Friday, January 9, 2009

Did you really want Rickey to be the first anyways?

I've tried to stay out of the "bashing Corky Simpson" fray for leaving Rickey Henderson off his HOF vote. No one's going to be unanimous anyways, so why get all wrapped up in a retired BBWAA voter now writing for a retirement village who made a mistake in his ballot?

Corky Simpson, a retired Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen columnist, told the Bay Area News Group Thursday that unlike the bold stand he took in the 1992 AP college football poll, he "simply goofed'' leaving Henderson off his Hall of Fame ballot and wishes he had a chance to do it all over again.

"Rickey deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and if I had my ballot back, he'd have a shot at unanimity -- and I wouldn't be hated by quite so many people,'' Simpson said.
I honestly feel bad for the guy. Everyone goes bonkers for the HOF voting processes and sometimes I get animated about it, too, but in this case, I don't care as much. Rickey's getting in no matter what. And if asked, I'm happy that Rickey won't be the first unanimously selection to the HOF anyways. If Cal and Gwynn, Babe and Christie, Joe D and Mickey, Ted and Stan, and Jackie and Sandy can't be unanimous, why should Rickey stand above them all?

All that said, shouldn't the BBWAA have term limits or expire once a writer retires? Seems like Corky's BBWAA card should have either expired or been revoked. Once a writer hits 70, maybe he should have to take a test to maintain his standing. Sorta like how I feel about drivers, especially old men in hats.


Mark said...

I find this "Well, the Babe didn't get in unanimously, so neither should anyone else" line of thinking to be beyond pathetic. It more or less ensures that nobody will ever be voted in unanimously, no matter how good they are. And it results in travesties like, for example, at least one someone making the decision to leave Hank Aaron and Willy Mays and Ted Williams and Tom Seaver off their ballot.

And if you're not paying attention to your own ballot to the extent that you overlook an inner-circle guy like Rickey,

bigjf said...

If I'm not mistaken, I believe you have to cover baseball for 10 years before you can even get a HOF vote, so I think a writer's voting privileges should expire at some point after he/she retires. Maybe after 5 years of retirement there can be a vote each year among currently active writers to determine whether the retired writer can stay on the voting committee, which could extend his/her voting privileges for up to 20 years after retirement. That would be factoring in: 1) my little faith for writers as is, and 2) voting should have complete disclosure with full accountability...this is for baseball awards, not a government position.

There's just no excuse for anyone to "goof" on this. Ruth should've been 100%, and so should have Rickey. I can't understand why anyone would leave him off. I've heard at least one writer say that as a rule he will never put a player on his ballot in his first year of eligibility. What?! 5 years isn't enough for you to ponder? I forget which writer said that, but his vote should be revoked right now for that!