The Baseball Hall of Fame voting could very well be one of the most controversial subjects and events that occurs annually. It’s always a debate surrounded by steroid era talks, Pete Rose, and biases.
In this particular instance, it’s whether or not an individual could ever be unanimously named to a trip to Cooperstown. The answer is no, unfortunately.
Nope, not even Derek Jeter or, even more staggering, Mariano Rivera.
Ken Griffey Jr. came close. And I mean, really close. Just three votes shy of a unanimous selection in 2016. The 13-time All-Star, former MVP, and seven-time Gold Glove Award winner had a record 99.32-percent of ballots casted. This was the same guy to hit 630 home runs and did it cleanly (as far as we know) during the steroid era and truly brought pop culture into the sport.
The reasoning behind those who don’t vote for someone could be a number of things. A first-timer on the ballot perhaps, notoriety? If that’s the case, that seems not only ridiculous, but the voting has been put into reckless individuals’ hands. And whether or not you care about sports, the Hall of Fame is a big deal and those who are chosen to vote should remind themselves it’s a great privilege.
Jeter is up for Hall of Fame voting in 2020. And just like Junior, he is loved all over baseball and the sports world. He’s virtually indispensable and has received a ton of respect over his career. Numbers-wise, that doesn’t change. With two decades in the bigs, the 14-time All-Star shortstop has 260 home runs with 3,465 hits and a career 71.8 WAR as well as 358 stolen bases. He also has five World Series rings and was named MVP in one of those games.
So with that sexy resume, he’s surely to get a unanimous vote, right? No, he will not. And like stated before, his longtime teammate Rivera — unquestionably the best closer in history — won't either.
Face it: If all the historic, legendary players from the past didn't get 100 percent of the votes, why would it change now?
We don’t know why some players aren’t getting unquestioned votes, but at this point, it’s something we need to get used to.
“Almost” might have to be as good as it gets.