Well, it’s a very happy day for Roberto Alomar, who was decisively voted into the Hall of Fame with 90 percent of the votes — the third-highest percentage in history. That’s a staggering total for someone who didn’t make it on the first ballot, albeit by the slimmest of margins (73.7 percent). I guess there were quite a few voters who were making a “first ballot” statement — perhaps because of the spitting incident — but now feel it’s OK to vote for Alomar. He’s extremely deserving.
It’s maybe an even happier day for Bert Blyleven, who has inched up the ladder and finally makes it on his 14th try. He had only one year of eligibility left, but it’s a moot point, as 79.7 percent of the voters wrote his name. I’ve voted for him from the beginning, so I’m gratified to see him elected.
Here are the complete results.
Edgar Martinez, in his second year of eligibility, drew 191 votes — 32.9 percent (75 percent is needed for election). That’s down slightly from the 195 votes, and 36.2 percent, he received last year. I’m not exactly sure how to explain that, except that there are nearly 20 players for whom Hall of Fame cases can be made. As I wrote yesterday, I think to a certain extent Martinez got lost in the shuffle. I don’t think all is lost — he can still creep up the ladder, as Andre Dawson and Jim Rice did, and get there eventually. Here’s something to give hope to Edgar supporters: In his second year on the ballot, Blyleven received 14.1 percent of the vote.
Barry Larkin’s total rises from 51.6 percent to 62.1 percent, which puts him on the Hall of Fame doorstep. I expect he’ll make it next year.
One factor that stands out loud and clear is the voters repudiation of those connected wtih steroids. First-time Rafael Palmeiro, one of four players in history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers, received just 11 percent, while Mark McGwire, in his first ballot since confessing to steroids use, dropped from 23.7 to 19.8 percent.