Under The Bleachers: Ken Griffey Jr. & The Baseball Hall Of Fame

Above: Ken Griffey Jr. has been elected to the Baseball Hall Of Fame
Under The Bleachers: Ken Griffey Jr. & The Baseball Hall Of Fame

Earlier in the week, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

There has been some rumbling about Piazza getting in on his first chance, but he was arguably the best offensive catcher in the history of the game – at worst he’s second to Johnny Bench – and was a 12-time All-Star. He hit .308 for his career, mashed 427 home runs and drove in over 1,300; numbers that easily put him at the top of his position for the decade of the ‘90s and if being the best at your spot for 10-plus years doesn’t get you into Cooperstown, there is a problem.

No one has questioned “Junior” becoming the first player selected first-overall in the Major League Baseball draft to get elected to the Hall of Fame. Crazy stat though, right?

Drafted by the Seattle Mariners, Griffey Jr. debuted as a 19-year-old and then rattled off an impressive decade in centerfield where he won 10 consecutive Golden Gloves, made 10 straight All-Star appearances, finished in the Top 5 in MVP voting five times (winning once) and was generally considered one of the five best players in the game.

His five-year stretch from 1996 to 2000, his first year in Cincinnati, is one of the best in MLB history and stands out even more given that Griffey was never linked to performance-enhancing drugs during the Steroid Era. While innumerable players’ accomplishments have been tainted by positive tests or serious speculation, “Junior” came through without so much as a smudge on his resume.

Which is why the fact that he got 99.3% of the vote and not 100% is so damn annoying. For real – who are the two or three members of the Baseball Writers of America that didn’t vote for Griffey and what explanation do they have? It’s the most absurd thing imaginable. What possibly makes you sit down and think, “You know what: everyone else is going to vote for Ken Griffey Jr. so I’m going to be the guy that makes sure he doesn’t get 100 percent of the vote because no one should get 100 percent of the vote” and then actually not vote for one of the 50 best players in the history of the game?

Griffey might not have been the Michael Jordan of Major League Baseball (no titles, fewer MVP trophies), but he was easily Charles Barkley and no one in their right mind was going to deny “Sir Charles” entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame. (Note: he’s actually in there twice – once for his playing career and once as a member of “The Dream Team”) This is one of those “writers overthinking their importance” and trying to show some form of power over what is basically a ceremonial honour, which is a complete dick move at this point.

Who are these writers to withhold their vote? This isn’t a controversial figure like Barry Bonds or a “maybe he gets in, maybe he doesn’t” player like Jim Edmonds or even Tim Raines, the former Montreal Expos who came up short again this year.

This is Ken Griffey Jr. – an iconic player with a pristine resume, the sweetest swings I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes and a guy that deserved to have 100 percent of the vote.

Related Posts

Previous Post Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *