Would it be four or would it be three? That seemed to be the only question remaining in the days leading up to Wednesday’s unveiling of the 2014 Hall of Fame class.
In the end, the number was three. Greg Maddux. Tom Glavine. Frank Thomas. Count yourselves among the immortals gentlemen. Despite the efforts of Ken Gurnick, who only wanted Jack Morris.
Craig Biggio, you will note, did not make the list. Biggio reportedly missed by just two votes. Murray Chass was one of those who did not vote for him. Ken Gurnick was another.
But don’t blame Gurnick and Chass. There were others who did not vote for Biggio. There were several who did not vote for Maddux.
Greg Maddux received 97.2% of the vote, the 8th highest total all time. Glavine got 91.9%, Thomas 83.7%.
Biggio got 74.8%. Jack Morris missed with 61.5%.
No Mike Piazza either. Writers like Dan Shaughnessy and Murray Chass have lumped Piazza in with the steroids players despite there being little or no evidence that Piazza did steroids.
Chass and Shaughnessy take their job very seriously. They take themselves very seriously.
Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe the standards need to be this rigorous. Maybe Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas are the only three players truly worthy of induction among this year’s class.
Maybe Maddux is the only one truly worthy.
It’s a wonderful, never-ending debate. And that’s why the Hall of Fame needs to go on existing. Not so guys can get another pat on the back after a career spent being patted on the back. But because it makes people talk about baseball.