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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. johnny - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    I think They have since removed Maris asterisk.

  2. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:07 PM

    Sorry, Tim, sounds like you have no idea how much work goes into qualifying for the BBWAA. I’m sure you can’t fathom the years of pounding out game capsules in some seedy minor league town motel that go into becoming one of the 500 best sports-writers in the world.
    From your offering, I’m left with the opinion that you have never been responsible for relating an account of anything to a discerning public. Your child eating has never depended on you correctly telling the world who, what, where, when, and why that 3-run double to the gap was a work of sheer art.
    I have made salient arguments for Gene Tenace and Jim Slaton. Get a dictionary, and you may come to understand the wisdom of the words I have chosen.
    I have played sports, and was usually picked in the first couple of picks. However, I’m 46, and have come to understand that me running in a circle and throwing a ball at something when I was 14 really has no bearing much of anything 32 years later (that’s math – try it sometime).
    Here’s my issue, oh big Tim. The amount of hyperbole in discussing Hall-of-Fame picks is astounding. Travesty? Populations getting wiped out in Africa while their country fights a civil war, and rebels destroy food meant for them as a maneuver – is a travesty. Some prima donna, dumb jock not getting recognition for his career 5 years to the day the multi-million dollar paychecks stopped is not a travesty. I wouldn’t even call it a mild irritation.
    Unless you played pro ball, I would think you would be apologizing to us for wasting our time with your worthless opinion, right?

  3. johng - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Hirschbeck and Alomar are friends. Robbie and Sandy Jr. have both worked to raise money for Hirschbeck’s charity.
    I believe Hirschbeck has said that both he and Alomar came out better for the incident.

  4. bronxbomber5 - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    IMHO… I’ve no use for the Hall of Fame voting process since Roger Maris was denied. Not only did he beat “The Babe”, but he held the home run record longer than any major leaguer. And, he did it without PED and against incredible opposition. Everyone was rooting for “The Mick”; Roger was hated and had to do it on his own! As a boy. I was a Mantle fan, too. Only The Mick supported him. When asked by an attendant at Cooperstown, “How did you like it?”, I responded, “It isn’t right, not as long as Maris is not here.”

  5. Mr Reality - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:23 PM

    Ok, lets keep it REAL shall we: ITS BASEBALL !!!!!! Who cares?????

  6. Jason - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Blyleven was a good pitcher who collected tons of stats. A HOFer should have been among the most feared at their position for a period. Was Bert? Hardly… otherwise he’d at least have gotten a few votes for Cy Young in more than 3 years of his 20+years.
    Dawson was among the most feared power hitters and base runners (regardless of the cannon he had replacing his arm) throughout the 80′s. I’ll take an 8-10 year period of greatness over a career of compiling numbers any day.
    Good job, Hall. If anything, the mistake was in adding anybody this year. Hawk was great, I’m just not sure about the greatest.

  7. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Having played pro baseball and having a greater understanding of not only the game but a greater respect for the game and those of us who day in and out played the game, election to the HOF for a career whose contributions defined the very best of the game means quite a bit to those fortunate to be considered. Travesty? No. Of course not. No one would suggest that this relates to world events such as those you mentioned. And I made no such comparison. However, as I said, to be recognized for a career and selected to the HOF which is the greatest acknowledgment a player could receive means more to those players than any fame or amount of money ever paid for the game they loved. And I would think that those players would want that acknowledgement from those who played as opposed to a bunch of WRITERS. Ever serve in the military? In battle? Do you honestly think the appreciation of some politician for your service could ever mean more to you than from those who served alongside you? You think they could ever understand what it was like compared to a brother in arms? BBWAA is like a bunch of movie critics. Never acted. Never directed, wrote a screenplay, etc… That’s why movie critics don’t “vote” on the Academy Awards. Actors vote for actors, etc. Do I need to explain why?

  8. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    Having played pro baseball and having a greater understanding of not only the game but a greater respect for the game and those of us who day in and out played the game, election to the HOF for a career whose contributions defined the very best of the game means quite a bit to those fortunate to be considered. Travesty? No. Of course not. No one would suggest that this relates to world events such as those you mentioned. And I made no such comparison. However, as I said, to be recognized for a career and selected to the HOF which is the greatest acknowledgment a player could receive means more to those players than any fame or amount of money ever paid for the game they loved. And I would think that those players would want that acknowledgement from those who played as opposed to a bunch of WRITERS. Ever serve in the military? In battle? Do you honestly think the appreciation of some politician for your service could ever mean more to you than from those who served alongside you? You think they could ever understand what it was like compared to a brother in arms? BBWAA is like a bunch of movie critics. Never acted. Never directed, wrote a screenplay, etc… That’s why movie critics don’t “vote” on the Academy Awards. Actors vote for actors, etc. Do I need to explain why?

