fame: Beyond that? Epic Failure

Jan 6, 2010, 2:09 PM EDT

Hall of Fame logo.GIFThe votes have been counted and Andre Dawson is the only candidate to get elected to the Hall of Fame. This is an epic fail on the part of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Bert Blyleven received 74.2 percent. Barry Larkin 51.6. Alomar 73.7.  All three of them deserved entrance.  Larkin and Alomar no doubt will soon.  Based on the mental gymnastics so many voters have made to exclude Blyleven, however, he may never make it. This has to be a bitter pill for him to swallow.

As for Andre Dawson, the Hawk may not have been everyone’s definition of a Hall of Famer due to his low on-base percentage — in fact, he now has the lowest OBP and batting average of any Hall of Fame outfielder — but he hit for power, had a cannon arm, and until the Olympic Stadium turf took its toll on his knees, he was an excellent centerfielder.  He won an MVP award in 1987 on the power of a then unfathomable 49 home runs. A quiet, dignified player in his career and since he retired, Andre Dawson’s statistics may not dazzle compared to other Hall of Famers, but he definitely classes the place up.

But I don’t think it takes away from Dawson’s honor to note that, objectively speaking, he was perhaps the least deserving of enshrinement thank Larkin, Alomar and Blyleven.

We’ll have more on this as the day goes on, of course.  For now: shame on you BBWAA. Shame on you.

  1. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:34 PM

    Mark McGwire – 8 seasons where he actually played a full season like a major leaguer. 4 of those seasons can be called exceptional.
    He can get in once Dave Kingman and Joe Pepitone get in.

  2. JonPeter - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    talex: “Bert Blyleven was barely above a .500 pitcher in his career…A .538 winning percentage?”
    Nolan Ryan played on many terrible teams and finished with an even lower .526 (324-292) percentage. Granted sometimes Ryan was the only pitcher above .500 on some of those teams. Consider that Blyleven’s lifetime ERA of 3.31 isn’t that much greater than Ryan’s 3.19 I don’t remember too many people complaining about Ryan’s won-lost percentage when he was elected in his first year.

  3. Hudson - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

    Fans don’t get to vote because they’re fickle and obtuse. Alomar got snubbed because he is an ass and doesn’t deserve to be a first-ballot inductee, it is a distinction not lost on the BBWAA. He put up good numbers, and that’s all people see, not the lack of hustle/poor attitude that went on daily. Conversely, Dawson busted his ass and knees for TERRIBLE expos/cubs teams, and was a class A personality. Being from the midwest, I watched a lot of Reds games: Larkin was good, not great; he’ll get 10 ballot appearances before he gets a legitimate chance. Blylevin was likewise good, but as Johng pointed out, he was a #2 pitcher at best (on crappy teams), but at least I will be pulling for him to get in.
    You think you know more about baseball at a day-to-day level than the professional writers who cover the game tirelessly? Go start your own ‘Stupid & Ignorant American Writers Association’ and you can vote in your own nominees and rejoice.

  4. BringBackYaz - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    Whomever talks about Jim Rice not deserving the HOF, you know nothing about him or you weren’t paying attention. Between 1975 and 1987, in a lineup full of excellent hitters (Fisk, Lynn, Yaz, Boggs, Evans, Burleson, Easler) Rice was a DOMINANT hitter. When pitchers talked about how to pitch to the Red Sox in that time, his name was first on the list. Andre Dawson was never a dominant hitter.
    Rice had a higher BA (.298 to .279), higher SLG (.502 to .482), higher OBP (.352 to .323). Though Dawson has 56 more HRs and 140 more RBI than Rice, it took almost 900 ABs to do it.
    And Rice won an MVP in ’79, Dawson in ’87. But Rice finished in the top 5 in the MVP vote six times. Dawson only 3.
    Dawson was a better outfielder. Maybe the best in baseball in his career (after Gary Maddox retired). Rice was more than adequate, but had to face the scrutiny of succeeding Yastrzemski, also the best outfielder of his generation (the one after Mays).
    BOTH outfielders deserve induction. Dawson was the best CF in baseball for a number of years, and a very good hitter. Rice was the most feared hitter of his time, and a very good outfielder.

  5. Bert - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    There is a difference between getting on base, and scoring runs. There is also a difference between batting average, and RBIs. The difference is the actual accomplishment of runs manufactured against the possibilty of scoring runs. On base percentage doesn’t help unless you actually score. Would have, could have, should have doesn’t win games. The runs a player scores and the runs he drives in should matter more than how often he gets on base. To this I say congratulations to Andre Dawson who shows much more class than many of those here giving opinions.

