The day every January when they announce the latest class of baseball’s elite, Tigers fans watch the latest report to let us know what we already know – another year passes without Jack Morris or Alan Trammell among baseball’s elite. While countless players have solid careers in the major leagues, we have learned over the years that the work that your fellow media members and fans do on your behalf makes all the difference.
For the latest example, just take a look at this year’s class of Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven. Upon the HOF’s announcement of the class, Alomar was called graceful and a class act. In taking further examination at his career, those two descriptions could not be any further than the truth. He infamously spat at an umpire and fizzled his last years away with the Mets, White Sox and D-Backs. In fact, the latest allegations that he has given a number of women HIV/AIDS intentionally should be a concern to all. He may have had success for a good amount of his career, but a better argument could be made for other members on the ballot.
The Blyleven election is not as much a surprise as it is a disappointment for those who are supporting Jack Morris’ candidacy. Blyleven pitched for roughly six additional seasons and only racked up 33 more wins than Morris. While many point to Morris’ ERA as the difference, the fact is that Morris was a big game pitcher who relished the big moments. Blyleven and his face time of late through the Twins has raised his stature among baseball’s writers. As the voting block decreases in age, players look back at those players they idolized. Morris played a high percentage of his career away from the spotlight, something that continues to haunt his chances.