Fixing The Hall Of Fame Process

So Rickey Henderson and and Jim Rice made the Hall Of Fame today. Congratulations to both of them on a great accomplishment.  What bothered me about today’s results is that Henderson only made 94.8% of the ballots in his first year of election.

What is there about Rickey Henderson that doesn’t scream Hall Of Famer?  No one in baseball history has more steals or runs scored.  He had 3,000 hits and added 297 home runs to his impressive credentials.  In short, I cannot understand how he was left off of ballots.  

But, it really shouldn’t shock me.  After all, Hank Aaron only got 97.8% of the vote and he was the home run and RBI leader at the time he was voted on.  BL recently opined on this site that Greg Maddux should get 100% of the vote and while I agree I am also sure that he will not.

The reason is each voter has an agenda.  Jim Rice didn’t make the Hall Of Fame until now because he was, by most accounts, a moody jerk to the press.  That’s a terrible reason to use when deciding to vote for a player, but baseball writers seem to live in a consequence-free world.  That has to end, and it has to end now.

So, I propose that the writers agree to a new set of criteria with their Hall Of Fame votes.  There needs to be some sort of demerits system with the vote.  If a player gets elected, let’s say with over 80% of the vote in a given year and you don’t vote for him then you get a strike.  Using baseball rules, three strikes means you are out, or in this case you lose your vote. That would stop voters from putting their personal agendas in front of their duty when they vote.  Baseball needs to do something to change this ridiculous process.