Former Oriole Rafael Palmeiro is on the very short list of players that have both 3,000 hits and 500 homers. The group includes Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and Palmeiro.
That is one of the most exclusive lists in the history of the sport and those accomplishments clearly cement Palmeiro’s credentials to be a Hall of Famer. But he’ll probably never make it to Cooperstown.
Like many other players, Palmeiro is tied to performance-enhancing drugs, but unlike some others, he is now off the Hall ballot. He got 8.8 percent of the vote in 2013 and this year just 4.4 percent. Any player receiving under five percent gets dropped off the ballot.
ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark was a guest earlier this week on MASN’s “Mid-Altantic Sports Report” and gave a great interview about the Hall of Fame voting process and also talked about Palmeiro.
“Rafael Palmeiro, I think, has been deemed by these voters to be in a separate category from just about anybody else,” Stark said. “He’s the one guy on this ballot who tested positive, after they were testing with suspension rules in place. With most everybody else you are playing some kind of guessing game. Not with him.
“I voted him the first two years but I was at the point where I just had too many names. It was pretty clear Rafael Palmeiro was never going to get elected and I felt a vote for him was wasted. If we didn’t have a 10-player limit, he would still be around. Now he becomes the man with the most hits and most homers ever to get on the ballot and then dropped off the ballot.”
Palmeiro now can’t be considered by the Hall of Fame’s veterans committee until at least 2026. I understand the ballot was loaded this year, but to have 3,000 hits and 500 homers and not even be on the ballot seems pretty harsh to me.
On another topic, MASN’s Tom Davis asked Stark if he thought broadcaster Vin Scully should get a Hall of Fame vote.
“It’s fine with me. I can’t think of any reason why Vin Scully shouldn’t have a vote,” Stark said. “And Bob Costas should have a vote and Jon Miller, Buck Martinez and Gary Thorne. Guys who have seen more baseball than many of the people who vote. Think about it, care about it, talk about it everyday of their lives.
“If the Hall of Fame came to us and said, ‘Would you consider this?’ I’d be all for it.”
I’ve said for years that some of the top broadcasters should get a vote. I hope this happens. It’s past time for it actually.
I applaud Stark for saying what he said but I hope some BBWAA members now begin to take some action here. The impetus for change may have to come from the Hall of Fame staff, but the writers can certainly make the suggestion on behalf of the broadcasters.
Some writers have certainly advocated that voters be allowed to vote for more than 10 moving forward. Now it’s time for them to advocate for the broadcasters as well.
On this topic, it’s time to stop discussing it and someone needs to make it happen.