  6. SC - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Does this mean Blyleven will become the Mercury Morris of baseball? Won’t shut up until he gets what he wants.

  7. ac - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:47 PM

    Why not add Steve Garvey to this conversation? He was the best 1st baseman in baseball for a decade. Look at his career and his overall contribution to his team’s accomplishments. I would say they are HOF worthy.

  8. Lyle Russell - Jan 6, 2010 at 5:59 PM

    SHAME on the BBWAA. Completely agree with the Andre Dawson selection. We can all agree that Greg Maddux (one of my favorite players) will be elected on his first year of eligibility. Put Bert Blyleven and Greg Maddux stats side-by-side and then tell me why the great BBWAA should have put Bert in long time before now.
    SHAME!!!! SHAME!!!!

  9. TJ - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    Dawson’s election indicates that too many of these writers who are voting don’t know what they’re doing and that they have just set the bar to entrance lower. The bozos who have repeatedly abstained from voting for Bert Blyleven (for whatever made up reasons) but now have voted for Dawson have made themselves look like even bigger fools.

  10. mike - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    nope. After Foster hit 50 plus in 1977, at least 10 players hit 40 plus before 1987. I was watching plenty of baseball in 1987 and no one over the age of 10 was blown away by Bell and Dawson.

  11. Dave - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Nonsense. Is Andre Dawson more deserving than Robbie Alomar? Not in any way, shape or form. Not even close. Of the repeat candidates Blyleven clearly is more deserving than Hawk. Who are these idiots and how did they get the right to vote?

  12. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Instead of discussing who should have been voted in, which always makes for interesting debate, there is a greater issue that needs to be addressed in order to correct what has historically been a failure on the part of the BBWAA. The issue is that the BBWAA should not vote who should be inducted into the HOF or at least should only have a small say in who does get inducted. We have WRITERS determining the very best players from each generation deserving of enshrinement??? Are you kidding me? WRITERS? Those who never played the game professionally? Those who, for the most part, cover ONE team in their career? Those who are, by nature, BIASED? Take a look at how WRITERS have voted for season ending awards such as MVP, CY, Rookie, etc. Many vote for a player from their “Home” team over, what most would agree, is the player deserving of the award. WRITERS have “snubbed” players in the past due to the relationship that player has had with the media. Are you kidding me? WRITERS?
    In my humble opinion, I believe the voting should be limited to those who have been in a position to best evaluate whether a player is deserving of the Hall. To me, that is a combination of those players that PLAYED with and against a nominated player during his career, existing members of the HOF (after all, it’s THEIR club), perhaps Managers that coached during a particular players career as well. The weight of the vote cast by each of these groups would make up the overall number or percentage required for induction. That of course is another debate altogether. Ask yourselves, in what you do in your career, who is in the best position to detemine the value of YOUR work? To detemine it’s WORTH? Those who have DONE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE or those sitting in the cheap seats with nothing more than….an opinion? I could go on about CHARACTER and whether it should be a part of the decision process, how a players overall NUMBERS are factored in or out depending on so many other things (hello Sandy Koufax)….but we’ll leave that for another time. The problem is simple: BBWAA. The solution? Give the vote to those who deserve it: Players, Managers, HOF Members.

  13. Wayne - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    People still watch baseball?

  14. denny - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Until Marvin Miller, argueably the most influential person in the game of baseball ever is inducted into HOF inspite of his having asked to not be considered, I’ll forgo further trips to Copperstown.
    Edgar Martinez deserves to be in as well. During his career he was widely praised as the most feared hiter in the American League.

  15. Rusty - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:22 PM

    SOMEBODY will get the title of Person With the Best Case Who Just Missed Getting Into the HOF. Maybe Blyleven is that person, maybe not (I remember when Don Sutton was making a run for it). But somebody will have to be that person.

  16. Mick - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    Hall of Fame? Please. It should be called the “Hall of Agents”, because that’s what it takes to get in! As far as the current neglect of Mssrs. Larkin, Alomar and Blyleven, I would say that it pales in comparison to the failure to induct some truly worthy and significant players, including (are you ready for this?): ROGER MARIS! That’s right, one of truly great baseball players of ALL TIME, is not included in the Hall of Fame. A man who not only broke Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, but who then held it for longer than the bambino had! A man who played in no less than five World Series, named MVP in three, and who, if the truth may be told, was the antithesis of the “Tiger Woods” model of athlete. A role model who accepted his responsibility; who never drank, smoked or swore in public, never (as far as we know) cheated on his wife; and who, more importantly for me, was one of my personal idols as a young player. The so-called “hall of fame” is a JOKE, and about the only thing that it DOES demonstrate, is the appalling lack of intellect of most sports writers!
    ‘Nuff Said!