  9. soup - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    ” in fact, he now has the lowest OBP and batting average of any Hall of Fame outfielder”
    Reggie Jackson has a lower BA

  10. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:37 PM

    Having played pro baseball and having a greater understanding of not only the game but a greater respect for the game and those of us who day in and out played the game, election to the HOF for a career whose contributions defined the very best of the game means quite a bit to those fortunate to be considered. Travesty? No. Of course not. No one would suggest that this relates to world events such as those you mentioned. And I made no such comparison. However, as I said, to be recognized for a career and selected to the HOF which is the greatest acknowledgment a player could receive means more to those players than any fame or amount of money ever paid for the game they loved. And I would think that those players would want that acknowledgement from those who played as opposed to a bunch of WRITERS. Ever serve in the military? In battle? Do you honestly think the appreciation of some politician for your service could ever mean more to you than from those who served alongside you? You think they could ever understand what it was like compared to a brother in arms? BBWAA is like a bunch of movie critics. Never acted. Never directed, wrote a screenplay, etc… That’s why movie critics don’t “vote” on the Academy Awards. Actors vote for actors, etc. Do I need to explain why?

  11. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Having played pro baseball and having a greater understanding of not only the game but a greater respect for the game and those of us who day in and out played the game, election to the HOF for a career whose contributions defined the very best of the game means quite a bit to those fortunate to be considered. Travesty? No. Of course not. No one would suggest that this relates to world events such as those you mentioned. And I made no such comparison. However, as I said, to be recognized for a career and selected to the HOF which is the greatest acknowledgment a player could receive means more to those players than any fame or amount of money ever paid for the game they loved. And I would think that those players would want that acknowledgement from those who played as opposed to a bunch of WRITERS. Ever serve in the military? In battle? Do you honestly think the appreciation of some politician for your service could ever mean more to you than from those who served alongside you? You think they could ever understand what it was like compared to a brother in arms? BBWAA is like a bunch of movie critics. Never acted. Never directed, wrote a screenplay, etc… That’s why movie critics don’t “vote” on the Academy Awards. Actors vote for actors, etc. Do I need to explain why?

  12. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Having played pro baseball and having a greater understanding of not only the game but a greater respect for the game and those of us who day in and out played the game, election to the HOF for a career whose contributions defined the very best of the game means quite a bit to those fortunate to be considered. Travesty? No. Of course not. No one would suggest that this relates to world events such as those you mentioned. And I made no such comparison. However, as I said, to be recognized for a career and selected to the HOF which is the greatest acknowledgment a player could receive means more to those players than any fame or amount of money ever paid for the game they loved. And I would think that those players would want that acknowledgement from those who played as opposed to a bunch of WRITERS. Ever serve in the military? In battle? Do you honestly think the appreciation of some politician for your service could ever mean more to you than from those who served alongside you? You think they could ever understand what it was like compared to a brother in arms? BBWAA is like a bunch of movie critics. Never acted. Never directed, wrote a screenplay, etc… That’s why movie critics don’t “vote” on the Academy Awards. Actors vote for actors, etc. Do I need to explain why?

  13. BronxBomber5 - Jan 6, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Removing Maris’ asterisk in the record books is not the same as being in the Hall of Fame.

  14. dr - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    yes you are right their is a difference in the numbers also a difference in steroid use

  15. BronxBomber5 - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM

    The Hall of Fame voting has no credibility since Roger Maris was denied. He not only beat “The Bambino”, but he held the single season home run record longer than any other Major Leaguer, to date. And, he did it without PED and against all odds. He was hated and hounded because everyone was pulling for “The Mick” that year or wanted no one to pass “The Babe”. I was a Micky Mantle fan. Roger even had to stay in different hotels from the rest of the team to avoid the hatred. He did it in spite of the pressure. Watch the movie, “”61″. Billy Crystal did it right! When I went to Cooperstown, an attendant asked me what I thought. I replied, “It’s not right, until Maris is here.” Removing the asterisk from the record books is not the same as being in the Hall of Fame! This year’s voting is only a continuation of the Hall of Fame travesty.

