MANDATORY CREDIT US PRESSWIRE Kenny Lofton
A few days ago the Baseball Writers Association of America voted for the 2013 class of Hall of Fame eligible players and, to no one’s surprise, not one player was elected. The supposed reasons as to why pollute the media and shall remain absent from this post. Instead, I will commend the BBWAA for successfully denying the well-earned spots as immortal memories of players from yesteryear.
I don’t know when or why the National Baseball Hall of Fame strayed away from its slogan of preserving history, honoring excellence, and connecting generations, but the fact of the matter is that it has. Now baseball’s highest honor has become a statistical and subjective pedestal that unjustly praises men.
We could go on for days on why Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds cheated the sport; We could speculate all we want about Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza being accused of using performance enhancing drugs; We could even discuss infinitely that players like Jack Morris and Kenny Lofton didn’t meet HOF requirements statistically. But what we cannot do, however, is say these men were not a part of baseball’s rich history.
The all-time hits king of baseball Pete Rose – heck, if anyone should be remembered and honored, it’s him – will most likely be remembered by future generations, if left to the Hall, as a gambling man who had a terrible reality TV show on TLC.
I ask you, BBWAA: What has given you the right to erase the effects these men have left on our lives as fans of the sport? Last I checked, you were appointed to your position as a voter because you have covered the same impact moments these men have created. Your job isn’t to state your opinion as to who was clean nor who was excellent – it’s to document!
If indeed the Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve history, you must preserve all of it.
As a fan of baseball, all I think of is sharing the joy this game’s brought to me. There is absolutely no way that I will not remember Lofton’s homerun in the 2007 ALCS off Daisuke Matsuzaka, where he outsmarted a rookie; There is no way I will not remember the homerun race of 1998 between Sosa and McGwire; There is no way I will not remember Craig Biggio’s intangibles as a baseball player. You may take away their rightful place as immortals in the Hall, but not from my memories.