Though the writers are taking most of the blame (rightfully so) for no players being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, there is one aspect of the entire debacle that is being overlooked. In one sense, the Baseball Writers Association of America votes represented the feelings of many of the current inductees.
Numerous members of the Hall of Fame have made their feelings clear that they do not want anyone who cheated the game elected to Cooperstown.
Last March, we shared comments from George Brett (inducted in ’99) who said the current members would boycott the hall if a cheater were elected.
“I wasn’t a home-run hitter,” Brett said, “but I know from talking to guys in the 500-home run club, guys like Schmitty (Mike Schmidt) and some other guys like that, if those guys make it in then they’ll never go back. Meaning those guys will never go back and attend (the Hall of Fame inductions) if the cheaters get elected.”
In December, former Cincinnati Reds MVP shortstop Barry Larkin (’12), said cheaters don’t belong in the Hall.
“I think if you cheated, no, you don’t deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis,” Larkin said. “I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don’t think you belong.
“I look at what has happened with Pete Rose. Pete Rose is not a Hall of Fame player, banned from baseball. But if you go up to the Hall of Fame all of his records, his bats, everything in is represented in the Hall of Fame — 4,256 (hits),” Larkin said. “I see a very similar thing happening with guys that are associated with or been accused of using steroids. I think they will recognize their accomplishments but I don’t think those players will be admitted to the Hall of Fame.”
Larkin doesn’t want to keep out those who aren’t proven cheaters citing the innocent until proven guilty axiom.
Former Detroit Tigers outfielder Al Kaline (’80) was among those who was happy nobody was elected this year.