  16. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Let’s address your comments one at a time. First, your opinion about how difficult it is to become a BBWAA member only illustrates my point. Should professional athletes determine who is eligible to be members of that organization? After all, it’s the athletes they’re writing about. So why not let the athletes decide who is worthy? Mmmm…I know why. Because athletes aren’t writers are they? Probably not qualified to determine who best to wax poetically about what it is they do. Second, I have a dictionary but unfortunately there isn’t a single word in there to defend your Tenace and Slaton selections. Third, 46-14 is in fact 32. Pretty basic math as your example of intellectual superiority though isn’t it? Fourth, TRAVESTY? Did someone say that? I don’t think anyone would equate HOF selection to global catastrophe…well, I guess no one but you. But, I do believe that to those who played the game and might be graced with HOF selection would say that it means as much to them as just about anything else in the world. Why? Perhaps it’s because it is the highest acknowledgement they could possible receive for a lifetime of work and contribution to the game they love. And it means more than any amount of fame or money. Why? Because it’s a legacy. I’m sure that if Andre Dawson was elected receiving votes from Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, etc. instead of from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch or Bill Ballou of the Telegram and Gazette of Worcester, it would probably mean just a little bit more to him. Don’t you think? BTW, I did play. Baseball as a matter of fact.

  17. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Let’s address your comments one at a time. First, your opinion about how difficult it is to become a BBWAA member only illustrates my point. Should professional athletes determine who is eligible to be members of that organization? After all, it’s the athletes they’re writing about. So why not let the athletes decide who is worthy? Mmmm…I know why. Because athletes aren’t writers are they? Probably not qualified to determine who best to wax poetically about what it is they do. Second, I have a dictionary but unfortunately there isn’t a single word in there to defend your Tenace and Slaton selections. Third, 46-14 is in fact 32. Pretty basic math as your example of intellectual superiority though isn’t it? Fourth, TRAVESTY? Did someone say that? I don’t think anyone would equate HOF selection to global catastrophe…well, I guess no one but you. But, I do believe that to those who played the game and might be graced with HOF selection would say that it means as much to them as just about anything else in the world. Why? Perhaps it’s because it is the highest acknowledgement they could possible receive for a lifetime of work and contribution to the game they love. And it means more than any amount of fame or money. Why? Because it’s a legacy. I’m sure that if Andre Dawson was elected receiving votes from Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, etc. instead of from Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch or Bill Ballou of the Telegram and Gazette of Worcester, it would probably mean just a little bit more to him. Don’t you think? BTW, I did play. Baseball as a matter of fact.

  18. EDUB - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:49 PM

    Steve Garvey best 1b for a DECADE? No way. He had one 30 hr season. Very good, but not Hall worthy

  19. josezeros - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    I agree that Nolan Ryan is not HofF material. He was basically a .500 pitcher. He probably lost more games than any other pitcher save Cy Young. Give Nolan Ryan the boot from the HofF.

  20. TBS - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    The Baseball Hall of Fame is a joke anyway. You have bitter writers guarding its hallowed halls and a grumpy old Veteran’s Committee that won’t admit anyone who played after 1950. These guys make the Board of Directors at Augusta look like revolutionaries.

  21. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    BBWAA Travesty?
    Ryne Sandberg- 1st ballot HOF
    Lou Whitaker-dropped off ballot 1st yr
    Sandberg’s most similar player according to Baseball Reference?
    Lou Whitaker.
    Not saying Ryno isn’t a HOF. Not saying Whitaker was as good as Ryno. Am saying it’s a joke what the BBWAA does pretty much year in and out without much exception ( like the 1987 AL MVP voting casein point)

  22. Tim - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Maris had ONE YEAR of elite play and ONE YEAR of excellent play.
    The rest of his career looks like Jay Buhner. At Best.
    Yankee fans thinking they are getting jobbed by the Baseball Establishment is like fat people bitching about McDonald’s serving diet Coke

  23. steve zak - Jan 6, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    mcguire’s steroid use disqualifies him from ever entering the hall, even as a guest

  24. Joel Friedman - Jan 6, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    Anyone who mentions Mcgwire is not mentally competent to address this issue. He was a one trick pony. 580+ hrs but only 1626 hits doen not a hof’er make. Steroids have nothing to do with not wanting Mcgwire in. He is as deserving as Dave Kingman!!!

  25. Bruce - Jan 6, 2010 at 11:09 PM

    The simple fact that Tim Raciness was mentioned just once in this stream demonstrates why fans shouldn’t vote. His stats are comparable or superior to any of the borderline players, his sb stats are nothing less than historic, and the likes of Chuck Tanner called him the best nl player his teams faced in the 80′s……alas the penalties of excelling in a small market.

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