As a former sports writer and editor, my husband has voted for inductees into a variety of Halls of Fame in the past. And I’ve learned a lot about the process from his vantage point. What it seems to boil down to is the individual conscience of each elector.
With the news that no one was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year, I’ve been curious as to the reaction to this. Many saw it coming, “since suspicions about performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) knocked down the candidacy of a bunch of players who were sure to be locks,” according to Seattle Times blogger.
Which of course would give weighty evidence that the ultimate measure of a professional athlete lies in his ethics, not necessarily just his performance.
So is it really true that the lack of an entrant, given the illustrious lineup of baseball’s best performers, a blow?
Many think so. According to ESPN, the vote kept “the game’s career home run leader and one of its greatest pitchers out of Cooperstown — at least for now — Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote and Clemens 37.6 in totals.”
But here’s the other side of it. Though none of the high profile players secured the requisite 75 percent of the vote, all of them did get votes. And since they have 14 more years to be considered, as Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson pointed out, “we have to remember that a snap shot in time is not one ballot, but 15, the most times a player can appear on the ballot. And for some of the people on this ballot that journey is just beginning.”
Given this, only time will tell how long-lasting the fallout is over PEDs.