It's a really stupid question, right? I mean, he is one of the guys that gets named when you talk about players who people think almost definitely didn't take performance enhancing drugs, probably the most iconic player of his era, played 22 seasons in the Bigs, made the All-Star team in 13 of them, has 630 home runs, won the 1997 AL MVP, has five more top 5 finishes and won 10 straight Gold Gloves while playing a premium defensive position. He has a better chance of becoming the first unanimus HoF inductee in the history of the game than not getting in on the first ballot.
Michael Kay and Al Leiter took the results of the vote to task on air, so I'm not exactly breaking new ground here, but I can certainly use more vulgarity than they did.
Seriously, what the fuck? We think HoF voters are clueless, but if the vote was conducted among people who responded to a YES Network text poll, they would have made him wait an entire year (at the least) to get in because... um... they are fucking clueless?
I think there are a few possibilities here:
It's probably a combination of all of these and some other things that I couldn't think of but I'm leaning towards the last one. One way or another, the results of the voting either illustrate the stupidity of the question or of the sample. Or both.
- People honestly have no concept of what it takes to get into the HoF and/or Ken Griffey's career because 14 year old kids are the only ones who respond to text polls and they weren't mentally conscious when Griffey was in his prime.
- It's a small sample size and, as we've delved into before, that sample is badly skewed.
- They are stupid. No one has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.
- The respondents are only Yankee fans, as opposed to baseball fans. But even still, if the only time you watched Griffey was when he played the Yankees and listened to the broadcast, there's a good chance that one of the announcers - amid the praise the were lavishing upon him over the clip of the home run he stole from Jesse Barfield - specifically referred to him as a "first ballot Hall of Famer".
- They just pressed the wrong button.
- Voters are confusing the term "first ballot" with "unanimous". Maybe people have just enough knowledge about the game to know that no one has ever gotten all the vote in their first year of eligibility but don't know the term or aren't paying close enough attention to the question.