Look what they’ve done to my Hall Fame, ma. The voters turned it into the Hall of Very Good. Then, boom, out of nowhere, Harold Baines received a Hall pass with 2,866 hits, 384 home runs, 1,628 RBI, zero Gold Gloves and zero World Series titles. Now it’s the Hall of Kinda Good.
Far worse, suspected steroids-users have seen their vote totals rise up, up, up, while the ages of the voters and their attention to history and precedent have gone down, down, down. A few cheaters even sneaked into Cooperstown.
Now compare those developments to the stated Baseball Writers Association of America standard: "Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played."
But now that the Baines standard is in place, a massive victory for quantity over quality, expect a rush of borderline candidates and worse to flood Cooperstown in the years to come. That’s a Hall of a shame.
Here are the best Hall of Fame candidates at each position.
Note: Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame five years after they retire. Suspected or admitted steroids cheaters are marked with an asterisk.