Let 'em all in
Eight players are up for Hall of Fame consideration on the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee ballot. They all merit enshrinement.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday announced the eight players who are up for consideration on the Contemporary Baseball Era Players Committee ballot.
The ballot includes some pretty familiar names: Albert Belle, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Dale Murphy, Rafael Palmeiro and Curt Schilling.
The players are all deserving candidates.
Bonds is the single-season and career home run champion.
Clemens, the Rocket, won 354 career games.
Look at Belle's stats from 1995: 52 doubles, 50 home runs, 126 RBI, 1.091 OPS. There were few hitters feared like he was in the mid-1990s.
Donnie Baseball was the player of the 1980s, a doubles and hits machine in a down offensive era.
McGriff has as many career home runs (493) as Lou Gehrig. And a timeless commitment to baseball fundamentals.
Murphy was MVP in two straight years and finished with 398 career dingers, a total that would have passed 400 if not for work stoppages.
Was there a better big game clutch pitcher than Schilling? The bloody sock game? The 2001 World Series? The 1993 World Series?
Palmeiro has 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, and understood the importance of pills to aid his performance.
Yes, they all played at a time when steroids were floating throughout the game. Some of them used. Some of them didn't. But the Hall of Fame voters, in electing David Ortiz, have sent a message that positive drug tests don't matter anymore.
On top of that, some of the players on the ballot (looking at you, “Crime Dog” McGriff) would have probably been elected already if not for the steroids-era blockade on the ballot — there were too many deserving candidates and a limited number of votes, and the eligibility window was reduced from 15 to 10 years in order to fast-track Bonds off the ballot.
It would be awesome if the committee (which will vote in December at the Baseball Winter Meetings) elected all eight of these players. It won't, of course. That would too easily untangle the hall of hypocrisy’s mess. But one can dream.