It’s a year late, but there’s gonna be player in the Hall of Fame wearing a Jays cap. After narrowly missing in 2010, Roberto Alomar got the call this afternoon in his second year of eligibility, getting 90% of the votes to win an all-inclusive lifetime trip to Cooperstown. After garnering 73.7% (with 75 being the magic mark) last January, apparently 16.3% of the Baseball Writer’s Association of America found Alomar to have had a strong enough season in 2010 to get him over the hump. His estranged wife, however, begs to differ.
I’ve said it last year and I’ll say it again: I don’t quite get the reasoning why some esteemed voters deem a guy not worthy one year and deserving the next. Alomar’s playing career ended in 2004, so what’s he gonna do between 2010 and 2011 to suddenly make himself more eligible? Either way, his 2,724, 12 All-Star selections, 10 Gold Glove Awards and two World Series was enough to earn Alomar the nod this time around. Hats off to the greatest player to ever play for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Alomar won’t be alone in this summer’s induction ceremony — the ever-classy Bert Blyleven got the call in his 14th year of eligibility after the writers decided his 287 wins and 3,701 strikeouts (none of which, I might add, came between 1993 and 2011) were enough to warrant a plaque. Blyleven earned his way with 79.7% of the vote after falling just short with 74.2% in 2009.
It wasn’t a good year for performance enhancers, which serves as another good caution for you kids out there to stay off drugs. Mark McGwire pulled in a mere 19.8%, and Rafael Palmeiro finished at just 11.0% on his first year on the ballot despite 3,020 career hits and 569 homers while never using steroids, period. Never. Non-drug user Barry Larkin inched closer in his second year of eligibility, winning 62.1% favour after garnering 51.6% in 2010. Former Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell was also in the mix, earning 41.7% in his first go-round.