The Baseball Hall of Fame votes were announced this week. I totally agree with the choices of Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven; I wanted Blyleven in years ago. If I had had a ballot, I would have probably voted for the people who came in 1-7, plus 11: Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris, Lee Smith, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Mark McGwire.
Yes, I’d be voting for Mark McGwire, who, assuming he was taking steroids during his career – OK, he was – took them when they were not effectively banned by Major League Baseball. Rafael Palmiero, he of the finger-wagging to Congress that he was clean, then later suffers a suspension over the use of a banned substance, did much worse in the voting than a 500-HR/3000-hit batter would have in a pre-steroid era. I have have publicly theorized that his performance in DC definitely cost him; he was not going to make it in his first chance.
Why can’t reliever Lee Smith get more love? Eventually, I’d vote for Edgar Martinez; it’s difficult for me to pick a pure Designated Hitter, mostly because STILL hate the DH rule. And now that Alan Trammell has only five more years, I would likely start selecting him too. Rafy too, in a couple years. My working theory is that, once a bunch of steroid-era players are on the ballot, McGwire and Palmiero will get inducted, maybe in year 12 to 15 of their 15-year window of eligibility.
Meanwhile, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction list was released a last month, with the ceremony to be held in March. I was really happy to see Neil Diamond on the list, and also Leon Russell as a sideman, or as they are now calling it, the “musical excellence award”; I should get that album Russell did with Elton John. But, of the nominees for this year, the most disappointing omission was the late Laura Nyro. If not as a singer, then she ought to get as a songwriter. Though the pictured album, which is a bunch of cover songs, she’s deserving as a performer as well. *-inductees
*Alice Cooper, Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi, Chic, *Neil Diamond, Donovan, *Dr. John, J. Geils Band, LL Cool J, * Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Joe Tex, *Tom Waits, Chuck Willis
For either or both Halls of Fame, who would you have picked for this year?