Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Congratulations Hawk

This could quite possibly be the final post ever at Fack Youk, as I'm afraid the furor over this afternoon's Hall of Fame voting results will cause the internet to explode some time later today.

Andre Dawson was the sole player elected by the BBWAA, being named on 420 of 539 ballots for 77.9% of the vote. He received just 15 votes more than the necessary 75%.

Even closer to that 75% cutoff were Bert Blyleven and Roberto Alomar. Unfortunately for them they were on the wrong side of 3/4, with Byleven falling an agonizing five votes shy (74.2%) and Alomar just eight votes short (73.7%). The good news for them is that no one has ever failed to be elected after gaining that much support.

In my opinion Blyleven and Alomar are without doubt Hall of Famers, so there will assuredly be some people angry that they're out and Dawson - a borderline candidate - is the one who got in. And that says nothing about other more deserving candidates: Tim Raines, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell, Edgar Martinez, or even Hawk's comparable contemporaries like Dale Murphy and Dave Parker.

Personally, I don't have a huge problem with Dawson getting in. He's assuredly a borderline candidate, but he had a helluva a career: MVP, Rookie of the Year, 8 time All-Star, 8 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers, and some impressive power numbers that have him in the company of baseball's all-time greats. He also spent his best years playing in relatively obscurity in Montreal, where the concrete-like turf punished his knees to the point that he first moved from CF to RF, and then eventually to DH.

On the flip side, Dawson's career OBP is just .323, lower than the league average over the course of his career. There's no way to sugarcoat that. Whether that's enough to outweigh the positive aspects of his career is for you to decide. The writers didn't think so - not this year at least. Your mileage may vary, and probably does.

For now though, congratulations to the Hawk on his induction. We'll have more later on the rest of the ballot, and I'm sure several others elsewhere will have plenty to say about all of this.

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