The votes are in, and baseball writers are in agreement: Atlanta Braves pitching duo Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, along with White Sox slugger Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, are going to Cooperstown.
Their entrance to baseball’s Hall of Fame cannot be disputed. Maddux and Glavine emasculated hitters on back-to-back days with the Braves for years, and then went their separate ways to tally up over 300 win careers, Maddux with the Cubs, Dodgers, and Padres, Glavine with the Mets and a return trip to the Braves. Frank Thomas hit 521 home runs while maintaining a career .500 average.
But what about those other players that either just missed selection, or fell off of the ballot entirely? Let’s look at the biggest losers that were given the finger by voting baseball writers.
As if dealing with the crash and burn of their football team wasn’t enough, the people of Houston were kicked while they were down when Astros slugger Craig Biggio failed to make the cut. Biggio is now 1 of 3 players that has reached the 3,000 hit mark and is not in the Hall of Fame. One of the others is Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who is still active. The other… we’ll get to later.
While there is no real evidence that Mike Piazza used performance-enhancing drugs in his career, the cloud of suspicion that looms over most players in the unofficial Steroid Era hurt arguably the greatest hitting catcher of all time.
Being a member of the New York Mets couldn’t have helped, either.
While Jack Morris has compiled a nice resume during his 17-year pitching career, he will sadly pass from the direct Hall of Fame ballot to the Veteran’s Committee, where he will likely pass Cooperstown forever into “also ran” oblivion.
It seems that his record for keeping an amazing moustache throughout his career and beyond was not enough for induction, leading many to believe that Don Mattingly is doomed to follow Morris in just missing the Hall of Fame.
This first of the ‘Roid Boys has officially bit the dust. Rafael Palmeiro fell off the Hall of Fame ballot for all eternity when he neglected to garner the required 5% of votes. This makes Palmeiro the only player with over 3,000 hits to be ultimately denied induction. Craig Biggio still has a shot, and Derek Jeter is still playing.
Obviously, it isn’t just about PEDs, as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds garned a large percentage of votes, and Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa are still alive on the ballot. Perhaps it’s the idea that Palmeiro didn’t put his PEDs to good use. Or maybe it was all those commercials for Viagra.