This year’s baseball Hall of Fame voting results ought to be very interesting.
The election of former Commissioner Bud Selig, who is perceived by many as turning a blind eye to PED use in the early 2000s, has apparently made quite a few Hall voters change their minds about suspected PED users, particularly Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.
Ryan Thibodaux, who lives in Oakland, has been tracking publicly-released Hall ballots on his Twitter account. The most recent update as of the time of this post, released late Tuesday night, makes it look like we’ll have three inductees this summer:
@ 238 ballots/~54.7%— Ryan Thibodaux (@NotMrTibbs) January 18, 2017
Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez have more than the 75 percent of votes required — so far — and Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero appear to be just short. The 238 ballots on that tweet, as noted, are approximately 54.7 percent of all ballots expected to be cast. If you’re interested in more detail on Thibodaux’ count, here’s his spreadsheet with lots more information.
MLB Network is going to make an entire afternoon’s worth of coverage out of this announcement. They’ll be on the air at 2 p.m. CT, with the Hall’s official announcement of the voting starting about 4 p.m. CT.
That’ll be a lot of TV time to fill.
I wrote more about the Selig controversy and who I’d vote for if I had a BBWAA ballot in this article last month.
The BBWAA voted last year to make all Hall of Fame ballots public starting with next year’s vote. Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, whose writing I respect, wrote a long, thoughtful article on what this change might mean.
The Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony will happen Sunday, July 30 in Cooperstown.
In my view, the Hall of Fame is a must-visit for any baseball fan. The “Hall” itself, where the plaques of inductees are shown, is a small part of a much larger museum showing off the history of baseball. I was last at the museum in 2008 and spent the better part of a day in there. I could have done a second day, easily. The history of the game is celebrated with all sorts of items and displays. Cooperstown is well off the beaten track and not easy to get to; the nearest airports are in Syracuse and Albany and it’ll take you 90 minutes to drive to Cooperstown from either of them. It’s well worth the trip.