NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hall of Fame hunting season has started a day early.
Baseball fans got a jump on the yearly tradition when Ken Gurnick, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat reporter for MLB.com, revealed his ballot Tuesday. He’s voting for one guy and one guy only: former Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris.
In an article published to the league’s official website, 17 contributing writers — all members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America — disclosed who they voted for and why. Squeaky-clean starters Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine made the cut for everyone but Gurnick.
Nobody — including baseball’s best players from the Steroids Era — received the 75 percent necessary for enshrinement in 2013. It will be Morris’ 15th and final shot at Cooperstown.
“Morris has flaws — a 3.90 ERA, for example,” Gurnick wrote ahead of Wednesday’s Hall announcement. “But he gets my vote for more than a decade of ace performance that included three 20-win seasons, Cy Young Award votes in seven seasons and Most Valuable Player Award votes in five. As for those who played during the period of PED use, I won’t vote for any of them.”
Maddux, a four-time Cy Young Award winner, was believed to have a shot at unanimous selection in his first year on the ballot.
To say baseball fans were riled up would be an understatement. Here’s a sampling:
Others came to his defense:
Blasting writers for their Hall of Fame vote is nothing new. Last year, fans were on the hunt for the person who thought Aaron Sele and his 4.61 ERA deserved a spot in Cooperstown. Los Angeles Daily News columnist Jill Painter received heaps of criticism for a ballot that included Shawn Green, Craig Biggio, Kenny Lofton, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly and Bernie Williams.
And there will be more vitriol in 2014. Don’t forget, Deadspin said it purchased a ballot from a to-be-named BBWAA member. That’ll be fun.
Mike Mussina, Maddux, Glavine and Frank Thomas are among the first-timers on this year’s ballot. Others on the loaded 36-player list include holdovers Biggio, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Morris and the Steroids Era-tainted foursome of Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.
The latest Hall of Fame class will be announced at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
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