  17. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    By your own set of rules, who are you, oh great Tim, who are you to comment on sports writers? How many newpaper columns have you written day after day after day in your life?
    I really get so sick and tired of dolts who say idiotic sentences, like “if you never played professional baseball, how can you possibly judge the players”? I don’t know, Tim, unless you ever were the chief elected official of a major world superpower, how in the world can you vote for a president? Unless you have been paid to do every single task in life, how can you possibly form an opinion on any aspect of it?
    There is a contigent of idiots whose beliefs would only allow about 7 people to attend ballgames, since some dumb jock throwing a ball at something is beyond the comprehension of us dweeby weaklings.
    Tim, why don’t you take your Bert Blyleven baseball card, and go back down in your mom’s basement until dinner time? Weep a hearty wail, as your big, dumb, jocky hero won’t be making a meaningless speech this July to a bunch of similarly clueless, big, dumb jocks.

  18. Frank - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    hat about Rocky Colavito ‘the Rock’…. he did so much for baseball in Cleveland and in Detroit, a rifle arm, 4HR in one game (a feat only accomplished by about a half dozen), lead homerun and rbi stats several years…. and I believe he even pitched a few innings….. “dont knock the Rock”……..

  19. Carlos Mejias - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:42 PM

    This is the worst day in Major League Baseball HISTORY a CRIME was committed. How can anyone not VOTED for Roberto Alomar? Joe Morgan is a Hall of Famer and his number are lack luster and not even deservered of comparation to ROBERTO ALOMAR’s numbers. I have been a baseball player, a coach, a trainer, and a follower of the game for as long that I know…..
    This is another mark on the United States of America, the so great and fair Country of the World. Whom is behind this Crime, Who took a bribe, or, Whom are part of this group of writers that has put this Committe in shame. It is the Darkest day in Baseball in a long time.

  20. Houston - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:44 PM

    One word. Pete.

  21. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:45 PM

    How about Gene Tenace? He twice led the league in walks, once in the NL, once in the AL! What a travesty!! The holocaust, Hiroshima, 9/11, none of these can measure up to the human catastrophe that Gene Tenace not being in the Hall of Fame is!! They ought to design a black wall in DC in tribute to the greatness that was Gene Tenace!!
    This just shows how stoopid the BBWAA is for not offering to be personal slaves to Gene Tenace.
    Or how about Jim Slaton? He pitched on terrible teams. People who get sad while reading The Diary of Anne Frank should be ashamed that they don’t apply that emotion to something that really matters, like Jim Slaton being denied enshrinement in the hall of fame. He made the 1977 all-star team!! There will never be happiness again on Earth until Jim Slaton is duly recognized. In 1976, he almost had a WHIP under 1.3! They should rename it the “Jim Slaton Baseball Hall of Fame”.
    Sports fans are truly ridiculous.

  22. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    Okay, you win. Your comment is more ridiculous than my Gene Tenace comment, because you sound like you mean it.

  23. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Vote for the President? That’s your argument? Voting for the President is choosing to elect an official that best represents your own set of personal values and who you feel will best fulfill the needs of the country. How do you equate that to HOF voting by writers? And having played professional sports, those who have are most certainly in the best position to “judge” others who have done the same! Assuming you’re a “man”, why not “judge” what childbirth is like and explain it to us dolts. As far as opinions go, everyone has and is entitled to one. What I was saying, if you read and can understand mine, is that determining who should be elected to the HOF, which is of course based on the opinions of others, would be best served by those who have played the game, played against those selected for consideration, HOF members and managers that coached those considered for selection. So, your argument makes no sense. Perhaps you can go back and try again, maybe get some “opinions” by those who have a better comprehension of the subject than you do. And, on a personal note, I’m sorry you never had the joy of having played sports (I’m assuming this by your “big dumb jocks” comment), and instead were either left out completely or picked last…..but that’s really no reason to hold a grudge against those of us that weren’t. BTW, if you have a logical and reasonable argument (opinion) on who should be or shouldn’t be elected to the HOF, I’m sure all of us would be very interested to see a coherent reply. Thanks and good luck.

  24. basedrum777 - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    He spit on an umpire…

  25. carl douai - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Ask John Hirschbeck what he thinks!!!

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