Both Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice were elected to the hall of fame today. Henderson was an obvious lock to be enshrined in Cooperstown while Rice made it on his fifteenth and final try. Neither selection surprises me at all. Congratulations to both guys for their accomplishments and great careers.
But what does surprise me is this: how in the world did Rickey Henderson garner only 94.8% of the vote? By no means is 94.8% something to scoff at, but Henderson was the definition of a first ballot hall of famer. I don't care if you loved him, hated him, or loathed him for talking about himself in the third person; but there is no excuse why Henderson should not have been on 100% of the ballots.
Because seriously there is not a sportswriter out there who can make the argument that Rickey Henderson did not deserve to be in the hall of fame based on the numbers. Henderson is the all time leader in stolen bases, runs, and ranks second to only Barry Bonds in total walks. Those statistics speak volumes into just how great of a player Henderson was.
How in the world could someone not vote for this guy? Well, there are only a few options:
1. Didn't like Rickey
2. Wanted to ensure that no player went into the hall unanimously
3. On crack
If a writer did not like Rickey, that's fine. Henderson was quite an enigma throughout his career and seemed to be VERY into himself. And on top of that, he had strange mannerisms and sayings that make me understand why a writer might not like Henderson.
But that's still no excuse for not voting for him. If these writers cannot set aside their personal beefs, then they do not deserve to have a ballot. Simple as that. With a hall of fame class that was this weak, there is no reason why any writer should have left Henderson off the ballot because they did not like him. Henderson was head and shoulders above everyone else in this class and will undoubtedly be immortalized for his many accomplishments.
Hall of fame voting is not about the writers. It's about the players. If the writers who vote cannot understand this, then they should have their right to vote removed.
And if anyone did not vote for Rickey based on the unanimous hall theory, then they too deserve to have their ballot removed. Writers are not voting here to maintain the sanctity or purity of the hall of fame; instead, writers are voting to determine who deserves entry into immortality
based on their numbers or contribution to the game. That's what the voting should be all about.
So for the 28 of you who did not vote for Rickey Henderson, shame on you. Your right to vote for the hall of fame should be revoked because it's obvious that you have no idea what your talking about. Hopefully every writer who did not vote for Henderson is publically grilled and embarrassed like Corky was.
With all this said, I cannot wait for the Rickey Henderson hall of fame speech! If that's not must-watch-TV, I don't know what is!
Over/under on how many times he refers to himself in the third person during the speech: 42.
Any other guesses?