David Ortiz may enter the Hall of Fame at the first ballot, but epoch-making committees make it a whole new ball game

According to the latest tracking, it looks like a player – David Ortiz – will enter the baseball Hall of Fame when the results of voting by the eligible members of the Baseball Writers Association of American are announced on Tuesday.

But the BBWAA poll is not the only game in town. Increasingly, Hall’s time selection is doing something Hall’s seems to want, and the authors seem reluctant to give in after the confusing steroid years: Sending a lot of new faces to Cooperstown every year.

If Ortiz succeeds – as of Wednesday he had been named on 83.7% of the publicly released ballot papers as drawn up by the tireless Ryan Thibodaux, with 75% needed for the election – he will be one of seven new Hall of Famers in the class 2022

In December, Hall’s Golden Days Committee voted to send four players, a player / manager and a pioneer / executive to Cooperstown. Four of the new Hall Famers – Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso and Tony Oliva – had been bypassed by BBWAA during their combined 60 years on the ballot.

Hodges, who was a sluggish first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers and manager of the Miracle Mets in 1969, came closest and got 63.4% of the vote in 1983. Minoso received the least support from the writers and peaked at 21.1% in 1988.

But getting in via a committee has the same prestige as getting in via BBWAA. You get a plaque. You are forever part of baseball’s most exclusive and immortal club.

This year’s committee also selected former Negro Leagues star Buck O’Neil and 19th century pioneer / executive Bud Fowler.

Other recent committees have selected players such as Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Alan Trammell, Jack Morris and Ted Simmons long after their eligibility for the BBWAA poll ended.

The selection of players via the committee, which had been bypassed by BBWAA, has given hope to fans of many fine former players who were thought of as good to very good but not great.

Some of those who could benefit from yet another bite of the Cooperstown apple come from the recent past of Big Apple’s two current teams.

The writers may have given a thumbs down to players like Keith Hernandez, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, David Cone and Tommy John. But will the local favorites and others make it one day through the selection?

“Of course things are happening a little fast,” Hernandez, 68, said last week when it was announced that the Mets would pull his No. 17 along the way, we’ll have to wait and see. I think Gil came in – which I think he deserved to come in if you look at his numbers … he should have been in a long time ago – and I think when Jim Kaat comes in, I think Tommy John will follow now. I think Dick Allen will follow suit, and he deserves it. ”

Putting in players who were in the good-to-very-good class always leads to an endless debate. If this guy is in how can you not put to guy i? Those who prefer a so-called “Small Hall” consider it to dilute the Hall, while others want to open Cooperstown’s sacred doors to more than just the absolute best of the best.

“I feel that of all the sports, the baseball Hall of Fame is the one that really, I think, is the gold standard,” Hernandez said. “And I think it’s going to stay that way. But there are always players who you feel should be in there who are not in there or vice versa. I have no control over that. Will I get into the Hall of Fame?, Shoot, yeah, I would love to get into the Hall of Fame. But we have to wait and see. It’s just out of my hands and I’ve been out of the game for a long time. Maybe the analysis that has come into play … maybe “It’s going to play something going forward. So we’ll see. It’s just very interesting. Hopefully I still have 15, 16, 17, 18 years left of my life and maybe that’s going to happen before I kick the bucket.”

Yankees fans will argue that if Hernandez comes in, then Mattingly has to come in. What about Cone, who played the lead role for both local teams? And just as it was for Hodges, there has long been an underground campaign to honor Munson, who died in a plane crash on August 2, 1979, but who was one of the top catchers in the game during his tragically shortened career.

Maybe you have your favorites that you think should be included. If you do, you have hope. It’s a brand new ballpark when it comes to entering the hall.


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