When the Baseball Writers Association of America is asked to elect new members to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, they are given a number of criteria to follow. According to the website – www.baseballhall.org, here are the eligibility rules:
A. A baseball player must have been active as a player in the Major Leagues at some time during a period beginning fifteen (15) years before and ending five (5) years prior to election.
B. Player must have played in each of ten (10) Major League championship seasons, some part of which must have been within the period described in 3(A).
C. Player shall have ceased to be an active player in the Major Leagues at least five (5) calendar years preceding the election but may be otherwise connected with baseball.
D. In case of the death of an active player or a player who has been retired for less than five (5) full years, a candidate who is otherwise eligible shall be eligible in the next regular election held at least six (6) months after the date of death or after the end of the five (5) year period, whichever occurs first.
E. Any player on Baseball’s ineligible list shall not be an eligible candidate.
Ok, so let’s look at the New York Yankees shortstop/DH Derek Jeter and see if he checks off all the boxes so far. A. Yes – Jeter played in the Major Leagues from 1995 to 2014. B. Yes, winning several championships along the way. C. Yes, Jeter retired in 2014. D. N/A E. N/A. Ok, so far Jeter is a validated candidate to be considered for election into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Now, let’s look at an important method of election, again taken from http://www.baseballhall.org:
B. An elector will vote for no more than ten (10) eligible candidates deemed worthy of election. Write-in votes are not permitted.
Ok, here is a short list of players that meet eligibility requirements for the 2020 Baseball Hall of Fame voting:
- Roger Clemens
- Barry Bonds
- Omar Vizquel
- Larry Walker
- Derek Jeter
- Billy Wagner
- Gary Sheffield
- Scott Rolen
- Todd Helton
- Jeff Kent
- Bobby Abreu
- Josh Beckett
- Adam Dunn
The list is much, much longer. A few names certainly stand out right away as being generational greats. Clemens, Bonds, Jeter, Walker, maybe Vizquel, maybe Helton are all names that were consistant performers in their position. Consistently on All-Star teams, placing high on post season awards, winning championships, and being considered to be one of the best players at their positions for a significant number of years. Whether you are a baseball writer in Boston, New York, LA, Chicago, Bismarck, Seattle, or any other town, city, village, or hamlet in the Baseball Writers Association of America, you cannot deny that Derek Jeter was one of the best players of his generation and should be 1 of 10 votes cast on your ballot. How you selected 10 players other than Derek Jeter on your ballot is a mystery and quite frankly, a publicity stunt. Some writer is looking for fame, looking to sell magazines, a book deal, a new website, get on talk radio stations nationwide, get on TV shows nationwide, and this is one of the fastest ways to fame. Make a play like this that will get you millions of hits on social media once you are outed. Become the infamous non-voter for Derek Jeter to be elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame. Awesome job!!!
I love the Boston Red Sox and had to endure almost 20 years of watching Derek Jeter play shortstop for the New York Yankees. He made every routine play, every jump throw, every over the shoulder catch in left field, every double play was executed perfectly. Jeter hit the ball to right field with relentless energy against the Sox season after season. He bunted, stole bases, took the extra base, took a single away from hitter after hitter, won World Series titles – all with excellence and ridiculous proficiency. At some point, I just had to tip my cap to him. He was the best player of his generation and helped redefine the position of shortstop/mega-athlete. Jeter never flipped his bat or chewed tobacco or charged the mound or got involved in some wacky scandal. He showed up and played baseball with hustle and professionalism and skill for close to 20 years in one of the toughest sports markets to thrive in. Some elite players come to New York and wilt. Jeter blossomed and never faded.
My wish is this: keep the writer’s name and identity silent. Never reveal who did not vote for Jeter. Don’t give this person any press or recognition or spot on ESPN or talk show to validate his/her case. Don’t let this obvious publicity stunt become a positive for this writer. Congratulations to Derek Jeter and his family on being elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.