The Baseball Writers’ votes are in, and there are three new Hall of Famers that will enter the halls of Cooperstown. Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez all punched their tickets and will be a part of the 2017 Class.
Three different type players with three unique paths to the Golden Gates of the sport. Tim “Rock” Raines was voted in on his last year of eligibility. Jeff Bagwell has carried the suspicions of performance-enhancing drug use. However, with no failed tests, there was not enough to keep him from the prestigious honor. Rodriguez was the only one of the three elected as a first-time candidate on the ballot.
Some suspicions of the same PED use by Pudge certainly exists, but with no black and white criteria for the voters to adhere to, he was able to reach the 75 percent threshold.
Like many years before, the discussion around the Baseball Hall of Fame isn’t about who got in; it’s about who didn’t.
There were a number of players who achieved great things on the baseball field, but due to suspicion of steroid use or character issues have jaded voter’s support of their Hall of Fame bid. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Curt Schilling are all deserving candidates to Cooperstown but have been marked as wrongdoers who need to learn a lesson before being elected.
The Baseball Writers are like parents who are punishing their children by putting them in timeout. Ironically, the same writers who are disciplinarians to the players allowed former Commissioner Bud Selig to pass the line and walk straight into Cooperstown.
Selig was commissioner during what is known as the “Steroid Era” of baseball, and, for the early part of his tenure, turned a blind eye to the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. It took a book by former power hitter turned whistleblower, Jose Canseco, for people to take notice of the rapid use of drugs within the ballparks of the Major League.
Though the three players are seemingly deserving of the great honor to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, more than one player was slighted in the eyes of fans. Here is a look at them and their Hall of Fame Resumes.