A Good Start

Yesterday the Baseball Hall of Fame voting results came out and as expected, Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were selected for the class of 2011.  Both well deserving and frankly Blyleven should have been voted in years ago, but hey he’s in now. 

I think the biggest news that came out of the results has a local tie.  Connecticut native and longtime Houston Astro 1B Jeff Bagwell was on 41.7% of the ballots.  That’s a big number for a player eligible for the 1st time. 

“Pipes” has always been a favorite of mine.  He grew up across the river in Killingworth.  He went to Xavier and U Hart.  I knew someone who babysitted him as well as a former coach of his.  His story is well-known throughout New England (being traded by the Red Sox for Larry Anderson in 1989, which in hindsight was a really good deal, at the time.)  He worked his way into the Astros starting lineup in 1991 and was the Rookie of the Year that season. 

Over the next few years he became one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.  He was the NL MVP in 1994 and continued his dominance into the early 2000’s.  The only thing to slow him down was a debilitating shoulder condition that eventually ended his career.  The man always had the numbers to be a HOF’er but the big issue was he played during the heart of the Steroid Era in the game.  Every player who put up remotely good numbers during that time has a cloud of speculation hanging over him.  Regardless of the fact that his name never appeared in any report or surfaced in any rumor, people had their doubts (including me.)  You look at his contemporaries that were on the ballot with him this year and a huge statement was made.  The voters trust Bagwells’ numbers, but they judge McGwire(19.8%), Palmeiro(11%), and Gonzalez(5.4%) numbers, three central steroid figures, completely different. 

This is a good thing for Bagwell.  I think there is a good chance he could get voted in next year or 2013.  Next year will be a fight between he and Barry Larkin but in 2013 he will rise above the rest.  That year Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and to a lessor extent Piazza are all linked to PED’s and all are on the ballot for the 1st time that year.  The HOF voters (a fickle group) could make a huge statement by voting in Bagwell, a clean player with no known skeletons over the other four with obvious black marks. 

The good news is I think Jeff Bagwell will one day be a HOF’er.  A worthy achievement for a player who absolutely gave all he could to the game.  I am excited for the day he gets picked.  It will be a day for all of CT to rejoice as a native son sees a dream come true.

Until that day, lets hope nothing negative comes out. 

BTW, about 5 weeks till pitchers and catchers.  Giddy Up!!!

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One Response to “A Good Start”

  1. Roberto Alomar really did deserve the Hall of Fame and as a Toronto Blue Jays fans I’m so glad they put him in this year, especially with a close to unanimous vote. If the only thing stopping him was the spitting incident, which it seemed to be, then there should have been no reason for them to keep him out. I was also happy to see the steroid guys not receiving too much of the vote because I think there is a great difference between those guys and guys like Alomar with character issues. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/musings-on-the-2011-hall-of-fame-class/

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