Roberto Alomar – Cooperstown Bound

The time has finally arrived for Robbie.

After coming agonizingly close last year (just 1.3% shy), the long time Toronto 2B was easily inducted into the Hall of Fame this time around, garnering 90% of the vote.  His 523 votes were the third highest total in history.

The voting system for the baseball Hall of Fame is incredibly flawed, stupidly biased, and ridiculously self-serving for writers trying to make a name for themselves.  How else can you explain these facts:

– ESPN writer Barry Stanton declined to vote for either Blyleven or Alomar instead casting a vote for both Tino Martinez and B.J. Surhoff.

– Five writers submitted blank ballots, making a point that a) no candidates were worthy of induction b) all players should be punished due to the steroid era or c) they are stupid and shouldn’t have ballots.

– 16.3% more voters suddenly think that Alomar is a Hall of Famer this year over last year?  Why?  How? 

I could go on ranting and raving, but I won’t.  Instead I want to honour the special achievement that happened today both for Alomar and for the Toronto Blue Jays organization.

Alomar will become the first member of the Hall of Fame to wear a Blue Jays cap.  He will be inducted alongside the man who acquired him in the most important trade in Blue Jays history back in 1990, Mr. Pat Gillick.

But more so than Alomar, this was a special year for Jays.  No fewer than six former Jays (seven if you count Dave Parker and his 36 AB in 1991) were on the ballot this year.  While three – Raul Mondesi, Al Leiter, John Olerud – did not reach the 5% threshold required to stay on the ballot, Fred McGriff and Jack Morris will both live to fight another year.

But Alomar will go down as the winner of the day. 

And why not?

He played five years with Toronto.  His average season during those years was a .307 average, .833 OPS, 11 HR, 68 RBI, and 41 SB (82% success rate).  He also won five Gold Gloves, went to five All-Star games, finished in the top-6 in AL MVP voting three times, and picked up a Silver Slugger.

Oh – he also won two World Series with the Jays, was the MVP of the 1992 ALCS, and hit (in my opinion) the second most important HR in the history of the franchise off of Dennis Eckersley in Game 4.

So congrats Robbie on an honour well deserved and one year overdue. 

See you in Cooperstown in July.

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