With this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame vote in, some people — including our own Orioles maven, Rich Dubroff — can applaud the result of no inductees because it excludes several steroid-tainted candidates.
And then there are those who will look at the tally of votes by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and see the unworthies who got a few votes and wonder just what those voters were thinking. For example, the headline at Deadspin asking who gave Aaron Sele a Hall of Fame vote.
That reminded me of a conversation I once had with my former colleague Peter Schmuck during my days at The Sun. Before someone in a newspaper ivory tower made the ill-conceived decision that decreed Sun staffers couldn’t vote for any hall of fame, league awards or media polls, Pete would annually cast a Hall of Fame vote for Steve Garvey. Why? Pete, who once covered the Dodgers, said he didn’t really believe Garvey belonged in Cooperstown and knew Garvey would not win election. However, he had great respect for what Garvey had accomplished in his career, and so his annual Hall of Fame vote was Pete’s way of honoring Garvey.
So, whoever gave Sele, Shawn Green or Steve Finley a vote probably wouldn’t argue that any of them is a Hall of Famer. It may be that their votes were just something nice they decided to do for players who deserved a little pat on the back.
Like a certain ballplayer, I apparently misremembered a key detail. I heard from Pete, who said it was actually Bob Boone who got the honorary Hall of Fame vote and just one time, not Garvey, who got real Hall of Fame votes from Pete because he believed Garvey was deserving. I should know better than to trust my memory.