So nobody made it. For a couple months now, we’ve been anticipating this outcome. But now the unthinkable has happened—a ballot with 10–15 worthy Hall of Fame candidates yielded no inductees, meaning we get to do this whole thing again next year, but instead with the complexity of Jack Morris’s last year on the ballot and the arrivals of Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Mike Mussina, Tom Glavine, and Jeff Kent.
Here’s the thing—several players who didn’t make it today will eventually be Hall of Famers. Jack Morris will. Craig Biggio will. Jeff Bagwell will. Even Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will. It’s just going to take a while. Honestly, I feel the worst for Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, Larry Walker, and Tim Raines—deserving players who were held up for whatever reason. Now they’re stuck in this whole PED mess that has nothing to do with them.
And how about poor Kenny Lofton? He’s very much worthy but won’t appear on another ballot because he failed to receive 5% of the vote. He’s heading to the group of Lou Whitaker, Bobby Grich, Ted Simmons, and David Cone who were dismissed after one ballot but might be elected by future voting generations who appreciate their cases on a more objective level.
History shows us that a large number of players on this ballot will be inducted someday. The last time the BBWAA failed to elect someone was 1996. Six players from that ballot have already made it in since. Heck, Deacon White just got in and he last played a game 123 years ago. 123 years from now, our great-grandchildren might be putting Lofton in.
The thing is… I don’t want to wait. Why wait so long for something I know is deserving right now? I don’t want to sit here and listen to BBWAA members pass moral judgements while the Hall of Fame—an institution I love, by the way—becomes a joke. Basically, I created the Hall of Stats to keep myself from going insane. These players in limbo deserve to be honored. And I’m going to do that.
Ron Santo passed away before he was inducted. White obviously did, too. We’re taking too long to put people in. They are dying while they wait. I’d put Marvin Miller in that group, too. We’re probably going to do it to Minnie Minoso just like we did it to Bill Dahlen. I don’t get what it is accomplishing. If a guy is going to get in the Hall, just put him in so he can enjoy it, share stories, be remembered. Don’t let them die in great disappointment, like White did.
So I have the Hall of Stats. Kenny, Larry, Jeff… at least you have this. You have the cold-hearted, spreadsheet-toting saberists on your side. Although, I don’t understand why we’re the ones seen as cold and impersonal. We won’t assume Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza are guilty without evidence. We want a Hall of Fame that features the greatest players of a generation. We want to celebrate baseball history by adding more deserving players. And we’re the inhuman ones.
I don’t know who to be mad at at this point. The BBWAA? I can’t stand how they’re using their votes. The Hall of Fame itself? They let the BBWAA into this awkward position. The players from the era? The clean players who didn’t speak up?
It’s stupid. I don’t want to get mad. This is baseball. I want to honor and celebrate the best players of my generation of baseball. Ross Carey has said multiple times on his podcast, “if you ignore a generation of players, you ignore a generation of fans.” We’re being ignored.
I created the Hall of Stats so we wouldn’t be ignored. And today, the Hall of Stats includes:
- Barry Bonds
- Roger Clemens
- Curt Schilling
- Jeff Bagwell
- Larry Walker
- Mike Piazza
- Alan Trammell
- Edgar Martinez
- Kenny Lofton
- Tim Raines
- Craig Biggio
- Mark McGwire
- Rafael Palmeiro
- Sammy Sosa
Why? Because the Hall of Fame has 208 players. And they were among the 208 best players ever. Welcome, guys. We’re happy to have you.