By Jack Healey
The 2019 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame is a good one. At least the four new inductees announced yesterday.
The four new inductees are Mariano Rivera,Edgar Martinez,Mike Mussina and Roy Halladay. All of them deserve to be there and of course they will join Lee Smith and Harold Baines who were elected by the Today’s Game ERA Committee. I don’t think Baines is a Hall of Famer and the difference between closer Lee Smith and closer Mariano Rivera is like the difference between Babe Ruth and Jackie Jensen. Anyway the six are going in and that’s that.
Rivera is the first unanimous selection and it is deserving and maybe there will be several unanimous choices in the future now that the first one is out of the way. My only complaint is that there should have been several unanimous choices in the past. It is astounding to me that there were writers who didn’t vote for Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Walter Johnson and many many others.
Remember Bill Ballou, the sportswriter from the Worcester Telegram who said that he didn’t think closers should be in the Hall of Fame? He said he would abstain from voting because at the same time he didn’t want to deny Rivera a chance to be a unanimous selection. As it turned out Ballou did change his mind and did submit a ballot and voted for five players. He voted for Rivera, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Manny Ramirez and Roy Halliday.
You need 75% of the vote for induction and this time around Curt Schilling received 60.9% , Roger Clemens at 59.5% and Barry Bonds at 59.1%. I think all three get in next year. Curt Schilling is interesting because I get the feeling he costs himself some votes because of his political views. If writers don’t think he has the credentials to get into the Hall of Fame that is one thing, but to keep him out because of his political views or because you don’t like him is inexcusable. I think sportswriters should be above that. They shouldn’t act like the typical biased fan on facebook or twitter. The majority of the writers are above that, but the ones who are not because they just can’t get by their own biases should have their voting rights revoked.
The laser beam that was pointed toward Tom Brady in the AFC title game is probably much ado about nothing, but somehow if the game was at Foxboro and the laser was pointed toward Patrick Mahomes I think it would be a different story and you would never hear the end of it!
By Jack Healey