Well, my third book is entitled Dopey Bastid, and includes a collection of sports stories which identify dumb decisions by managers/coaches, owners, sportswriters, players and even fans.
It appears as if I should have added another chapter to the book. But not to despair there will be a follow-up novel. The voting of Baseball Writers of America Association (BBWAA) relative to voting for enshrinement in Cooperstown, necessitates it.
Earlier this month the BBWAA decided that there should not be a new player inducted to the Hall of Fame, with nary even one candidate equaling the minimum 75% of the vote requirement. The impact of steroid identification and/or the suspicion there of had arrived. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, arguably two of the greatest baseball players at bat and on the mound respectively, fell considerably below the threshold, each receiving only about half of the votes necessary. To each his own; but I would have been in the minority and cast an affirmative ballot for each.
Forget this year, since the steroid era does give cause for doubt as to the authenticity of the statistics achieved during that period. Lets look back at the foibles of prior BBWAA decisions.
The Yankee Clipper, Joe DiMaggio, consistently touted as one of the all-time greats, was not first ballot Hall of Famer. Would you believe, that after his stellar career, a mere 44.3% of the writers placed the name DiMaggio, on their ballots in 1953. Joe’s first eligible year. Maybe many of the writers were jealous that he had married Marilyn Monroe, or perhaps for some, it was an anti-Italian thing. The following year the percentage for DiMaggio still fell short at 69.4%. What the hell were they other 30.6% of those guys thinking? In 1955, Joe finally surpassed the magic plateau garnering 88.8% of the BBWAA to come to their senses. Who cares about a 56 game hitting streak and playing the best center field that Yankee Stadium has ever seen? Disgraceful.
Here are a few other head scratchers. Duke Snide, once hailed the equal of Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle in his heyday years in Brooklyn, took 11 years to surpass the 3/4 of the vote minimum. Gil Hodges, who led all players in RBI’s in the 1950′s and at all time in his retirement had more home runs than any right handed batter in the National League, remains without Cooperstown status.
Simply mind boggling to me. What about you? I guess DiMaggio, Snider and Hodges were all on HGH!